Saturday, January 12, 2013

Messerschmitt Me 262

| Saturday, January 12, 2013 | 0 comments

Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) was the world's first jet fighter received mixed support as many influential Luftwaffe officers felt that the approaching conflict could be won by piston-engine aircraft alone. Design work started before World War II began but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. Compared with Allied fighters of its day, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor, it was much faster and better armed. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Messerschmitt Me 262 was used in a variety of roles, including light bomber, reconnaissance and even experimental night fighter versions.

Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
On April 18, 1941, the prototype Messerschmitt Me 262 V1 flew for the first time powered by a nose-mounted Junkers Jumo 210 engine turning a propeller. This use of a piston engine was the result of delays with the aircraft's intended twin BMW 003 turbojets. The Jumo 210 was retained on the prototype as a safety feature following the arrival of the BMW 003s. This proved fortuitous as both turbojets failed during their initial flight, forcing the pilot to land using the piston engine. Testing in this manner continued for over a year and it was not until July 18, 1942, that the Messerschmitt Me 262 (Prototype V3) flew as "pure" jet.
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied kills during World War II. The Allies countered its potential effectiveness in the air by relentlessly attacking the aircraft on the ground and while they were taking off or landing. Maintenance problems and a lack of fuel during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. In the end, the Messerschmitt Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war as a result of its late introduction and the consequently small numbers that were deployed in operational service. The Messerschmitt Me 262 influenced the designs of post-war aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre and Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

With the end of hostilities in May 1945, the Allied powers scrambled to claim the remaining Me 262s. Studying the revolutionary aircraft, elements were subsequently incorporated into future fighters such as the F-86 Sabre. In the years after the war, Me 262s were used in high speed testing. Though German production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 ended with the conclusion of the war, the Czechoslovak government continued building the aircraft as the Avia S-92 and CS-92.
Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262

  • Role: Fighter aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
  • First flight: 18 April 1941 with piston engine, 18 July 1942 with jet engines
  • Introduction: April 1944
  • Retired: 1945, Germany; 1951, Czechoslovakia
  • Primary users: Luftwaffe Czechoslovak Air Force (S-92)
  • Number built: 1,430
  • Length: 34 ft. 9 in.
  • Wingspan: 41 ft.
  • Height: 11 ft. 6 in.
  • Wing Area: 234 sq. ft.
  • Empty Weight: 8,400 lbs.
  • Loaded Weight: 15,720 lbs.
  • Crew: 1

  • Power Plant: 2 x Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojets, 8.8 kN (1,980 lbf) each
  • Range: 652 miles
  • Max Speed: 541 mph
  • Ceiling: 37,565 ft.

  • Guns: 4 x 30 mm MK 108 cannons
  • Bombs/Rockets: 2 x 550 lb. bombs (A-2a only), 24 x 2.2 in. R4M rockets


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