German Messerschmitt Me 262B
FE-610
W Nr 110306
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Photo by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer
Freeman Field, 1945-6

Photo by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer
Freeman Field, 1945-6

Photo by Earl L. Ware, Base Photographer
Freeman Field, 1945-6

 


At Freeman Field
Courtesy Mr. Lynn Ware
 

At Freeman Field 
 
At Freeman Field
Source Disposition
War Prizes
pg 218
Surrendered to the RAF at Scheswig in May 1945
War Prizes
pg 218
Handed over to Col. Watson on 19 June 1945 and flown via Twente and Beauvechain/Le Culot to Melum-Villaroche
War Prizes
pg 218
Ferried from Melum to Cherbourg on about 3 July 1945
War Prizes
pg 218
Shipment to the USA aboard HMS Reaper.
War Prizes
pg 218
Believed to have been ferried from Newark to Freeman Field on 28 September 1945
TSEAL 6D
09/01/1945
08/01/1945 at Newark to be sent to Freeman Field
War Prizes
pg 218
At Freeman Field on 17 May 1946
War Prizes
pg 218
01 August 1946 it was recorded in flyable condition at Washington, DC, where it was taking part in a static display organized for the US Secretary of War
War Prizes
pg 218
Later scrapped, last being heard of at Cornell University about 1950
Paul F. Straney and Robert Sacchi
link no longer works
Supposedly this aircraft was declared surplus and went to Cornell University around 1950, but Calspan, Inc. , which took over Cornell's aeronautical department, has no record of the aircraft ever having been there.

Air News with Air Tech
December 1945


BEST of the German jets on the basis of its operational record and one of the European theater’s most formidable fighters, Allied or Axis, was the Messerschmitt 262. A single-seat, twin-jet, low-wing, all-metal monoplane, it was designed in 1938, first flown in 1940. A series of nine modifications resulted in the production model which made its first appearance against British and American bomber formations in the summer of 1944.  Exceptionally fast, heavily armed and armored, with few vulnerable parts, it was more highly regarded by Allied airmen than by some Luftwaffe pilots whose confidence in the plane’s high performance was tempered by erratic behavior on take-off and landing.

Whatever its potentialities, the 262 was seldom used to best advantage and never in effective quantity. Production plans in August, 1944 called for 500 in December, 600 in January and February, 800 in March. but by war's end no more than 1,400 had been produced. Of these, half were destroyed in training accidents and by Allied attacks on German airfields. Most of the remaining 700 were either shot down or crashed due to failure of jet units. Others were destroyed by retreating Germans and only a handful remained to enlighten Allied Technical Air Intelligence squads.

Designed to accommodate Heinkel jet units, production and engineering difficulties resulted in the substitution of Jumo .004 “Turbinenlauf” power plants. Nearly twelve feet long and weighing 1,540 pounds, the Jumo is heavier than comparable British units, develops a thrust of 1,605 pounds at sea level. A small reciprocating engine is used for starting.

Close-up of Messerschmitt Me-262A1 Schwalbe reveals position and mounts of four Mk. 108 30-mm cannon.  Note simple construction of jet engine.

Armament for the 262 was to have consisted of two 55-mm cannon, but these, though designed, were not yet in production. Hitler then favored the installation of 50-mm tank guns but Goering countered with a reminder that the barrels would extend six feet beyond the nose, thus impairing the plane’s stability and performance. Eventually, four MK 108s (30-mm cannon) were selected as standard armament for the A-1 fighter version and two cannon of like caliber for the A-2 bomber. Synchronized to converge at between 400 and 500 yards, the guns were generally fired at about 800 yarns

in order to compensate for the plane’s high speed. Reflector gun sights were first installed, later to be replaced by newer gyroscopic sights. Reportedly, a few Me-262s carried six guns and there is evidence of a plan to install two batteries of twelve R4M rockets under each wing. These would have been launched at Allied bomber formations at more than a mile’s distance.

Armor protection consists of 16-mm head and shoulder plates and a forward cockpit bulkhead of the same thickness. Absence of armor and proximity of a fuel tank to the rear of the pilot is apparently discounted due to the plane’s high speed. German pilots interrogated on this point were confident that nothing in the air could match them.

