Messerschmitt Bf 109

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6
First Flight September, 1935
Entered Service1937
ManufacturerMesserschmitt A.G.
Length8.94 m29 ft 4 in
Wingspan9.92 m32 ft 6 in
Height2.59 m8 ft 0 in
Wing area16 m²ft²
Empty2600 kg5700 lb
Maximum takeoffkglb
EngineDaimler-Benz DB 605A
Power1.085 kW1.475 hp
Maximum speed635 km/h395 mph
Combat range550 kmmiles
Ferry rangekmmiles
Service ceiling12,200 m40,000 ft
Rate of climbft/minm/min
Wing loadinglb/ft²kg/m²
Guns2x 13 mm MG 131 (nose)
1x 20 mm MG 151/20 or
1x 30 mm MK 108 (engine)
Bombs 1x 250 kg, 4x 50 kg
Rockets 2x WGr 21
Other 300 l drop tank

(Bf 109 was the official Reichsluftfahrtministerium designation, though some late-war aircraft actually carried the Me 109 designation stamped onto their aircraft type plates. Me 109 was the name used officially by the Luftwaffe propaganda publications as well as by the Messerschmitt company and the Luftwaffe personnel, who pronounced it 'may hundred-nine'. ME 109 - pronounced 'emm ee one-oh-nine' - was the contemporary English interpretation of the designation.)

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s, the first truly modern fighter of the era combining the features of all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy and a retractable landing gear.

The Bf 109 was the standard fighter of the Luftwaffe from just before the start of the war, and spent the first half of the war locked in combat with the Supermarine Spitfire. While early in the war, the Messerschmitt usually held the altitude advantage, the advent of the Spitfire IX with its two-stage supercharger changed the balance in favor of the Spitfire. In the second half of the war, the Me 109's primary opponent became the North American P-51 (which was powered by a two-stage Merlin engine similar to that used in the Spitfire) and the Russian Yakovlev Yak-3 and Lavochkin La-5 fighter planes.

Though the Me 109 had some weaknesses, the most important of them a rather short range, it stayed competitive until the end of the war, with the last variant, the Bf 109K-4, matching or outperforming even the Mustang at most altitudes. The only two pilots ever scoring more than 300 aerial kills flew the Me 109 (Erich Hartmann and Gerhard Barkhorn). Though the Luftwaffe kept looking for an all-round replacement, the Me 109's fighting qualities were good enough to keep it in production during the entire war, and in the end the Bf 109 became the most produced fighter aircraft of all time, with 33,000 examples being built.


Contest history

During 1933 the Technisches Amt (or T-Amt, the technical department of the RLM) concluded a series of research projects into the future of air combat. The result of the studies was four broad outlines for future aircraft:

  • Rüstungsflugzeug I for a multi-place medium bomber
  • Rüstungsflugzeug II for a tactical bomber
  • Rüstungsflugzeug III for a two-place heavy fighter
  • Rüstungsflugzeug IV for a single-place fighter

The Rüstungsflugzeug IV was intended to be an all-metal monoplane single seat fighter aircraft, or interceptor actually, replacing the Arado Ar 64 and Heinkel He 60 biplanes then in service. While it was intended the R-IV aircraft would best all others then flying, the requirements were nevertheless not terribly hard to meet.

The plane needed to have a top speed of 400 km/h at 6000 m (250 mph at 19,500 ft) which it could maintain for 20 minutes, while staying in the air for a total of 90 minutes. It was to be powered by the new Junkers Jumo 210 engine of about 700 hp (522 kW). It also needed to be armed with at least three 7.9 mm machine guns with 1000 rounds each, or one 20 mm cannon with 200 rounds. One other interesting specification was that the plane needed to keep wing loading below 100 kg/m², which is a way of defining the plane's ability to turn and climb. The priorities for the plane were level speed, climb speed, and then maneuverability (in that order).

In fact the R-IV specifications were not really thought up inside the T-Amt at all. In early 1933 both Heinkel and Arado had sent in privately-funded designs for a monoplane fighter, and the T-Amt simply collected the best features from both and sent them back out again, adding Focke-Wulf to the tender. In May 1934 the R-IV request was sent out and made official. Each was asked to deliver three prototypes to be delivered for head-to-head testing in late 1934.

