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  • Messerschmitt Bf 109

    There are only several authentic airworthy Messerschmitt Bf 109's still in existence. The following video shows one which was filmed mid last year in Germany. You can clearly hear its powerful Daimler-Benz 12 cylinder engine. Seeing this video it's no wonder why this aircraft with it's no bullshit sharp edged appearance brought fear to the many allied pilot's unlucky enough to meet one.

    Video (12mb): http://www1.flightlevel350.com/videos/1136497352.wmv

    Just thought you'd like to also read some interesting facts on the Messerschmitt Bf 109:

    1- Later Bf 109 models were equipped with Daimler-Benz DB605D Inverted V 12 cylinder, Liquid cooled engine producing 1,800 hp with water-methanol injection and giving a speed of 685 km/h (428 mph). Ironically, the first 109 prototypes were powered by British Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines, Obviously these prototypes were made before the outbreak of WWII (1935 to be exact).

    2- At the time of its early development, the Bf 109 was probably the most advanced flying war machine in the world.

    3- The Bf 109 was credited with shooting down more enemy aircraft (twice as many aircraft as any other fighter in history to be exact) and producing more aces than any single fighter in the history of aerial warfare.

    4- Every high scoring WWII German ace flew the 109 at one time in their career. Fifteen German pilots accounted for 200 hundred aircraft each, two achieved the shooting down of in excess of 300 each. Erich Hartman (“Black Devil of the Ukraine” ) was feared and hated by Russian pilots so much that when they saw his aircraft with the Black petal markings on the nose of his aircraft, the tried in vain to avoid him. Hartman finally had to remove these petals on account of this. Eric Hartman is to this day is the top scoring ace of all time. He flew 1425 missions, engaged in 800 aerial battles, suffered 13 accidents or engine failures but he only bailed out of his aircraft once, over Romania. His skill as a fighter pilot in the destruction of 352 aircraft will probably never be equaled in air warfare again. All of this was achieved in 2 Ĺ years.

    5- In 1944, the average German fighter pilot went into action with less than one third the flying training hours of his American counterpart. About 150 hours compared to 450 hours for American training pilots. As their veteran pilots ranks were thinned the Luftwaffe had failed to develop a mass production of new quality pilots.

    6- The greatest weakness especially in the Battle of Britain was the limited fuel capacity. This only allowed them 20 minutes in battle at full throttle over England. Many crashed on the beaches of northern France on account of fuel starvation on their way home.

    Some interesting information on the Bf 109's famously flawed landing gear:

    The landing gear design and geometry caused an extraordinary number of landing accidents. It's thin and closly separated landing gear plagued the Bf 109 for its entire career. They would snap and bend on hard landings and made the fighter very unstable on the ground while taxiing. More Bf 109s were grounded from landing gear damage than from enemy fire.

    "Only on takeoff, if you raised the tailwheel before you had enough speed to control the yaw with the rudder, you would be in serious trouble. The torque of the prop would take over and the plane would veer to the side. Without enough speed to control it with the rudder, this usually lead to a broken plane. Therefore it was important to keep the tailwheel down until you had enough speed for rudder control. Flying and landing was easy. Like it is well known, many young pilots wrecked 109's's on takeoff, usually because they lifted the tailwheel too soon."

    - Olli Sarantola, Finnish fighter pilot.

  • #2
    The only one I used to know is Black 6, but that one seems to have been destroyed I think

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    • #3
      If I could buy any WWII warbird, it would be the BF-109. It is a great aircraft, sad to see so few of them still flying.
      sigpic
      http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=170

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      • #4
        I know this can be a grey area, but personally I think the Bf 109 is better than any allied fighter of the day. I know that technically speaking towards the end of the war the allies caught up with the German's aircraft developments/improvements. Towards the end the German's were massively handicapped, pilots were very inexperienced compared to the allies, fuel was getting harder to get and resources in general. Hitler’s bad decision’s compounded the problems further.

