Bf 109 F-1
|This page is about the German fighter Bf 109 F-1. For other uses, see Bf 109 (Family).|
The Bf 109 F-1 is a rank II German fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB), 2.3 (RB), and 3.3 (SB). This fighter was introduced in Update 1.37. Setting the basis for the definitive version of the Bf 109, the F-4, the Bf 109 F-1 saw substantial improvement over the earlier Emil.
Having picked up their Bf 109 trade in the earlier Bf 109 B-1 and the Emil series, the player will be presented with the Bf 109 F-1. Even though it’s not the definitive version of the Friedrich just yet, the F-1 is still a good starter plane for the series. If the player has done their best to understand how to handle the 109 during their time with the B-1 and Emils, they will rejoice at the performance of the F-1. Likewise, if the player has not gone through the trouble of learning the ins and outs of the 109s with their earlier unlocks, they will slowly realize the error of their ways when flying the Friedrichs.
The F-1 is the perfect starting point for the Friedrich line. The most notable change of the Friedrich over the Emil is its performance. Having a more aerodynamically efficient design, especially in the nose, the plane is propelled forward by a powerful DB 601 N producing up to 1175 hp. Reaching speeds up to 615 km/h at 5.2 km altitude, the Friedrich is testimony to the trademark acceleration and speed found in the 109s. A powerful climber, the F-1 quickly reaches altitude and can easily out climb most of its historic counterparts. As with all 109s, the optimal climbing speed is 270 km/h (IAS). As such, the Bf 109 F-1 should largely be played like the Emils, with the bonus of additional performance making the flying and fighting even easier. As with the Emil, fluid and speedy transitions between altitude and speed, together with well-timed uses of flaps, throttle and manoeuvres, enable the Friedrich to quickly change an engagement to its favour.
That said, the player should keep in mind that the Bf 109 F-1 has less of a punch than the preceding E-3. While mounting a 20 mm MG FF/M cannon in the nose make the aiming somewhat easier, it does lose out on the two MG FFs that had previously been mounted in the wings. This 'downgrade' is somewhat offset by the fact that the Friedrichs MG FF/M can shoot deadly Mineshells, but careful aiming and trigger discipline is required to make the most out of the 60 available shots. Attempting shots at range is a significant waste of ammo. Luckily, the F-1 holds a respectable (500 per gun, 1000 total) amount of 7.92 mm MG 17 rounds, allowing you to spray when needed. Using the "Stealth" ammunition belt for the machine guns may help aim, due to less visual interference from the machine-gun tracers, but this is personal preference.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 390||< 390||< 450||> 250|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,850 m||1,050 hp||1,168 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 8 mm Steel - Plating behind and below the seat
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
The Bf 109 F-1 is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm MG FF/M cannon, nose-mounted (60 rpg)
- 2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
The Bf 109 F-1 can be outfitted with the following external ordinance:
- Without load
- 4 x 50 kg SC50JA bombs (200 kg total)
- 1 x 250 kg SC250JA bomb (250 kg total)
Usage in the battles
Just as the with the E-1, new players should adopt a hit and run tactic with the Bf 109s (also known as Boom and Run). While often called a Boom & Zoom aircraft, the 109s are not dedicated Boom & Zoomers, and many other aircraft such as the Fw 190 do it much better. While it is true that a pure Boom & Zooming approach can be used for the 109s, limiting oneself to this enormously undermines plane efficiency. It is a pure breed energy fighter.
Keep in mind that while the B-1 and Emil were respectable turners, the Friedrichs turn somewhat worse, so you should begin to think twice before going into a turning engagement. Should you be shot down often and struggle when fighting enemies with the F-1, consider it a helpful and fair warning: you are most likely using the plane wrongly and need to brush up on your flying before attempting the later 109s that nearly all have tough matchmaking.
While the Bf 109 F-1 loses out on the second cannon of the E-3, it still has a good punch. Use the 20 mm only at close range when you are sure to hit. When necessary, use the 7.92 mm MG 17 to hose down an enemy or force them to break off from a friendly when you can't get a sure shot in with your cannon. Engaging bombers in the F-1 is a thankless task since they will most likely soak up a great number of hits. Unless you enjoy being out of ammo and thus defenceless, bombers are just about your lowest priority in the F-1. If you are forced to attack one, aim for its wings, engines and fuel tanks, not the centre.