Willy Messerschmitt was originally not invited to participate in the competition. This was mainly due to personal animosity between Messerschmitt and Erhard Milch, director of the RLM, after an earlier airliner design of his had proved a disaster in Lufthansa use. Nevertheless Messerschmitt was on very good terms with many high ranking Luftwaffe officers based on the success of the Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun sports plane. After a delay of several months, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Manufacturers, or BFW) for which Messerschmitt was head designer, was invited to take part in early 1935, although Milch let it be known that they would never win the contract.

Development history

Missing image
Bf 109E-4

Messerschmitt had already designed much of the Bf 109 by this point. Like the Bf 108, the new design was based on Messerschmitt's "lightweight construction", which essentially aimed to reduce the total number of strong parts in the aircraft as much as possible. One of the more notable examples of this was the mounting of all structural points to a strong firewall at the front of the cockpit, including the wing spars, engine mounts and landing gear. In more conventional designs these would be mounted to different points on the aircraft, with a framework distributing the load among them.

Another aspect of this construction technique was the use of a single box-spar in the wing, mounted near the leading edge. Most planes of the era used two spars, near the front and rear, but the box was much stiffer torsionally, and eliminated the need for the rear spar.

Another major difference was the much higher wing loading than the other designs. While the R-IV contract called for a wing loading of v100 kg/m², Messerschmitt felt that this was unreasonable; with the engines available to them, the fighter would end up slower than the bombers it was tasked with catching.

A wing generates two forms of drag, parasitic drag due to its form, and induced drag which is a side effect of generating lift. The former dominates at high speeds, when the airflow hitting the wing causes drag that rises with the square of the aircraft's speed. The latter dominates at lower speeds, where the lack of airflow requires the wing to be angled into the airflow at a higher angle of attack. Since the fighter was being designed primarily for high speed flight, a smaller wing would be optimized for high speed use.

The downside of such a trade-off is that low speed flight would suffer, the smaller wing would require more airflow to generate enough lift to stay flying. In order to address this, the Bf 109 included advanced high-lift devices on the wings, including automatically opening slats on the leading edge, and fairly large camber-changing flaps on the trailing edge. When deployed, these devices effectively increase the size of the wing, making it better at low speeds and high angles of attack.

Another drawback of the high wing-loading is that the plane would require more energy to maneuver. Given the limited amount of power available, this effectively meant that the Bf 109 would not be able to turn as tightly as other designs with larger wings. The high lift devices would offset this to some degree, but they also increased drag and so slowed the plane further. Given that maneuverability was last on the RLM's wish-list, Messerschmitt was certain the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.


The first prototype (Versuchs 1 or V1) was completed by May 1935, but the German engines were not yet ready. In order to get the designs into the air, the RLM acquired four Rolls-Royce Kestrel VI engines by trading Rolls-Royce a Heinkel He 70 Blitz to test their engines on. Messerschmitt received two of these engines, and started work on adapting V1 to mount it. This work was completed in August, and V1 took flight tests in September 1935. It was then sent to the Luftwaffe Test Center at Rechlin to take part in the contest.

By the late summer the Jumo engines were starting to become available, and V2 was completed with the Jumo 210A of 610 hp (448 kW) in October 1935. V3 followed, being the first to actually mount guns, but another 210 was not available and it ended up delaying the flight of V3 until May 1936. Like V1, V2 and V3 were sent to Rechlin after acceptance tests at the factory.

The flight data of these three planes were very nearly identical. The maximum airspeed was about 470 km/h at 4000 m altitude, and the service ceiling was about 8300 m.

The Contest

After Luftwaffe acceptance trials were completed at Rechlin, the planes were moved to Travemünde for the head-to-head portion of the contest. The Heinkel design arrived first, in early February 1936, and the rest of the V1's had all arrived by the beginning of March.

Because most of the fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe were used to good-natured biplanes with open cockpits, light g-forces and easy handling, they were very critical about the Bf 109 at first. However it was soon a front-runner in the contest, as the Arado and Focke-Wulf entries proved to be hopelessly outdated. Perhaps this isn't surprising, considering that those entries had actually been designed two years earlier, and given the rate of change in aircraft design at the time, they really had little chance against the much more modern 109.

The only serious competition to the 109 was the Heinkel entry. Based on a scaled down Blitz, the He 112 proved to be similar but different. Positive aspects of the He 112 included the wide track and robustness of the landing gear, considerably better visibility from the cockpit, and a lower wing loading that led to easier landings and better maneuverability. But the Bf 109 was 30 km/h faster than the He 112 in level flight, and also was superior in climbing and diving. But still the He 112 was the favorite of the Luftwaffe leaders.

