Bf 109 K-4

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This page is about the German fighter Bf 109 K-4. For other versions, see Bf 109 (Family).
GarageImage Bf 109 K-4.jpg
Bf 109 K-4
6.3 5.7 5.7
Research:71 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:210 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The Bf 109 K-4 is a rank IV German fighter with a battle rating of 6.3 (AB) and 5.7 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The Kurfürst is the pinnacle of the famed 109 series. "Kurfürst," representing the letter "K" in the Wehrmacht phonetic alphabet, translates to "prince-elector", a reference to the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. The K-4's frame is the last iteration and was focused on ease of production rather than performance, yet it features the best power to weight ratio and acceleration of any 109, turning this machine into a beast. However, the age of the design is reflected in its poor high-speed characteristics.

Bf109 K-4 billythekid 001.png

Use the plane's outstanding climb rate and speed retention. Boom and zoom tactics should be this plane's primary mode of fighting. It has good acceleration when using WEP. This grants the machine reasonable diving and climbing abilities. If chased, dodge away from the enemy with fancy manoeuvres without losing too much speed. In Realistic Battles, try to do a climbing spiral, but be sure to be in a higher energy state than the enemy! A miscalculation and the foe will have the opportunity for an easy deflection shot.

However, there are also downsides. The top speed can be reached quickly, yet the plane is not fast when stock. While it does have an edge in agility, it has bad low-speed manoeuvrability. Furthermore, foes will not usually engage in manoeuvring combat, rendering any manoeuvrability advantage moot.

The K-4 can outmanoeuvre these planes at medium speeds (<450 km/h IAS): P-51 (all types), P-47D, Typhoons and the La-9. However, it will have a hard time dealing with other late Rank IV aircraft, especially Spitfires. It is highly recommended to use rudder during rolls, as this increases the roll rate dramatically. This is useful if when trying to force an overshoot or when avoiding shots.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 6 000 m720 km/h
Turn time19 s
Max altitude12 800 m
EngineDaimler-Benz DB-605DC
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight4 t
Bf109 K-4 call me hyper 001.jpg

For the pilots who flew the Bf 109, it could be a brutal aircraft, with a cramped cockpit and poorly located controls and levers, the pilot could get a serious workout during a dogfight, but don't think this aircraft is not worth the time as a majority of Germany's top aces flew Bf 109s. The Bf 109 K-4 was the final iteration of the aircraft, there really wasn't much more which could have been designed into it to take it any further. In comparison to the early versions which saw combat in the Spanish Civil War, the K-4 was over 300 km/h faster at 2,000 m higher than the Bf 109A. The aircraft morphed from a two-bladed wooden propeller to a three-bladed metal propeller with 20 mm or 30 mm autocannons and 13 mm heavy machine guns over two paltry 7 mm machine guns.

The Bf 109 K-4 is meant to dance in the sky with its quick speed, fast rate of climb and excellent energy retention, it can be used to Boom & Zoom in the vertical, unlike many other aircraft which require wide swaths of space to make their attack runs and retreats. The manoeuvrability of the aircraft allows it to make tight turns or quick evasive manoeuvres, especially those which cause a faster and heavier enemy to overshoot and then become the target themselves. To truly compete as a dogfighter and to milk every last bit of speed and manoeuvrability out of the aircraft, the pilot will want to fly it in the clean configuration without the 20 mm gunpods. The gunpods add weight, but for this aircraft, in the worst possible location with one hooked up under each wing, messing with the aircraft's centre of gravity and hampering the manoeuvrability of the aircraft. While it can still fly and fight, the gunpods will make dogfighting a bigger challenge, however, expert pilots may be able to negate some of those factors through sheer skill and luck.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 685 665 12800 20.3 21.1 18.0 18.0 333
Upgraded 761 720 18.3 19.0 32.2 23.8


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
790 360 437 408 260 ~13 ~7
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 450 < 390 < 450 > 715
Compressor Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
Setting 1 6,900 m 1,250 hp 1,775 hp

