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Some German expressions, and names of organisations were kept for the sake of easier
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For French Tactical Trials with a captured Bf 109E-3 vs. French fighters, see HERE.

    Major Werner "Vati" Mölders, Kommodore of JG 51 during the Battle of Britian, participated in the comperative trials at E-Stelle Rechlin, during which he flew both the Spitfire and the Hurricane, on which he recalled, in agreement with the report below.

    "It was very interesting to carry out the flight trials at Rechlin with the Spitfire and the Hurricane. Both types are very simple to fly compared to our aircraft, and childishly easy to take-off and land. The Hurricane is good-natured and turns well, but its performance is decidedly inferior to that of the Me 109. It has strong stick forces and is "lazy" on the ailerons.

    The Spitfire is one class better. It handles well, is light on the controls, faultless in the turn and has a performance approaching that of the Bf 109. As a fighting aircraft, however, it is miserable. A sudden push forward on the stick will cause the Motor to cut; and because the propeller has only two pitch settings (take-off and cruise), in a rapidly changing air combat situation the motor is either overspeeding or else is not being used to the full."1

        Mölders proved very successfull during the Battle, despite a poor start on 28 July, when he lead his unit the first time into combat, and was wounded in combat with Spitfires but also shooting one down one in the confusion. During the Battle he was victorious in 29 air combats against RAF fighters (14-14 aerial victories against Hurricanes and Spitfires, and another against a FAF Curtiss), culminating on 31 August, when he downed 3 Hurricanes in quick succession, repeating the same feat on 12 and on 22 October once again; ulimately finishing the Battle with 54 victories to his name.

        Up to May 1941, when he was transferred to the Eastern Front, he downed further 13 Spitfires and Hurricanes -
the friendly rivalry between him and Galland's in scoring victories was legendary. His final number of victories was raised to 115 victories in his later career as fighter pilot.2

Mölders was also one of the first to test the new Bf 109 F-1 against the RAF during the last phase of the battle, first on 6 October 1940.3

From    : Kr.-Fernschr.Ob.d.L.,Führ.Stab Ia Nr.8092/40 g.K. (II)
          (only to Lfl.3)

Subject : Comparison flight between Bf 109 E,  Bf 110 C,  Spitfire, Hurricane and


    In the following the performance- and air combat comparison that has been performed
at the E-Stelle Rechlin between Bf 109 E and Bf 110 C and the captured enemy fighters
Spitfire, Hurricane and Curtiss shall be brought to acknowledgement. The results of
the comparison are to be announced immediately to all Jagd- and Zerstörer units under
command, to guarantee the appropriate air combat
behavior in the engagements on the
basis of technical conditions.

    The Bf 109 E type clearly outperforms all foreign planes:

Speed: the Spitfire is at 0 m by ca. 20 km/h, at 4 km by ca. 10 km/h, Hurricane and
Curtiss at 0 and 4 km altitude by ca. 60 km/h. A similar superiority of the Bf 109 E
exists in the climb performance as well. Climb times to 4 km:
Bf 109 E 4.4 min, Spitfire 5 min, Hurricane 5.6 min, Curtiss 5.2 min.

    The plane Bf 110 C is speed-wise inferior to the Spitfire, superior to the Curtiss
and Hurricane. Regarding the climb performance is the Curtiss equal at ground level,
up to 4 km superior then inferior. Hurricane is inferior up to altitude 2 km, then
superior up to 6.5 km. Spitfire is equal at ground level, otherwise superior.

    The best climb for Bf 109 E and Bf 110 C is achieved with shallow climb angle
and higher speeds than at the enemy fighters. It is wrong to climb away steep or climb
behind an enemy fighter with the same angle.

    Before turning fights with the Bf 109 E type, it must be noted in every case, that
all three foreign planes have significantly smaller turning circles and turning times.
An attack on the opponent as well as disengagement can only be accomplished on the basis of
existing superiority
in performance.

    For this the following suggestions are given:

    The Spitfire and partly the Hurricane have two-pitch propellers.
Climbing away with the Bf 109 and Bf 110 must be done with the best climbing speed or
even higher speeds of about 280 – 300 km/h. On aircraft with two-pitch propellers with 
low blade angle the engine will experience a very high over-revolution, and on the other
hand with high blade angle high boost pressure – therefore in other words, performance loss.

    On sudden push forward on stick to below, the carburetor of the enemy fighters cuts out
due to the negative acceleration. This [evasive] measure is also recommended.

    The rolling ability of the enemy fighters at high speeds is worse than that of the Bf 109.
Quick changes of the trajectory along the vertical axis cause especially with the Spitfire
load changes around the cranial axis, coming from high longitudinal thrust momemtum, and
significantly disturb the aiming.

    In summary, it can be said that all three enemy planes types are inferior to the German
planes regarding the flying qualities. Especially the Spitfire has bad
rudder and elevator
stability on the target approach. In addition the wing-mounted weapons have the known
shooting-technique disadvantages.

                                           Lfl.Kdo.3/Führ.Abt./Ia. op 1
                                             Nr. 3951/40 g.Kdos.
                                             signed, K o l l e r

1 - Quoted from Page 61 - Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces - 'Spitfire Mk.I/II Aces' by Dr. Alfred Price. 
      ISBN 84-8372-207-0

2 - Aces of the Luftwaffe - Werner "Vati" Mölders
3 - From Page 9 of 'Messerschmitt Bf109 F,G, and K: An Illustrated Study' by Jochen Prien/Peter Rodeike. Schiffer Publishing 1993.
     ISBN: 0887404243

Last updated 6 August 2006.
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