Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 (Trop) – Stab 111./JG77, Luftwaffe, North Africa 1942Add to compare
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Dragon Warbirds 50087: Messerschmitt Bf109G-2 (Trop) in the superb desert markings of Stab 111./JG77 based in North Africa in 1942. These fantastic 1/72 scale models are at least as accurate as the Corgi ones and complement them perfectly. They feature moveable control surfaces, plus optional undercarriage, canopy and armament positions. Has to be seen to be appreciated; a real beauty.
Length 5 inches Wingspan 5.25 inches
The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.
The Bf 109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. From the end of 1941 the Bf 109 was supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-fighter, night-fighter, all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced from 1936 up to April 1945.
The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring German fighter aces of World War II, who claimed 928 victories among them while flying with Jagdgeschwader 52, mainly on the Eastern Front, as well as by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign. It was also flown by several other successful aces from Germany’s allies, notably Finland, including the highest scoring non-German ace Ilmari Juutilainen, and pilots from Romania, Croatia and Hungary. Through constant development, the Bf 109 remained competitive with the latest Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.
Designed to meet a Luftwaffe need for a single-seat fighter/interceptor, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was flown on May 28th, 1935. Its all-metal construction, closed canopy and retractable gear made the Bf 109 one of the first true modern fighters of WWII. This versatile aircraft served in many roles and was the most produced aircraft of the war and the backbone of the Luftwaffe, and was flown by Germanys top three aces, who claimed a total of 928 victories between them. Armed with two cannons and two machine guns, the Bf 109s design underwent constant revisions, which allowed it to remain competitive until the end of the war.
The Bf 109G was the most numerous version of this long-lived German fighter. Around 10,000 were produced in ten main variants. The 109G was used by every German day fighter unit, and by eight other countries. Ironically, this version of the Bf 109 was not meant to exist. It had originally been hoped that the 109F would be replaced by an entirely new fighter. The Me 209 had first flown early in 1939, but it was soon discovered to offer little or no improvement over the 109F, and at quite a considerable increase in complexity. Work began in 1941 on the Me 309, another failed attempt to produce a replacement 109. The only other successful German single seat fighter of the war, the Fw 190, was good at low level, but poor at high altitude. By 1941 the air war was moving to increasingly high altitudes, and so in the summer of 1941 the Messerschmitt design team began work on yet another version of the 109; the G (Gustav)
The 109G was designed around the DB 605 engine. This was heavier than the engines it replaced, but the same size, so could fit in the same fuselage designs. It produced a fighter that was heavier than the 109F, but faster. The new machine was also less manoeuvrable than the 109F, which was preferred by many of the fighter experts. The engine also caused two major problems. First, early versions were prone to engine fires caused by overheating oil. This was soon fixed. Second, the engine type suffered from low oil pressure. This second problem was never satisfactorily fixed.
The Bf109 was obsolescent towards the end of World War Two, yet it remained the backbone of the German Air Forces day fighter force and was flown by many of her allies. In production right up to the end of hostilities, more than 33000 were built second only to the Russian ‘Sturmovik’ as the most prolific military design, and post-war versions served with the Czech, Israeli and Spanish Air Forces, the latter until the mid-1960s with Rolls Royce Merlin engines; Some of these surviving long enough to be used in the classic ‘Battle of Britain’ film in 1968.