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Historical Writings of the combat aircraft of the two World Wars

 

The Messerschmitt Me262


Almost everyone who is a World War II aircraft enthusiast has heard of the infamous Me262. Most of the people who are reading this have flown it in the CFS or FS98 simulator. Most of what I am about to say is known to them. However, I am including information that I doubt many know.

The Me262 was conceived (as an idea) in 1938. The first prototype, flying with a Jumo 210 piston engine in the nose. The jet engines were Junkers Jumo 004B-1, -2 or -3 single shaft axial-flow turbojets.
At any rate, the Me262, with jets, was ready to fly in 1941-42.
Soon the nose wheel was added, giving the 262 tricycle gear.

It is not really known whether or not Hitler insisted on the 262 being used as a bomber. If he didn't, then the late arrival is blamed on the engines, which often caused fires or simply exploded.

The Me262 finally reached combat service in 1944. It was the figurehead of the remarkable introduction of jet and rocket aircraft the Germans introduced in 1944-45. The Me262 was the most reliable, and in the air, it flew like a dream. When Adolf Galland flew it, he immediately declared that all other fighters except for the Fw190 be cancelled in order to mass-produce the Me262.

The Me262 was successful in all roles given to it. If the Germans had had it in 1942, the war may have gone differently. There were reconnaisance versions, (Me262A-1/U-3) and night-fighters. (Me262B-1a/U1)
There was also a Me262 with a 50mm cannon in the nose. (A-1a, No 130 083, flown and test fired at Lechfield in 1944.)

But there were two designs, never proceeded with, that would have made the Me-262 even more advanced. The first was a proposal for a development for two ramjets, probably to be developed by DFS.
The second was the war winner. It was a proposal for a Me-262 with swept-back wings and buried engines. This is eerily like modern jets. This version of the Me-262 could have been invincible. Not until many years later was there anything to compare with that design.

The designs were captured, but there remains only a single side-view reproduction of it. There are no markings, no dimensions. I will include the pictures I have. (Pardon the bad scan)
If you would like a copy of the original scan; e-mail me at: charles_bain@hotmail.com

Number 7 is the ramjet proposal. Number 8, is the swept-wing/buried engine design.
More next week! Charles Bain

SPECIFICATIONS

Origin: Messerschmitt AG
Types: (A-1a) single-seat fighter, (A-2a) single-seat bomber, (262B-1a)
two-seat night fighter
Engines: (Alternate from prototype) Two 1980lb (900Kg) thrust Junkers Jumo
004B single-shaft axial turbojets,
Performance: Max speed:(All models) 540mph (870 km/h)
Range: On internal fuel, at altitude, aprox. 650 miles.
Armament: (A-1a) four 30mm MK108 cannon in nose, 100 rounds in two, 80
rounds in the other two.

 



If you have any questions you would like answered, e-mail them to
charles_bain@hotmail.com

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