In the 1930’s, in the time of the rearmament, Germany tried to showcase their military power also by breaking aviation records. This effort, backed by the state, brought many new records including the most prestigious one, the world speed record. Of interest might be the fact that two German aviation companies rivaled to achieve the record, namely Heinkel and Messerschmitt.
When Messerschmitt Bf 109V-13 with pilot Dr.Hermann Wurster at the controls achieved the top speed record on 11 November 1937, the Heinkel team had already been working on a new record aircraft, the He 100. The speed record of the Bf 109 V-13 was at first broken by famous WW1 pilot Ernst Udet in the cockpit of the He 100 V2, later on 30 March 1939 also by Hans Dieterle who in fact achieved not only land plane top speed record, but also the absolute top speed record, which until that tiem had been held by Italian Macchi MC.72 racing floatplane.
No wonder that the Messerschmitt’s answer came very soon as Fritz Wendel achieved 755.138 kmh in a machine that was for the record breaking attempt named the Me 109R to fool the public and make them think it is just an improved variety of the Bf 109 standard fighter. But in reality, it was a completely different type, that had been designed as Project 1059 and got designation the Me 209 by the German Air Ministry (RLM). This high speed version aircraft had been designed as a small low-wing monoplane with retractable undercarriage and pilot’s cockpit behind the wing. The plane was fitted with a Daimler-Benz DB601 water cooled engine with a system of wing surface radiators. The cooling water evaporated from those radiators and the supply last only for a 30min’s flight. The RLM placed order for a total of three speed prototypes and several further prototypes of the planned military fighter version. The first prototype Me 209V-1 (W.Nr.1185) with registration D-INJR was taken aloft for the first time on 1 August 1938 with Dr.Ing.Hermann Wurster at the controls and with only a half full fuel and coolant tanks. Trouble with the engine, cooling system, stability and other issues occured right during the first flight. Not even the second prototype, the Me 209V-2 (W.Nr.1186) which made its first flight on 8 February 1939 did any better. What is more, it was destroyed shortly after during a crash on 4 April 1939. As at that time, the world record had already been broken by the He 100V-8, all effort was made to prepare the first prototype (Me 209V-1) for the record attempt. The machine got a unique DB-601ARJ engine, its tail fin was enlarged and the machine was also painted high gloss blue overall. On 26 April 1939, Fritz Wendel managed to break the record, his top speed would not be surpassed until 1969 by the improved version of the Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat Conquest I (gained 820.824 kmh).
Our model of the Me209V1 comes on two frames of grey styrene and one frame with clear injected parts. Smaller components have been 3D designed and are produced using a metal moulding block. The decal sheet brings markings for both known appearances of the record breaking Me 209V-1. At first, the machine flew in natural metal finish and the decals offer set of stencils painted on the plane, later during the record attempt the machine wear the blue finish and the decal sheet has the registration letters and other markings as well.