Last updated: 31/01/2002


Messerschmitt Bf-109 V-1 (Source: AJ Press Monografie: Messerschmitt Me-109 Cz. 1)



In early 1934 the RLM issued a specification for a new fighter to replace the Heinkel He-51 and Arado Ar-68 biplanes. Development contacts were given to Arado, Focke Wulf, Heinkel and Messerschmitt. Messerschmitt was given to understand that he would have no chance of winning the competition as his relationship with the officials at the RLM was very bad indeed. As he had nothing to lose, Messerschmitt went all out in the design of the new fighter.

The design of the 109 was based on the Messerschmitt Bf-108 civil aircraft. For its day the design was very advanced. Although none of its features was really radical, what was radical was the combination of a retractable undercarriage, enclosed cockpit, slotted flaps and leading edge slots in one aircraft was.

First flight of the 109 V-1 or Bf-109a was in September 1935.

At the end of October 1935 the trials were held and the 109 was clearly superior to the other three contenders. Consequently the decision was made in favor of the Messerschmitt Bf-109.

The first prototype of the Me-109 was powered by a Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, later prototypes used the Jumo 210 engine.

There was no Me-109A version. The first two prototypes were meant as pre-production examples of the A-series. But as the development work continued this version was abandoned in favor of the B-series.


Messerschmitt Bf-109 V-1 (Source: Die Deutsche Luftfahrt Willy Messerschmitt)


Messerschmitt Bf-109 V-2 (Source: Messerschmitt "O-nine" Gallery)


Radiator of the V-1 (Source: Die Deutsche Luftfahrt Willy Messerschmitt)


Messerschmitt Bf-108 (Source: Koku-Fan Me-109 Special)