The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a piston-engined, fighter aircraft used extensively by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. It was produced in huge numbers and was the main German fighter, with which the Luftwaffe obtained air superiority in the first years of the war. Thus, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the backbone of the German air power, for it accounted for 57% of all German fighter planes manufactured during this period, with a total of 33,980 units. Some 865 Bf 109 derivatives were produced after the war under licence, such as the Spanish-built Hispano Aviación HA-1109 and HA-1112 Buchons. Although it was partially replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 from 1941, it continued in service until the end of the war as it was the workhorse of the Luftwaffe. The three top-scoring fighter aces of the Second World War skillfully and audaciously flew the Messerschmitt Bf 109: Erich Hartmann, the top scoring fighter pilot in history, shot down 352 enemy aircraft; Gerhard Barkhorn obtained 301 victories; and Günther Rall claiming 275 victories.
Designed by Willy Messerschmitt in 1935, the Bf 109 was a low-winged, single-seat, single-engine aircraft, fitted with retractable landing gear. Fast and maneuverable, it was made completely of metal, with straight wings and tailplane. It was manufactured by the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke/Messerschmitt from 1937 in different versions, with the Bf 109 G and Bf 109 D being the most massively produced. The Bf 109 G-6 was powered by a Daimler-Benz DB 605A-1 liquid-cooled inverted V12 engine, which delivered 1,455 hp. It could fly at 398 mph (top speed) and had a range of 528 miles.
Length: 8.9 m
Height: 2.6 m
Wing area: 16 m2
Maximum speed: 640 km/h
Range: 1,000 km (with droptanks)
Rate of climb: 17 m/s
Two 13mm MG-131 machine guns; three 20mm cannons; one 250-kg bomb
Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action (footage)