Messerschmitt Bf-109 TL-1

Designed as a back-up for the Me-262 the Me-109TL was an adaptation of the Me-109 fighter for jet engines. When Hitler in 1944 decreed that the Me-262 was to be used solely as a bomber, the Luftwaffe was desperate for a way to get a jet fighter.

Messerschmitt came up with the idea to restart development of the Me-109TL. This would be advertised as “just a new 109 variant” and would open the way to get jet fighter aircraft to the Luftwaffe. The Me-109TL used the fuselage, tail, and wings of a Me-109K. the forward fuselage was new due to the jet engine under the nose. Above the engine were two 30mm MK108 canon. The underside of the rear fuselage was strengthened to withstand the heat of the engine exhaust.

Due to the great communality with the 109K, the first 109TLs were delivered in June 1945. For a stopgap design the new fighter performed surprisingly well. In 1945 a total of 900 Me-109TL-1s were delivered with a further 2400 following in 1946. The Me-109TL remained in service with the Luftwaffe until the type was replaced with the Focke Wulf Ta-226 Flitzer in 1948. Besides in the Luftwaffe the Me-109TL was also used by the air forces of Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy. In 1948 a number of ex Luftwaffe aircraft were sold to Finland and Spain.

Model: Unicraft 1/72

Last updated: 01/01/2023