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural790 km/h
Gear360 km/h
  • 60 mm bulletproof glass in front and rear of the pilot
  • Fuel tank with 21 mm steel plate behind it, and 4 mm plates surrounding it
  • Pilot's seat has 4 mm steel plates underneath, with 8 mm steel making up the backrest
  • 10 mm steel plates surrounding rear bulletproof glass

Willy Messerschmitt's design of the Bf 109 is known for its very lightweight construction, eliminating any unnecessary devices, parts, and even structural spars to allow for the fastest that this fighter could be and still be a strong fighter. Part of this challenge was ensuring there was enough protection for the pilot and certain critical components without overburdening the aircraft and making it sluggish with the addition of too much armour. For this aircraft, it makes sense that all the armour is centred around the pilot as this serves two purposes, aiding in the protection of the pilot and two, protecting the fuel tank which the pilot literally sits on top of.

The pilot's protection from the front comes mainly from the 60 mm bulletproof glass windscreen, headrest and various plates of armour between 4 and 10 mm in thickness which makes up the seat and headrest. These plates aid in protecting the pilot from both frontal attacks generally associated from attacking bombers with defensive positions, and also from the rear when being chased by an enemy fighter. Though the fuel tank is self-sealing when it has been shot, 4 mm and 20 mm steel plating also surrounds the tank as the first line of defence against enemy machine gun rounds, however, incoming 20 mm rounds may not have any problems getting through.

When attacking a Bf 109 K-4, unless you can aim autocannon shots to blow off a wing, the best bet will be to aim for the fuselage starting from right behind the pilot all the way to the propeller. Hitting within this range allows you to hit one of the vital components of the aircraft including the fuel tank, the pilot, any of the coolers or the engine itself. The most successful attacks will happen from underneath the aircraft or from the sides, where there is no armour protection. If, however, you find yourself tailing a Bf 109 K-4, use short bursts to spook the pilot into manoeuvring where they end up exposing the large surface areas of the aircraft and then unload where the rounds will have less chance to ricochet and more chances of taking out this aircraft.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 188 → 4 179 Sl icon.png
RB7 134 → 9 352 Sl icon.png
SB10 397 → 13 630 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications61 600 Rp icon.png
102 200 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 200 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 230 / 500 % Sl icon.png
178 / 178 / 178 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
3 500 Rp icon.png
5 800 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 300 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 300 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
4 000 Rp icon.png
6 600 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
3 500 Rp icon.png
5 800 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
4 000 Rp icon.png
6 600 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods cannon.png
MG.151/20 cannon
3 100 Rp icon.png
5 200 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
3 500 Rp icon.png
5 800 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods gunpods.png
R4 modification
3 500 Rp icon.png
5 800 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 300 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 300 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
4 000 Rp icon.png
6 600 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
4 000 Rp icon.png
6 600 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
SC 500
4 000 Rp icon.png
6 600 Sl icon.png
300 Ge icon.png

The true acceleration power of the plane is only achieved very late into the grind. Specifically, the Tier 4 Engine injection modification provides a significant boost and is a top priority. On the way there, all engine upgrades should be taken. 13 mm belts are helpful for removing tracer rounds. The 20 mm gunpods with belts and the gun upgrade are viable choices, but engine injection remains a priority.


Offensive armament

Ammunition65 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Ammunition600 rounds
Fire rate900 shots/min

The Bf 109 K-4 is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • 1 x 30 mm MK 108 cannon, nose-mounted (65 rpg) + 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 600 total)
    • 1 x 20 mm MG 151 cannon, nose-mounted (200 rpg) + 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 600 total)

Typical for Bf 109s was having a Motorkanone mounted to shoot through the propeller hub. Usually, these aircraft were outfitted with a 20 mm autocannon, which pilots of earlier 109s will have already had experience with, however, the Bf 109 K-4 provides the pilot with the option to choose their Motorkanone of choice, either a 20 mm MG 151 or a 30 mm MK 108. In real life, the 30 mm autocannon tended to jam during combat and can do the same in-game, until that is the module is upgraded and jamming frequency will lessen. For the most part, the difference between the 20 and 30 mm autocannons is power vs. ammunition count.

