Messerschmitt Me 262

This Messerschmitt Me 262 was on display at RAF Cosford.

Messerschmitt Me 262

The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft.

The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. It was designed and produced by the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt. Design work started before World War II began, but problems with engines, metallurgy and top-level interference kept the aircraft from operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944, and it quickly proved to be a formidable opponent for Allied fighters. 

Messerschmitt Me 262

The Me 262 was faster and more heavily armed than any Allied fighter, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor. The Allies countered by attacking the aircraft on the ground and during takeoff and landing. As one of the most advanced Second World War combat aircraft, the Me 262 operated as a light bomber, reconnaissance, and experimental night fighter.

The Me 262 was a technological marvel for its time. It was powered by two Junkers Jumo 004B turbine engines, which gave it a top speed of over 870 km/h (540 mph).

Junkers Jumo 004B turbine engine

The Me 262 was also armed with four 30-mm cannons, which gave it a devastating firepower.

The Me 262 was a major threat to the Allies, and it could have changed the course of the war if it had been available in greater numbers earlier. However, the Me 262 was introduced too late in the war to have a decisive impact. The Allies had already gained air superiority, and they were able to overwhelm the Me 262 with numbers.

Despite its late introduction, the Me 262 was a significant technological achievement. It was the first jet-powered fighter to enter service, and it paved the way for the development of future jet fighters. The Me 262 is considered to be one of the most important aircraft of World War II.

More photographs of the Me 262.

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