In many respects the Messerschmitt Bf 109 equalled or bettered the RAF’s Spitfires up to 1942, when the German fighter was finally eclipsed by the Spitfire IX. Development of that mark was aided in no small measure by experience gained on captured Bf 109s, which, in the hands of specialist pilots at RAE Farnborough and A&AEE Boscombe Down, gave up their secrets


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