Author(s): Jan Forsgren
More than 33,000 Messerschmitt Bf 109s were built between 1935 and 1945, making it the second-most produced warplane of all time. The Bf 109 was the mainstay of Luftwaffe fighter squadrons and the favoured choice of most fighter aces. Bf 109 pilots accounted for thousands of Allied aircraft with individual scores for some aces such as Erich Hartmann (352 kills) and Gerhard Barkhorn (301 kills) claiming hundreds of downed aircraft. The iconic Bf 109 saw service in Poland, the invasion of France and the Battle of Britain in 1940. Although gradually becoming obsolete, the Bf 109 remained in large-scale production until the end of the war.
Apart from the Luftwaffe, Bf 109s were supplied to more than ten countries, including Finland, Hungary and Rumania. After the war, development and production continued in Czechoslovakia and Spain as the Avia S-199 and Hispano HA-1112 respectively, the latter powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Incredibly, the state of Israel operated Czech-built Avia S-199s during its War of Independence in 1948-1949.
|234 x 156 mm
|15 May 2017
|120 black-and-white photographs