Conceived in , the Me was designed by a team led by Dr. Waldemar Voigt. It went through a long gestation period, not making its first flight until April 18, , and then only under the power of a Junkers Jumo G piston engine of about horsepower. Jet engine development, although more advanced in Germany than elsewhere, was still in a primitive state, and the turbine engines intended for the sleek fighter were not ready.
For a time historians believed that Adolf Hitler's order to build the Me solely as a bomber delayed its introduction into combat as a fighter interceptor. This is not the case. Rather jet engine development proved lengthy and difficult. Hitler's order did divert some 30 percent of production airframes to the Me A-2a Sturmvogel Stormbird bomber type.
The vastly superior performance of the Me gave confidence to the fortunate pilots who flew it, but the Allied dominance of the air was so complete that the Schwalbe never reached its full potential.
Modelling the Messerschmitt Me 262
The airfields from which it flew were under constant attack, and in the last days of the war, the remaining Me units were forced to operate from makeshift bases constructed along Germany's famous autobahns. Although 1, Me s were completed, it is estimated that only about saw combat. The airplane was reportedly delightful to fly, as long as the pilot used care in moving the throttles to avoid an engine compressor stall. Harold M. Watson directed Operation Lusty, the discovery and seizure of advanced German aircraft.
The Technical Intelligence staff assigned the inventory and tracking number FE to this airplane. It arrived at the Silver Hill Facility in , and restoration work began in The biggest challenge in the restoration project was to remove the corrosion that had built up over thirty-four years. The second-biggest problem was the restoration of the fighter nose, which involved much tedious but skillful metal work. After 6, man-hours, the aircraft appeared as it did when it served with the famous JG 7 Fighter Wing 7 , complete with unit insignia and victory markings.
The latter show forty-two victories over Soviet aircraft by Oberfeldwebel Heinz Arnold in piston-engine fighters, and seven perhaps not all by Arnold over American bombers and fighters in NASM's Me Although not a significant factor in the outcome of World War II, the Me introduced many features found on later aircraft, including the swept wing, wing slots, underslung engine nacelle, and heavy cannon armament mounted in the nose.
The Messerschmitt Me Jet Fighter | Defense Media Network
There were not enough resources to build the aaircraft and competition with other manufacturers was steep. The world's first operational jet fighter, the Me Schwalbe, was powered by two Junkers Jumo B turbojet engines. Summary Long Description. Collection Item Long Description: The world's first operational jet fighter, the Me Schwalbe, was powered by two Junkers Jumo B turbine engines and had sleekly swept wings and a powerful armament of four mm cannons. Although it was the first by a considerable margin, the Me was not the best jet of its era.
The first practical U. A fully loaded Me weighed about 14, pounds. After the war, captured Me s influenced western fighter designs.
Today, the only flying Me s are a handful of replicas powered by American 2,pound thrust General Electric JCJ turbojet engines. A fine summary. Many had never fired the 30mm cannon before engaging enemy aircraft.
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My grandfather was s truck driver during the war. While unloading ammunition from a train to the trucks, they were straifed by a He went into the burning train and rescued two fallen soldiers, earning him the Soldiers Medal. He has been gone for 17 years now, but I will never forget sitting with him and talking about his life. Tillman, Your last point is especially well taken. When Hitler witnessed the V6 flying, no one told him the other five had crashed mainly to engine problems etc.
Having in his mind defeated the American daylight bombing raids in October, defeating the expected invasion next spring was his next concern, so an unstoppable jet bomber seemed of greater importance than a clear air superiority fighter, when what he had seemed adequate at that moment.
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To do that, the Westinghouse engineers were ordered by their bosses to derate the engines, ie reduce their power to achieve the contracted reliability requirements without telling the USAAF or the Bell company, regardless of what it did to the performance of the Bell PB, whose engineers were constantly confused why its performance declined as they eliminated other problems. By the time the Bell engineers got the Westinghouse engineers to confess and explain their effective sabotage of the program it was too late to save the Bell P Then there are the tactical limitations of its 30mm cannon being slow firing, in part because the front pair had only 80 rounds, the rear only , which among other things meant combat was rather brief.
Great comments. If there are any mistakes in the article that need to be corrected, they were introduced in the editing process. The weak link was always the engines, which I felt the article stated.
Messerschmitt Me 262
The octane situation is a story in itself, and an underappreciated one. Allied fighters enjoyed significant performance advantages due to the availability of higher-octane fuel than the Germans could dream of obtaining in quantity. Was Galland right? I suspect that with time and numbers, the Luftwaffe would have eventually developed the tactics to make the jets extremely lethal, but there were not enough jets, nor was there time.
Dorr - July 6, An Me reproduction in flight at an air show.
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Dorr Robert F. Dorr is an author, U. Air Force veteran, and retired American diplomat who Sharing Options:.
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Facebook Comments 6 Archived Comments. Barrett Tillman. Edmond W Holcombe. Bill English. It was slower and uglier. Chuck Oldham Editor. Philip Lyon. A few corrections are in order. The Me was put into service too soon. The engines only lasted hours.
sympmijunctycfumb.gq By comparisons piston engines were expected to last hours between overhauls. Your source for trustworthy defense news Read more about our mission info defensemedianetwork.