Messerschmitt Me-262A-1a 'Schwalbe'

  Base model:Me 262
  Basic role:Fighter (Germany)

  Length: 34' 9" 10.5 m
  Height:11' 4" 3.4 m
  Wingspan: 41' 12.5 m
  Gross Weight: 15,600 lb 7,074 kg

  No. of Engines: 2
  Powerplant: Junkers Jumo 004
  Thrust (each): 1,980 lb 897 kg

  Range: 650 miles 1,046 km
  Cruise Speed: 460 mph 740 km/h 400 kt
  Max Speed: 540 mph 869 km/h 469 kt
  Ceiling: 38,000 ft 11,582 m

Examples of this type may be found at
United States Air Force MuseumWright-PattersonOhio

Me-262A-1a on display

United States Air Force Museum


Recent comments by our visitors
 st peters, MO
1400 ME 262 jets were produced and only 300-400 flew in the entire war! During the battle of the Bulge the first time in history was a jet attack was by ME262s
on allied ground targets.As a jet the 262 wasn't pratical, the engines had to be overhauled after only 20 hours or less ,and were prone to screw up !. All you had to do was find a good P-51 pilot who could follow the ME262 down to land and let it have it or during take off- attack it! In the air during a turn a P-51 could hammer a ME262 ,althrough the ME262 was faster than the P-51 in flight ,during turning it lost airspeed.( I think Chuck Yeager nailed a ME262 that was landing )The German's developed this technology before the Nazis came to power ,all they did was build on exsisting knowledge at the time. Alot of Me262s were destroyed on the gound by the allies during the war.Like the idiots the Nazis were
they didnt bring the 262 out earlier in the war ! Thank God for their stupidity and poor military decisions. As far as the ME162 Komet , it went up fast and on the way down it was pretty much helpless and fighters could destroy them as they guilded down to land, or when they were on the ground being preped for take off! The ME262 was Germans attempt to grasp for straws loosing the war
The Luftwaffe General admited that once B-17s had P-51 fighter escorts they knew they had already lost the war ,so dispite their last minute introduction of the ME262 the impact was very weak . They had a jet developed to late in the game with to many maintenace issues to be effective ! (The german ace in a BF 109 airplane who spared a damaged B-17 allowing it to get back to England said he once flew the ME262 once and the engines had to be overhauled every 12 hours !) The ME 262 wasn't that reliable of an aircraft and I would speculate it needed alot of maintence all the time by the ground crews just to keep it flying !

02/09/2010 @ 20:39 [ref: 25706]
 Jack L Gilbert
 Rio Rancho, NM
The ME-262 was an amazing example of German ability to produce advanced technology weaponry under almost impossible conditions, but, it was not capable of winning the war, because it's engine technology was inferior. The airframe was superb, but the fact is that airframes minus engines equal useless junk on the battlefield and a waste of valuable resources. That being said, if we examine what might-have-been, then we must also admit that it would have been difficult for the allies to provide adequate fighter escorts using either the Meteor or the P-80, because of the lack of adequate combat range from airfields in the UK to targets deep inside Germany. The USAF found it to be problematic in Korea, when F-80s and F-84s were used to provide air cover from bases in Japan. These early jets just didn't have the fuel efficiency to allow for long-range combat operations. The ME-262s would have been operating from airfields close to the battlezones and the Meteors and Shooting Stars would have been flying from England. In the end, the escort duties would probably still have been performed by Mustangs and T-bolts, at least until airfields would have become available on the continent (if at all). Fortunately, we'll never know what might have happened. However, I would be very interested to hear what results were learned when the allies conducted combat tests between captured 262s and P-80s/Meteors.
02/11/2009 @ 12:28 [ref: 23698]
 Homer Simpson
 , ON
cool plane but wat about the Horten HO229 ? it's also a jet airplane made by Germany in World War 2
06/10/2006 @ 14:19 [ref: 13489]
 Arthur Pearce
 Winnipeg, MB
The Me262 was a very impressive plane, but it had several drawbacks. Tempermental & often unreliable engines was one of the biggest. This plane is featured in the game Fighter Ace 3.6, and I can remember ataining 400mph-in level flight!
03/07/2006 @ 20:55 [ref: 12725]
 , NY
The ME-262 was impressive, but not that impressive. It's often suggested that if only Hitler said keep it as a fighter, the Germans would have won. Rubbish. The allies had a bunch of impressive designs themselves, but didn't bother. If the 262s were showing up in large enough numbers to be a threat, you'd have seen more meteors, and more P-80s, sooner. There were other designs too, some of which were in many ways more revolutionary than the 262.

They flew the first really successful prototype mission with the jet in April '43. By the time they had sufficient engines, and had the thing delivered for tests with a squadron (1944), the British were already flying meteors against the buzz bombs.

The main problem with the 262 was its engine. They were produced in too low numbers to build lots of 262s whether Hitler wanted it as a Fighter or not, and the first ones were very unreliable. Even the production ones had a life expectancy of a little over 10 hrs in flight.

This was not a war winner.

12/18/2005 @ 23:25 [ref: 12024]
 , IN
Ray Roberts,

WWII was lost to Germany for the same reason that it was started in the first place. Hitler was an idiot.

The ME-262 was designed as a fighter, the first prototypes flew in 1939, but duuuh furher insisted that they be made into bombers to pound England. The only problem with this ideas was that they only had a 600 mile range and the Junker Jumo 004 jet which powered them was in short supply. When they started being produced in significant numbers as a fighter in 1944, the war was already lost.

Although earlier versions of this engine had a operational life of 200 - 300 hours, the Junkers Jumo 004 is often remembered as a temperamental and failure-prone powerplant. Despite its advanced design, production engine life was only between 10 and 25 hours, with the mean being at the lower end of this range because Germany lacked the raw materials needed to build the engine properly.

So, this engine made the Me 262 spend most of its time on the ground because it used too much fuel and was always in need of a major overhaul. It was a sitting duck for Allied attacks.

In the end, the ME 262 was no more practical than was Adolph Hitler. In other words, not very.
07/19/2005 @ 13:07 [ref: 10790]
 Ray Roberts
 Gibsonburg, OH
The ME-262 was not only way ahead of it's time, but was far superior to ANY airborne craft in all of WW2. This is an amazing, legendary jet! A prime example of SUPERIOR Third Reich technology. Just be glad that when production of the ME-262 went into moderate swing, there were not enough experienced pilots left in Germany...or you'd be saying 'Seig Heil' LOL!
06/13/2005 @ 19:12 [ref: 10472]
 , FL
I agree with von!! The p51's were cool,but could u imagine a me 262 flyin up on a p51..No propeller.The allied pilots were probably shocked to say the least..me262 way ahead of its time...
04/01/2004 @ 15:54 [ref: 7124]
 Park 40
 , MA
ME262 was ahead do its time. But by far the most popular fighter of all time is the P51D!!!!!!!!!!!!!
07/19/2002 @ 18:49 [ref: 5340]
 Layne A. Bush
 Arlington, TX
Good photo of the 262,wish you had a photo of the engine uncowled showing the engine to wing mounting points.Would be very helpful for the model of this aircraft That I am building.
06/26/2002 @ 16:09 [ref: 5184]


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