Bf109 K-4 bomberpilot1784.png

The 30 mm round is a slow but deadly round and when fired at close range it can have devastating results on its target. A large disadvantage due to its size and weight, it also only carries 65 rounds, which makes it necessary for the pilot to exercise trigger control and only fire when they are sure the rounds will hit. On the other hand, the 20 mm, though powerful in their own right, will not have the same heavy-hitting power as the 30 mm rounds, however, the Bf 109 K-4 can carry 200 of these rounds which travel faster and can be fired more rapidly. Typically, if the Bf 109 K-4 pilot is going to play the role of a bomber interceptor, the 30 mm round will be the most effective, however, when used as to intercept fighters and attackers, the 20 mm Motorkanone will probably be the best bet.

Regardless of the choice of cannons, the pilot will also have access to two 13 mm heavy machine guns, which are mounted on the top of the fuselage engine cowling. Having 300 rounds per gun will allow the pilot to continue to spew out damage even when the autocannons have run dry. Another option is to separate the firing control for the autocannons and the 13 mm MGs and instead track and fire enemy targets with the machine guns, utilise them as range finders and when the pilot sees they have a good firing solution, they can then employ the autocannons, thereby saving valuable ammunition and ensuring there is enough when it is needed.

Suspended armament

List of setups (2)
Setup 11 x 500 kg SC500K bomb
Setup 22 x 20 mm MG 151 cannon (secondary) (ammunition: 270 rounds)

The Bf 109 K-4 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 1 x 500 kg SC500K bomb (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 20 mm MG 151 cannons, gunpods (wing-mounted) (135 rpg = 270 total)

There are a few aircraft which are featured in War Thunder, which become monster planes when they utilise gunpods to increase their firepower. The Bf 109 K-4 is no exception, especially considering that each pod contains a single 20 mm MG 151 autocannon, each of which holds 135 rounds of ammunition. Attacking enemy aircraft with three autocannons and two machine guns can cause devastating results, however, since the additional guns are wing‑mounted, the pilot will need to calculate for convergence so as not to waste ammunition. While the fuselage weapons fire on the line of sight, the underwing cannons will need additional adjustment to converge at the correct point. A convergence set too far may mean a number of the rounds will easily miss the enemy aircraft, while setting the convergence zone too close will do the same.

Usage in battles

The Bf 109 K-4's instrument panel.

The MK 108 is a double-edged sword: nicknamed by the allies for its characteristic sound, the Jackhammer lives true to its name: It is slow but powerful, with its main purpose being the demolition of heavy objects, such as the B-17G Flying Fortress. However, its common purpose in War Thunder remains to hunt fighter planes. The cannon's rate of fire is surprisingly high for its calibre with 660 rpm, meaning that, while deflection shots can be made, absolute trigger discipline must be maintained, since the 65 rounds will last you less than 6 seconds of continuous fire. Furthermore, the Minengeschoß shells are very slow. One must either become very good at leading the shells or close the distance. Kills are generally done from 300 m away, if not closer. On the plus side, the damage is equivalent to most 37 mm cannons upon hitting. Tip: In order to better learn and understand the cannon's trajectory, do not fire in conjunction with the machine guns.

The two additional machine guns are best fired alone. The MG 131 features HE shells (named IAI in-game, meaning Immediate Action Incendiary) as the Tracer belt. Yet, they are only highly effective in Simulator battles, where they will deal good damage to control surface areas, causing inexperienced pilots to lose control. In Arcade and Realistic battles, however, the instructor will dampen any such effects. Here, the damage-based Stealth and Fighter belts fare better.

