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Messerschmitt Me 109 / Bf 109
Avia S-199 Mezek
Hispano HA-1109 Buchon
Hispano HA-1110 Buchon


Design of the Bf 109 was initiated by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke in late 1933, following issue by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) of a specification for a monoplane fighter to replace the Arado Ar 68 and Heinkel He 51 in Luftwaffe service. The need was not then urgent, but the RLM believed that by competitive evaluation and with reasonable time available for development, they would have a worthwhile fighter when the moment came for it to enter operational service. Submissions were made by Arado, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, Focke-Wulf and Heinkel: those of the second and last companies were selected for construction and evaluation, with each initially to build ten examples.

Heinkel's He 112 was the first to fly (in the summer of 1935) but it was the Bf 109 that was to be built in very large numbers. Both of these prototypes made their first flight under the power of a 695 hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel in-line engine, as the Junkers Jumo 210 in-line engine - around which both had been designed- was not available in time. Using the Me 108 airframe as the basis for the design; the wings, undercarriage, rear fuselage and tail of the new Me 109 fighter were the same as in the Me108. The prototype, powered by a Roll-Royce Kestrel, first flew in May 1935, piloted by Haus Knoetzsch, from the factory airfield between Ausburg and Haunstettem.
The second and third prototypes were completed with the intended Jumo 210A rated at 680 hp for takeoff.

Follow-on prototypes utilized several other engines until settling on the Daimler-Benz inverted-V, liquid-cooled engine that powered subsequent airframes throughout its wartime production.

The new fighter’s first public demonstration took place at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, but the plane’s first real impact on the aviation world came during the international flying meet held in Zurich in the summer of 1937. Five Bf 109s took part and demonstrated outstanding climbing, diving, and maneuverability, along with astonishing speed.


Bf 109


The initial example of the first production model, the Bf 109B, left the Ausburg-Haunstetten assembly line in February 1937 enabling Geschwader JG 132 Richthofen conversion to begin almost immediately at Juterborg-Damm.
In March twenty-four Bf 109Bs were shipped direct from the factory to the Tablada airfield, Seville, Spain, for use by the Condor Legion. 2 Staffel of Jagdgruppe 88 achieved operational status by late April 1937. Bf 109B-2 and variants of the Bf 109C were flown by the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War.


A single-seat fighter of all-metal construction, the Bf 109 was a cantilever low-wing monoplane, the wing having automatic leading-edge slots, large slotted trailing-edge flaps, and ailerons which drooped when the flaps were right down. The main landing-gear units were retractable but most versions had a non-retractable tailwheel. The tail unit was conventional, but the tailplane was braced by struts until a tailplane of cantilever structure was introduced with the Bf 109F.

First production version to enter service with the Luftwaffe was the Bf 109B-1 powered by a 635 hp / 473.2kW Jumo 210D engine, followed by the 109B-2 with a 477kW Jumo 210E and later with a 499kW Jumo 210G. Armament of the Bf.109B-1was three machine-guns.

Series manufacture of the Bf 109B gave way to the successively improved Bf 109C and D, but these retained the Jumo engine. Design emphasis was now being placed on the Bf 109E with the new Daimler-Benz engine.
On 11 November 1937 Bf 109 V13, fitted with a specially-boosted Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine, raised the world airspeed record for landplanes to 379.38 mph / 610.53 kph.
The first series Bf 109E began the leave the assembly lines at the beginning of 1939, all production of the fighter by the parent company having been transferred to Regensburg. The Erla Maschinenwerk at Leipzig and the Gerhard Fieseler Wetke at Kassel had become the principle suppliers of the Bf 109 and the Wiener-Neustädter-Flugzeugwerke in Austria was preparing for large scale manufacture of the fighter. The DB 601A engine of the Bf 109E had received final clearance for service use late in 1938 and, in addition to being built by the Daimler-Benz plants at Genshagen and Marienfelde, this was being produced by the Henschel Flugmotorenbau at Altenbauna and the Niedersachsische subsidiary of the Büssing-Werke of Braunschweig.
The direct injection enabled the Messerschmitt to out-dive its opponents, reduced fuel consumption, and afforded better results from relatively low octane fuel. The DB 601A was rated at 1175 hp for take-off.
The Bf 109E retained the 40-mile (65 km) range FuG 7 R/T equipment of the earlier versions along with the Carl Zeiss C/12C reflector sight, and armament of the initial Bf 109E-1 comprised four 7.9mm Rheinmetall Borsig MG 17 machine guns. It had been decided to standardise on the more lethal if slower firing 20 mm MG FF cannon as a wing-mounted weapon as supply allowed.
The Bf 109E-3 followed the E-1, retaining the twin fuselage-mounted synchronised MG 17 machine guns with 1000 rounds per gun and mating them with two MG FF cannon, each with 60 rounds. No armour for the pilot or fuel tanks was provided, nor bullet-proof windscreen.
Bf 109E-3 – September 1940
Bf 109 production barely exceeded 400 in 1938 whereas 109q of the E-model were built between 1 January and 1 September 1939. At the invasion of Poland 1056 Bf 109s were on strength, of which 946 were serviceable.
Incorporated into the 109E were a cockpit of revised design and embodying heavier framing together with 8mm seat armour weighing 53 lb / 24 kg and a curved plate attached to the hinged canopy weighing 28.6 lb / 13 kg. The fire rate of the MG FF was being improved and was to be introduced by the E-4 which rapidly replace the E-3 during the summer and autumn of 1940.


