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French terms and
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Centre d`Essais du Matériel
Test Center of Military
de l`Aviation de
Commandant en Chef
of the Air Force
R E P O R
T O N M E S S E R S C H M I D
T 1 0 9 A E R O P L A N E
I - G O A L
the letter n°462-3-IS/EMG from 23 January 1940 relating to
the live trials with the Dewoitine 520, Général Commandant en Chef des Forces
Aériennes asked for
study of this plane in combat against the Messerschmitt
On the other hand, the Général Inspecteur et
Commandant Supérieur de l`Aviation de
Chasse, in his letter n°937/IC
from 25 March 1940, of which a copy has been sent to
the Centre d'Experiences Ariennes Militaires,
asked for trials to be done by
Ariennes Militaires, for comparison of the
qualities of the Me 109 and the current French fighters
Dewoitine 520 and the Bloch 152 modified on the following points:
( - level (the engine`s
- the performance in ( speed at (ted altitude.
( - climbing speed.
( - diving speed.
- maneuvrability at different altitudes.
d'Experiences Ariennes Militaires has established
experimentation program, of which the details shall be given
below. Advantage was taken of the availability
of the Messerschmitt 109
to study combat between this airplane and the
modern French reconnaisance
planes Bloch 174 and Potez 63-11 and to check the conclusions
arrived from the
results of defense trials of the multiseat planes (Cf. Report
of the Centre
d'Experiences Ariennes Militaires
n°367/S of 18 April 1940).
The Messerschmidt 109 with a
Daimler Benz DB 601 engine held at the Centre d`Essais du Matériel
Aériennes Militaires has been delivered at the
end of March to the Centre
d'Experiences Ariennes Militaires. A Munerelle type
oxygene mask and a Debrie 35mm gun camera were
The trials took place between the
1st and the 21 April.
Delayed in Briey by the atmospheric conditions, it has been executed
the time in Marignane with the help of the Escadrilles d'Expérimentation.
II - P R O G R A M M E
The programme proposed by the
Center, inspired by the "Directive for Modern
Experimentation" (Note n°220/S
from 26 February 1940) inculded for the comparison between
fighter airplanes studies the following points:
A/ - COMBAT APTITUDE
This Study has for goals the
search for the optimal use
performance and the flight qualities already highlighted
by the Centre
d'Experiences Ariennes Militaires
( - maneuvrability, in particular
high angles and
on at high speed.
Conclusions on the aim stability, while the
airplane is in climb, in turn, in descent.
To avoid the combat trials
degenerating into the chaos of
from which no
conlcusions could be drawn, the
combat has been split in different phases where
the attacks and the
possible means of defense has been studied separatly.
The following scenarios has been
a) Plane attacked by surprise
(both adversaries playing
- Best break (evasive) maneuvre
- Possibility to break the combat
trying to take the
b) Plane not surpised by
- Best maneuvre to have the
- Opportunity of accepting a turn
fight or to avoiding it.
- Possibility of breaking off the
fight after having engaged.
With the goal of limiting the
number of engagments (combats)
take account of the incertitude on the Me109 delivered by the Centre
d`Essais du Matériel Aériennes especially concerning the engine`s
funcionality at high altitudes (1), the different
(1)See report of the Centre d`Essais du Matériel
Aérien n°291-S/SD of 30 March
- 4 -
has been studied at altitudes next to the rated altitude of
studied planes (+/- 5.000 m.)
We can allow ourselves to admit,
that the respective maneuvrability of the
stays almost the same at 8000m as at 5000m.
B/- COMPARISON OF
This comparison should permit to
results obtained by the Centre d`Essais du Matériel
in it`s performance measurements. The goal was to determine
differences in level and climb speeds in case these could not
have been determined by combat excercises.
III - O R G A N I S A T I O
N O F T H E T R I A L S
SEANCE PROGRAMME (for
example Messerschmidt against
I - Simultaneous climb to 8.000 - Times for climb
checked at 1.500 and
5.000m - Simultaneous level flight at 800,
5.000 and 8.000 meters.
II - Combat engagement at around rated
(between 5.000 and 6.000 m.)