The plane should equip one of two load-outs: with either the single 30 mm cannon or two 20 mm cannons. The single 30 mm is very capable of taking out two to three bombers, and the low muzzle velocity matters less due to the size of the targets. Starting the battle with three 20 mm cannons makes the plane very capable of taking out fighters due to the high shell density and sheer damage output. A single 20 mm does not deal enough damage, and the 30 mm with gunpods is rather ineffective due to the differing muzzle velocities of the 30 mm and 20 mm cannons.

One method that can be utilised is the prop pitch technique. Most of the later 109s have this, but it is really effective in the 109 K-4. This technique is using Manual Engine Control (found in sim controls) to set your prop pitch to 100% but throttle to 0%. This will turn your propeller into a giant air brake and is very helpful in forcing overshoots of the enemy aircraft. It can also be very helpful in diving, where you might get dangerously close to your rip speed.

Effective Strategies

When using the K-4, make sure to always have an altitude advantage. If any enemy is approaching at a higher altitude and/or energy state, the best bet is to dive away. This will usually work, as the enemy will probably lose interest, or be shredded apart in the dive process. Once the plane reaches 450 mph (ca. 724 km/h), hit the brakes and start slowing down so as to not rip the Bf 109 K-4 apart. To retain energy, level off while diving occasionally.

When the Bf 109 K-4 is at a higher altitude, smart enemy pilots will try to steer clear. This can be easily countered with a quick boom-and-zoom. The 30 mm cannon will take care of anything it hits, even bombers. The 30 mm cannon is practically useless in head-ons, however, so don't ever get into one. Use the Bf 109 K-4's superior turn rate and energy retention to get the enemy into the crosshairs. Fire away at close distances!

The K-4 performs exceptionally well against certain enemy planes. A pilot should remain vigilant for targets that are currently engaged in or have recently concluded a dogfight, as they may have depleted energy levels. Employing the element of surprise can prove highly effective in such situations. Engaging bombers is a viable option, but pilots should employ strategies that mitigate the threat posed by their defensive gunners.

Enemies worth noting:

  • F2G-1 - Despite being a naval plane that's designed for carrier operations, it will always outperform the K-4 at any altitude. The most viable tactic is to ambush one that is engaged. Deflection shooting and accurate shot placement are required, or else the F2G will climb away and loop behind the K-4. Employing the MK 108 helps to ensure that the enemy is destroyed, since this plane can take a ridiculous amount of damage. Lastly, having a teammate to coordinate with can vastly raise the chances of survival.
  • P-51s - They will always try to boom-and-zoom the Bf 109 K-4. Be on constant lookout for enemies coming from behind. If one is chasing and can catch up, pretend to not notice them. When they start shooting, duck and do a loop towards the ground to gain energy. The P-51 will have a lot of speed when it tries to attack, and fortunately, will have its controls locked up. The P-51 will also bleed far too much speed trying to catch up. Head into a 20-degree climb with WEP and then attack them from above.
  • Spitfires - They are very tough to deal with, and will always out-turn the Bf 109 K-4, with engagements ending with the Spitfire firing from behind. Spitfires should be attacked alongside two teammates at once. Make sure that the Spitfire gets overwhelmed, then attack the spitfire from behind. Retain enough energy so the Bf 109 K-4 can climb back up to safety if the Spitfire ends up manoeuvring to the plane's rear. When a Spitfire is on the Bf 109 K-4's 6, dive. The Spitfire has a lot of drag with its oddly shaped wings and will not be able to keep up.
  • American bombers - While other nation's bombers have varying threat levels, all American bombers are bursting with .50 cal machine guns at almost every angle. This is especially the case for the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress. As such, the to attack a bomber with numerous defensive armaments, the K-4 pilot should:
  1. Fly above the bomber at distances where they cannot shoot at the the plane.
  2. Make sure the Bf 109 K-4 is approaching at a faster speed than the bomber.
  3. Fly directly above the bomber and descend on it.
  4. Approach the bomber as fast as possible, and shoot at it when close enough.
  5. Turn away, and level out to keep speed, regardless if the target is destroyed. Re-climb and re-start as needed.

