Bf 110 Fighter Aircraft Technical Details
- Crew – 3 people
- Engine-Daimler-Benz DV 601N-1
- Power – 2x1200hp.
- Wingspan-16.27 m
- The wing area is 38.4 sq. m
- Empty aircraft weight – 5200 kg
- Maximum take-off weight-6750 kg
- Maximum speed at altitude / near the ground – 560 / 470 km / h
- Practical ceiling-10,000 m
- Maximum range – 775 km
- Armament: 2×20 mm cannon MG FF; 4×7. 92 mm machine gun MG 17 and 1×7. 92 mm machine gun MG 15.
Bf 110 Fighter Aircraft Details
During the pre-war period, the German military command paid great attention to the development of heavy multi-purpose fighters. Already in the mid-1930s, leading aviation companies of the Third Reich took part in a competition to create a new combat aircraft – the “strategic fighter”. According to the plan of the Luftwaffe command, this aircraft was to be used to gain air supremacy over enemy territory, as well as to escort long-range bombers. In addition, it was planned to perform the tasks of a long-range fighter-interceptor, reconnaissance and fighter-bomber. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 aircraft project, developed by V. Messerschmitt, was recognized as the best of the submitted projects.
The first flight of the prototype Vf 110A-0 was made on May 12, 1936, and in 1937 the Vf 110 model C fighter was adopted by the Luftwaffe and put into mass production by the leading German aircraft manufacturer Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG. It was an all-metal twin-engined monoplane with a low-slung wing; with a spaced two-keel tail unit, with an enclosed cabin and a retractable landing gear. The fuselage of the aircraft was a metal monocoque with an oval cross-section. The entire front and middle fuselage was occupied by a spacious crew cabin, which housed the pilot and gunner, as well as on a number of models of this aircraft, also the third crew member – the navigator. The cabin was covered by a sliding plexiglass lantern. At the time of its creation, the Bf 110 had the best crew armor protection among German combat aircraft. The armor mounted on it protected the pilot and gunner from shelling from the front, rear and bottom. The cabin reservation consisted of individual steel plates with a thickness of 5 to 10 mm. In addition, the windshield of the lantern was a block of transparent armor with a thickness of 58 – 60 mm. The total weight of the armor installed on the aircraft was 177 kg. The trapezoidal wing was equipped with slot-type ailerons balanced with counterweights. In the free space of the wing center section, there were four protected fuel tanks with a total capacity of 1,820 liters.
The Bf 110 was initially powered by Jumo 210G engines, and since 1939-by 12-cylinder Daimler-Benz DV-601 liquid-cooled engines in various versions (power from 1050 to 1350 hp). The engines were driven by three-bladed VDM propellers with electric control. Tunnel-type radiators were installed under the wing. On the outer sides of the engine nacelles, one additional fuel tank could be suspended. The main landing gear struts of the aircraft in flight were retracted into the engine nacelles using a hydraulic drive, but the tail wheel was not retractable. The equipment of the aircraft was largely determined by its purpose. All Vf 110 aircraft were equipped with a FuG-10 radio station with short-wave and long-wave transceiver units, radio navigation and blind landing units. The armament of the aircraft was also determined by its purpose. So, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 (in the heavy day fighter version) was armed with four 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, two 20 mm MG FF or MG 151/20 guns and one mobile 7.92 mm MG 15 or MG 81Z machine gun. M-17 machine guns were mounted in the nose of the fuselage, and both guns were located in the lower part of the fuselage, and access to them was provided both on the ground and in flight, which allowed the shooter or navigator to eliminate delays or replace magazines if necessary. Control of all fixed guns and machine guns was carried out using a pneumatic system. An electric light alarm system was installed in the cabin, informing about the complete use of ammunition. In the cockpit of the gunner, a 7.92-mm turret machine gun MG 15 (or the soon-to-be-replaced twin MG 81Z) was mounted on a pivot mount, which was designed to protect against fighter attacks from the rear hemisphere.