The engaging airplane take an
atlitude advantage of
minimum 500 meters, dive and take place in the rear sector
of the attacked airplane. The latter starts his evasive defense
maneuvre when the attacker is about 300 meters behind him.
a) Messerschmidt Surprised
- Dewoitine D520 attacking
1/ Evading maneuvre by optimum climb,
- 5 -
2/ Evading by Turn Fight (continuous
The attacked airplane tries
to get advantage
3/ Evading by prolonged dive.
b) Dewoitine 520 Surprised - Messerschmidt attacking
2/ Same maneuvres as above (1)
Or 6 Engagements for each considered case.
Engaging in combat at the moment the two planes
other in opposite way at the same altitude.
1) Best maneuvre to take advantage.
2) Once advantage is taken, one gets back to one of the
cases studied in the previous paragraph.
The engagement, started in turn
repeated twice, once to the right, once to the left side.
The number of engagements is thus 8:
- 6 for the first case considered.
- 2 for the second case
For the combat against multiseat
and recconaissance planes
the programme was as the following:
1) Defense of the multiseat airplane by it`s speed
a/ the fighter being about 800 m.
behind at the same
(1) We added to this programme, for the Dewoitine 520, the evasive
of suddenly throttling back and sliding.
altitude, the multiplace airplane evading on full power in a straight
b/ the fighter having an altitude advantage of 500
the multiseat airplane evades in a shallow dive and the fighter
attempts to keep with it.
2) Multiseat airplane
defense by maneuvre
The fighter having an altitude
advantage of between 500 and
a/ Defense by a hard 180° descent turn
b/ Defense by climbing spiral,
4 engagements per séance.
IV - V
A L U E S T O B E A T T R I B U T E
D T O T H E E X P E R I M E N T S.
We can't give full credits for
the results obtained with a single plane
of type Messerschmidt 109; fuel mixture in
used to be inperfect at
and problems with the fuel
circulation were perceived in tests
above 6. 000 meters. We elimineted from the test program written here
everything that should have been done above this altitude with the sole
of eliminating a false perception resulting from using a plane with
performance. But we can allow ourselves to use the results obtained up
6000m, as the working of the
airplane and the engine seemed to be perfectly normal
until this altitude.
- 7 -
As it concerns the maneuvrability, we should take note
the testing was
done by a pilot that could have been inconvenieced by
particularities of the airplane (small cocpit and inverted throttle);
but after some hours of flying
he seemed master the craft; the performances
annonced by the CEMA were actually matched.
- 8 -
V - R E S U L T S
Messerschmidt Vs D. 520 (I)
A - Performances
a) Level flight at low alt (600 m.)
Speeds were found similiar speed;
Test done on the
Messerschmidt with the
radiator flaps fully
open. Closing the flaps should give a light advantage ( 20 - 30 kmh)
b) Climb to 5.500 m. PG
The climb speed of the Messerschmidt
is slightly superior. It has a quality that favorize it:
the engine`s cooling is
satisfactory, on the other hand the D.520
to throttle back due to the increasing temperature of the
coolant agent (once at
4500m and once at 3000)
The climb of the 109 to 5.000 m took apprx. 6' 20".
c) Level flight at 5.500
Speeds showed a slight superiority
for the Messerschmidt 109.
B - COMBAT MANOEUVRES
A/ Messerschmidt surprized
a) Break (Evade) into left spiral
D520 taken from the 3 first modified to that type.
- 9 -
could get a firing solution for several
seconds, but the Messerschmidt could escape taking advantage of
his superiority in climb speed.
b) Escape in a continous turn
c) Escape by a dive
reached by the 109 as per the speed indicator :
The 520 follows in the dive. (We should note of the
fact that the
airspeed indicator speedometer of the Messerschidt is generous in
comparison with the french
After each long lasting
dive, there has been a systematic
incident with the
D.520, which gear came out in the ressource, not
being able to get
locked again. There also have been an incident with
the micro-pomp that
made the Flaps not working.
a) Break (Evade) into a right climb spiral.
Advantage to the 109 that retain his fire solution
b) Defense by throttling back and sliding
If this maneuvre is done at he precise moment
the 109 open
fire, it's very
(I) The coefficient of the (pitot?) antenne position for the
Messerschmidt is inferior to I.