Orders for a further ten examples of both types were placed, and they started trickling in over the next few months. However by this point the Jumo-powered examples of both designs had arrived for testing, and the 109's better streamlining and lower drag meant that it was considerably faster given the lower-power engine.

Even before the pre-production models arrived the contest was basically over. In March the RLM received news that the Spitfire had been ordered into production, and a form of mass panic broke out. On March 12 they released a document that basically contained the outcome of the contest, Bf 109 Priority Procurement. Nothing occurred over the summer to change their minds, and the RLM instructed Heinkel to re-design the He 112 radically, while ordering the Bf 109 into production.

Bf 109A-D

The planned Bf 109A series was canceled, before production begun, because of the weak armament. Instead of this, the Bf 109 V4 was constructed, carrying a third MG 17, mounted behind the engine, firing through the propeller axis. In the following three prototype planes, the new Jumo 210B engine was installed. They also were armed with three machine guns and were quite identical with the Bf 109B-0 pre-production series.

The first Bf 109 model that went in serial production, the B-1, got the more powerful Jumo 210D engine. When the new Jumo 210E engine was developed with 670 hp (493 kW), it was fitted to the cell of the Bf 109B. The resulting plane was called the B-2. This Bf 109B-2 was the first Bf 109 to see combat: 24 of them were assigned to Legion Condor in Spain and demonstrated the armament was still inadequate, so the Bf 109 V8 was constructed to test the fitting of two more machine guns in the wings. In the following V9 both wing guns were replaced by 20 mm MG FF cannons. Both planes therefore had no gun in the propeller axis.

So Bf 109C-0, the pre-production series, carried four MG 17, the C-1 series was identical to this C-0. The C-2 again got one machine gun in the nose, carrying now five MG 17 (but it might only have been a prototype). The C-3 was tested with a 20 mm MG FF cannon in each wing - again only prototype.

The next model, the V10 prototype, was identical to the V8, except for the engine: It had a Jumo 210Ga engine at first, later replaced by a Daimler-Benz DB600A (V8 was fitted with a Jumo 210Da instead). The V10, V11, V12 and V13 were built (using a Bf 109B airframe) and tested the DB600A engine to follow the goal of increasing the performance. But the DB600A was found to be unreliable and the improved DB601A was known to be available soon so the DB600A was dropped. The Bf 109D-0 pre-production series fell back to the reliable Jumo210D engine, armament consist of the known four MG 17 installation. Quite identical to the Bf 109D-0 was the D-1 series but production was not very high in numbers and many planes were exported to Switzerland and Hungary amongst others.

Bf 109E "Emil"

To test the new DB601A engine, with its 1.100 hp (808 kW), two more prototypes, the V-14 and V-15, were built, that differed in their armament. While the V-14 was armed with the two MG 17 above the engine and one 20 mm MG FF cannon in each wing, the V-15 got the two MG 17 and one cannon firing through the propeller axis. The Bf 109E-0 was identical to the V-14 except for the armament, as the E-0 had two additional MG 17 in the wings instead of the MG FF in the propeller shaft.

The production version E-1 kept the four MG 17 but many of them were later field modified to E-3/E-4 weapon standard by exchanging the wing-mounted MG 17 with MG-FF(/M) cannons. The E-1/B was the first operational use of a Bf 109 as fighter bomber with a 250 kg bomb carried under its fuselage. The E-2 was not built for unknown reasons.

To improve the performance of the Bf 109E, the last two real prototype planes were constructed, the V-16 and V-17. They got some structural improvements and stronger armament. These prototypes were the basis of the Bf 109E-3 version. They were armed with the two MG 17 and one MG FF cannon in each wing. The E-3 also received heavier armor than the E-1 and optional an improved DB601Aa with 1.175 hp. The E-3a was an export version without special secret equipment.
The E-3 was replaced by the E-4 (with most airframes being upgraded to E-4 standards at beginning of the Battle of Britain) which was different in some small details, most notably by the modified MG-FF/M wing cannon that fired improved explosive projectiles called "mine shells" (thus the /M) and by improved head armor for the pilot. The E-4 would be the base for all further Bf 109 E developments. Some E-4 and later models got an further improved 1.175hp DB601N engine resulting in a slightly changed model number like E-4/N. The DB601N was the standard engine used in most E-6 and onwards production versions.

