Drawing - Paul Matt - Messerschmitt Me 109 E-3
Brand Kiona Publishing, Inc.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 — commonly called the Me 109 (most often by Allied aircrew and amongst the German aces, though this was not the official German designation), is a German World War II fighter aircraft. It was designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid-1930s. The "Bf 109" designation was issued by the German ministry of aviation for the developing company Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (where Messerschmitt led the development team), plus a rather arbitrary figure. It was one of the most advanced fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.
The Bf 109 first saw service during the Spanish Civil War. It was still in service at the end of World War II and the dawn of the jet age. It was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's fighter force during the War. However, starting from the end of 1941, the Bf 109 was being supplemented by the superior Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-, night-, and all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 made from 1936 up to April 1945.
The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring German World War II fighter aces. They claimed 928 victories while flying with Jagdgeschwader 52, mainly on the Eastern Front. The highest scoring fighter ace of all time, Erich Hartmann of Germany, flew the Bf 109 and is credited with 352 kills — surviving the war. The airplane was also flown by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign. He scored 158 kills. It was also flown by several other aces from Germany's allies, notably Finn Ilmari Juutilainen, the highest scoring non-German ace on the type, with 58 kills flying the Bf 109G. Pilots from Italy, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary also flew the airplane. Through constant development, the Bf 109 remained competitive with the latest Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.
- Crew: One
- Length: 8.95 m (29 ft 7 in.)
- Wingspan: 9.925 m (32 ft 6 in.)
- Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 2 in.)
- Wing area: 16.05 m2 (173.3 ft2)
- Empty weight: 2,247 kg (5,893 lb)
- Loaded weight: 3,148 kg (6,940 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3,400 kg (7,495 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 - Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 liquid-cooled inverted V12, 1,475 PS (1,455 hp, 1,085 kW)
- Propellers: VDM 9-12087 three-bladed light-alloy propeller
- Propeller diameter: 3 m (9 ft 10 in.)
- Maximum airspeed: 640 km/h (398 mph) at 6,300 m (20,669 ft)
- Cruise airspeed: 590 km/h (365 mph) at 6,000 m (19,680 ft)
- Range: 850 km (528 mi) 1,000 km (621 mi) with drop tank
- Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
- Rate of climb: 17.0 m/s (3,345 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 196 kg/mІ (40 lb/ftІ)
- Power/mass: 344 W/kg (0.21 hp/lb)
- 2 - 13-mm (.51-in.) synchronized MG 131 machine guns with 300 rounds per gun
- 1 - 20-mm (.78-in.) MG 151/20 cannon as centerline Motorkanone with 200 rpg.
- 1 - 30-mm (1.18-in.) MK 108 cannon as centerline Motorkanone with 65 rpg (G-6/U4 variant)
- 2 - 20-mm MG 151/20 underwing cannon pods with 135 rpg (optional kit—Rьstsatz VI)
- Rockets: 2 - 21-cm (8-in.) Wfr. Gr. 21 (G-6 with BR21)
- Bombs: 1 - 250 kg (551 lb) bomb or 4 - 50 kg (110 lb) bombs or 1 - 300-litre (79 US gal) drop tank
- FuG 16Z radio
* All drawings and photos are high resolution — 300 dpi