Me 109 E

German Messerschmitt ‘Emil’ fighter from the Blitzkrieg and Battle of Britain

pair of Bf 109 E-4/Trop fighters of I/JG 27 flying over the Cyrenaican

Taken from a German propaganda film of 1941, this photograph depicts a pair of Bf 109 E-4/Trop fighters of I/JG 27 flying over the Cyrenaican (Libyan) desert, soon after the entry of the Afrika Corps.


Messerschmitt Me 109 E and T
Type:
German fighter plane or fighter-bomber from the Blitzkrieg and the Battle of Britain (Bf 109 T carrier plane).

History:

At the outbreak of WW2 the Luftwaffe had a strength of 1,056 Bf109s. Many of these were Bf 109 D s, but this series was already being replaced in increasing numbers by the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E.
This had first appeared (as the V14) in mid-1938, and the E-1 was produced both as a fighter (with four MG 17s) and as a fighter-bomber (carrying one 250 kg or four 50 kg bombs). Later E-1s standardised on 20mm MG FF cannon in place of the two wing-mounted MG 17s.

Against all types of opposing fighter during the Blitzkrieg throughout Poland, Norway, France, Belgium, Holland and southern England, with the exception of the Spitfire (which it greatly outnumbered), the Messerschmitt Bf 109E proved itself superior in both performance and manoeuvrability; only its range let it
down.

Production accelerated to the extent that Germany could afford to export sub­stantial numbers of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 (which appeared at the end of 1939 and was the principal version to be used in the Battle of Britain) to Bulgaria, Hungary, Japan, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Russia and Yugoslavia. In addition, a small batch was built during 1941-43 by Dornier’s Altenrhein factory in Switzerland.

In July 1940 the Gerhard Fieseler-Werke began to convert 10 Bf 109 E-1s to Bf 109T (for Träger = carrier) extended-span configuration. These were to have been development aircraft for the Bf 109 T-1, intended for use aboard the proposed aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, but after the carrier programme was terminated the 60 T-1s ordered were completed instead as land-based T-2s.

Various other E models, up to E-9, were produced for fighter or reconnaissance duties, with power plant or equipment variations.
Meanwhile, Messerschmitt had been developing what was to become the finest of all the many versions, the Bf 109 F .

Users: Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Japan, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Russia, Yugoslavia (Bf 109 E and T).


Pictures of Me 109 E


Data for Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3

Technical data
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 data
Type fighter
Power plant one 1,175 hp Daimler Benz DB601Aa inverted-vee-12 liquid-cooled engine
Accommodation 1
Wing span 32 ft 4.6 in
Length overall 28 ft 4.2 in
Height overall 10 ft 6.0 in
Wing area 176.53 sq/ft
Weight empty equipped 4,685 lb
Weight loaded 5,875 lb
Maximum wing loading 33.28 lb/sq ft
Maximum power loading 5.00 lb/hp
Maximum speed 348 mph
at height 14,565 ft
Cruising speed 233 mph
at height 22,965 ft
Initial climb 3,100 ft/min.
Time to height 16,405 ft in 7.1 min.
Service ceiling 34,450 ft
Range 410 miles
Armament
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 data
above engine two 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns [1,200 rpm, velocity 2,477 ft/sec] each with 1,000 rounds
in wings two 20mm MG FF [540 rpm] each with 60-round drum
bomb load as fighter-bomber four 110 lb bombs or one 551 lb bomb
Service statistics
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 data
First flight mid 1938
Production delivery January 1939 (E-1), end of 1939 (E-3)
Price per unit 100,000 RM = $ 45,000 = £ 11,250
Total production figure (all) 35,000+ (of these 30,480 during WW2)
Accepted by Luftwaffe 1/39-12/44 29,350
Production 1939 (all variants) 449
Production 1940 (all variants) 1,693
Production 1941 (all variants) 2,764
Bf 109's in Luftwaffe First Line Units 1.9.39 (Start of WW2) 850 Me109 E-1 and E-1/B, 235 D-1, unknown small number of B's (200 used against Poland)
Bf 109 E losses in Poland 67 (all by ground fire)
Bf 109 E in Luftwaffe First Line Units 10.8.40 (Start Battle of Britain) 879 Bf 109 E

Animated 3D model of Messerschmitt Bf 109 E


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