Bf 110 file photo [2036]

Bf 110

ManufacturerMesserschmitt AG
Primary RoleHeavy Fighter
Maiden Flight12 May 1936


ww2dbaseThe Bf 110 (sometimes Me 110) fighters were twin-engined heavy fighters developed with multiple-roles in mind: the request for such a design called for a monoplane that housed a crew of three with a small bomb bay. Messerschmitt was one of the three companies that responded to the request, and eventually won the contract. The first test fighter was delivered to the German military in Jan 1937 and production began in the summer of that year. The fighters participated in the Battle of Britain after the European War broke out, but the large size and weak maneuverability soon led to a high loss rate. As a result, many Bf 110s were transferred to the Eastern Front and the Mediterranean coast where hostile fighters were not as advanced as the numerous Hurricane fighters guarding Britain. In their new theaters, they were most often seen in light bombing and strafing missions. Later in the war, with the installation of more powerful engines, they eventually developed into heavily armored aircraft with room for radar equipment that were well suited for night fighter duties.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Sep 2006

Bf 110 Timeline

12 May 1936 The first prototype of the Messerschmitt Bf 110 made its maiden flight from Augsburg-Haunstetten, Germany, with test pilot Rudolf Opitz at the controls.
19 Apr 1938 The first of four pre-production Messerschmitt Bf 110B-01 fighters powered by two Junkers Jumo 210Ga engines took to the air, despite the misgiving of senior Luftwaffe officers who had been overruled by Hermann G√∂ring.
23 Nov 1939 In an aerial battle over the French border, Leutnant Werner Methfessel became the Luftwaffe's first Bf 110 fighter pilot ace (although the veracity of his claim remained in some doubt).
9 Apr 1944 A new German Bf 110 aircraft, piloted by a German defector, flew into Switzerland and made a landing at D√ľbendorf. Hermann G√∂ring, fearful of the possiblity of Allied capture, wanted to dispatch commandos under Otto Skorzeny to destroy the aircraft.
11 Apr 1944 Swiss authorities destroyed the new German Bf 110 aircraft that was brought into Switzerland by a defector pilot two days prior. In appreciation of this gesture, Germany provided Switzerland 12 Me 109 fighters.


MachineryTwo Daimler-Benz DB 601B-1 liquid-cooled inverted V-12 engine rated at 1,100hp each
Armament2x20mm MG FF/M cannons, 4x7.92mm MG 17 machine guns, 1x7.92mm MG 15 machine gun
Span16.30 m
Length12.30 m
Height3.30 m
Wing Area38.80 m²
Weight, Empty4,500 kg
Weight, Loaded6,700 kg
Speed, Maximum560 km/h
Service Ceiling10,500 m
Range, Normal2,410 km
Range, Maximum2,800 km

MachineryTwo Daimler-Benz DB 605B-1 liquid-cooled inverted V-12 engine rated at 1,475hp each
Armament2x30mm MK 108 cannon, 2x20mm MG 151 cannon, 2x7.9mm MG 81 machine guns
Span16.30 m
Length12.30 m
Height4.00 m
Weight, Empty4,975 kg
Weight, Maximum9,888 kg
Speed, Maximum550 km/h
Service Ceiling7,924 m
Range, Normal2,100 km


Bf 110 aircraft of German Zerstörergeschwader (Destroyer Wing) 76 preparing for flight, Western Europe, May 1940; note shark mouth markingGerman Bf 110 fighters, Western Europe, May 1940; note shark mouth markingsGerman Ju 52 aircraft flying over the crash site of a German Bf 110 fighter, near Oslo and Fornebu, Norway, 1940Pilot of a German Bf 110 aircraft in flight, May 1940
See all 38 photographs of Bf 110 Heavy Fighter

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
20 Nov 2007 11:49:08 AM

The Bf.110C-1 was the mount of the first pilot to become an Ace during the Second World War. This was Oberst Walter Grabmann of 1. Zerstorergeschwadert / LG 1 who, whilst providing cover for the Heinkel IIIPs of II/KG.1, downed five Polish PZL P.11s over Warsaw on the evening of the 1st of September 1939.
2. Luc says:
26 Jul 2011 07:25:56 AM

a disaster as a fighter aircraft, but a devasting nightfighter!

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More on Bf 110
Related Book:
» The German Aces Speak

Related Document:
» German Luftwaffe Losses, Jul-Sep 1940

Bf 110 Heavy Fighter Photo Gallery
Bf 110 aircraft of German Zerstörergeschwader (Destroyer Wing) 76 preparing for flight, Western Europe, May 1940; note shark mouth marking
See all 38 photographs of Bf 110 Heavy Fighter

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