Simulator mode tips

In Simulator, the Bf 109 K is a capable fighter that can perform many tasks. It offers great flight performance with its smooth handling, fast speed, and impressive climb rate. Its nose-mounted armaments do not require any convergence setting, making it very easy to aim. The nose gently slopes down from the windscreen, offering great over-the-nose vision. There are also a few bomb options to choose from, which are beneficial for ground-pounding or base-bombing, although these are not its primary objectives. The K model has an improved canopy side with fewer frames, and the non-transparent armour headset is replaced by a clear bulletproof glass, allowing some rear views. The metal framing around the glass is also thinner than that of the G models, giving you a better field of view on the tail. Finally, an aspect that is often ignored is that, starting from the G-6 model, the rectangular reflector glass of the gun-sight is replaced by a bigger trapezium glass. It is vertically longer, allowing the pilot to move its head up more and still see the reticle, thus getting even better views over the engine.

Before Take Off:

Bring at least 30 minutes of fuel for prolonged patrolling and fighting. The convergence does not really matter, it might be anywhere between 250-600 m. Taking off in a late Bf 109 is harder than in other aircraft, so one should familiarise themselves with the earlier 109s. When taking off, the Bf 109 will shift severely to the left side due to the considerable torque, so consider setting keybinds for left and right brakes, as they are more effective at directional control than the rudder while on the ground. As the plane just lifts off the ground it will automatically roll to the left again due to the torque, so you must immediately roll a little right to keep it level, or the left wingtip will strike the ground.

Fighting in the air
  • Dogfighting in SB involves everyday RB tactics and manoeuvres such as the Immelmann, Split-S, scissor, barrel roll, etc. The Bf 109 K handles very sluggishly on the roll axis at low speed, so take this into account if dogfighting at low speed/altitude. You can even pull the elevator fully for maximum agility, but only if you pull gently and gradually will the Bf 109 K manoeuvre as you wish. If the stick is pulled harshly and suddenly, the plane will start swaying around and enter a flat spin. The aircraft can quite easily recover from a flat spin by fully deflecting the elevators downward and moving the rudder to the opposite side of which the plane is spinning; then wait until it starts a dive and gather some speed to pull up.
  • If you want to engage bombers, consider bringing gunpods to maximise your damage output. Against late-war heavy bombers like the B-17 Flying Fortress, relying solely on the one central cannon might also work, but that requires more professional evading and longer aiming which is considerably more dangerous, as the bombers you see will be better armed. Choosing between the 30 mm and 20 mm gunpods is up to you. The extra two MK 108 will significantly boost your one-second burst mass and damage, which can be used to a very destructive effect for experienced pilots doing deflection shots, however the pathetic 35 rounds per gun will not last long in, for example, a "destroy enemy bombers" mission where there are ~10 aircraft to down. The pair of MG151 is more balanced in terms of ammo and velocity, although they do not pack as much punch in a short firing window. Still, with the powerful mine shells, one to three passes are enough to destroy any aircraft. In fact, gunpods can also be helpful in dogfights against certain fighters, as long as the performance of the enemy aircraft is inferior.

Landing may need practice for some. It is easy at first: decelerate and descent towards the runway, deploy combat, takeoff, landing flaps and gears in this order, fly at ~210 km/h before touchdown. Now note that you must align the plane with the airstrip correctly before touchdown and do not yaw to one side too much when braking, as the undercarriages are so close together that they cannot support such lateral force, causing the plane to wobble on its tyres dangerously or even tilt towards one side, striking a wingtip into the ground.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Auto control available
Auto control available
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable
Bf109 K-4 jonigustavo 001.png

Pros and cons


  • Very powerful engine when using WEP, providing excellent acceleration and climb rate
  • Good performance at medium altitude
  • Can carry additional armament
  • 30 mm cannon will usually destroy anything that it hits
  • Can research a nose-mounted 20 mm MG 151 cannon, making deflection shooting more reliable
  • Exceptional high-speed manoeuvrability
  • All weaponry mounted in the nose, allowing easy aiming without having to worry about convergence
  • The only Bf 109 plane in the game that can carry a 500 kg bomb (SC500K)


