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History - the Me 262 "Swallow"

Developed in 1938 by the Messerschmitt company, the Me 262 "Swallow" was the first operational jet aircraft in the world. Its maiden flight took place on July 18th 1942 and the Me 262 proved to be faster than any known aircraft. Problems in development, Allied bombing raids and cautious Luftwaffe leadership, contributed to a slowdown in mass production.

Only in 1943 did Hitler permit mass production, but he insisted that the aircraft would be used as a dive-bomber. On the 25th July 1944, the Me262 saw its first aerial combat, but was shot down by a British Mosquito reconnaissance plane over Munich.

Allied bombers and fighters destroyed hundreds of Me262s on the ground. Out of more than 1400.

Me 262s built, as few as 300 engaged in aerial combat. Most of them awaited re-designation as bombers, or were not airworthy due to lack of fuel, insufficient spare parts or indeed qualified pilots.

Technical data:

Type: One seater jet aircraft
Triebwerke: 2 jet turbines Junkers Jumo 004B-1/-2/-3 je 900 kg thrust
Performance: Höchstgeschwindigkeit 870 km/h in 6000 m Höhe
Service ceiling: 11,450 m
Max actieradius: 1,050 km
Weight (Empty): 3,800 kg
Combat weight: 6,400 kg
Dimensions:
Wingspan: 12,48 m
Length: 10,60 m
Height: 3,84 m
Wing surface: 21,70 m²
Armament: 4 Machineguns MK 108 - 30 mm, nose mounted
Radio equipment: Fu G 16 ZY (UKW), Fu G 25a Ground/Air Fried/Foe recognition.

More information concerning the Me262 can also be found at: www.stormbirds.com / www.luftarchiv.de