Frontline Nazi fighterplane in World War II, manufactured by Messerschmitt. Its versatility allowed it to see action in a number of fronts and campaigns during the war—the Russian and North African fronts, the Invasion of France and the Battle of Britain.

Earlier versions of the 109 were also used during the Spanish Civil War, which preceded the 2nd World War by roughly a decade. Spanish-built Messerschmitts continued to be produced after the war by Casa as the Ha-1112, but instead of the German inverted Diamler-Benz powerplant, it was powered by the liquid-cooled Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, similar to the one that powered the famous North-American P-51 Mustang.

With some irony, the early Israeli Airforce used Avia S199's, the Czech variant of the Bf-109, to fight the Egyptians during Israel's War of Independence.

Some trivia:

The Bf-109 was also known as the Me-109. The Bf designation stood for Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, which was the name of the company before Willy Messerschmitt took over. Even though the company changed hands, both the Me- and the Bf- designations were used until the end of the war.

The world's greatest fighter ace, Erich Hartmann, flew a Bf-109 on the Eastern front for the large part of the campaign against the Russians. By the war's end, he earned 352 kills which included, for the most part obsolete Russian fighters, and a handful of American fighters, and earned the nickname the "Black Devil of the Ukraine" by the Russians.
The Me-109 was a World War II German fighter aircraft that was the fighter backbone of the Luftwaffe for much of the war. The Me-109 was a capable aircraft able to compete with Hawker Hurricanes and Spitfires but was outmatched late in the war by American P-51s.

Length: 29' 8" ; 9.0 m
Height: 8' 6" ; 2.5 m
Wingspan: 32' 6" ; 9.9 m
Gross Weight: 6,980 lb ; 3,165 kg

No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Daimer-Benz D.605
Horsepower: 1475

Range: 615 miles ; 990 km
Cruise Speed: 325 mph ; 523 km/h ; 282 kt
Max Speed: 387 mph ; 623 km/h ; 336 kt
Ceiling: 38,500 ft ; 11,734 m
Nickname: Gustav
Manufacturer: Messerschmitt

From 1936 to 1945, almost 35,000 of these aircraft were build. This figure alone gives an indication of the importance of the Messerschmitt Bf/Me. 109 in the German aeronautical arsenal during World War II. However, in the course of its long and extensive career on all fronts, this small, agile and powerful aircraft acquired a role that went well beyond the purely quantitative dimensions of its production (the highest, without exception, of the entire war), and fought its way into the ranks of the greatest protagonists of aviation history. In fact the appearance of the Bf/Me. 109 brought the era of the biplane to a definite close, imposing qualitative standards that sooner or later were to serve as reference points for aircraft manufacturers all over the world. Willy Messerschmitt’s fighter not only placed Germany suddenly in the vanguard the field of military aviation, but it also became the progenitor of all the pure combat planes that were to emerge from the conflict. In this latter role, the Bf/Me. 109 had a fierce adversary (and not only in the skies over Europe) in another "immortal" , the British Supermarine Spitfire, with which it participated in a continuous technological chase, aimed at gaining supremacy in the air and leading to the continuous strengthening and improving of both aircraft.

The Bf/Me. 109 originated in the summer of 1934, in response to an official request for a monoplane interceptor with which to replace the Heinkel He.51 and the Arado Ar.68 biplanes. Its designers, Willy Messerschmitt and Walter Rethel, took the excellent features of the four-seater Bf. 108 Taifun commercial aircraft as their basis and created the smallest possible structure compatible with the most powerful engine then available. The fighter thus took the form of a compact, all-metal, low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

Originally it had been planned to install the new 610 hp Junkers Jumo 210A engine, but because this power plant was unavailable, the prototype was fitted with the Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine, generating 695 hp at takeoff and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller.

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The Messerscmitt was first introduced officially in 1935. The most famous model of this plane was the 109. More Messerschmitt 109's were built than any other single engine plane in history. Around 35,000 were produced during World War II. Erich Hartmann, the top German ace in history, flew a Messerscmitt-109.

  • Nation: Germany.
  • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt AG.
  • Type: Single-seat fighter-bomber.
  • Year: 1939 (prototype 1935).
  • Engine:1175hp Daimler-Benz DB6OIA liquid cooled V12.
  • Wingspan: 9.87m (32ft 4in).
  • Length: 8.64m (28ft 4in).
  • Height: 2.28m (7ft Sin).
  • Weight: 2505kg (55231b).
  • Maximum speed: 560kph (347mph).
  • Ceiling: 10,50Gm (34,450ft).
  • Range: 700km (435 miles).
  • Armament: Typically two synchronized 7,92mm MG 17 machine guns above engine and two MG FF 20mm cannon in wings.
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