Me Bf 109 E-7
- E-7 (Similar to E-4 but with optional 300 L drop tank)
- E-7/N (Similar to E-4/N but with optional 300 L tank)
- E-7/NZ (also known as E-7/Z, an E-7/N with additional GM-1 nitrous oxide injection system)
- E-7/U2 (Ground attack variant of E-7 with additional armour)
The E-7 was the next major production variant, entering service and seeing combat at the end of August 1940. One of the limitations of the earlier Bf 109E was their short range of 660 km (410 mi) and limited endurance, as the design was originally conceived as a short-range interceptor. The E-7 rectified this problem as it was the first subtype to be able to carry a drop tank, usually a 300 L (80 US gal) capacity unit mounted on a rack under the fuselage, which increased their range to 1,325 km (820 mi). Alternatively, a bomb could be fitted and the E-7 could be used as a Jabo fighter-bomber. Previous Emil subtypes were progressively retrofitted with the necessary fittings for carrying a drop tank from October 1940. Early E-7s were fitted with the 1,100 PS DB 601A or 1,175 PS DB 601Aa engine, while late-production ones received 1,175 PS DB 601N engines with improved altitude performance – the latter was designated as E-7/N. A total of 438 E-7s of all variants were built.