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Since when could the Bf 109 be considered inferior to Western Allied fighters?

Discussion in 'Axis Aviation Of WWII' started by KnightMove, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    In the German Wikipedia article about the Bf 109, contents of different authors (no longer active there) contradict each other about the point of time since when the Bf 109 was to be considered inferior to Western Allied fighter aircraft. One states the beginning of 1943, the other the end of 1943.

    What do you think?
     
    Sheldrake likes this.
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    It was a light fighter...over burdened with more and more crap to keep up....as a light fighter it finished the war a champ.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Mid 1943 sounds about right to me. It was designed for Blitzkrieg warfare and ended up as a bomber interceptor. Even in 1945 though, in the hands of dwindling number of good pilots, it could still be a deadly opponent. All too often it was pilot quality that made the real difference.
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The Spitfire and Me109 were designed around the same time. Both were thoroughbreds, designed to get the best performance from two outstanding mid 1930 engine designs. Between 1939 and 1945 both were updated with improved engines and air-frames tweaked to cope with the extra weight and power. The unloaded weights rose by around 50% while power roughly doubled.

    By 1945 there were better aircraft, based around newer technology. The P51 used a NACA aerofoil, the P47 around proven superchargers and Germans were migrating to jets.

    The Spitfire and Me109 still maintained a leading edge as high altitude piston engine fighters. The Me109K was one of the fastest fighters and a dangerous opponent one to one at 27k ft. The Spitfire Mk XIV was also a fine high altitude fighter. Neither had the versatility of the Fw190 or US Naval fighters as fighter bombers, nor would maintain an edge at low altitudes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 5:01 AM
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    All good answers but there's another factor too. Willie Messerschmitt got obsessive about the Me 210 project, a project that was to replace the 110 but never quite worked out. A lot of R&D assets were taken away from the 109 and funneled into that project. As such, the Me 109 upgrades fell behind the competition and only caught up (partly) right at the end of the war. In 1943 the LW was stuck with the G-6 version which wasn't all that good. Then Messerschmitt developed the late G models and the K series but by that time the air battle had irreversibly turned in the Allied favor . By the time they came out in any numbers it was too late. They needed them in '43 and early '44.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017

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