The Messerschmitt Bf 109E AE479 was the first enemy aircraft to be flight tested by the RAE at Farnborough. It was captured in France and shipped to the UK at the beginning of 1940, joined the newly-formed Enemy Aircraft Flight in December 1941 and was later shipped to Wright Field, USA.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 AE479 photographed during a flight from Duxford in 1941 after a new tail unit and a later-type canopy had been fitted, following an accident at Farnborough on January 5, 1941. The Bf 109 arrived at the A&AEE at Boscombe Down on May 3, 1940 escorted by a Hudson and three Blenheims! Much of the subsequent evaluation was carried out by Fg Off J. E. Pebody.
The Bf 109's cockpit instruments were well marked and easily read. The view forward when taxying was poor and, in the event of turning over on the ground, there was no strong point to support the aircraft.