Bf 109E


The 109D was followed into service by the Bf 109E with 820kW DB 601A engine. In addition to production for the Luftwaffe, some 300 examples of this type were exported. The Bf 109E was the principal version used in the Battle of Britain and was followed by the Bf 109F with an 894.2kW DB 601N or 969kW DB 601E engine. The Bf 109F had much cleaner aerodynamic lines, introducing the unbraced tailplane and retractable tailwheel.


Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4


The Spitfire, the Bf 109's first major opponent, was slightly faster and definitely more maneuverable, but its performance at altitude was inferior. There was also little difference in pilot ski between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force, although pilots in the RAF had the advantage of fighting over their own country, while the critical range of the Bf 1 09s limited German fighting time to about twenty minutes.

The Bf 109E-3 which formed the standard equipment of Luftwaffe squadrons in the Battle of Britain in 1940 had an 1100 hp Daimler-Benz DB601A engine and was armed with one 20 mm cannon and four machine-guns.





The Bf.109E controls tended to heavy up as speed increased, demanding more physical effort than its British contemporaries. The absence of a trimmer necessitated continuous application of rudder at high speeds, and it suffered an incipient swing during takeoff and landing. A big advantage was its direct fuel injection.
Also licence built by Fiesler.


The Bf 109G or Gustav was first flown as a type in 1944, with the G-10 having an enlarged supercharger to enable it to be used as a high altitude fighter in defence of the Reich. With a service ceiling of 41,000 feet, the Gustav G-10 was also the fastest of the series with 426 mph at 24,000 feet. Armament was one 30mm cannon and two 13mm machine guns, all in the nose. Modified around the 1475 hp DB605 engine, the Gustav also introduced cockpit pressurisation, crucial from late 1942 onwards as the fighter Gruppen struggled to repel high altitude USAAF daylight bomber raids. The Bf109 was the most abundantly produced fighter manufac-tured by either side in the 1939-45 war. When German production stopped, the G series of the Bf 109 was produced in far greater numbers than any other model, 21,000 being completed by the end of 1944. This machine had two MG 131 machine guns, a single 30-mm MK 108 cannon firing through the spinner, and sometimes carried two underwing MG 151/20 weapons.



Bf 109G-6

Postwar Spain continued licence manufacture of the Gustav as the Merlin engined Hispano 1112M Buchon.

A significant quantity of Bf 109G-1s and -G2s were assembled by IAR at Brasov from main parts supplied by the Germans. These fighters received white serial numbers on their fin in the 'White' 200 series. The next sub-version assembled at IAR was the Ga-4, a total of 15 being finished up to the factory being dispersed in the summer of 1944 due to Allied bombings. The first one was rolled out in April 1944. The Ga-6 was the next sub-version to be manufactured at IAR--Brasov. The first one, 'Black' 316, was test flown only in early February 1945. Nevertheless, none of the IAR-manufactured Bf 109Ga-6s saw action during World War Two.

The mainstay of the Luftwaffe’s fighter arm, over 30,000 were built of the Gustav variant alone between 1941 and 1945. It has been estimated that about 35,000 Bf/Me 109 were built between 1937 and 1945.

Last versions to see limited use were the increased-span Bf 109H and a refined version of the Bf 109G, designated Bf 109K. And right at the end of the war final German deliveries amounted to 19 examples of the Bf 109K-4 with more power and armament as well as a pressurised cockpit.

Production of the Bf 109 continued in Czechoslovakia and Spain during early post-war years, and some Czech-built S-99 were used in a training role until 1957.

