Bf 109 B-1
|This page is about the German fighter Bf 109 B-1. For other variants, see Bf 109 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
In the early 1930s, a competition was held to replace the aging He 51 and other biplane fighters. Out of four designs, the Bf 109 was selected and would mark the beginning of the fabled Bf 109. At first, it was powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, but later developments switched out the engine for the Junkers Jumo. Although the Bf 109 A might be thought of by some as the first production variant of the 109, it was actually the Bf 109 B. The 109 A production run was abandoned because the planned version of the B variant would've included a 20 mm cannon firing through the propeller hub. However, cooling issues prevented the use of the cannon and instead another 7.92 mm machine gun was added. The Bf 109 B-1 would be powered by the Junkers Jumo 210D, and it propelled the 109 to speeds up to ~467 km/h (292 mph). It was far slower than the Merlin-powered Hawker Hurricane, and the 109 wouldn't receive a major engine upgrade until the Bf 109 D, which introduced the Daimler-Benz engines.
The Bf 109 B-1 Late was introduced in Update 1.49 (aka 1.70.1945) "Weapons of Victory". Being the first production variant of the 109, the B-1 is quite lacklustre when it comes to performance and armament. It lacks any cannons, and the Jumo engine only produces around 650 hp. With a maximum climb rate of only 10.2 m/s, players should practice side climbing to gain an altitude advantage over enemy aircraft. Many opponents will be in biplanes, and they will easily outturn the 109 in a dogfight. Thus, players should use its excellent structural limit of 790 km/h (493 mph) to make boom and zoom passes on enemy fighters. Also, the B-1 comes armed with only two 7.92 mm machine guns, so it will take many rounds to down an enemy aircraft. Targeting the pilot will be the best option to quickly and efficiently take down enemy aircraft.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 450||< 390||< 450||> 312|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|1,250 m||670 hp||704hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|3,200 m||600 hp||660 hp|
Survivability and armour
Despite lacking in armour protection and self-sealing fuel tanks, this aircraft is surprisingly resilient and can withstand significant damage. Although it is vulnerable to being hit, its design allows for it to absorb incoming rounds, particularly when facing head-on attacks or gunners on bombers. In battles against early tier aircraft such as biplanes, the bullets from their weapons are not as effective unless they are fired at close range or aimed at vital components. As most pilots at this level are new to the game, they may not be proficient in aiming their weapons, giving you an added advantage. To increase your chances of survival, it's essential to master good evasive manoeuvres. By doing so, you can out manoeuvre low-powered planes and make a narrow escape, thus saving your life. However, the engine is a vulnerable part of the aircraft, and you may have to lose it before losing any other vital component. Overall, despite its lack of armour protection and self-sealing fuel tanks, this aircraft can be a formidable fighter in the right hands. It requires a skilled pilot who knows how to exploit its strengths and weaknesses to emerge victorious in battle.
Modifications and economy
The Bf 109 B-1 is armed with:
- 2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
Usage in battles
When facing fighters that have a high tolerance for 7.92 mm rounds, it's crucial to adopt a specific strategy to take them down quickly. In this scenario, targeting the pilot becomes the best option as it can bring the enemy down with fewer rounds fired. This approach requires exceptional aiming skills and a quick trigger finger. However, it can be a game-changer when facing a tough opponent.
On the other hand, the Bf 109 B-1 does not fare well when engaging bombers. In this scenario, it's essential to aim for the engine or pilot to deal critical damage. The engine has a larger hit box, making it the preferable target. A well-placed shot can result in an engine or fuel tank fire, making it easier to take down the bomber.
When targeting the engines, it's important to note that propellers take some time to stop spinning. Firing all your rounds into a single engine can be misleading, and a few well-timed bursts should be enough to get the job done. Once you feel that an engine has taken enough damage, you can switch to the other engines to maximize your chances of success.
Another strategy when engaging bombers is to target the gunners. Taking them out can enable you to stay behind the bomber, targeting a specific area or engine. However, this approach requires exceptional aiming skills and can cost you valuable time if you miss your shots. It's best to target the gunners during your initial pass, and if you miss, switch to targeting the engine or pilot.
Overall, engaging fighters and bombers requires a different approach, and it's essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your aircraft and those of your opponents. With practice and experience, you can become an expert in taking down tough enemies, even with a weaker aircraft like the Bf 109 B-1.
The Bf 109 B-1 is a strong performer in Realistic Battles (RB), although it lacks the outstanding climb rate of later 109 models. Despite this, it still manages to get to altitude quickly and efficiently. Its biggest asset is its incredible high-speed turn, which allows it to cut inside the turning circles of other planes, particularly in a high-speed engagement. This maneuverability can give you an edge over your opponents, especially if you can make use of your speed to reset the engagement in your favor.
