20 - Messerschmitt Me 262

Messerschmitt Me262 "Schwalbe"

by Bjørn Jacobsen

July 18, 1942 the Messerschmitt Me262 took to the air for the first time.


At the same time the first American heavy bombers appeared over Germany.


In Me262, the Luftwaffe had an aircraft that was more than 300km/h faster than any other aircraft at that time, and literally years ahead of aircraft developments on the Allied side.

Admittedly, the plane was from ready in the

summer of 42, but if it were invested heavily in

the production, the Me262 could probably be

ready in a few months.


The German Air Ministry (RLM), however, gave

the plane a lukewarm reception and did not

give the go-ahead for production until December

1942 - and for only 20 aircraft a month!


In his despair Dr. Willy Messerschmitt managed

to arrange a demonstration for Hitler in May 1943 - almost one year after the first flight, hoping to change the RLM’s decision. Hitler was very impressed and immediately gave a "Führer-Befehl": Me262 would be the Luftwaffe's new high-speed bomber (Blitz Bomber)!


That put an effective end to Messerschmitt’s dream of producing the world's best fighter.


Later, in the end of 1944 the Luftwaffe realized what they had lost, but then it was too late - in the air over Germany were thousands of American heavy bombers.


It was produced about 1400 Me262, of which 600 were destroyed by U.S. bombers.


The model is a Me262A-1a from Erprobungskommando 262 (Sept. 44)

1:48 from Hobby Boss


Specifications Messerschmitt Me262 A-1a


Type: Single seat air-superiority fighter


Powerplant: Two Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets each rated at 8,83kN (1.985bl) static thrust.


Performance: Maximum speed 827km/h (530mph) at sea level, 852km/h (530mph) at 3000m, 869km/h (540mph) at 6000m

Service ceiling: above 12.190m (40.000ft). Range: 1050km (652 miles) at 9000m


Weights: Empty 3.795kg (8.378lb) maximum take-off 6.387kg (14.080lb)


Dimension:Span 12,5m (40ft11in)

length 10,58m (34ft 9in)

height 3,83m (12ft 7in)


Armament: Four 30mm MK108A3 cannons, plus provision for

12 R4M air-to-air rockets under each wing






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Bjørn Jacobsen