Me-262 Schwalbe

Messerschmitt Me-262A-1C Schwalbe Replica Messerschmitt Stiftung D-IMTT

The Messerschmitt Me 262 was not exactly the first turbojet-powered fighter in the world (that honor was for the Heinkel He-280) but it was the first turbojet fighter that entered active service as the first in the world.

The first flight was made without turbojets, but with Jumo 210G piston engines, due to problems and late delivery of the new power source jet to come. All but one (Me-262 V3) of the first eight airframes were lost during test-flights.

The first production model was the Me-262A-1a single seat interceptor, and was know under the name ‘Schwalbe’. This first model was powered by two 900 kg. thrust Jumo 004B-1 engines.

Four 30 mm MK 108 cannons, and later added 12x 55 mm R4M rocket missals under each wing was standard armament for this type.

The first 28 production model Me-262 were delivered to the Luftwaffe in June 1944. The first interception missions were flown by the EKdo 262 trials unit. By the end of October of that same year 315 Me-262’s were accepted by the Luftwaffe, and by the end of April 1945 1065 Me-262’s were in active service in at least 4 configurations. (probably many more).

The first ‘arrival’ of a Me-262 in air-combat with the allied forces must of been a shock to those pilots, it had almost 100 Kph more speed, something that was very important in those days. If it had arrived earlier and in greater numbers the Me-262 could of made a difference in defeating the Nazi’s. It would have almost certainly delayed the allied victory for moths or even years.

 

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Marcel van Leeuwen  

Underneath you can find the characteristics of the Me-262A-1a, B-2, and C-1a

Me-262A-1a

Developing Nation:

Germany

Manufacturer/designer:

Messerschmitt

Task:

Interceptor / bomber

First Flight:

-April 18th 1941 (with Jumo 210G piston engines)

-July 18th 1942 (first flight with 2x Junkers Jumo 004A turbojets)

First Delivery:

June 1944

First Operational:

June 1944

Crew:

1

Wing Span:

12,51 m

Wing Area:

21,70 m²

Length:

10,60 m

Height:

3,83 m

Engine (s):

two Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojets providing 900 kg. thrust

Weight:

4420 kg

Max. Take off weight:

6396 kg

Max. Speed:

870 Kph

Range:

1050 km on internal fuel

Weapons:

– 4x 30 mm MK 108 cannons

– 12x 55 mm R4M rocket missals under each wing

 


Me-262B-2 (night fighter)

First flight:

March 1945 (Me-262B-2a)

Crew:

2

Wing Span:

12,51 m

Wing Area:

21,70 m²

Length:

11,75 m

Height:

3,83?m

Engine (s):

two Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojets providing 900 kg. thrust

Weight:

4764 kg

Max. Take off weight:

7100 kg

Max. Speed:

884 Kph

Range:

km on internal fuel

Weapons:

– 4x 30 mm MK 108 cannons

 

  

Me-262C-1a (rocket boosted) Heimatschützer

First flight:

October 16th 1944 (without use of rocket-engine

February 27th 1945 (First flight with use of rocket-engine)

First Delivery:

First Operational:

Crew:

1

Wing Span:

12,51 m

Wing Area:

21,70 m²

Length:

10,60 m

Height:

3,83 m

Engine (s):

-two BMW 003R turbojet with 800 kg. thrust

-one BMW 718 bi-fuel rocket motor with 1225 kg. thrust

Weight:

5680 kg

Max. Take off weight:

8260 kg

Max. Speed:

928 Kph

Time 0 to 11.750 m.:

form standing: 4,5 minutes

Range:

1050 km on internal fuel

Weapons:

– 6x 30 mm MK 108 cannons

 

The Me-262 flown at the ILA Berlin 2006 (as seen in the photo’s) is powered by two General Electric J-85/CJ-610 turbofans, The original Jumo engines by Junkers had a lifespan of around 25 hours and failed regularly, more Me-262 were destroyed by engine failure and other problems than by enemy fire. The only flying Me-262 replica in Europe is owned by EADS.
 

 

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Marcel van Leeuwen

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