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WWII German Luftwaffe »  Messerschmitt Bf 110
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Messerschmitt

 Country: Germany

 Industry/ Capability:
Military aircraft

 Head Office:
Messerschmitt AG
Augsburg, Germany


 Noteworthy:
Messerschmitt Bf 109
Messerschmitt Bf 110
Messerschmitt Me 163
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 410 ...
* partial list


Willy Messerschmitt promoted a concept he called "light weight construction" in which many typically separate load-bearing parts were merged into a single reinforced firewall, thereby saving weight and improving performance.

? submited a design for the Luftwaffe's 1935 fighter contest, winning it with the Bf 109, based on these construction methods.


 Additional Notes:

— produced the world's first operational jet fighter, the Me 262 and the first rocket-powered design to enter service, the Me 163 Komet.

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Messerschmitt Bf 110

backbone of the German night defence throughout the war


Bf-110s were the backbone of the German night fighter squadrons.
Luftwaffe night fighter ace Heinz-Wolfgang Schnauffer ended the war with 121 aerial victories, virtually all of them achieved while flying examples of the Bf-110.

A real blueprint, developed direct from a vellum master -- expertly restored from old design drawings, factory plans, microfiche revision plates etc. Note: all reasonable efforts have been made to keep this blueprint historically accurate, with a balance for technical accuracy and usefulness -- this blueprint is offered for historical, research, and collectible purposes. Size: Developed on 42"x 30" master sheet.

In 1936 the Luftwaffe published specifications for a long-range strategic fighter. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was designed in 1934 ...   continues: Click here


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ww2_messerschmitt_bf110-a.jpg ww2_messerschmitt_bf110-b.jpg ww2_messerschmitt_bf110-c.jpg

The Bf-110 was intended for use originally as a fighter-bomber… but it was employed most successfully as a night fighter.

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History and Description: Messerschmitt Bf 110...
Messerschmitt Bf 110

A real blueprint, developed direct from a vellum master -- expertly restored from old design drawings, factory plans, microfiche revision plates etc. Note: all reasonable efforts have been made to keep this blueprint historically accurate, with a balance for technical accuracy and usefulness -- this blueprint is offered for historical, research, and collectible purposes. Size: Developed on 42"x 30" master sheet.

In 1936 the Luftwaffe published specifications for a long-range strategic fighter. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was designed in 1934... continues below

Continued from above…   designed in 1934 and made its first flight on 12th May 1936.

The Messerschmitt BF 110 was an all-metal twin-engine aircraft, with a three crew housed in a long enclosed cockpit. Powered by two Daimler Benz engines, it had a maximum speed of 336 mph and had a range of 680 miles. It was 39 ft 7 in long with a wingspan of 53 ft 4 in. The aircraft was armed with 5 machine-guns and two 20 mm cannons.

In April 1940 a small formation over Oslo destroyed the few Gladiators sent against them; then, as the troop transports that were to take over the airport had not appeared, they boldly landed and captured the airport by sheer bluff.

But in the Battle of Britain the big fighter proved itself almost as vulnerable to Spitfires and Hurricanes as were the bombers it was supposed to protect.

Photo Description: Several Messerschmitt Bf 110 destroyers/heavy fighter planes above the Hungarian capitol of Budapest (Danube river in the back), early 1944.

Fortunately for the Luftwaffe, the twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf 110 was now available in quantity after its humiliating defeat as a fighter escort in the Battle of Britain. It possessed good blind-flying instrumentation, good speed and maneuverability, and a heavy armament (two 20mm MG 151 cannons and four 7.92mm MG 17 machine-guns) for dealing with heavy bombers. The Bf 110 became Germany's most numerically important night fighter, and was produced and utilized right through until the end of the war.

Fact File:

Messerschmitt

German 'destroyer' fighter

The Germans were more acutely aware far earlier than the British of fighter protection for bomber formations. For them, the idea that the 'bomber will always get through', did not have nearly the same naive certainty. The first result of this thinking was the Messerschmitt Bf-110, designed to requirements laid down by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Reich Air Ministry) in 1934, and first flown in prototype on 12th May 1936. At 316 mph (508.5 kph) prototype Bf-110s proved to be only a little slower than their contemporary rival, the Hurricane.

The operational Bf-110 (C/F variants) two-seat, long-range day and escort fighters were powered by two 1,100 hp Daimler Benz DB 601A twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engines, and had a maximum speed of 349 mph (561.6 kph) at 22,965 ft (7,000 meters). 39 ft 8.5 ins long (12 meters), 11.5 ft high (3.5 meters) with wingspan of 53 ft 4| ins (16.28 meters), wing area of 413 sq ft (38.37 sq meters) and normal loaded weight of 15,300 lbs (6,490 kgs), Bf-110 day and escort fighters were successful against weaker opponents in the blitzkrieg strikes of

Bf-110

1940. However, like its more famous stable mate, the Me-109, the Bf-110 made a poor showing against the RAF in the Battle of Britain. As far as the Bf-110 was concerned, this eclipse of its day and escort fighter role set it on a new career as a three-seat night fighter, from 1943, a role in which it served for the remainder of the war.

The Bf-110 night fighter (G/H variants) was powered by two 1,475 mph Daimler Benz DB 605B engines and flew at 324 mph (521.4 kph) maximum at 22,900 ft (6,980 meters). It was larger and heavier than its daytime predecessor, having a loaded weight of 20,700 lbs (9389.5 kgs) and roughly two feet (60.96 cms) more height and length, but the same wingspan and wing area.

The night fighter armament consisted of two 1.18 inch (30 mm) MK108s, one forward firing 0.78 in (20 mm) MG151, and two .3 in (7.9 mm) rearward firing MH61 MGs, compared to the daytime version's four .3 in (7.9 mm) MG17s, two 0.78 in (20 mm) MHFF forward firing cannon and one rear-firing .3 in (7.9 mm) MG15 machine gun.

Debs McCaffrey