Avia S-199 Sakeen D.108, the durable knife

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Introduction

The Avia S-199 was a Czechoslovakian modification of the German Bf 109 notoriously known for it’s bad performance and seeing it’s combat debut under the Israeli Air Force during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This suggestion will cover a specific example in Israeli service, D.108, that while being essentially an early production S-199 did posses a unique modification among the S-199s in the Israeli Air Force and was notable for being the S-199 with the longest service life in the Israeli Air Force.


This photo shows S-199 D.108 operating from a temporary base in Ma’abarot following the discovery of Tel Nof air base which it originally operated from by the Egyptian Air Force. Note it’s extended R3 tail wheel leg which was uniquely found only on this example among Israeli S-199s.

History

S-199 D.108 was among the first batch of S-199s that were sent from Czechoslovakia to Israel during their acquisition to fight in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This acquisition was covered in greater detail in the original suggestion for the S-199 from the old forum as well as my suggestion for the early production variant, but in short, the Israeli S-199s were acquired in two separate batches with the first one of 10 aircraft being delivered from the 20th of May 1948 to the 31st of May with only 9 of them making the trip, labeled D.101-D.109.

D.108, as can be presumed from the labeling, was among the last examples to arrive in the first batch and so it missed the very first missions conducted by Israeli S-199s. It was fully assembled and ready for combat under the 101st squadron sometime in early June along with D.107 and D.109, at the time of their assembly the Israeli Air Force had only five operational S-199s. Unfortunately there aren’t many feats conducted by S-199s during the early career of D.108 that are traced to it specifically (at least not that I could find), however it is known that D.108 took part in an intensive part of the early 1948 war that took place between the 8th and 18th of July known as The Ten Day War. D.108 was among 8 total S-199s that were used in the fighting and was the only one to remain operational throughout their entirety with 6 S-199s being operational on the 8th of July and only 3 S-199s remaining operational on the 18th. It is also known that on the 25th of July the pilot Syd Cohen flew D.108 along with a second S-199 on an attack on the village Ijzim south of the city of Haifa during which D.108 dropped bombs and conducted strafing attacks.


In this photo S-199 D.108 is shown in Ma’abarot after suffering a landing accident on the 21st of August.

For the next month no unusual activities were noted to have been conducted by D.108, however on the 21st of August while being flown by pilot Mitchell Flint D.108 suffered a landing accident that rendered it inoperable for a sizable part of the war. This landing accident resulted in the demotion of Mitchell Flint from the 101st fighter squadron. D.108 was only officially put back into service after extensive repairs on the 21st of November, by the time of which the 101st squadron was moved to Qastina.
By that point in the war the numbering system for the S-199s in the Israeli Air Force was changed and so D.108 received the new designation - 1906.

Under this new designation S-199 D.108 (now 1906) took part in operation Horev that was conducted in late December of 1948. It was mainly detailed to have been used in escort missions of other combat aircraft, such as escorting a Beaufighter TF Mk.X attacking El Arish airfield on the 24th of December as well as escorting Spitfire D.130 (the Israeli Air Force’s first Spitfire) on a photo reconnaissance mission over Gaza, marking D.108s final flight in the war.

The war ended several months later in 1949 with S-199 D.108 being only one of four serviceable S-199s to survive the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and was the only one to survive it from the first delivered batch of S-199s. This makes S-199 D.108 the longest serving S-199 in the Israeli Air Force, an admirable feat considering the unreliability of the aircraft. S-199 D.108 was finally scrapped sometime after the 15th of October 1950.

IAI-Spit-slick960_640
A close up shot near the engine cowling of S-199 D.108, showing the deep oil cooler under the engine cowling which characterized the early variant of the aircraft.

Technical information

S-199 D.108 essentially was an early production example of the S-199. This means that it had original Bf 109 designated shock absorbers for the MG 131 machineguns as well as a protruding deep oil cooler seen below the engine cowling. Additionally S-199 D.108 featured an extended R3 tail wheel leg, a unique modification that was only found on this example in Israeli Air Force service (for context, to see the difference, the same extended tail wheel leg can be found on the Bf 109 G-10 in War Thunder).

Potential in War Thunder

While this aircraft is essentially just another S-199 only with a different tail wheel leg, it could be used as a premium vehicle counterpart to the S-199 already in the game. Seeing as the S-199 is a very iconic aircraft when it comes to the Israeli Air Force it would make sense to have an example available by some means other than simply researching the one in the research tree. It could also make for a potential event vehicle or even a regular vehicle to bolster the BR 3.3 lineup for Arcade mode.

Screenshot 2023-02-16 235242

Specifications

Type: Single seat fighter

Country of origin: Czechoslovakia

Wing span: 9.92 meters

Length: 8.94 meters

Height: 2.59 meters

Powerplant: Junkers Jumo 211F rated at 1,350 hp

Max speed: 590 km/h

Max altitude: 9,500 meters

Range: 850 km

Weight: Empty - 2,650 kg, Fully loaded - 3,740 kg

Armaments: 2x13mm MG 131 with 250 rounds per gun, 2x20mm MG 151 with 135 rounds per gun, 2x70kg SD70 bombs (realistic loadout), had mounts that allowed it to potentially carry up to 4 German made bombs of weights between 50 and 70 kg.

Sources

Spoiler

Avia S-199 in Israeli Service | Plane-Encyclopedia

The Israeli Air Force

S-199s

https://www.amazon.com/Air-War-Edge-History-Aircraft/dp/1857800885

https://www.amazon.com/-/he/Alex-Yofe-Lawrence-Nyveen/dp/B07ND8PM9V

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+1 for another of the best performing Messerschmitt in the IDFAF ;)

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