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Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun Military Trainer

In September 1933, Messerschmitt began work on the M.37 aircraft, it was intended take part in the 4th Challenge de Tourisme Internationalethe Air-Race in 1934. The prototype made its first flight June 1934 it was a very advanced twin seater monoplane of metal stressed skin construction and an enclosed cockpit with retractable main gear and Handley-Page leading edge slats on the wings. Soon, production models of the M.37 began to roll out of the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke's Augsburg assembly now called the Bf 108A, a designation assigned to it by the Reichs Luftsfahrt Ministerium (German Air Ministry).

Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun Military Trainer


In 1934 German aviatrix Elly Beinhorn flew a Bf 108A to a record setting 2,230 mile endurance flight from Berlin to Constantinople and back in a single day making the front page of all the German newspapers. Elly immediately christened her record breaking Bf 108A "Taifun" (German for Typhoon), effectively forcing Messerschmitt to officially adopt the name for all subsequent production models of the Bf 108 to make use of the publicity!

The Bf 108's racing and endurance successes created interest from the Luftwaffe and the Bf 108b, a four seater vertion, was soon serving in communications, liaison and air ambulance functions. The Bf 108 'Taifun' proved to be so successful it formed the basis of Messerschmitt's famous WW2 fighter, the Bf 109, as well as serving as a trainer for it's Luftwaffe pilots! Several Bf-108Bs were abandoned by the German embassy staff in Britain at the outbreak of WW2 were used as station hacks by RAF personnel and called "Aldons"

It is of note that the Bf 108 was also produced in occupied France during WW2 by the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord (SNCAN) as the Nord Pingouin but fitted with a Renault engine.

Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun Specification:

  • Crew: Bf 108a pilot plus passenger - Bf 108b pilot plus three passengers
  • Engine: Single 240hp (179kW) Argus As.8C
  • Wingspan: 10.51 meters (34' 6")
  • Length: 8.30 meters (27' 3")
  • Height: 2.3 meters (7' 7")
  • Weight Empty: 880 km (1,940 lb)
  • Weight Empty: 1,355 kg (2,990 lb)
  • Maximum speed: 300 Kph (186 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 meters (19,700 feet)
  • Maximum range: 1,000 kilometers (620 miles)

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