Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109

The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was 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 features such as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.

During the Battle of Britain the Me 109 was pressed into the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not originally designed, and was widely employed as a fighter-bomber as well a photo-reconnaissance platform. Despite mixed results over Britain, with the introduction of the improved Bf 109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the Invasion of Yugoslavia, the Battle of Crete, Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR and the Siege of Malta.

By September 1939 the Bf 109 had become the backbone of the Luftwaffe, replacing the biplane fighters, and was instrumental in gaining air superiority for the Wehrmacht during the Blitzkrieg.

In 1942, it began to be partially replaced in Western Europe by a new German fighter, the Focke Wulf Fw 190, but it continued to serve in a multitude of roles on the Eastern Front and in the Defense of the Reich, as well as in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations and with Erwin Rommel's Afrikakorps. It was also supplied to several of Germany's allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia.

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.
More aerial kills were made with the Bf 109 than any other aircraft of World War II.
One hundred and five (possibly 109) Bf 109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft.
Thirteen of these men scored more than 200 kills, while two scored more than 300.
Altogether this group of pilots was credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills.
Official ace status was granted to any pilot who scored five or more kills. By this standard there were more than 2,500 "Aces" among Luftwaffe fighter pilots in World War II.
Against the Soviets, Finnish-flown Bf 109Gs claimed a victory ratio of 25:1.

The Battle of Britain Experience Me 109 recreates the one flown by German Ace Adolf Galland.