This was the first
operational turbo-jet powered fighter aircraft in the world. It launched
a new era in aerial warfare.
|In 1938 the Technishe Amt of the RLM
ordered Messerschmitt A.G. to design an aircraft using the newly
designed BMW P3302 axial-flow turbo-jets. This was the start of the Me 262.
The Me 262 V1 flew with a piston engine, due
to the unavailability of the turbojet engine, on April 18, 1941 for testing
of the airframe.
Up to this stage, the aircraft had the conventional
tail wheel, and problems to get the tail wheel up during take off was encountered.
The V5 was fitted with a nose-wheel and two assist takeoff rockets.
It had a take off run of 440 yards.
The V8 was the first armed version with a fully retractable tri-cycle undercarriage and blown canopy. Armament consisted of four 30mm MK 108 cannon in the nose section. Hitler wanted the aircraft to be a bomber. This decision hampered the production of the very good fighter, but some versions were fitted with two pylons under the nose.
The first production model, Me 262 A-7, entered service in July 1944. It was a single seat interceptor-fighter. Radio equipment consisted of a FuG 16zy ultra high frequency radio for plane-to-plane and plane-to-ground communications, incorporating direction and range facilities and a FuG 25a IFF.
Some versions were fitted with a FuG 125 Hermine blind-landing receiver, FuB L3 radio altimeter and a FuG 120K Bernadine which automatically recorded, on a paper chart, the direction to a ground station that was tuned in manually.
|Type||Single-seat Interceptor Fighter|
|Power Plants||Two Junkers Jumo 004B-1, -2 or -3 axial-flow turbo-jets, each rated at 1,980 lb.s.t|
|Armament||Four 30mm MK 108 cannon with 100 r.p.g for upper pair and 80 r.p.g for lower pair|
|Performance||Maximum speed at sea level (14,267 lb) : 514 mph
Maximum speed at 9,840 ft : 530 mph
Maximum speed at 19,685 ft : 540 mph
Maximum speed at 26,250 ft : 532 mph
Maximum speed at 32,800 ft : 510 mph
Range at sea level : 298 mls
Range at 19,685 ft : 526 mls
Range at 29,560 ft : 625 mls
Initial climb rate : 3,937 ft/min
Climb rate at 19,685 ft : 2,165 ft/min
Climb rate at 29,560 ft : 1,082 ft/min
Time to 19,685 ft : 6.8 min
Time to 29,530 ft : 13.1 min
Time to 32,810 ft : 26 min
|Weights||Empty : 8,378 lb
Empty equipped : 9,742 lb
Loaded (396 Imp Gal fuel) : 14,101 lb
Loaded (565 Imp Gal fuel) : 15,720 lb
|Dimensions||Span : 40 ft. 11 1/2 in.
Length : 34 ft. 9 1/2 in.
Height : 12 ft. 7 in.
Wing area : 234 sq.ft.