Nazi Germany saw the Spanish Civil War as an ideal conflict in which to test its renascent forces and their new weapons, and therefore supported the ideologically allied Nationalists with small but high-quality forces. The air component was the Legion Condor, which began to arrive in November 1936 and included as its fighter element Jagdgruppe 88, initially comprising three Staffeln with He 518 biplanes. In January 1937 three Bf 109B prototypes were trialled in Spain, their success prompting the despatch from March 1937 of the first 24 of an eventual 45 Bf 109B-2s for service with 1. and 2.J/88 as well as the Nationalists’ 5-G-5. This immature fighter proved generally superior to all its opponents, and Bf 109s notched up J/88’s 100th ‘kill’ in January 1938, more than tripling this score by the time the Germans pulled out of the war in March 1939 after gaining invaluable tactical experience.

In the mid-war years, Germany bolstered the Italian air force with numbers of fairly advanced fighters. The initial deliveries comprised sufficient Bf 109F fighter-bombers (in F-4/B and F-4/R1 variants). Further reinforcement was necessary in 1944: the Italians thus received the upengined and upgunned Bf 109G model in the form of 28 G-6, 97 G-10 and four G-12 variants. As a bomber interceptor the Bf 109G-6 was armed with two MG 131 machine guns, a single MK 108 30-mm. cannon firing through the propeller shaft and two MG 151/20 under-wing guns.


In 1943 Hispano received a contract to build the Messerschmitt Bf 109G under license for the Spanish Air Force. Designated Hispano HA-1109, it was powered initially by a Hispano-Suiza HS-12Z engine and later, in HA-1109/1110 Buchon variants, by the Rolls-Royce Merlin.

Although 233 single seat fighters were built, only two dual-control two seat trainers were built. The first was powered by the Hispano-Suiza 12Z and designated HA-1110-K1L.
CASA of Spain built the RR Merlin powered Messerchmitt 109 as the HA1112. The second two-seater was built with a Merlin 500 engine and designated HA-1112-M4L. The HA-1110-K1L was eventually converted to an HA-1112-M4L.
1954 Hispano Aviation HA-1112-M4L G-AWHC
A number of Buchóns were deployed to Spanish Sahara (1957-58) to battle Moroccan insurgents and their allies. The Buchóns were primarily tasked with giving close air support to army units on the ground. During the battle, the HA-1112 earned the distinction of being the last member of the Bf-109 family to participate in actual battle.
Buchóns stared in iconic movies such as:
“Der Stern von Afrika” (The Star of Africa) A German film from 1957 focusing on the Luftwaffe ace, Hans-Joachim Marseille.
“Battle of Britain” The legendary British film from 1968 features many Buchóns filling the Bf-109 role.
“Memphis Belle” The 1990 American film about the Boeing B-17 bomber of the same name.
“The Tuskegee Airmen” A 1995 American film about the famous fighter group of all African American pilots in WWII.
“Dark Blue World” A Czech film from 2001 about Czechoslovakian pilots in the RAF during WWII.




Avia S-199

In Czechoslovakia, Avia produced the Messerschmitt 109 as the Avia S-199 Mezek.




Loehle KW-909
Peak Aerospace Me 109


Bf 109B
Bf.109B 1
Engine: 635 hp Jumo 210D.
Armament: 3 x machine guns.
Bf 109B-2
Span: 9.87m (32tt4.5in)
Length: 8.55m (28ft 0.7 in)
Powerplant: l x Junkers Jumo 2l0Da, 537kW (720 hp)
Armament: 3 x 7.92-mm (0.312-in) mg
Max T/O weight: 2150 kg (4,740 lb)
Max speed: 289 mph at 13,125ft
Operational range: 430 miles.
Engine: Junkers Jumo 210
Engine: DB 600
Engine Daimler Benz DB 601A, 1,100 h.p.
Wing span 32.3 ft. (9.84 m.)
Length 28.5 ft. (8.68 m.)
Normal take-off weight: 5875 lb / 2665 kg
Weight empty 4,420 lb. (2,005 kg.)
Fuel capacity: 88 ImpG / 400 lt
Max speed SL: 290 mph / 466 kph
Max speed 6560ft/2000m: 322 mph / 518 kph
Max speed 14,560ft/4449m: 348 mph / 560 kph
Ceiling 36,000 ft. (11,000 m)
ROC: 3280 fpm / 1000 m at 5400 lb / 2450 kg
Time to 9840 ft / 3000m: 3.6 min
Endurance: 1.1 hr at max continuous pwr, 19685 ft / 6000 m
Range cruise: 410 mi / 660 km at 233 mph / 375 kph at 22,965 ft / 7000 m
Seats: pilot.