The first mass-produced Messerschmitt Bf 110B-1 aircraft entered service with the LG 1 training aviation squadron in 1938, and in early 1939 the first combat squadrons I/ZG 1 and I/ZG 76 were formed from them. In the same year, the Luftwaffe adopted a new model of the Vf 110C heavy fighter with more advanced DV-601 A engines. Deliveries of serial Vf 110C-1 machines for the first formed groups of heavy fighters I/ZG 1 and I / ZG 76 began in the early summer of the same year. These German air units took an active part in the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, where they were initially used to escort bombersshikov. But with the weakening of the opposition of Polish fighters, the Messerschmitts Vf 110C switched to striking ground targets. However, soon after, air battles in the early period of World War II in the skies of France and Great Britain showed that the heavy twin-engine Bf 110 fighters suffer significant losses from lighter maneuverable enemy fighters. Despite its good speed characteristics and powerful armament, the Bf 110 proved unsuitable for combat missions as a fighter. In terms of rate of climb and maneuverability, it was inferior to all the main single-engine enemy fighters, which was primarily due to the insufficient engine power for such a heavy machine. The plane reached an altitude of 5000 m in about 8.4 minutes, and completed a full turn at an altitude of 1000 m in 30 seconds. While the British fighter “Spitfire” Mk. VB climbed to an altitude of 6100 m in 6 minutes and 24 seconds, and spent 18.8 seconds on a turn. During the” Battle of Britain”, the German command was forced to protect these fighters with the help of another German BF109E aircraft.
The heavy losses suffered by the squadrons armed with Messerschmitt Bf110 fighters forced the Luftwaffe command to redirect them to conducting reconnaissance, bombing attacks and long-range interception of enemy bombers. Therefore, by the beginning of the summer of 1941, the German Air Force began to receive the Vf 110 E-series fighter-bomber with a reinforced structure, more powerful armor and Daimler-Benz DB 605N engines. In addition, this aircraft received four underwing holders, which made it possible to increase its bomb load to 1200 kg. Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter-bombers were armed with two squadrons ZG 26 and SKG 210, deployed before the invasion of the USSR in June 1941 on the Soviet-German border. Soon, they were joined by fighter-bombers Bf 110E-1 from Squadron 1./ ZG 1, which also carried out attacks on Soviet airfields, armored vehicles and vehicles. As a fighter-bomber, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 was used more effectively on the Eastern Front in 1941. However, even here they suffered significant losses from Soviet fighters.
In 1942, the heavy day fighter Messerschmitt Bf 110 model G received more powerful engines “Daimler-Benz” DB 605B with a capacity of 1475 hp, which allowed to increase the maximum speed to 550 km/h. In addition, its armament was also strengthened: two 20-mm MG FF guns and two 30-mm MK-101 guns. At the same time, on a number of modifications of the Bf 110, four MG 17 machine guns were replaced by two 30-mm MK-101 guns, on other modifications the MG 17 machine guns were retained, but the 20-mm MG-FF guns were replaced by 30-mm MK-108 guns, and the Bf 110F-4/U-1 night fighter-interceptor model was armed with two 30-mm MK-108 guns in the forward fuselage and two This Messerschmitt modification was used to attack Allied heavy bomber formations from the lower hemisphere. In addition to the built-in armament, the Vf 110 also used a variety of suspended weapons: in the fighter-bomber version, these could be 2 aerial bombs with a caliber of up to 1000 kg under the fuselage and four more 50 kg bombs under the wing, and on many fighters- Instead of ventral bomb racks, the interceptors were equipped with additional hanging containers with two 20-mm MG FF or MG 151/20 air guns or with one 37-mm VK-3,7 gun, which allowed German Messerschmitts to hit American “flying fortresses” without entering the zone of actual fire of their onboard machine guns. In addition, the Bf 110F-4a night fighter-interceptors were also armed with four Wgr.21 210-mm rocket launchers. But in those cases when American bombers were accompanied by Mustang or Thunderbolt fighters, the multi-ton heavy Bf 110G lost to them in single combat. However, despite this, the Messerschmitt Bf110 aircraft, until the end of World War II, continued to be successfully used as an air defense night fighter-interceptor, since their powerful offensive weapons and long flight duration made it possible to effectively fight enemy bombers. In the variant of the Bf 110 night fighter-interceptor, the FuG-202 Lichtenstein SN-2 on-board radar was located in the nose of the fuselage, and the aerodynamic drag increased due to the antennas sticking out in all directions was to some extent compensated by an increase in the power of the engines installed on the aircraft. In this case, the navigator also served as a radar operator. At the beginning of 1944, 320 Vf 110 aircraft of various modifications were used in the air defense system of the Third Reich, which was about 60% of the total number of air defense fighters.
A total of 6,170 Messerschmitt Bf 110 aircraft were produced in 1938 – 1945 in eight main modifications (A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H) and 67 variants. Of the total number of vehicles produced, 3,028 were used as fighters, 2,240-as night fighter-interceptors, and 494-were used for reconnaissance.
The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War exhibits a fragment of the fuselage with the tail of a heavy day fighter Messerschmitt Vf 110, discovered at the battlefields on the Karelian Front in the Arctic and donated to the museum by an employee of the search association, a participant in the Great Patriotic War V. B. Legkobyt.