- 10 -
effective whatever the kind of plane used. The
Messerschmidt 109, because of it`s great speed
the dive, is not able to break (evade). It`s break can take
him far enough
to allows the D520 to take the advantage back.
c) Defense by a dive
The Messerschidt 109 follows easily the D.520
in it`s dive. D.520,
in the high speeds reached stays more
Combat without suprise (Altitude 4500 to 6000m.)
| | a) D.520 arrives on the right of the 109
Me 109 v
Turning combat into the right.
for a long time;
adversaries try to take advantage for a short
the D.520 stalls several times to the left, executing
1/2 or 3/4
roll with full throttle; the Messerschmidt also seems
wanting to stall but his
auto-rotation movement is
slowed down by
the opening of the
wing slats giving strong movements on the stick.
After those stalls, rapidly
recovered, the D.520 loose the
distance and the
combat finishes with a advantage for the 109 who can get a good
solution without ever been in the gunsight of the D.520.
- 11 -
D.520 arrives comes on the left side of the Messerschmidt 109
Turning combat into the left.
First part of the combat is equal. Each adversary
tend to take the
advantage one after the other for quite a long time.
Maneuvres became closer, the
D.520 stalls sudddenly on the
instead of gainig control of the
stall, the pilot ended
heavy inversion on the limits of
the plane. The Messerschmidt,
to the strong
stick reactions, couldn't follow
and loosed the D.520 from his
view for a
few moments. In continuation of his inversion, the
D.520 can place itself in the
sector of the Messerschmidt,
and getting rather fast a firing
solution even if the 109 making
evasive maneuvres. Conclusion :
Advantage to the D.520 that could
fire with excellent
conditions at the end of the fight and without the 109 having the
once in his gunsight.
C O N C L U S I O N S
A - Performance
- Level flight Speed slightly higher for the
Messerschmidt on the tested
- Climb speed is greatly superior for the
Messerscmidt, which allows it to obtain
- 12 -
a certain advantage. The
evolutions on extended climb are to be avoided
for the Dewoitine 520.
It has seemed
that the Dewoitine 520 should
get the advantage
in combat on "manual"
and slightly lowering the pitch.
This point should be systematicely checked by a group equipped with
- Dive speed :
the two planes seemes to have the same speeds.
B - Maneuvrability in combat
- The D.520, in
close combat evolutions (maneuvres) seems to
stall more than the Messerschmidt 109, holding on the air by his
The stall of the D520 is very brutal and
start always to the left; it is indeed
serious in the combat to the right, the Dewoitine 520 pilot making
almost a full
roll; as result, the combat should ALWAYS be started to the left, at
the choice of the turn direction is possible.
turn-combat trials, resulting in all tests with
stall of the D.520, even if the stall is easy to control, resulting in
control of the plane even for a few moments, results in loosing of
sight on the
adversary. It's dangerous, especially at this moment when the 109 seems
advantage, to regain control after a stall-roll and to try to get back
turn-combat. It's better to transform the stall-roll into an inversion
as far as
- 13 -
possible, the Me109 due to his high speed is only able to follow but with a
serious delay. The stall used that way becomes a break(evasive)
the D520 in some situations to take the advantage back swiftly.
- Except for
the stall-roll fact, we can say the 2 planes have the same
maneuvrability. The simulated combats were rather long before one plane
could take advantage on the other. In any case, the D.520 should be
considered as more maneuvrable because of
the less heavy reactions on the stick and especially on the
pitch on high speeds; the Messerschmidt pilot had to frequently use the
this is a hard and annoying maneuvre because of the place of the
trim-wheel. Au contraire, the D.520 pilot
can leave his trim on a middle position or
at least use
it to smaller proportions, an advantage for the D520 when high speed maneuvres or
dives followed by
"candles" (maneuvre straight up towards the sky)
particular to say about the aiming-stability for any of those
planes. This stability is satisfactory except when the plane has the
tendency to stall, especially in turning close-combat.
particulary concerns the state of the combat material, the
- 14 -
to be in a very good
state (see Annex). Au contreire, the D.520 had
insufficient cooling in the climbl; also
have been system failures for the undercarriage and micro-pumps.
2) MESSERSCHMIDT 109 VS BLOCH 152 (I)
A - Performances
a) Level flight at low
(During those levels flights
(on a distance of 15Kms, the Messerschmidt get
" at 5500
meters (a slight advantage
(radiator flaps open,
c) Climb Speed
great advantage to the Messerscmidt
simultaneous climbs to 5.500,
the differnece between the two planes was several hundred
combat, the climb speed is an
for the Messerscmidt, that allows him, when he wants, to take some
advance in a spiral climb and put himself out of range of the Bloch.