        No one can deny that Nazi Germany was much more advanced technologically compared to the allies, for a long time nothing could come close to the Bf 109; it even held a speed record for 30 years.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
          for a long time nothing could come close to the Bf 109;
          Im sure they'd (allied fighters) win a taxi competition! I mean, mroe Bf-109s were lost on taxi/landing/take off incidents than in combat.
          Sam Rudge
          A 5D3, some Canon lenses, the Sigma L and a flash

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          • #6
            It's a well known fact that "kills" were at times "grossly overstated" by the Luftwaffe, so claims to "Aces" could be a tad misleading. Also, the Luftwaffe pilots had "access" to more kills than the allied pilots with the preceding Spanish Civil War as well as the Russian campaign - both whose air forces were VERY obsolete at the time. Also, many "kills" were claimed for destroying aircraft on the ground and remember that the Luftwaffe, were the aggressors and caught a number of "bandits" on the ground prior to the blitzkrieg paras dropping in on the scene. The Polish and Dutch airforces were all but obliterated before they even got off the ground - and these 'planes were also very obsolete in comparison to the Luftwaffe, kites. BUT, there is no doubt that Willie designed a beaut of a plane which was very successful - but it must be said - not well designed for the job at hand, IE: the BoB. Now, if the Luftwaffe, had the fighter with the same capabilities of the Mustang with it's extended range, we would all probably be speaking German !!!!!!!
            RobB

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            • #7
              Any airworthy Focke-Wulf FW-190's? I sure wanna buy one!
              Irfan Faiz Nazerollnizam. Computer geek and gamer

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              • #8
                Interesting info re "Aces" - http://historynet.com/wwii/blgreatestaces/index.html
                RobB

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
                  I know this can be a grey area, but personally I think the Bf 109 is better than any allied fighter of the day.
                  Might I ask on what basis you make this claim - speed, climb, dive, roll rate, turn rate, etc? And at what point in time - 1940, 1943, 1945?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
                    I know this can be a grey area, but personally I think the Bf 109 is better than any allied fighter of the day. I know that technically speaking towards the end of the war the allies caught up with the German's aircraft developments/improvements. Towards the end the German's were massively handicapped, pilots were very inexperienced compared to the allies, fuel was getting harder to get and resources in general. Hitlerís bad decisionís compounded the problems further.

                    No one can deny that Nazi Germany was much more advanced technologically compared to the allies, for a long time nothing could come close to the Bf 109; it even held a speed record for 30 years.
                    Yes, this is a grey area - if you dig out your history books (and you can find a write up in Johnny Johnson's book) - the Allies got their hands on an "in tact" 109 early on during the BoB (1942) and tested it against the Spitfire. Both machines were equally as good as each other but the Spit edged out the 109 overall (in the "testers" opinion, which may have been biased). I think the FW-190 was a better platform than the ME-109, but that's my opinion.

                    Was the BF-109 "the best" - debateable of course but I would rate it along with the (single engine/seat) likes of the Mustang, Spit, Hurricane, F4U-Corsair, FW-190 and Me-262 and declare all of these are equally as good as each other.

                    But this debate could go on forever and it is an interesting one.
                    RobB

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                    • #11
                      Add the Kawazaki KI-84 "Hayate" (Frank) acknowledged to be the best ever Japanese combat aircraft. Powered by a 2,000+ hp radial and coming up with self-obturating tanks, armor and all niceties avialable on allied aircraft and well armed, the KI-84 was able to stand any adversary. One was brought back to the US in 1945 for trials. There, the aircraft was flown with top grade av-gas and performances quickly improved. Many a pilot prised good the Japanese had to do with much lower quality fuel !!!!
                      Alain
                      Thanks for visiting
                      *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *
                      *JetPhotos*
                      Airliners*Pbase.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kukkudrill
                        Might I ask on what basis you make this claim - speed, climb, dive, roll rate, turn rate, etc? And at what point in time - 1940, 1943, 1945?
                        Because it looks cool.

