Model Aircraft Extra No. 2: Building the Messerschmitt Bf 109
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The iconic Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force during World War II. The aircraft first saw operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of the War in 1945. The Bf 109 is the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 airframes produced from 1936 up to April 1945. It was also one of the most advanced fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 engine. It was conceived as an interceptor, and later models were developed to fulfil multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter- bomber, day-night all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several countries during World War II and served with a number of air arms for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring German fighter aces of World War II, who claimed 928 victories among them. The highest scoring fighter ace of all time, Erich Hartmann, flew the Bf 109 and was credited with 352 aerial victories. The aircraft was also flown by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest-scoring German ace in the North African Campaign, who achieved 158 aerial victories. It was also flown by several other aces from Germany’s allies, notably the Finn Ilmari Juutilainen, the highest scoring non-German ace on the type. This second book in the MA Publications ‘Model Aircraft Extra’ series brings you a guide to building some of the variants of the Bf 109. In all some 14 build projects are included in a ‘how-to’ format using kits in popular scales from some of the best model makers around.