AMO-7248 1/72 Messereschmitt Bf-109F2 RZ65 German WW2 Fighter model kitThe Messerschmitt Me- or Bf-109 was the mainstay of the German Luftwaffe from the Spanish Civil War in 1935 to 1942. It was quite a revolutionary design, being the smallest aircraft that could be built around a powerful engine. The first operational version, the Bf109B (Berta) had some major problems that became apparent during the Spanish Civil WAr. It had serious wing flutter, and tail buffeting. Overall, its advantages were good performance and handling, and a simple construction; its disadvantages were restricted vision, bad landing characteristics due to the narrow-set landing gear, and the inability to carry heavy armament without adverse affects on handling. The Me109 was quite advanced for 1935 when it was contemporary with biplanes like the Fiat C.R. 32, Polikarpov P-21, the Gloster Gladiator and the Brewster "Peashooter". but, by 1943 it was seriously outdated and was largely replaced on the Western Front by the superb Focke-Wulf 190. It stayed on in large numbers in North Africa, Russia, Italy and the Mediterranean.
There were three main versions during WWII with many sub-types. The E (Emil) version flew in 1939 with a 920 hp (865kW) Daimler-Benz DB601Aa engine. It's maximum speed was 347 mph (560km/h), with a ceiling of 34,450 ft (10,500m) and a range of 410 miles (660 km). It was armed with a 20 mm cannon firing through the propellor hub and two 7.9 mm machine guns mounted on the cowling.
The F (Friedrich) version started to appear during the invasion of Russia in 1941. It was powered by the 1,200 h.p. (895 kW) Daimler-Benz 601E in-line engine. It introduced extended and rounded wingtips and enlarged spinner, with ailerons and plain flaps replaced the Emil's slotted flaps. The tailplane struts were eliminated for a cantelevered tailplane that had to be strengthened. It was initially armed with a hub-mounted 20 mm cannon and two cowling mounted MG 17 (7.6 mm) machine guns, but in the F2 version a 15mm MG 151 replaced the 20mm MG FF cannon. Many complaints were made that the armament was too light for most German pilots. The F3 version had a top speed of 390 mph (628 km/h) at 21,890 ft (6700 m). Many versions followed with enlarged hub cannon, cannon-packs for under the wings to attack bombers, and wing racks for up to 1,102 lb (500 kg) of bombs for fighter-bombers.
The G (Gustav) version flew in the summer of 1942 and flew with units until the final capitulation of the Third Reich. It was powered by a 1,475 hp (1100 kW) Daimler-Benz DB605 A or D series 12 cylinder, liquid cooled, inverted-V engine. This gave it a maximum speed of 344 mph (G-10 sub-type) (550 km/h) at sea level and 428 mph at 24,250 ft. With a pressurized cabin it had a ceiling of 36,500 ft (11,150 m), an endurance of only 55 minutes and a range of 350 miles (569 km). Standard armament of this varient was two 13 mm MG 13 machine guns on the cowling, a 20 mm cannon firing through the hub of the airscrew and two extra 20 mm cannons were sometimes housed in pods under the wings. The numerous G6 variants used a 30mm MK 108 cannon in the hub. Other variants carried 2 30mm cannon, radar for night-fighters, WGr 210 rockets, a 250 kg bomb, four 50 or 70 kg bombs or ninety-six 2 kg bombs could be carried under the fuselage. Two 21 cm rocket mortar tubes were tried under the wings to combat B-17 bombers, but were not successful as they distorted the flying characteristics too much. The landing gear was retractable with tail wheel. By May of 1945, 30,573 Me-109s had been built.