Plane: Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4
Weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): 5,523lb / 6,063lb / 6,392lb
Wing Area: 173 sq ft
Wing Loading: 31.9lb/sq ft / 35.0lb/sq ft / 36.9lb/sq ft
Length: 29' 4"
Span: 32' 7"
Wing Aspect: 6.1
Engine: 1350hp Daimler Benz DB 601E Inline
Flaps: 5 settings
Stall Speed 1k (No Flaps/Full Flaps) 90/80mph
|type/ammo||ROF||Duration||WB Punch||Muzzle Velocity||Ammo/Gun|
|Primary:||2x7.9mm Rheinmetall MG 17 MG||15.3/s||32.6s||3.8x.30cal/ping||2,660ft/s||500|
|Secondary:||1x20mm Mauser MG 151/20 Cannon||11.9/s||16.9s||1.5x20mm/ping||2,500ft/s||200|
1: 1x500lb bomb
Fuel Time/Percent: 36seconds/percent
Power/weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): 4.1lb/hp / 4.4lb/hp / 4.7lb/hp
Corner Velocity: 265mph
WEP time: 5 minutes
Maximum Angle-of-Attack (no flaps/full flaps): 18.5/18.5 degrees
Wing Incidence Angle (no flaps/full flaps): 3.5/3.5 degrees
1k 400mph: +5500ft
1k 300mph: +3600ft
|Max Speed||After 30s||After 60s|
|15,000ft to 10,000ft||370mph||325mph||315mph|
|15,000ft to 5,000ft||490mph||350mph||325mph|
|10,000ft to 5,000ft||395mph||340mph||320mph|
|10,000ft to 1,000ft||490mph||350mph||335mph|
|5,000ft to 1,000ft||390mph||340mph||325mph|
|Climbing before levelling||315mph||310mph|
|Diving before levelling||320mph||315mph||310mph||295mph|
Corner Speed and Radii (1,000ft):
Sustained Turn Speed: 155mph
Sustained Turn Radius: 680ft
Full Flaps Speed: 115mph
Full Flaps Radius: 480ft
Minimum Full-Flaps Full-Power Split-S altitude:
Hoof's Tips and Opinions:
Like the Ki84, the 109F is an expert's planes. But in the case of the 109F, it is an expert plane for completely different reasons.
The Bf 109F-4 was a fine plane for it's day, and arguably the best 109 made. Anyone who flew the 1942 arena before it was abandoned knows that without the later-war powerhouse planes, the 109 can really do well. Unfortunately, the General Arena has those late-war powerhouse planes, thus life in a 109F can be tricky at best.
Unlike other early war planes, the 109F can do quite well. It has a (relatively) long firing time for it's cannon, and it's guns are clumped in one spot. Most other planes have their primary guns in the wings, and unless the target is perfectly lined up, or at convergence, one wing's guns are going to miss, thus the 109F's firepower isn't all that bad. But it helps to be a good shot, and unlike later 109s, this bird has the capability to allow the 2-5 second tracking shot needed to make planes go BOOM with those guns.
The key assets of the 109F are vertical maneuvering and climbing ability. High altitude performance is quite good too, but the main arena doesn't have many fights above 15,000ft. Climb above the enemy, and use sucker tactics to get him to climb after you. When he stalls, turn around and nail him. This is the #1 maneuver used by 109 pilots worldwide in WB. The plane can turn, in fact it can eat most of the traditional BnZ planes alive (including the F4U), but all of the TnB planes have significant turning advantages over the 109f. Thus the 109f's turning ability can be used to deliver the coup-de-grace, but don't count on it to win your fight.
The 109F is not the best diver. The controls lock up rather badly in a dive, thus don't dive unless you have to. This can be a problem when fighting the Warbirds Divers (Dora, F4U, P51, P47, P38L, Ki84, etc) as if you don't have handy multiple-trim keys (such as a programmed button or hat on a joystick), you can easily compress and auger. Not only do the ailerons lock up, but so does the elevators, and unless you have everything going to your plans, it is best to get that nose high, hit WEP and climb on over. Everyone knows the 109 family can climb, and thus most won't come back up. And if they do, use the stall sucker-tactic to make for an easy shot.
The 109 series received quite a boost in 1.11 as the gunsights were revised. One can now do some pretty good deflection shooting with this gunsight. It isn't an F4U gunsight, but you can actually see the target you are shooting when doing a tracking shot now.
To sum up, use the Bf 109F-4 as an Energy fighter, and like the F4U, use the turning ability to finish the opponent, not to win over the opponent. She is the mirror of the F4U, light, small, good acceleration and climb, but poor high speed handling and diving ability.
It it interesting to note how much of a performance jump the Bf 109F-4 had over the Bf 109E-4. The redesigned nose section and other tweaks gained 20mph (IAS, on the deck) on the plane with a "mere" 175hp power increase, far more than the 5mph gain the SpitVb gained over the SpitIa with it's 400hp power increase. While the Bf109E4 is matched in almost every aspect under 13,000ft by the SpitIa, the Bf109F4 has speed and climbing to add to the pot, as well as longer effective-range guns. As is always the case with "what if's", had the Luftwaffe had the F variant of Bf109 for the BoB, and had the British even SpitV's, the outcome might have been altered somewhat, as the Messerschmitt pilots would have been able to be more agressive, as speed can get them out of a bind where speed can only help the Bf109E4 variant if he's fighting a Hurricane, not a Spit.
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