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|THE MESSERSCHMITT Bf-109 was the Luftwaffe's standard fighter throughout World War II, and the production of the Bf-109 was larger than that of any other German fighter. It was quite a revolutionary design, the smallest aircraft that could be built around a powerful engine.
The 109E "Emil" was one of the best fighters in the world, on a par with it's deadly rival, the Spitfire.
The 109F "Franz" was the best dogfighter of all the 109 series. The :Franz" was the main fighter type of the Luftwaffe during the invasion of the Soviet Union during the Summer of 1941.
The 109G "Gustav" was the most heavily produced varient of the 109 series, in particular more 109G-6's were produced than any other 109 varient. Wartime development tried to make the plane a more suitable bomber interceptor. This largely failed due to the small size of the airframe. Instead of sleek and maneuverable interceptor the plane became known by the nickname "Beule" or "Bump" due to all the modifications done to the airfame to house the improved armament.
The 109G-10 series was unusual in that it consisted of new and remanufactured airframes of earlier G model 109's equipted with the more powerful DB 605D series engine. As a result there was little standardization beyond the common use of the Erlla-Haube (Galland Hood) improved vision canopy.
The 109K "Koenig" was the last mass produced version of the 109 series. It returned to the air superiority theme last seen in the 109F. It was the fastest 109 and had the improved visibility "Galland Hood" canopy as standard.
All 109's, reguardless of version, share numerous traits:
* Excellent climb rate.
* Good rudder response
* Excellent performance between 12 to 22k
* Above average low speed handling
* Good negative-G handling
* Below average visability from the cockpit
* Not particularly :new pilot friendly"
* Moderate to low ammunition supply
* Heavy controls above 640km/h
* Medium airframe durability
* Average fuel capacity
|All 109's are best flown as Energy Fighters - useing it's high climb rate to dictate the engagement. Normal "Boom & Zoom" tactics with very high speed passes do not suit the 109's style. It is better suited to the style of energy combat where the main objective is to set up a moderate altitude advantage right over or near the target. Then use short sprint dives with moderate closure rates for gun passes. The 109 can then climb back out and loop or climb away as necessary.
Bf-109E "EMIL" vs. SPITFIRE Mk.I