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Messeschmidt Bf-109

The Messerschmidt Bf-109 fighter first flew in 1935. At the time, it was the most advanced fighter in the world. The first major variant was the Bf-109E, which had a DB-601 engine and an armament of two 20mm cannons and two 7.92mm machine guns. The 109E was replaced by the Bf-109F, which was more streamlined, faster, more responsive, and had new armament that was concentrated in the nose. This variant was eventually overtaken by the Bf-109G. The 109G was powered by the DB-605 engine, which was more powerful, but also heavier than the DB-601. This extra weight made the 109G 660 pounds heavier than the 109F. The most dominant 109G sub-variant was the 109G-6, which was the unpressurized version of the presserized 109G-5. Like the 109G-5, the 109G-6 had two bumps, the Germans called them boils, right in front of the canopy. These bumbps housed the large breeches of the 13mm machine guns that replaced the 7mm machine guns of earlier variants. The 109G's performance was poor, especially with droptanks, 20mm underwing gun pods, or 210mm underwing rocket pods. The last German variant of the Bf-109 was the 109K with heavier armament and better performence than the 109G. By the end of the war, the Bf-109G was totally outclassed by the Allies in quality and quantity. But production of the Bf-109 continued after the war in many countries, including Spain and Czechoslovakia. The examples from Spain were called Buchons and the examples from Czechoslovakia were designated Cs-99's. Czechoslovakia also built trainer versions, which were designated Cs-199's. The Cs-99 and the Cs-199 utilized Jumo engines which produced more torque than the DB-605. Isreal bought some Cs-99's and used them in 1948 during their war for independence. Spain's Buchons were used to film the movie 'Battle of Britian'. Over 33,000 examples of the Bf-109 were built before, during, and after World War Two.

This example is a Bf-109G, with the DB-605 engine. Many experts believe the 109G was a regression in technology from the 109F because the 109F was a "fighter pilot's" fighter.

This is also a 109G in flight. This one fought in the Mediterranean theater, which is denoted by the white rudder. Note the underwing gun pods that boosted firepower but decreased performance.

Over 33,000 examples of the Bf-109 were built in Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Spain. This interesting picture shows a Bf-109E assembly line.