  • Low ammunition count for the 30 mm MK 108 and the 13 mm MG 131
  • 30 mm shell has low velocity and high drop, forcing gigantic lead angle on targets
  • Flimsy airframe, prone to react heavily to damage
  • Stock 13 mm machine gun belts consist solely out of tracers which alerts the enemy, makes aiming the 30 mm difficult
  • Fighters with lower top speeds but better low altitude performances (such as Russia's La-7 fighters) will find it quite easy to shoot down the K-4 when at a low‑energy state
  • Very slow-deploying flaps
  • In Simulator, canopy frames and razorback greatly limit the all-round view; huge engine torque causes severe drifting on takeoff


Design and development

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) moved ahead at break-neck speeds to develop civilian aircraft which secretly doubled as military fighters and bombers, requiring only minor modifications for militarisation. Aircraft designated as transport and airline variants could easily be converted to bombers, and the initial Bf 109 was no different in its purposes. The birth of the Bf 109 started out as a requirement from Hermann Göring, Reichsminister of Aviation, proposed to the newly appointed Theo Croneiß of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW, Bavarian Aircraft Works). The requirement was for a single-seat high-speed courier plane, obviously, one which could be converted into a fighter when the time required. At the same time this requirement went out, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium's (RLM, Reich Aviation Ministry) Technisches Amt (C-AMT) or technical department was tasked with projecting aircraft requirements for potential future air combat and of the four main types determined to be essential, single-seat fighter requirements were published as L.A. 1432/33.

Bf109 K-4 wallysonbf 001.png

These fighter requirements were as follows:

  • Top speed – 400 km/h (250 mph) at 6,000 m (19,690 ft) maintained for 20 minutes
  • Total flight duration – 90 minutes
  • Critical altitude of 4,000 m reached within 17 minutes
  • Operational ceiling – 10,000 m (32,810 ft)
  • Armed with 1 x 20 mm Motorkanone and two 7.92 mm machine guns
  • Rated performance in the order of level speed, rate of climb and manoeuvrability

During the early years of BFW, Willy Messerschmitt designed the transport aircraft the BFW M.20, however due to several high-profile crashes of these transport aircraft, one of which included test pilot Hans Hackmack, a close friend of Erhard Milch (at the time, head of Luft Hansa and the German civil aviation authorities). With Erhard Milch, a lifelong hatred developed when Messerschmitt responded very callously to events about the crash. During this time, BFW went bankrupt and Messerschmitt went to work designing aircraft for a Romanian airline company. At the time requirements for L.A. 1432/33 were published, Messerschmitt was called back to Berlin and basically told his efforts were to be used for the Fatherland. Messerschmitt acquiesced and was given the specifications for the potential fighter, which after review, he proceeded to relate a very unfavourable opinion of the fighter as if built as described, the fighter would be literally obsolete as it rolled off the assembly line and unable to catch up to even medium bombers. After hearing the report and seeing the truth in Messerschmitt's words, the Technisches Amt awarded BFW the contract to build a fighter aircraft and Willy Messerschmitt was given free rein over the design of the aircraft.

Messerschmitt began design of the P.1034 (later known as Bf 109), and much like its older transport sibling the Bf 108, the new fighter was developed based on Messerschmitt's lightweight construction principle, the basis of which was to minimise the number of separate parts used, which would speed up construction and lead to ease of maintenance. For example, many of the main connection points for the airframe, engine frame and wings all had their connecting load points at the firewall. Another example was having the landing gear attached to the fuselage and not the wings, which allowed for removal of the wings without having to support the aircraft on jack-stands and also reduced the stress on the wing roots during takeoff and landing. One tell-tale sign of a Bf 109 is the landing gear slightly splayed outwards, this was to increase the stability of the aircraft while taxiing on the ground by providing a wider track, making it less prone to flipping over.

