Aviation of World War II

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Bf 109E-4
  • Fighter
  • Messerschmitt

The main German fighter aircraft of the beginning of World War II. The Bf 109E ensured the success of the Luftwaffe over Poland, Scandinavia and northwestern Europe between September 1939 and June 1940. Its shortcomings were revealed only when these aircraft had to make long-range raids against British fighters in the Battle of England. Entered service at the end of 1938 and produced in the amount of more than 4000 vehicles, the Bf-109E ("Emil") was the same Bf-109D, but with a more powerful DB-601 engine and cannon armament.

The DB 601 had almost the same dimensions as the DB 600. The cylinders and pistons remained unchanged. The carburetor of the first was replaced by direct fuel injection on the second. The compression ratio was increased from 6.5 to 6.9, the boost was increased, and the supercharger received an automatic boost control system using a fluid coupling. Direct fuel injection reduced its consumption, allowed the use of gasoline with a lower octane number, and, unlike a carburetor, allowed the engine to work for a long time at negative overloads.

Of the early versions of this aircraft, the main ones were Bf 109E-1 with a 1075-horsepower DB 601A-1 engine, Bf 109E-3 with a more powerful engine, improved armor and a place for a 20-mm gun in the collapse of the engine cylinders, as well as Bf-109E-4 (without motor gun). The pilots considered the Emil one of the best Bf 109 models, at least equal to the early models of the Spitfire.

Armament: Me 109E - two 20-mm MG / FF wing cannons with 60 rounds of ammunition and 2 × 7.92-mm MG-17 machine guns with 500 rounds of ammunition per machine gun.

During the invasion of the USSR in June 1941, the Emil was already withdrawn from service, it remains a fact that Bf 109E also flew over the USSR for several months. It is known, for example, that JG 54 and the assault squadron SG 1 fought in this theater on Bf.109E.

Bf 109E-1 of 5./JG77 Black 4 of Anton Hacki Kristiansand Kjevik, Norway, June 1940

Bf 109E-1 of 5./JG77 Black 4 of Anton Hacki Kristiansand Kjevik, Norway, June 1940

Bf 109 Messerschmitt
E-1 E-3 E-4
Crew 1
Length, m 8.76
Wing span, m 9.90
Wing area, m² 16.35
Weight, kg:
Loaded weight 1975 2060  
Engine DB601A-1 DB601Aa DB601N
Power, hp 1075 1175 1200
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 458 467  
at altitude 555 560  
m 5000 4440  
Rate of climb, m/s 16.7 17.8  
Service ceiling, m 10,972 11,000  
Service range, km 560 560  
7.92-mm MG-17 machine guns 4 2 2
20-mm MG FF cannon - 2-3 2
External bombs load, kg 4×50, 1×120 4×50, 1×120 4×50, 1×120
Photo Description
Drawing Bf 109E-1

Drawing Bf 109E-1

Drawing Bf 109E-3

Drawing Bf 109E-3

Bf 109E-1 from 1./JG20.

The Bf 109E-1 from 1./JG20.

Bf 109E in flight

Bf 109E in flight



  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "The air war" /№ 37, 62/