The E-5 was the recon version of the E-3, the E-6 the recon version of the E-4/N, both equipped with only two MG 17.
The E-7 was the first production series with a standardized drop tank installation to have the plane's range increased by at least 50% and many older E-series planes were upgraded to E-7 standard by upgrading armament, armor and equipment to the latest standards but often retained their older engines.
The E-8 was an E-1 modified to carry a drop tank for lang range operations, the armament of four MG 17 was not changed.
The E-9 was the recon variant of the E-8 with only two MG 17.

Bf 109T "Trägerflugzeug" (Carrier Aircraft)

Prior to the war the German Navy had become fascinated with the idea of the aircraft carrier. Borrowing ideas from the British and Japanese (mainly the Akagi), they started the construction of the Graf Zeppelin (not to be confused with the airship Graf Zeppelin) in 1936. The armament for the carrier was settled on Messerschmitt Bf 109T fighters and Ju 87C dive bombers. The ten Bf 109T-0 were originally Bf 109E-3, which were modified by adding a tail-hook, catapult fittings, structural strengthening and increased wingspan (to 11.08 m). Also the landing gear track was a little wider. Thus prepared, the Bf 109T probably would have been proven much better for carrier operations than the British Supermarine Seafire, a hardly modified landplane that suffered from a bad accident rate flying from carriers.

Following the flight tests, especially the catapult tests, a series of 70 T-1 with DB601N engine was to be produced at Fieseler in Kassel, but after seven T-1 were built, the carrier project was canceled. The remaining 63 of 70 T-1 were built as T-2 without carrier equipment and all T-1 "upgraded" to T-2 standard. These planes were assigned to JG5 "Eismeergeschwader", deployed in Norway. The armament of the Bf 109T consisted of two MG 17 above the engine and one MG FF/M cannon in each wing.

Interest in the Graf Zeppelin grew when the value of the carrier became obvious, and in 1942 the ship was back in the yards for completion. By this time the Bf 109T was hopelessly outdated and a new fighter would be needed. Messerschmitt responded with the updated Me 155A series, but work on the ship was again canceled and the Me 155 was later re-purposed as a high-altitude interceptor.

Bf 109F "Friedrich", aerodynamic perfection

After February 1940 an improved engine, the Daimler-Benz DB601E, was developed for use with the Bf 109. The constructors at the Messerschmitt facilities took a Bf 109E-1 and installed this new engine. The cell and especially the cowling were modified and in the end more aerodynamic. Its relation to the E-1 was obvious, because the trapeziform wings were taken from the E-1, but changed in the production planes. This plane was the prototype for the Bf 109F series. As the DB601E was not yet available in numbers the pre-production F-0 and the first production series F-1/F-2 got the 1.175 hp DB601N engine. The 1.350 hp DB601E was first used in the F-3 model.

F-1 to F-4 had been fighters or figher-bombers, the F-5 was the recon version of the F-4 with only two MG 17.

Externally the Bf 109F differed from the E-series, resulting from many aerodynamic improvements. The stabilizer struts were removed, the cowling was shaped to be more streamlined, the big underwing radiators were much smaller, the opening for the supercharger was improved, the flaps were completely changed, the wingspan was increased to 9.92 m, and the wing tips now were formed elliptically, which supposedly caused some confusions with the Spitfire. The redesigned wing made the internal mounting of guns impractical, so armament was revised. The armament of the Bf 109F consisted of the two MG 17 above the engine plus a cannon firing through the propeller hub: The early F versions were equipped with the MG FF/M cannon, the F-2 got the 15mm MG 151, and from F-4 on the 20 mm MG 151/20 was used.

The first Bf 109F planes were not well tested, and so some planes crashed or nearly crashed, due to vibrations which caused either the wing surface to curve or break, or caused the stabilizer to break away. In one such accident, the commander of JG2 "Richthofen", Wilhelm Balthasar lost his life when he was attacked by a Spitfire during a test flight. Making an evasive maneuver, his wings broke away and Balthasar was killed when his plane hit the ground. When the wreck was investigated, not a single bullet hole was found.

