Friday, October 31, 2014

Messerschmitt BF 109

Two Messerschmitt BF 109s prowl the cloud layers

Actually, although painted to emulate German "Luftwaffe" fighters the aircraft in these air show images are Hispano AviaciĆ³n HA-1112-M1L "Buchon" aircraft. A Spanish built version of the BF109 from 1954 - the final variant fitted with a RR Merlin engine and armed with two Hispano HS-404 20mm cannon and 80mm rockets. Used operationally. 172 built.

The Messerschmitt BF 109, often called ME 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.
Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-, night-, all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The BF 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced from 1936 up to April 1945.

The BF 109 was flown by the three top-scoring German fighter aces of World War II, who claimed 928 victories among them while flying with Jagdgeschwader 52, mainly on the Eastern Front, as well as by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign. It was also flown by several other successful aces from Germany's allies, notably Finland, including the highest scoring non-German ace Ilmari Juutilainen, and pilots from Romania, Croatia and Hungary. Through constant development, the BF 109 remained competitive with the latest Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.

ME 109 at Takeoff

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