Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4


Model review

This Hasegawa's 1:48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 E is my first model in this scale. The shape of the nose needs little fixing. Four holes above the cowling are described with panel grooves, its better open them up. The decals are good and the swastikas are also included. All I can do is to recommend this kit to other modellers !

History

Willy Messerschmitts Bf 109 was the Luftwaffes benchmark fighter throughout the WW II. It was the mount of the vast majority of the German aces and scored more kills than any other aircraft. Maj. Erich Hartmann was the most sucsesful ace with Bf 109 with 352 kills. The top scorer in the world in all times !

The prototype Bf 109V2 won a fighter desing competition declared by the RLM ( Air Ministry ) in 1936 and was chosen to the premier single-engined fighter for the Luftwaffe. The first production plane Bf 109 B-1 flew in July 1937. In 1938 C and D models were introduced, they had Junkers Jumo 210 engine as the B-model also did, but the latest versions of it. The first plane in E-series with the new Daimler-Benz DB 600-series engine (1100 hp) and with 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller came in production in the end of 1938. It was armed with two fuselage mounted machine guns and two wing mounted cannons and it became the main fighter of the Luftwaffe for the first few years of the war.

The Bf 109 B, C, D and E versions already took part in the Spanish Civil War. By the beginning of the WW2 the Luftwaffe had already equipped all fighter units ( Jagdgeswader ) with the Bf 109 E (Emil) planes. The great test for the Me Bf 109 E and for the Luftwaffe was the Battle of Britain in July-September 1940. The Bf 109 E proved to be better fighter than the Hawker Hurricane and it was approximately as good as the Supermarine Spitfire. The worse agility was compensated by better climbing rate and better reliability of the engine wich had direct injection fuel system and had no problems with negative G-forces. The vast majority of the 1172 planes that RAF's Fighter Command lost during the battle were victims of the Bf 109 E. The Luftwaffe lost 1792 planes of which 610 were Bf 109 E-type.

The model represents I/JG3 (Udet) Commander's Hauptman Hans "Vadder" von Hahn's plane in August 1940 in Colombers in France, during the Battle of Britain. The plane has Gruppenkommandeurs chevrons and green dragon, the emblem of 1.Gruppe. Under the cocpit is von Hahn's personal insignia, cock's head (hahn=cock). Hans von Hahn achieved 34 kills before the war ended.

There has been two Hahns in the Luftwaffe during the WW2 and in many cases they have mixed. So happend to me too (and Hasegawa). The other Hahn is major Hans "Assi" Hahn who flew in the East front in JG2 and JG 54 achieving 108 victories of which 40 in east. He was captured after belly landing in russian territory and he spent 7 years in several prisoner camps in Russia before he was relaesed in 1950.

Technical data of Messerschmitt Bf 109 E- 4

Engine 1100 hp Daimler-Benz DB 601
Dimensions Span 9,86 m; lenght 8,74 m; wing area 16,16 m2
Weights Max. take off 2665 kg; empty 1900 kg
Performance Max. speed 578 km/h at altitude
Armament Fixed armament 2 x 20mm MG FF in wings, 2 x 7,9mm MG17 in fuselage
Time of operation Apx. 1 h with full power, 1h 20' with cruising power (both with internal fuel)
Production 30573 (all versions)

Sources
Lentäjän näkökulma II, Jukka Raunio; Squadron/Signal, Messerschmitt Bf 109 in action part one; Axis Aircraft of World War II, David Mondey; Internet

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