Bf 109G "Gustav", the most produced version

When the 1475 hp Daimler-Benz DB605 engine was available, a new Bf 109 series, the G-series, was developed. The early versions of the Bf 109G looked quite similar to the Bf 109F-4, and at first carried the same armament. The G-series saw the appearance of the notorious bulges in the cowling (caused by the DB605 (additional cooling) and by replacing the 7.92 mm MG 17 with 13 mm MG 131 machine guns (G-5 onwards)) and on the wings (due to larger main gear wheels, G-4 onwards), leading to the Bf 109G's nickname "The Bulge" (German: "Die Beule"). The DB 605 suffered several reliability problems during the first year of operation forcing Luftwaffe units to lower max power to ~1310 hp until october/november 1943. Other changes included an enlarged supercharger for the DB 605 and the enlarged vertical stabilizer (G-5 onwards).

The G-6 model, the most produced Bf 109 version, had very heavy armament. The G-6/U4 variant with Rüstsatz R6 was armed with two MG 131 above the engine, a 30 mm MK 108 cannon shooting through the propeller axis and one 20 mm MG 151/20 in each wing. The G-6 was very often fitted with assembly sets, used to carry bombs or a drop tank, for use as nightfighter, or to increase fire power by adding rockets or extra guns.

All following Bf 109G versions were modified older Bf 109Gs. So the G-10 was not an uniform type, but consisted of all kinds of Bf 109Gs being transformed partially to Bf 109G-10 specifications. The most recognizable change was the use of the "Erla-Haube" canopy. This canopy improved the pilots view, which was often criticized before. The Bf 109G-10, also called "Super-Bulge" (German: "Super-Beule"), saw a refinement of the bulges covering the breeches of the cowl mounted MG 131, these taking on a more elongated and streamlined form. A similar varying product was the Bf 109G-12. This was a two-seat trainer version of the Bf 109 and was rarely armed.

Bf 109G variants and sub-variants

It is important to note that contrary to what many books have published the installation of "Rüstsatz" (add-on kit) did not change the designation of the aircraft. The "U" suffix attached to the aircrafts is supposed to refer to "Umbausatz" (conversion kits). While a Rüstatz was mostly stuff to add-on like additional weapons installable as field modification, Umbausatz required major modifications to gear the aircraft to a particular role such as photoreconnaissance.

Known Variants

  • G-1 (Pressurized fighter)

G-1/R2 (Lightened high altitude fighter - GM1, and armor removed); G-1/U2 (High altitude fighter with GM1); G-1 Trop (Never actually existed a “made up” version);

  • G-2 (Light fighter)

G-2/R1 (Fighter-bomber- 2 underwing drop tanks, extra tail wheel); G-2/R2 (Reconnaissance fighter); G-2 Trop (Tropicalized fighter);

  • G-3 (Pressurized fighter); - based on G-1 with new radio equipment; only 50 built
  • G-4 (Reconnaissance fighter)

G-4/R2 (Reconnaissance fighter); G-4/R3 (Reconnaissance fighter); G-4 Trop (Tropicalized Reconnaissance fighter); G-4/U3 (Reconnaissance fighter with MW50); G-4y (Command fighter);

  • G-5 (Pressurized fighter)

G-5/U2 (High altitude fighter with GM1 boost); G-5/U3 (Fitted with MW-50); G-5/AS (High altitude fighter with DB605AS); G-5y (Command fighter);

  • G-6 (Light fighter)

G-6/R2 4x 50kg wing bombs(fighter bomber), two rockets (heavy fighter); G-6/R3 (Reconnaissance fighter); G-6/R6 (Heavy fighter - two additional 20 mm guns); G-6 Trop (Tropicalized fighter); G-6/U2 (Fitted with GM-1); G-6/U3 (Fitted with MW-50); G-6/U4 (MK108 30 mm engine cannon); G-6y (Command fighter); G-6/AS (High altitude fighter with DB605AS); G-6/ASy (High altitude command fighter); G-6N (Night fighter); usually with R6 and FuG 350Z Naxos; G-6/U4 N: as G-6N but with 30 mm MK 108 engine cannon

  • G-8 (Reconnaissance fighter);

Armed with only the 30 mmm MK 108 engine cannon, standard drop tank installation

  • G-10 (Light fighter with DB605D/DM/DBM engine)

G-10/R5 (Reconnaissance fighter); G-10/R6 (Heavy fighter - two additional 20 mm guns); G-10/AS (High altitude fighter with DB605ASM); G-10/U4 (Fitted with MK 108 30 mm engine cannon);

