Historical Writings of the combat aircraft of the two World Wars

Messerschmitt Me209

One of the many oddities that sprang from Germany before and during WWII, the Me209 was at once like its Me109 brother, but also unlike it. Hitler was anxious to impress the world with the capabilities of his new fighter force. This resulted in a design made specifically to establish an absolute world speed record.

Its resemblance to the Bf109 was only superficial, the Me209 being tailor-made around a specially built Daimler-Benz DB 601ARJ engine. This engine had a take-off rating of 1342 kW (1,800 hp), which could be boosted to a peak of 1715 kW (2,300hp) for very short periods. This proved to be sufficiently powerful for the Me 209 to set a record. Flugkapitan Fritz Wendel flew the first specially-prepared prototype on April 26th, 1939 to an average speed of 755.136km/h. (469mph).

At this point the German propaganda machine stepped in. The details ratifing the record-breaker, which were submitted to the FAI, identified the machine as the Messerschmitt Me109 R. This was an attempt to convince other nations that the record had been made by a variant of the Luftwaffe's new fighter. Whatever details submitted, the record stood for just over 30 years.

Although many attempts were made by the Messerschmitt company to make a production fighter out of it, with Me209A prototypes flying late in the war, the programme was abandoned. In photos, the Me209 looks a lot like the 109, with a setback cockpit. The V4 prototype had a snake painted on to the fuselage as propaganda.


Technical Specifications

Origin: Messerschmitt AG
Type: Single-seat fighter
Engine: Daimler-Benz DB 601ARJ
Dimensions: Span 30 ft 5 3/4 in [9,29 m]
Wing area 119.16 sq ft [11,07 m2]
Performance: Maximum speed 755.136 km/h (469mph)




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