The F-1 can load either 4 x 50 kg or 1 x 250 kg bombs. Unless you like to fly at a severe disadvantage, do not use the bombs unless you have to in order to win a match, for example after refuelling/restocking at the base. The bomb load is nowhere near large enough to make a fighter bombing trip worth it. Additionally, save the bomb unlocks while grinding out the plane for last and focus on performance.
The F-1 can be particularly effective when used in air realistic battles on account of its low battle rating at 2.3. This puts it on par with the E-1 in terms of matchmaking. The flight performance of the F-1 is excellent for this battle rating allowing it to outperform many aircraft that it is likely to go up against. This is conjunction with the heavy-hitting HEI (Minengeschoß) round from the 20 mm motorkanone make for a very powerful fighter if you can get your rounds on target.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair, Radiator||Offensive 7 mm, ETC 50/VIIId|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 7 mm MGs|
|III||Wing Repair, Engine||Offensive 20 mm, ETC 500/IXb I|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 20 mm Cannons|
Pros and cons
- Superb climb rate and acceleration
- Great speed
- All weaponry mounted on the nose
- Very damaging cannon utilizing minengeschoß ammo
- Ammo counter in the cockpit (useful in Simulator Battles)
- Good energy retention
- Very favourable matchmaking (same BR as Bf 109 E-1)
- Less turning ability than a lot of its opposition
- Low ammo
- Low cannon rate of fire
- Low cannon muzzle velocity
- Poor cockpit visibility
While the Emil saw combat during the Poland and France campaigns and was used as the mainstream German fighter during the Battle of Britain, it had reached its zenith with the E-4. While arguably still a better performer than its historic counterparts, with enemy planes being either as good or worse than the Emil, Messerschmitt began to reevaluate the E-design and attempt to improve upon its design. Drawing on data provided by pilots, the industry and in line with the wishes of the German High Command, the Friedrich was developed.
The Bf 109 F saw major improvement over the Bf 109 E. Its complete front section was overhauled with a more streamlined look and a more aerodynamically efficient profile developed. The wings were improved, ending in a semi-elliptical design reminiscent of the Spitfire. Due to the various changes, it became heavier than the Emil, yet its DB 601 N engine and the better design allowed it to considerably outperform the Emil.
Quite a few Bf 109 F-1 were lost in aerial engagements without battle damage, due to pilots having been unused to its performance. The lack of an accurate speed display that compensated for altitude also complicated matters. Later 109s would have such a display installed. As such, the maximum allowed speed of 750 km/h was often by-passed in the heat of engagements; with the overall structure of the plane not able to withstand outside forces of such magnitude, the plane was lost unless the pilot could somehow recover the plane in time.
While complimentary of its performance, many pilots were somewhat disappointed with the Friedrich due to its armament 'downgrade'. Most notably, Adolf Galland would often critique the lack of additional cannon armament. His Friedrich was eventually upgraded with two additional MGFFs in the wings, similar to the E-3.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Mitsubishi A6M
- Bell P-39 Airacobra
- Curtiss P-36
- Curtiss P-40
- Dewoitine D.520
- Fiat G.55
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190
- Grumman F4F Wildcat
- Grumman F6F Hellcat
- Hawker Hurricane
- Heinkel He 112
- Kawasaki Ki-61
- Lavochkin LaGG-3
- Macchi C.202
- Macchi C.205
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
- Morane-Saulnier MS.406
- Nakajima Ki-43
- North American P-51 Mustang
- Polikarpov I-16
- Supermarine Spitfire
- Yakovlev Yak-1
- Yakovlev Yak-9
- Radinger, Willy & Otto, Wolfgang, Messerschmitt Me 109 - Das meistgebaute Jagdflugzeug der Welt - Entwicklung, Erprobung, Technik - Bf 109A bis 109K, Aviatic Verlag, Oberhachingen: 2011
- "Falcon's Messerschmitt Bf 109 Hangar" Bf 109F subpage
- English Wikipedia: "Messerschmitt Bf 109 variants – Bf 109 F"
- "Performance Information Bf 109F"
|Bavarian Aircraft Corporation (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke Aktiengesellschaft (BFW)*)|
|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|
|Bf 110||Bf 110 C-6 · Bf 110 C-7 · Bf 110 F-2 · Bf 110 G-2|
|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-1/U4 · Me 262 A-2a · Me 262 A-1a/U1 · Me 262 C-1a · Me 262 C-2b|
|Export||▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▄Bf 109 G-14/AS · ▄Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-2|
|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-8 · Fw 190 C|
|Fw 190 (late)||Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13 · Fw 190 F-8|
|Ta 152||Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1|
|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|