Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4
WWII German Fighter
The Bf 109F-4 was a fine plane for it’s day, and arguably the best 109 made. Anyone who flew the 1942 arena before it was abandoned knows that without the later-war powerhouse planes, the 109 can really do well. Unfortunately, the General Arena has those late-war powerhouse planes, thus life in a 109F can be tricky at best. Unlike other early war planes, the 109F can do quite well. It has a (relatively) long firing time for it’s cannon, and it’s guns are clumped in one spot. Most other planes have their primary guns in the wings, and unless the target is perfectly lined up, or at convergence, one wing’s guns are going to miss, thus the 109F’s firepower isn’t all that bad. But it helps to be a good shot, and unlike later 109s, this bird has the capability to allow the 2-5 second tracking shot needed to make planes go BOOM with those guns.
The key assets of the 109F are vertical maneuvering and climbing ability. High altitude performance is quite good too, but the main arena doesn’t have many fights above 15,000ft. Climb above the enemy, and use sucker tactics to get him to climb after you. When he stalls, turn around and nail him. This is the #1 maneuver used by 109 pilots worldwide in WB. The plane can turn, in fact it can eat most of the traditional BnZ planes alive (including the F4U), but all of the TnB planes have significant turning advantages over the 109f. Thus the 109f’s turning ability can be used to deliver the coup-de-grace, but don’t count on it to win your fight.
The 109F is not the best diver. The controls lock up rather badly in a dive, thus don’t dive unless you have to. This can be a problem when fighting the Warbirds Divers (Dora, F4U, P51, P47, P38L, Ki84, etc) as if you don’t have handy multiple-trim keys (such as a programmed button or hat on a joystick), you can easily compress and auger. Not only do the ailerons lock up, but so does the elevators, and unless you have everything going to your plans, it is best to get that nose high, hit WEP and climb on over. Everyone knows the 109 family can climb, and thus most won’t come back up. And if they do, use the stall sucker-tactic to make for an easy shot.
The 109 series received quite a boost in 1.11 as the gunsights were revised. One can now do some pretty good deflection shooting with this gunsight. It isn’t an F4U gunsight, but you can actually see the target you are shooting when doing a tracking shot now.
To sum up, use the Bf 109F-4 as an Energy fighter, and like the F4U, use the turning ability to finish the opponent, not to win over the opponent. She is the mirror of the F4U, light, small, good acceleration and climb, but poor high speed handling and diving ability.