Messerschmitt Me-109 airplane model flown by Erich Hartmann. The Me-109 was the standard fighter of the Luftwaffe for the duration of WWII, although it began to be partially replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 from 1942. The Bf 109 scored more aircraft kills in World War Two than any other aircraft. At various times it served as an air superiority fighter, an escort fighter, an interceptor, a ground-attack aircraft and a reconnaissance aircraft. The Bf 109 was produced in greater quantities than any other fighter aircraft in history, with over 31,000 units built. Although the Bf 109 had weaknesses, including a short range of around 360 miles (580 km) on internal fuel and a sometimes difficult to handle narrow, outward-retracting undercarriage, it stayed competitive with Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.
The Me-109 was flown by Erich Hartmann, the top scoring fighter ace of all time with 352 confirmed victories. Although he flew the superior FW-190 for a short time the Me-109 as his preferred aircraft. This model reflects one of the last aircraft he flew.