I ran across an article that reposted a blurb from Leonard "Kit" Carson's 1976 interview or story in Airpower magazine. in it he proposes several mods to the 109 to "clean up the airframe" and get more performance out of the plane. How practical or realistic were these proposals? Carson worked for the aerospace industry but at what capacity I do not know.. here's what he says: "Messerschmitt practically ignored the subject of low drag aerodynamics and one can tell that by an inspection of the 109E or G. The fact is evident even in close-up photographs. It was aerodynamically the most inefficient fighter of its time. That's a puzzling thing when one realizes that much of the original work on high speed drag and turbulent surface friction was done in Germany in the 20s and 30s. Messerschmitt was surrounded by it. Further, the work in England and the U.S. in this field was in the open literature, at least until 1938. I also suspect, again from the record of history, that Willy Messerschmitt was too busy becoming a Direktor of Messerschmitt A.G. to concentrate on improving his status as an ingenieur. Having gone this far, let me carry this affront to Messerschmitt's engineering reputation one step further. An airplane factory can get things done awfully fast, in any country and in any language, once the engineers and sheet metal benders understand what is wanted. Every factory has a "development shop" or its equivalent, which is a full scale model or prototype shop with 100 or 200 old pros in every skill. Having that many coffee drinkers, pipe smokers and "yarn spinners" around on the payroll, let's clobber 'em with a bundle of shop drawings on a clean up of the Me-109. Object: to make it a 400 mph plus airplane. Time...30 days. The information and techniques required are currently available as of 1940. It's all written up in unclassified reports. (1) Cancel the camouflage paint and go to smooth bare metal. Besides the weight, about 50 pounds, the grain size is too large when it dries and it causes turbulent friction over the entire airplane surface. That may take a phone call to the brass. They're emotional about paint jobs. "Image," you know. (2) Modify the cockpit canopy. Remove the inverted bathtub that's on there now and modify as necessary to fit the Me-209-VI canopy. That's the airplane that set the world speed record in 1939. (3) Get rid of the wing slats. Lock them closed and hand fit a strip, upper and lower surface, that will close the sheet metal gaps between the slat and wing structure. That gap causes the outboard 15 feet of each wing to be totally turbulent. (4) As aerodynamic compensation for locking the slats, setup jigs and fixtures on the assembly line to put in 2 degrees of geometric twist from the root to tip, known as "washout." (5) Modify coolant scoop inlet fairings. The square corners that are there now induce an unnecessary amount of drag. Also lower the inlet 1 to 2 inches below wing surface to get it out of the turbulence of the wing surface. (6) Install complete wheel well fairings that cover the openings after the gear is retracted. (7) Retract tail wheel. (Tom's Note: This was actually done on some models of the 109.) All of the above could have been done in 30 days but it wasn't. I don't know why. Someone would have to ask Willy...it's for him to say."