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. While many people assume The S-199’s development was a very straightforward and standardized process that is actually not the case, and the S-199 actually saw several variations throughout it’s development due to various circumstances. This suggestion will review one such variation that was used by the Israeli Air Force and was not the specific variation that is currently represented in the game.
- I named the vehicle in the suggestion as the “S-199 Early Production” because it refers to airframes of the earliest production variation of the S-199 built by Avia. I have seen some posts on the internet calling it the “type I” of the S-199, however I was not able to confirm that there were any specific designations for these variations given by either Czechoslovakia or Israel, and so I opted with the more general designation of “Early Production” to keep things simple.
- This suggestion uses the specifications as they appear on the Israeli Air Force official website, however there is reason to believe the actual performance was slightly different between the variant suggested here and the one we have in the game due to the added drag by the deep oil cooler on this suggested variant.
-One of the earliest S-199s in Israeli service, presumed to be one of the S-199s that participated in the infamous air raid against Egyptian ground Forces at Ad Halom bridge. Note the deep oil cooler under the engine cowling and the lack of the additional small blister forward of the large blister located behind the MG131 machineguns, confirming this S-199 to be of the early production variant of the S-199.
Unlike my previous suggestions I am going to actually start with the technical information on the aircraft to clear up what this aircraft actually is and how it’s different from the S-199 we already have in War Thunder. First, it is important to understand that while the production of the S-199 by Avia was consistent ever since production started in 1947, the production models actually saw some variations over time both due to attempted improvements to the airframe as well as constraints due to a lack of certain parts. There were actually at least 4 different recognizable variations of the Avia S-199 throughout it’s production span, and Israel used 2 of them, those being the earliest variant (the one suggested here) and the one that succeeded it (the one that is implemented in-game).
-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.
The early production variation of the aircraft was recognizable mainly due to it’s use of a traditional deep oil cooling tray protruding under the engine cowling, as well as a more simplified shape of the blisters located behind the MG 131 machineguns. In contrast the version that succeeded it which is implemented in War Thunder, saw the replacement of the deep oil cooler with a system based on internal cooling, identified by a slight bulge offset to the right under the engine cowling. In addition, the newer variant was forced to have additional small blisters protrude forward of the large ones located behind the MG 131 machineguns in order to accommodate different shock absorbers for the MG 131s that were originally used on the Fw 190 due to a lack of supply of the original shock absorbers that were used in the early variant. Both of the variants used by Israel can be identified due to their use of the Erla canopy which was replaced in the later variants in service with Czechoslovakia.
-This famous photo of Modi Alon shooting down an Egyptian C-47 over Tel Aviv in his S-199 is actually of S-199 D.106 specifically, which was one of the S-199s of the early production variant.
The story of the acquisition of the S-199s was previously covered in good detail in the original suggestion for the Israeli S-199 from the old forum that was moved to the implemented section with the addition of the S-199 in War Thunder and you can read it in greater detail here: [Suggestion]
In short, the Israeli Air Force acquired the S-199s in 2 separate batches, one of 10 aircraft and a later one of 15 aircraft with deliveries starting on May 20th 1948 in the midst of the Arab-Israeli war. It is important to note that the first batch of 10 aircraft (of which only 9 made the trip and include D.101 - D.109), which were delivered between May 20th and May 31st, were all of the early production variant of the S-199. This means that very notable events such as the strike against Egyptian forces at Ad Halom bridge by a formation of 4 S-199s on the 29th of May and the shooting down of a pair of Egyptian C-47 Dacotas over Tel Aviv on the 3rd of June were all carried out by S-199s of the variant presented in this suggestion, and not the one that is currently implemented in War Thunder. In the following shipment of S-199s that took place starting from the 1st of July, 5 aircraft (D.110, D.113, D.114, D.115 and D.116) were also of the early production variant while the rest of the delivered aircraft were of the newer variant.
-In this photo we can see S-199 D.106, one of the early production S-199s which was confirmed to be responsible for at least 2 of the 7 air to air kills credited to the S-199s in Israeli Air Force service.
Following the arrival of the newer variant of the S-199, airframes of the early variant continued to be used throughout parts of the war in which they were in proper flight condition. The S-199s of both variants carried out ground attack missions carrying a pair of 70kg SD70 bombs (technically 4 bombs could be carried but the Israelis only ever mounted 2 because of the aircraft’s lacking performance) and all of them had the 20mm gun pods mounted permanently despite the low reliability of the guns which were prone to jamming. In addition to the air to air kills I’ve mentioned that are attributed to S-199 D.106, another early production S-199, D.107, was also confirmed to have achieved one of the air to air kills, namely the shooting down of a Syrian AT-6 on the 10th of July. Throughout the course of the war all but one of the early production S-199s were lost either to the enemy forces or accidents. The only airframe of this variant that survived the war was D.108 which was scrapped in late 1950 along with most of the other remaining airframes(Spoiler: I will be making a separate suggestion for this specific airframe).
-This side shot of S-199 D.107 shows a clear view of both the deep oil cooler of the early production variants as well as the lack of the additional small protruding blister over the engine cowling due to presence of original Bf 109 shock absorbers for the MG 131s on the early variant.
Despite being very similar to the S-199 the Israeli tree already has in the game, this version holds just as much historical significance for the history of this nation’s air force and would presumably feature slight differences in performance due to the aerodynamic changes between the variants. This version of the S-199 could be used to complement the existing version in the game, giving players a backup to take in arcade mode and generally bolstering the lower ranks of the aviation tree.
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.