Last updated: 31/01/2002


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-1 (Source: Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)



The Me-209 was especially designed to break the world’s absolute air speed record. The RLM had hopes to develop the type into a fighter later and so supported the project. The Me-209 was a completely new design in no way related to the Me-109.

The first prototype flew for the first time on 1 August 1938 and showed very disappointing flight characteristics. No fewer than 17 serious shortcomings were noted by test pilot Fritz Wendel.

The V-2 was lost during a landing accident in April 1939 as the engine suddenly froze during flight.

At the end of May, Messerschmitt was unpleasantly surprised by the speed record set by the Heinkel He-100 V-8. This caused the plans to be revised and instead of trying for the record with the V-3, the V-1 was hurriedly equipped with the DB 601ARJ engine which gave a maximum output of 1550hp. 

On 26 April 1939 Fritz Wendel reached a speed of 755km/h with the V-1, a record that stood for more than 30 years. The Germans advertised the aircraft as the Me-109R is an effort to make it look like a standard service machine.  

The V-3 was used in various test programs and the V-4 was intended as prototype for the fighter variant. It was armed with 2 MG 17 and a MG FF/M and flew for the first time in May 1939. The wing span was increased in an effort to improve its flight characteristics but it remained unsuited as a fighter.  


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-2 under construction (Source: Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-4 (Source: Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-4 (Source: Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-4 used for propaganda photographs (Source: Koku Fan Me-109 Special)


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-5 & V-6 (Source Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)



Messerschmitt wanted to produce a new design to compete with the Ta-152 fighter. This was known as the Me-209-II. It bore no relation whatsoever with the 4 racing prototypes designated Me-209 from 1939.

The new prototype, the Me-209 V-5 flew for the first time on 3 November 1943. It was fitted with a DB 603A engine and utilized about 65% parts of the Me-109G-5. The engine was later replaced by the more powerful DB 603G.

Since the number of DB 603G engines was limited, the RLM requested Messerschmitt to fit his aircraft with the Jumo 213. During 1943 a Me-109 F-1 was tested with a Jumo 213 engine with an annular radiator similar to the FW-190D series.

Construction of the Me-209 V-6 began in December 1943 and it flew for the first time in April 1944. It was slower however than the FW-190D-9 fitted with the same engine and the order came to terminate the program. In order to keep his aircraft alive, Messerschmitt renamed it Me-109L. No additional aircraft were produced however.

Two production versions were planned, the A-1 and the A-2.

Me-209 A-1 (project)
Fighter fitted with the DB 603G, like the V-5.

Me-209 A-2 (project)
Fighter fitted with the Jumo 213E, like the V-6.


Messerschmitt Me-209 V-5 (Source: Die Deutsche Luftfaht, Willy Messerschmitt)


Messerschmitt Me-209 H V-1 (Source Messerschmitt "O-Nine" Gallery)


After the cancellation of the P-1091 program, Messerschmitt continued the development of this design into the P-1091B. This lead to the development of the Me-209 H V-1 fighter. It was planned to fit this aircraft with the DB 627 but as this was discontinued the DB 603 was chosen instead. It is unclear if the prototype was completed and flown.