However, it's important to remember that if you drag the fight on for too long, you may lose your advantage. This is especially true when facing opponents with better armament or maneuverability. To maximize your chances of success, you need to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage. Against early tier biplanes and other monoplanes, you can use your speed to outmaneuver and outpace them.
One significant drawback of the Bf 109 B-1 is its armament. Its weapons lack the firepower of other aircraft in its class, requiring prolonged periods of time on target to down or critically damage an enemy. As with other 109 models, the roll rate is subpar, and the rudder needs to be utilized to maximize its potential. A skilled pilot can make up for these deficiencies by using proper tactics and making the most of the plane's strengths.
Overall, the Bf 109 B-1 can be a formidable fighter in RB when flown by an experienced pilot. It may not have the same outstanding climb rate as its successors, but its incredible high-speed turn and speed make it a valuable asset in dogfights. Despite its limited armament, a skilled pilot can make the most of it, using proper tactics to outmaneuver and outpace opponents.
In Simulator battles, the Bf 109 B-1 is a versatile fighter that is easy to fly and fights well. The aircraft's smooth handling, combined with adequate speed against biplanes and impressive climb rate and turn rate, make it a friendly fighter for newcomers. Its nose-mounted machine guns have a lot of ammo and do not require any convergence settings, making it very easy to aim. The nose gently slopes down from the windscreen, offering a great over-the-nose vision, which is helpful when maneuvering the aircraft. Despite having a razorback, the B model actually has great visibility towards the tail, increasing the pilot's situational awareness, which is important in a simulator battle.
However, the B model's main drawback is its poor firepower given by the mere 2 x 7.92 mm MGs. Shooting windows in Simulator battles are much smaller than in RB, which reduces its effectiveness even more. As a result, you will need to bring at least 30 minutes of fuel for prolonged patrolling and fighting. The convergence does not really matter, and it might be anywhere between 250-600 m. To improve over-the-nose visibility, you can set keys for vertical head movement, allowing you to lift up your head a little.
When dogfighting in Simulator battles, you can utilise common manuevers such as Immelmann, Split-S, scissor, barrel roll, etc. However, note that the Bf 109 handles very sluggishly in the roll axis at low speed, so take this into account if dogfighting at low speed/altitude. You can pull the elevator fully for maximum agility, but only if you pull gently and gradually will the 109 manoeuvre as you wish. If maximum elevator input is harsh and sudden, the plane will start swaying around and enter a flat spin. The aircraft can quite easily recover from a flat spin by fully deflecting elevators downward and rudder to the opposite side of which the plane is spinning, and wait until it starts a dive and gather some speed to pull up.
Finally, landing the Bf 109 B-1 may need some practice for some. At first, it is easy: decelerate and descent towards the runway, deploy combat, takeoff, landing flaps, and gears in order, and fly at ~230 km/h before touchdown. However, if the plane bounces up with landing flaps, use takeoff/combat flaps instead to reduce lift. Note that you must align the plane with the airstrip correctly prior to touchdown and do not yaw/break one side too much when breaking, as the main landing gears are so close together that they cannot support such sideways force, causing the plane to wobble dangerously or even tilt towards one side, striking a wingtip into the ground.
Specific enemies worth noting
The Bf 109 B-1 runs the risk of meeting Hurricanes, a plane introduced to the RAF in 1935 that has a far heavier armament and shorter snap turns. Against better performing enemies, the Bf 109 B-1 is not hopeless, but it will be tough. It is not exactly sturdy and will be quickly stitched to death by heavily armed enemies. Here, manoeuvrability is key, allowing you to roll out of an incoming attack quickly, setting up overshoots to keep the enemy at bay. A surprising number of players will lose their patience in such moments, making mistakes and thus nullifying their performance advantage. Nearly all planes of superior performance turn worse than a B-1, so if you manage to bleed their speed and pull them to the deck, you will be able to win a turning engagement. However, keep a watchful eye for better turning enemies such as biplanes.
The Bf 109 B-1 is going to be a rude awakening for those that flock to the 109s due to their historic reputation. While a capable pre-war fighter, it is severely lacking in firepower. Its two MG 17s 7.92 mm are just about adequate when engaging biplanes or I-16s, but lack punch against tougher opponents such as Hawker Hurricanes. Just about any enemy you might meet has either comparable or better armament.
