Messerschmitt Bf 109


"Christl", the Bf 109G-5 of Hauptman Gerhard Barkhorn
"Christl", the Bf 109G-5 of Hauptman Gerhard Barkhorn, Germany's second-ranked ace (301 victories)
The plane was designed in 1934 by Willy Messerchmitt, at the head of the Messerchmitt FlugzeugBau. But the plane was built by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW), Messerchmitt's production sister company. The plane code therefore started with "Bf", like all planes conceived by Messerchmitt at this period (like the Bf 108 Taifun or Bf 110 Zerstörer for example).
In 1938, to acknowledge the success of Messerchmitt's designs, the whole company was renamed Messerchmitt AG. The plane can therefore either be called "Bf 109" or "Me 109".
The Messerchmitt Bf 109 line is the World War 2 fighter with the greatest production numbers and lifespan; it was in production from 1937 to the fifties.

Development

As the Me109 line was very long and complex, this "development" section will only describe the main evolutions. However, you can click here to learn everything about all Bf 109 versions and prototypes.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4
Engine Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa liquid-cooled V12 1,000 hp (WEP: 1,175 hp)
Weight empty: 1,900 kg (4,189 lb) - with full load: 2,665 kg (5,875 lb)
Armament Two cowl-mounted 7.9mm guns, two wing-mounted MG FF 20mm cannons.
Performance Max speed: 560 km/h (348 mph) Ceiling: 10,500 m (34,450 ft)
Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4
Engine Daimler-Benz DB 601E liquid-cooled V12 Power: 1,300 hp (WEP: 1,350 hp)
Weight with normal load: 2,900 kg (6,396 lb)
Armament Two cowl-mounted 7.9mm guns, one nose-mounted MG 151/20 20 mm cannon.
Performance Max speed: 625 km/h (388 mph)
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6
Engine Daimler-Benz DB 605A liquid-cooled V12 Power: 1,300 hp (WEP: 1,475 hp)
Weight with normal load: 3,148 kg (6,940 lb)
Armament Two cowl-mounted 13 mm guns, one nose-mounted MG 151/20 20 mm cannon.
Performance Max speed: 621 km/h (386 mph)
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/R-6
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/R-6
Messerschmitt Bf 109K-4 Messerschmitt Bf 109K-4
Engine Daimler-Benz DB 605D liquid-cooled V12 Power: 1,800 hp (WEP: 2,000 hp)
Armament Two cowl-mounted 13 mm guns, one nose-mounted Mk 108 30 mm cannon.
Performance Max speed: 727 km/h (452 mph)

Stof's notes about this plane in iMOL's WarBirds

The opinions expressed below are only my own, and nothing more...
We now have five different Bf 109s ! However, a 1939 version (like a Bf 109E-1, which had no cannons) and an early Bf 109G (like a Bf 109G-2, lighter than the Bf 109G-6) would be nice additions.
If you want to know how to beat the Spitfire, read the excellent Flying the Bf 109 in WarBirds article from --ik--.

Strong points:

Weak points:


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(Plane picture comes from the Internet, author unknown)