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History - The runway

The Me262 aircraft, once assembled, had to be transferred to Luftwaffe squadrons as fast as possible.

During the planning phase, the Luftwaffe colonel Diesing, who worked as a liaison officer between REIMAHG and the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Air Ministry), proposed to construct five runways in the Walpersberg Mountain area.

However, due to construction and logistical reasons, this was almost impossible. Therefore, it was decided to construct a runway on the top of the Walpersberg Mountain.

Commencement of the project began in summer 1994 with major construction works. When the While Allied aerial photographs show only the beginnings of construction on August 15th 1944, by 26th December 1944 that the runway is ready can clearly be seen.




In order to take off, the Me262 needed a runway length of more then 1000 metres. The runway on the Walpersberg Mountain had, with its extended runway in the east and the west, just 1000 m. This was the reason why the Me262 started its take off with rockets, which were fixed beneath the fuselage and could be ejected after take-off. They gave the aircraft the necessary lift for the take-off. A further problem was the "bulge" in the middle of the runway, which resulted in the pilots not being able to see the entire runway upon starting their aircraft.

Wind direction dictated whether they started from the east or the west. The destination was Zerbst which was around 15 minutes flying time. For orientation, they followed the Saale River. In Zerbst, the Me262 was armed and was fitted with radio equipment.
After further test flights, the aircraft was handed over to the Luftwaffe.

By April 1945, work on the runway wasn`t completed, and as thee Allies occupied the factory, much of the construction equipment was still standing on the runway.

It is still possible to identify the runway today.