Messerschmitt Bf 161

The Messerschmitt Bf 161 was a 1930s prototype German reconnaissance aircraft.

Bf 161
Role Reconnaissance monoplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Messerschmitt
First flight 1938
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built 2
Developed from Messerschmitt Bf 110


The Bf 161 was a specialised reconnaissance aircraft, based on the Bf 110, and similar to the Bf 162, designed as a light bomber. The prototype V1 was powered by two Junkers Jumo 210 inline engines and first flew on 9 March 1938. It was followed by a second prototype, V2, powered by two Daimler-Benz DB 600a engines which first flew on 30 August 1938.

The aircraft did not enter production, as it was soon decided that a new aircraft type was not needed, and variants of the Bf 110 could perform the reconnaissance role.

Operational history

The two prototypes were used for research and development, and V2 was used in Augsburg for towing the Me 163A Komet, later moving to Peenemünde to continue towing.

Specifications (Bf 161 V1)

General characteristics

  • Crew: three
  • Length: 12.85 m (42 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.69 m (54 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 38.5 m2 (414 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 4,890 kg (10,781 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Junkers Jumo 210G, 730 kW (979 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 440 km/h (274 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 8,100 m (26,568 ft)


See also

Related development


  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.
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