Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstörer (heavy fighter) of the German Luftwaffe.
History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D model.
Messerschmitt Bf 110
Type: Heavy fighter plane, Zerstörer (destroyer), fighter-bomber, night fighter
As in five other countries at about the same time, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium decided in 1934 to issue a requirement for a new kind of fighter having two engines and exceptional range. Called a Zerstörer (destroyer), it was to be as capable as small single-seater of fighting other aircraft, possibly making up in firepower for any lack in maneuverability.
Its dominant quality was to be range, to escort bombers on raids penetrating deep into enemy heartlands Powered by two of the new DB 600 engines. The prototype reached 316 mph (ca. 509 km/h), considered an excellent speed, but it was heavy on the controls and unimpressive in power of maneuver. Too late to be tested in the Spanish Civil War, the production Me 110 B-1, which was the first to carry the two cannon, was itself supplanted by the Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-series with the later DB 601 engine with direct fuel injection and greater power at all heights.
By the start of WW2 the Luftwaffe had 195 Me 110 C fighters, and in the Polish campaign these were impressive, operating mainly in the close-support role but demolishing any aerial opposition they encountered. It was the same story in the Blitzkrieg war through the Low Countries and France, when 350 of the big twins were used. Only when faced with RAF Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain did the Zerstörer suddenly prove a disaster. It was simply no match for the Spitfire or even the Hurricane , and soon the Me 109 E was having to escort the escort fighters !
But production of DB 605-powered versions, packed with radar and night-fighting equipment, was actually trebled in 1943 and sustained in 1944, these G and H models playing a major part in the night battles over the Reich in 1943-45.
Pictures of Me 110
Specification for Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-4
|Me 110 C-4||Specification|
|Type||Zerstörer (heavy fighter) and fighter-bomber|
|Power plant||2 x 1200 PS Daimler-Benz DB 601N 12-cylinder inverted-vee liquid-cooled engines|
|Wing span||53 ft 4 3/4 in|
|Length overall||39 ft 8 1/2 in|
|Height overall||11 ft 6 in|
|Weight empty||9,920 lb|
|Weight loaded||15,430 lb|
|Maximum speed||349 mph|
|at height||22,966 ft|
|Cruising speed||304 mph|
|at height||19,405 ft|
|Time to height||18,045 ft|
|in approx||8.0 min|
|Service ceiling||32,800 ft|
|Range||528 miles (without drop tanks)|
|Me 110 C-4||specification|
|in nose||2 x 20 mm Oerlikon MG FF cannon (540 rpm) and 4 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns (1200 rpm, velocity 2477 ft.sec.)|
|in rear||1 x 7.92 mm MG 15 manually amimed machine gun in rear cockpit|
|external load||racks under centre section for four 551 lb bombs (total 2,204 lb)|
|First flight||12 May 1936|
|Operational service Me 110 C-1||April 1939|
|Service delivery Bf 110 F||early 1941|
|Production start night fighter F-4||1942|
|Final delivery (Me 110 H night fighter)||February 1945|
|Total production figure (all)||6,050|
|Accepted by Luftwaffe 1/39-12/44||5,904|
|Production 1942 (without night fighters)||580|
|Production 1943 (without night fighters)||791|
|Production 1944 (without night fighters)||128|
|Me 110's in First Line Units 1.9.39||195|
|Me 110's in First Line Units 20.9.42||405|
|Me 110's in First Line Units 31.12.42||405|
|Me 110's in First Line Units 10.1.45||395 (all night fighters)|