Armament: 3 x 20 mm cannon and 2 x 7.9 mm mg

Pre-production variant
Engine: DB 601A, 1100 hp / 820 kW
Armament: 4 x 7.92mm / 0.312 mg
Me 109 E-1
Production variant
Engine: Daimler-Benz 601Aa, 1085 hp
Length: 28.543 ft / 8.7 m
Height: 11.253 ft / 3.43 m
Wingspan: 32.48 ft / 9.9 m
Wing area: 176.530 sqft / 16.400 sq.m
Max take-off weight: 5699.9 lb / 2585.0 kg
Weight empty: 4090.3 lb / 1855.0 kg
Max weight carried: 1609.7 lb / 730.0 kg
Max speed: 308 kts / 570 km/h
Initial climb rate: 2755.91 ft/min / 14.00 m/s
Service ceiling: 33136 ft / 10100 m
Wing load: 32.39 lb/sq.ft / 158.00 kg/sq.m
Range: 324 nm / 600 km
Endurance: 2 h
Crew: 1
Armament: 2x MG 17 7,9mm; 2x MG FF 20mm;1x MFG FF 20mm
Bf 109E-3
Engine: Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa, 1175 hp / 876 kW
Wingspan: 32 ft 4.5 in / 9.87 m
Length: 28 ft 4.5 in / 8.64 m
Height: 8 ft 2.25 in / 2.50 m
Wing area: 174.05 sq.ft / 16.17 sq.m
Empty wt: 4189 lb / 1900 kg
MTOW: 5875 lb / 2665 kg
Max speed: 348 mph / 560 kph at 14,560 ft / 4440 m
Time to 3290 ft / 1000m: 1 min 6 sec
Service ceiling: 34,450 ft / 10,500 m
Range: 410 mi / 660 km
Armament: 2 or 3 x 20mm cannon, 2 x 7.92 mm (.312 in) mg
Seats: 1
Armament: 2 x 7.92mm / 0.312 mg, 2 x 20 mm cannon
Reconnaissance fighter
Engine: DB 601Aa
Reconnaissance fighter
Engine: DB 601N, 1200 hp / 895 kW
Engine: DB 601E, 1350 hp / 1007 kW
Reconnaissance fighter
Me 109F-3
Engines: 1 x Daimler Benz, 1300 hp
Wing span: 32 ft 6.5 in (9.92 m)
Length: 20 ft 0.75 in (8.86 m)
Height: 11 ft 2 in (3.4 m)
Max TO wt: 6063 lb (2750 kg)
Max level speed: 391 mph / 630 kph
Bf 109F-4/B
Bf 109F-4/R1
Bf 109G
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 605A
Max speed: 387 mph (623 km/h) at 23,000 ft (7,000 m).
BF 109 G-6
Wingspan 9.92 m (32 ft. 6.5 in.)
Length 9.02 m (29 ft. 7 in.)
Height 3.4 m (11 ft. 2 in.)
Empty Weight 2,700 kg (5,953 lb)
Speed: 387 mph at 22,9700 ft
Range: 450 miles
Armament: two MG 131 mg, one MK 108 30 mm. cannon firing through the propeller shaft and two MG 151/20 under wing guns.
Bf 109G-6
Engine: 1 x Daimler Benz DB 605AM, 1342kW
Max take-off weight: 3150 kg / 6945 lb
Wingspan: 9.92 m / 32 ft 7 in
Length: 9.02 m / 29 ft 7 in
Height: 3.40 m / 11 ft 2 in
Wing area: 16.05 sq.m / 172.76 sq ft
Max. speed: 621 km/h / 386 mph
Ceiling: 11750 m / 38550 ft
Range: 720 km / 447 miles
Armament: 2 x 13mm machine-guns, 3 x 20mm cannons
Crew: 1
Bf 109G-10
Engine: Daimler-Benz DB605D.
Bf 109G-12
Bf 109K-4
Powerplant: l x Daimler-Benz DB605ASCM, 1491 kW (2,000 hp)
Span: 9.97m (32ft 8.5in)
Length: 8.85m (29ft 0.5 in)
Armament: 1 x 30-mm and 2 x 15-mm cannon
Max TO weight: 3600 kg (7,937 lb)
Max speed: 452 mph at 19,685ft.
Operational range: 366 miles.
Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45, 1400 hp
Wingspan: 32 ft 6.5 in
Wing area: 172.2 sq.ft
Length: 29 ft 10.5 in
Height: 8 ft 6 in
Empty weight: 5855 lb
MTOW: 7011 lb
Max speed: 419 mph at 13,000 ft
Max ROC: 5580 ft/min
Range: 475 mi
Armament: 2 x 20 mm cannon
Bombload: 8 x 22 lb rockets



Messerschmitt Bf 109






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