The powerful and deadly Messerschmitt Bf-109 was the mainstay of the Luftwaffe’s fighter arm throughout World War II, scoring more aerial victories than any other type. Thirteen Bf 109 pilots claimed more than 200 victories apiece, while two of these ‘Experten’, ‘Bubi’ Hartmann and ‘Gerd’ Barkhorn, each shot down more than 300 enemy aircraft. In the early years of the war, the speed, handling characteristics and firepower of the Bf 109E 'Emils' gave many Allied Hurricane and Spitfire pilots a nasty shock.
With a top speed of 690 km/h (429 mph) at 7,400 m (24,280 ft), a powerful 2,000 horsepower Daimler-Benz 605D engine and a pressurized cabin, the K-4 ‘Kurfürst’ was the best and final version of the Bf-109 to see service. Armed with one 30-mm Mk 108 cannon and two 13-mm Mk 131 machine guns, the K-4’s agility made it more than a match for most Allied fighters, while its blistering firepower made it the scourge of high-flying enemy bombers.
The ‘Kurfürst’ was also no slouch in the ground-attack role, carrying either a 500 kg or a 250 kg bomb.
Jump into your K-4, get airborne and tangle with Mustangs, Spitfires and Thunderbolts, or scythe your way down through massed Flying Fortress bomber formations.
Bf 109 is one of the most well-known fighters of WWII had humble beginnings. When first imagined in 1933, just as a new political party rose to power in Germany, few people could have imagined that this early interceptor research project would result in over 30,000 production examples serving throughout Europe in roles ranging from ground attack to reconnaissance, and providing a mount to most of the world's leading fighter aces.
Originally the aircraft was designated as Bf 109 by the RLM, since the design was submitted by the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke ("Bavarian Aircraft Works") during 1935. BFG was renamed Messerschmitt AG after 11 July 1938 when Erhard Milch finally allowed Willy Messerschmitt to acquire the company. All Messerschmitt aircraft that originated after that date, such as the Me 210, were to carry the "Me" designation.
The names "Anton", "Berta", "Caesar", "Dora", "Emil", "Friedrich", "Gustav" and "Kurfurst" were derived from the variant's official letter designation (e.g. Bf 109G – "Gustav"), based on the German spelling alphabet of World War II, a practice that was also used for other German aircraft designs.
When the Bf 109 was designed in 1934 by a team led by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser, its primary role was that of a high-speed, short range interceptor. It utilized the most advanced aerodynamics of the time and embodied advanced structural design which was ahead of its contemporaries. In the years of the Blitzkrieg, the Bf 109 was the only single-engine fighter operated by the Luftwaffe, until the appearance of the Fw 190.
The 109 remained in production from 1937 through 1945 in many different variants and sub-variants. The primary engines used were the Daimler-Benz DB 601 and DB 605, though the Junkers Jumo 210 powered most of the pre-war variants. The most-produced Bf 109 model was the 109 G series (more than a third of all 109s built were the G-6 series, some 12,000 units being manufactured from March 1943 until the end of the war).
The Bf 109 K was the last of the series to see operational duty and the last in the Bf 109 evolutionary line. The K series was a response to the bewildering array of series, models, modification kits and factory conversions for the Bf 109, which made production and maintenance complicated and costly – something Germany could ill-afford late in the war. Work on the new version began in the spring of 1943, and the prototype was ready by the autumn of that year. Series production started in August 1944 with the K-4 model, due to changes in the design and delays with the new DB 605D powerplant. The K-4 was the only version to be mass-produced.
Externally the K series could be identified by changes in the locations of the radio equipment hatch, which was moved forward and to a higher position between frames four and five, and the filler point for the fuselage fuel tank, which was moved forward to a location between frames two and three. The rudder was fitted as standard with a Flettner tab and two fixed tabs although some rare examples were not fitted with the fixed tabs. All K-4s were to be fitted with a long retractable tailwheel with two small clamshell doors covering the recess when the tail-wheel was retracted.
The wings featured the large rectangular fairings for the large 660x190 mm main wheels. Flettner tabs for the ailerons were also to be fitted to serial production aircraft to reduce control forces, but were extremely rare, with the majority of the K-4s using the same aileron system as the G series.
Armament of the K-4 consisted of a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 engine-mounted cannon (Motorkanone) with 65 rounds, and two 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131s in the nose with 300 RPG although some K-4s were fitted with the MG 151/20 as the Motorkanone.
Power was provided in production K-4s by a Daimler-Benz DB 605DB or DC engine (very early K-4s used the earlier DM). A wide-chord, three bladed VDM 9-12159A propeller of 3 m diameter was used, as on the G-6/AS, G-14/AS and G-10.
Using MW 50 and maximum boost the Bf 109 K-4 was the fastest 109 of World War II, reaching a maximum speed of 710 km/h (440 mph) at 7,500 m (24,610 ft.) altitude. Without MW 50 and using 1.80 ATA the K-4 reached 670 km/h (416 mph) at 9,000 m (26,528 ft). The Initial Rate of climb was 2,775 ft. (850 m)/min, without MW 50, and 3,563 ft. (1,090 m)/min, using MW 50.
The Bf 109 remained comparable to opposing fighters until the end of the war. However, the deteriorating ability of the thousands of novice Luftwaffe pilots by this stage of the war meant the 109's strengths were of little value against the numerous and well-trained Allied fighter pilots.
The pilot's office in the Bf 109K-4 is a conventional aircraft cockpit that is rather cramped and disorganized by late-war standards. A long series of improvements and adjustments in the Bf 109 variants meant that the original clean Bf 109B cockpit continued to receive a large number of switches and controls for new devices that were often placed haphazardly in areas convenient to the engineers with little regard for ergonomics.
The DCS: Bf 109 K-4 cockpit is a 100% six-degrees of freedom (6 DOF) cockpit that allows complete freedom of movement around the cockpit. This includes all panels, switches, dials, buttons being animated, rendered in the 3D, and with high-resolution textures. Both day and night lighting is available.
When the mouse is hovered over a cockpit control, a tool tip is displayed to indicate the controls function.
The flight dynamics of the Bf 109 K-4 are a further develops the Advanced Flight Model principles started with the Su-25 and then later improved to Professional Flight Model (A-10C, P-51D, Fw 190 D-9 etc.).
A multi-segmented wing provides natural damping; and each aerodynamic surface has a number of airspeed-sensitive points for accurate slipstream effect calculation. Slipstream location and direction depends on plane speed, angle of attack, angle of sideslip, prop thrust and wing lift. All prop side effects, such as slipstream, torque, P-factor are taken in account in overall flight model.
A true thermodynamic engine model for all engine modes from idling to maximal power is provided. Variable speed supercharger and manifold pressure regulator are truly modelled to achieve authentic power characteristics of the engine.
The second ("slow") model is used for engine start-up and stop. The true thermodynamic model is used for each stroke of each cylinder, providing individual firing in cylinders, natural plane rocking during the start, over-priming, in-flight prop stop, etc.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109K-4 fighter aircraft is a single-seat, low wing monoplane powered by a 12-cylinder liquid-cooled supercharged inverted Vee Daimler-Benz DB 605 piston engine. The engine is equipped with a two-stage centrifugal supercharger with a MW50 injection into the supercharger intake. The engine spins a three blade constant speed propeller.