1/48 Hasegawa Bf109 T-2 W.Nr. 7767 of JG 11 flown by Oberleutnant Herbert Christmann in Lister base, Norway, in the summer of 1944.
Pretty much everyone knows about the famous Messerschmitt Bf-109 series, so I won’t delve into a detailed history of this remarkable aircraft. However, how many of you knew that there was actually a carrier-based version of this aircraft? Well, this is it – the Bf-109T series.
Design work on the 109T actually began in 1937, developed concurrently at the same time as the Graf Zepplin, Germany’s sole aircraft carrier. Based on the –E series of 109s, several modifications were made in order to turn it into a carrier-based aircraft: The wings were extended from 9.87m to 11.08m, which makes it one of the distinguishing marks of this aircraft. The landing gear was also strengthened for carrier landings, an arrestor hook installed and a modified air inlet was designed to accommodate the Daimler Benz 601N engine. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), the Graf Zepplin was cancelled in 1940, and all 109Ts (now designated 109-T1) were converted to land use, redesignated 109T-2. The main difference distinguishing the T-1 and T-2 is that the T-2 has no arrestor hook , removed to save weight (also no catapult attachments and the slats were bolted in the up position, Ed). Here’s a little trivia for you – the first B-17s over Europe were shot down by 109T-2s.