                        Seriously though, just off the top of my head for at least the first half of the war no aircraft was better than the 109 in general. Weren’t the Polish air force still using biplanes?????? Also from memory the 109 was one of the first aircraft to have fuel injection so it could manoeuvre without fear of the engine cutting out. Technologically Germany was far ahead, take the jet engine for example.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
                          Because it looks cool.
                          Oh well, why not?

                          Still, if you're interested in how the 109 measured up against its adversaries I've dug out a couple of interesting comparisons with the Spitfire. First is between the Spitfire I and a Bf 109E. At medium altitudes both aircraft were evenly matched in terms of top speed but the Spit was better in both roll and turn radius, meaning it was a better dogfighter. But the 109 could evade with a quick dive which the Spit could not follow due to carburettor cut-out under negative g.

                          Of course all this assumes both aircraft being flown by highly experienced pilots who could get the most out of their aircraft and who had no advantage over each other. Put a less experienced pilot in the Spit and the 109 might well be able to stay on his tail. And dogfights were not all that common: a lot of people got shot down on the bounce, and the 109 excelled in this sort of fighting because above 20,000 feet it performed better than the Spit, so it was better adapted to gain and exploit a height advantage.

                          The second comparison is between a Spitfire XIV (Griffon-engined variant) and a 109G. The Spit could out-turn and out-roll the 109G with ease, and it was a bit better in the dive too. At 16,000 feet the 109G could almost match its newer adversary in top speed and rate of climb, but all other altitudes the Spit XIV was much superior. It was rare for a fighter to be so comprehensively outclassed. Fact is it was not just inexperience and poor training that led to high casualties among Luftwaffe fighter pilots in the latter stages of the war, but the inferiority of their equipment. Even an expert 109 pilot would have stood little chance in an equal fight against a competently handled Spit XIV.

                          Info drawn from Alfred Price's "Spitfire: A Complete Fighting History", and based on wartime trials with captured 109s.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
                            I
                            No one can deny that Nazi Germany was much more advanced technologically compared to the allies, for a long time nothing could come close to the Bf 109; it even held a speed record for 30 years.
                            That was Nazi propoganda, the ME109R that established the speed record had little if nothing in common with the production model other than a shared name. The Germans wanted their enemies to believe that they had a production model capable of speed in the 460 mph range. A technical triumph yes, but not an Bf 109.

                            "The Me109R was a specially designed aircraft that raised the world speed record in 1939. Me109R itself was a spurious designation for publicity purposes. It was actually the Me209VI. The only thing it had in common with the standard fighter, the Bf109, was that it was designed by the same team. The Nazi propagandists gained world acclaim for the standard Bf109 by confusing the two aircraft (as have many others since). Although Willy Messerschmitt joined the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke more than ten years before the war and headed the team that designed the Me109R, the factory's name was not changed to Messerschmitt AG until after the first Bf109s and Bf110s had been produced. Only subsequently were the products of the factory known as Me163, Me210, Me262, and so on. There were 33 000 Bf109s but only one Me109, so the myth of the Me109 as opposed to the Bf109 has been perpetuated. "

                            From: www.battle-of-britain.com/ BoB2/General/Myths-of-battle.htm

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by uy707
                              Add the Kawazaki KI-84 "Hayate" (Frank) acknowledged to be the best ever Japanese combat aircraft. Powered by a 2,000+ hp radial and coming up with self-obturating tanks, armor and all niceties avialable on allied aircraft and well armed, the KI-84 was able to stand any adversary. One was brought back to the US in 1945 for trials. There, the aircraft was flown with top grade av-gas and performances quickly improved. Many a pilot prised good the Japanese had to do with much lower quality fuel !!!!
                              Alain
                              It's actually Nakajima Ki-84. And powered by an 1,500hp engine. It's top speed is AMAZING!!!
                              Irfan Faiz Nazerollnizam. Computer geek and gamer

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