With 522 gallons of fuel, 360 rounds of ammunition, the A-1 takes off at 15,550 pounds. The A-2 with its two guns, 160 rounds of ammunition, and one 500-kg or two 250-kg bombs, weighs 15,400 pounds.

Standard fuel for the Jumo jet is a brown coal oil known as J-2 and distinguished by a particularly disagreeable odor. Diesel oil and aviation gasoline may also be used but the latter is not considered practicable due to an extremely high rate of consumption.

Without bomb load or auxiliary fuel tank the Me-262 requires from 900 to 1,100 yards for take-off on concrete and from 1,100 to 1,400 yards on a grass field. The normal required take-off run of 1,100 yards is reduced to 650 by means of two A.T.O. rockets having a total thrust of 1,000 kg.   As few German airfields were equipped with concrete runways, Autobahns were frequently used for operations.

At full throttle, a straight and level speed of 830 kph (515 mph) can be maintained for ten or fifteen minutes. Cruising speed is approximately 465 mph and speeds of 650 mph in dives were not uncommon. Willi Messerschmitt quotes a maximum speed of 560 mph in level flight and at any altitude. That American test pilots were able to get no more than 525 mph out of the plane under favorable conditions he attributes to consid­erable variance in individual jet units. Messerschmitt also admits to inferior construction due to inadequate materials and lack of skilled labor. Elimination of extrusions as in the Lockheed P-80 would have added at least 25 kph to the plane’s top speed. Despite reportedly weak construction and a tendency to strip at high speeds, one German pilot interviewed by Air News’ corre­spondent claims a successful power dive at 1,200 kph (750 mph).

The Me-262’s high performance is due not only to the power generated by its two big Jumo turbines but to an airframe that is fundamentally sound, aerodynamically clean. The horizontal stabilizers are situated well out of the slipstream and so there is no flutter at high speeds. Extremely thin wings minimize the factor of compressibility.

M2262A2 night fighter is a radar-equipped two-seater, and has external tanks for additional range.  Note the lengthened cockpit, radar antenna.  (Photo at Freeman Field)

Endurance of the Me-262 ranges from 45 to 90 minutes. Stall characteristics are good, ailerons respond well and it is capable of all combat maneuvers. Spoilers fitted along the leading edge project automatically at about 300 kph (186 mph) when the plane is in a gliding anile and at about 450 kph (279 mph) when in a climbing position. Tunis are not attempted at speeds of less than 350 kph. If throttle is advanced too quickly at less than 7,000 rpm, engines are likely to fail, a characteristic which has resulted in a number of take-off accidents.

A four-jet version, the Me-264 designed for bombing and long-range reconnaissance, was first flown in December, 1942, and was to have been ready for combat in the sum­mer of 1945. Messerschmitt was also’ well along on a modification of the 262 which would have attained a speed of 575 mph and been capable of flying for two hours at 27,000 feet without belly tanks.

The Heinkel 280, a parallel development of the Me-262, did not reach operational stage. Differing externally in its twin fins and rudders, it otherwise closely resembled the 262.

Looking forward, this view indicates highly concentrated fire from the four Mk. 108 cannons.


Above four photos: photos of Mrs. Dorney and the Me-262.  The photos were taken at Freeman Field.  Apparently, Colonel Watson took both Colonel Dorney and his wife up on flights at Freeman Field in the two seat Me-262.  I have been in contact with Colonel Dorney's children. They have given us permission to use them in any appropriate way.  Dave Gray, Freeman Field Recovery Team.
 

The aircraft is Me 262 B-1a/U1, W.Nr. 110306, with its radar antler array removed. I've also included another photo of this aircraft with the antler array removed. Manfred Jurleit claimed that the aircraft was equipped with 2 MG 151/20 (20 mm).

He is not considered a particularly reliable source, so this could be wrong.

The overall length was 69-1/2 in. Normally, the Me 262 was equipped with 4 MK 108 of overall length of 45 in. The only other possibility was the MK 103 with an overall length of 91 in. with a muzzle brake or 80 in. without a muzzle brake. Most likely Jurleit was correct that the armament was the MG 151/20.

Richard Eger
12/15/2011

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Jim West
Page last revised 05/28/2013