Forethought was put into the aircraft, especially for mechanics which would service the aircraft on the front-lines of battle. The entire engine cowling, weapon hatches, and other maintenance access panels could be removed, allowing the mechanics full access to service, repair and even replace critical parts on the aircraft with little difficulty. Pipe connections were colour-coded and electrical cabling plugged into junction boxes, this innovative design allowed for the swift replacement of old engines with new ones, a process that typically took only a matter of minutes. This level of efficiency and ease was unparalleled in most military aircraft of the time.

While a high-speed requirement would necessitate a small wing to decrease surface area, Messerschmitt knew this would require a more powerful engine to generate enough lift to maintain flight. The wings of the Bf 109 had several modifications which would compensate for these issues to include high-lift devices such as automatically opening leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps which had a large camber to allow for a significant increase in lift when deployed. To help increase the overall flap effectiveness, the ailerons would also "droop" to aid in the flap's work. The aircraft's weapons were all centrally located in the fuselage, with the large cannons mounted in the propeller hub and the machine guns located in the upper fuselage, leaving the wings to be very thin and light. This allowed for a significant increase in manoeuvrability.

Messerschmitt was ahead of his time, this was noted when the Bf 109 went to trials. Most experienced military pilots were seasoned World War I pilots who spent their time flying biplane fighters such as the He-51, aircraft with two sets of wings, an open cockpit, low wing loading and light g-forces, one look at the new Bf 109 produced sour reactions, especially from stunt and ace pilot Ernst Udet. At first, Udet had serious doubts about the Bf 109 and requested directly from Messerschmitt to remove the canopy to allow the pilot to judge the aircraft's speed through the air stream and to add a second wing with struts and wires; otherwise the aircraft was destined to fail as a fighter. Udet's initial test flight of the Bf 109 drastically changed his opinion of the revolutionary new fighter, forever altering how Germany designed and manufactured their fighters.

Throughout the years, the Bf 109 went through many iterations involving upgrades and fine-tuning. The last of the series was the Bf 109 K series, also known as Kurfürst. Unfortunately for this series, it was a compilation of model upgrades, modification kits and factory conversions which ultimately made both the production and maintenance of this aircraft a literal nightmare in both cost and complication with its maintenance. Due to problems with the series production and the late stage of the war when it entered, the K-4 model was the only version to be mass-produced. External changes included moving the radio equipment hatch, fuselage fuel tank filler point, the direction-finding loop and the addition of a retractable tail-wheel with clam-shell doors. Armament would include a 30 mm Motorkanone and two 13 mm machine guns with options to attach bombs or 20 mm cannon gondola-style pods; however, the suspended armament was rarely utilised. Between November 1944 and March 1945, a total of 1,593 Bf 109 K-4 fighters were produced, one in four Bf 109s listed in front-line fighting units was a Bf 109 K-4. Unfortunately, at this point in the war, the Bf 109 K-4 had two things going against it, first was the appearance of jet fighters which nullified any advantages the K-4 had achieved and secondly, the hastily trained novice pilots at this point of the war could not exploit the K-4's advantages which would eventually come from experience.

Archive of the in-game description

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a single-seat monoplane fighter used by the Luftwaffe before and during WWII. It was used as a fighter, interceptor, high-altitude interceptor, fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.

The Bf 109K "Kurfuerst" was the last mass-produced variant of the Bf 109 family. It first reached front-line units in September 1944 (or early 1945, according to other data). The fighter was powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 605 DCM engine and had more powerful armament, with some variants equipped with two 15 mm or three 30 mm cannon.


  • Bf109 K-4 speedsteer1944.jpg
  • Bf109 K-4 *olfie- 001.jpg

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links

Bavarian Aircraft Corporation (BFW*)
Bf 109  Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1 · Bf 109 C-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
Bombers  Me 264
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.

Germany fighters
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 C-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
Finland  ▀Hawk H-75A-2