Messerchmitt Me 262
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Messerchmitt Me 262

    Mulit Role Combat Aircraft
The V-1 in 1941

Specification for A-1b
    Engine: 2x Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets
    Wing Span: 12.65 m
    Length: 10.60 m
    Height: 2.80 m
    Weight: Empty 3,803 kg / Loaded 6,697 kg
    Maximum Speed: 835 km/h
    Ceiling: 11,400 m
    Range: 1,230 km
    Crew: 1
    Armament: 4x 30mm cannons / 24 R4M AA rockets

History:

The Design of the World's first operational jet powered combat aircraft was started in April 1939. Initiated by a RLM contract in December 1938 for a high speed, multi-role aircraft, capable of accepting any available propulsion unit, the aircraft was known as the P.1065. Intended to be fitted with BMW engines the Me 262 V1 made it's first flight on the 18/4/1941, but only propelled by a Junkers Jumo 210 piston engine temporarily fitted in the nose as the BMW engines were not ready. How ever by March 1942 the engines were fitted and the aircraft made ready for it's first flight with jet power, fortunately the piston engine was retained as the BMW turbojets failed immediately after take off and saved a fatal crash. At this point it was decided to fit the new Junker Jumo 004 turbojets, on the 18/7/1942 the Me 262 V3 made it's first flight on jet power alone
The V3 in July 1943
 
By 4/4/1943 the specifications for the Me 262 were finalizes by the RLM including bomber, fighter and reconnaissance rolls. In December 1943 a operational training unit was set up Erprobungskommando 262 which received it's first jets on the 10/6/1944 marking the beginning of the Me 262's service career
 
EKdo's Me 262A1's June 1944
.
The need for training resulted in the Me 262 B-1a
Which was converted into the Me262 B-1a/U1
Night Fighter

To show just how good the design of the Me 262 was as a mutil-roll aircraft one just has to look at the staggering number of variants made by May 1945, fourteen in all not including prototypes (see List of Jets). But was not the end for the Me 262 as manufacturing of the A1a and B1a would continue in Czechoslovakia, all be it in very small quantities until the late forties.

A line drawing of the most advanced Me262 made, the HG II (1944)
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