  • G-12 (Two-seat trainer); built from older G-1/G-5 usually with R3 (300l drop tank)
  • G-14 (Light fighter, evolution of G-6)

G-14/R6 (Heavy fighter - two additional 20 mm guns); G-14/AS (High altitude fighter with DB605ASM); G-14/ASy (High altitude command fighter); G-14y (Command fighter); G-14/U4 (Fitted with MK 108 30 mm engine cannon)

  • G-16 (Fighter Bomber); based on G14 with additional armor - production started but soon after war was over

Most common Umbausatz numbers

U1 special propeller; U2 GM1 boost; U3 MW50 boost; U4 30 mm MK108 engine cannon

Common Rüstsatz numbers

  • R1 belly bomb rack for 250 or 500 kg bomb
  • R2 wing bomb racks for 4x50 kg bombs or 2xWGr21 rockets (G-1 to G-4:recon equipment)
  • R3 belly drop tank (300l)
  • R4 two 30 mm MK108 underwing gunpods
  • R6 two 20 mm MG151/20 underwing gunpods

Bf 109H/K, last developments

Somewhere between the drawing board and full production was the Bf 109H. This was a special high-altitude fighter, developed from the Bf 109F series. The wingspan was increased to 11.92 m, the stabilizer again received a strut leading to the fuselage, and it was also widened. In fact only a low number of Bf 109 H-0 and H-1 were produced, because of problems with vibration.

More of the planes of the Bf 109K "Kurfürst" series saw duty. This series was the evolution of the Bf 109G-10, being very similar, at least the K-0, K-2 and K-4 models. In the K-6, K-8 and K-14, the armament saw some changes. The K-6 like the K-8 was planned to carry two MG 131 above its engine, one MK 108 in each wing and a MK 103M behind its propeller hub. The engine gun was changed in the K-14 and replaced by a MK 108.

Only the K-4 saw action in numbers, approximately 700 being delivered to squadrons before the end of hostilities. Armament consisted of a 30 mm MK 108 engine-mounted cannon and two 13 mm MG131 in the nose with optional wing armament (20 mm or 30 mm cannons and/or R4M rockets).

The Me 109K-4 was the fastest 109 of WW2 reaching ~455 mph (~732 km/h).

In Japan, the Kawasaki Company utilized the Messerschmitt Me Bf-109 E, which Germany had sent over, in their design evaluations. This lead to the creation of one of the best Japanese Army fighters in operation at the time, the unique In-line engined japanese fighter the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien aka the "Tony".

Note: Originally, Luftwaffe aircraft were designated by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium according to the company manufacturing the aircraft, e.g. "He" for Heinkel, "Do" for Dornier and as the company manufacturing the 109 was ?Bayerische Flugzeugwerke?, so the 109 received the "Bf" prefix. Willy Messerschmitt tried to establish the Name "Me 109", but when the RLM refused to acknowledge correspondence not in line with the official "Bf" designations, he had to give in. Only when the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke were merged into the Messerschmitt AG, was Willy Messerschmitt allowed to use the "Me" designation for new designs. Ironically, this also included designs by others, like Lippisch' Me 163 which actually never was produced by the Messerschmitt AG.

Developments after the war

After the end of the war, some Me 109s were produced in the CSSR (Czechoslovakia) as the Avia S-99 and Avia S-199, modified Me 109G-14s, the latter with a Junkers Jumo 211F engine. In Spain, a modified Me 109G-2, called the Hispano Ha 1112 was built with various engines fitted.

Also the original Bf 109, produced before 1945, remained in service a long time after the war. The former German ally Romania used its Bf 109s until 1955. Hungarian 109's were destroyed in Germany by their own crews on 6th may 1945. The Finnish air force did not retire their Bf 109 Gs until the mid 1950s. In Israel, the Czech Avias were used in combat against Egyptian Spitfires until 1949. The Spanish Hispanos, however, flew longer. Some were still in service in the middle of the 1970s. Later, they appeared in films, playing the role of the Bf 109. Some Hispano fuselages were sold to museums, which rebuilt them as Bf 109s. The Swiss used a lot of Me 109G planes well into the 1950's.

External links and sources


Related content
Related development

Me 209-II

Similar aircraft

Supermarine Spitfire

Designation series

Kl 106 - Kl 107 - Bf 108 - Bf 109 - Bf 110 - He 111 - He 112

Related lists

List of military aircraft of Germany

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