What the plane lacks in firepower, it makes up in manoeuvrability, with the later trademark Bf 109 energy fighting capabilities displayed. A capable pilot can make this aircraft dance like any Messerschmitt, but it requires discipline, precision and effective use of the two MG 17's. When engaging planes that are of the Spanish Civil War Era, the B-1 does best by using its speed and superior climb rate to place itself into an advantageous attack position, and then launching one concentrated attack after the other on its target. Remember to always recycle your speed into altitude and back as the fight progresses. Before zoom climbing back up from an attack, remember to extend a little bit to avoid getting picked off from a prop-hang. As you zoom up, check your surroundings to keep good situational awareness.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Excellent agility, able to do very sharp turns
- Good energy conservation
- Very useful during dogfights since it is able to outmanoeuvre the opponent
- Has excellent control during slow speed
- Not the fastest option at its rank
- Considerably weak armament
- May be too responsive for some players
The Bf 109 B-1 came out of the prototype V series of the Bf 109s and saw combat in the Spanish Civil War. While the Bf 109s faced various performance and reliability issues from their engine to an obvious lack of "punch", the experience proved to yield valuable data allowing for design improvement, ensuring the success of later Bf 109 models.
While the B-1 was the only production model of the 109 carrying the "Bertha" designation, later models that saw improvements to the variable pitch carried the unofficial designation of B-2.
A subvariant of the Bf 109 B called the "V13" was powered by a boosted Daimler-Benz 601 engine. It produced well over 1,600 hp; a massive increase over the Merlin found in the Hawker Hurricane. The boosted engine allowed the Bf 109 to set a world speed record of 606 km/h (379 mph) in 1937. Unfortunately, the DB series of engines would never be put in a production variant of the 109 until the Bf 109 D variant.
A notable feature of the Bf 109 B-1 is its massive opening in the cowling. While production models carried a third MG 17 firing out of said cowling, this was nearly always removed after combat trials during the Spanish Civil War. Although the fixed gun was cooled by the air coming in through the hole, it proved unreliable and a detriment to the plane. The in-game Bf 109 B-1 does not have this MG 17.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- [Falcon's Messerschmitt Bf 109 Hangar] Bf 109B
- [Wikipedia] Messerschmitt Bf 109 variants - Bf 109 A/B/C/D
|Bavarian Aircraft Corporation ()|
|Bf 109||Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1 · Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2|
|Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop · Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 K-4 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · Bf 109 Z-1|
|Bf 110||Bf 110 C-6 · Bf 110 C-7 · Bf 110 F-2 · Bf 110 G-2 · Bf 110 G-4|
|Me 410||Me 410 A-1 · Me 410 A-1/U2 · Me 410 A-1/U4 · Me 410 B-1 · Me 410 B-1/U2 · Me 410 B-2/U4 · Me 410 B-6/R3|
|Jet Fighters||Me 163 B · Me 163 B-0 · Me 262 A-1a · Me 262 A-1a/Jabo · Me 262 A-1a/U1 · Me 262 A-1/U4 · Me 262 A-2a · Me 262 C-1a · Me 262 C-2b|
|Export||▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▄Bf 109 G-14/AS · ◐Bf 109 F-4 · ◐Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-2 · ▄Bf 109 G-2 · ▄Bf 109 G-6 · ▄Bf 109 G-6 Erla · ◐Bf 110 G-4|
|Captured||▃Bf 109 F-4|
|* BFW was later renamed Messerschmitt Aktiengesellschaft (AG) on 11 July 1938. All aircraft currently in production at this time retained the designation Bf while those developed after this date had the designation Me.|
|He 51||He 51 A-1 · He 51 B-1 · He 51 B-2/H · He 51 C-1 · He 51 C-1/L|
|He 100||He 100 D-1|
|He 112||He 112 A-0 · He 112 B-0 · He 112 B-1/U2 · He 112 B-2/U2 · He 112 V-5|
|Bf 109 (Jumo)||Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1|
|Bf 109 (DB-601)||Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2 · Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop|
|Bf 109 (DB-605)||Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · Bf 109 K-4|
|Fw 190 (early)||Fw 190 A-1 · Fw 190 A-4 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-5/U14 · Fw 190 A-8 · Fw 190 C|
|Fw 190 (late)||Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13|
|Ta 152||Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1|
|Blohm & Voss|
|BV 155||BV 155 B-1|
|USA||▀P-47D-16-RE · ▀P-47D|
|USSR||▀La-5FN · ▀Yak-1B|
|Britain||▀Tempest Mk V|
|Italy||▀CR.42 · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7 · ▀C. 200 serie 3 · ▀C. 200 serie 7 · ▀C. 202|