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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9


Trainers:
  
Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52


Bombers:
   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell


Transports:
   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation


Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander


Jets:
   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto


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Messerschmitt Me 262
Schwalbe / Sturmvogel

(Variants/Other Names: S.92; See History below for others)


Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe / Sturmvogel

History: In the pre-nuclear, pre-terrorist days of warfare, when many battling nations were technological equals, overwhelming mass was an irresistible determiner of outcome. For a single nation to twice take on the modern world within a 20-year period, there must be a high level of self-delusion, if not madness, in the highest ranks of government, especially when it was still staggering from the effects of losing the first try. None-the-less, Nazi Germany did exactly that, and no amount of technological ingenuity could alter that fact, as the history of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the first turbojet to be used in combat, dramatically illustrates. Had the aircraft been introduced in large numbers in 1939, it is conceivable that the "Battle of Britain" might have ended as Hitler envisioned, while the United States, had it become involved, would have had to fight an aerial war from across the Atlantic, and every pub in England would today be known as "die Bierstube." Perhaps.

In fact, the Me 262 began as a preliminary design in 1939, without the engines needed to make it fly. Thus, the first prototype flew in 1941 with a 700hp Jumo 210G piston engine, and not the planned BMW 003 turbojet engines.

The early prototypes were fitted with conventional tail wheels. However, this configuration made takeoffs highly dangerous, so a fully retractable tricycle landing gear modification became the standard. The Me 262A-1a "Schwalbe" ("Swallow") was the first production model of the Me 262. It was produced with four Mk 108 30mm cannon mounted in the nose, in its role as an interceptor, a role that it performed with great promise except for several limiting factors: First, it came into the battle far too late, when the Allied air forces had reached formidable capacity; secondly, its engines were a constant source of trouble, frequently failing after no more than 12 hours; third, it was utilized inappropriately for far too long, after Hitler decided that the machine should be used in a bombing capacity, to "punish" the Allies. That version, the Me 262A-2a "Sturmvogel" ("Stormbird") was reconfigured to carry two 550lb bombs, still retaining the four cannon. A further refinement, Me 262A-2a/U1 had two of the cannon removed to provide space for a bomb-aiming device, and Me 262A-2/U2 carried a prone bombardier in the nose section. Thus, for much of the aircraft's brief combat life, it was used against the wrong type of targets, with even less effect than if it had been used as an interceptor.

In addition to bomber, ground attack and night fighter variants, the Me 262 was also produced as a tandem two-seat trainer, the Me 262B-1a. Four 262A-1as were modified to carry a single 50mm Mk 214 cannon which extended almost 7 feet beyond the nose of the plane, but the blinding flash from the barrel limited the effectiveness of the device. In any case, it didn't matter. There were 1,433 Me 262s built, with nearly 500 more destroyed by bombing raids before they were completed. Of that total, fewer than 300 were actually used in combat.


Using equipment and components manufactured during the occupation of Czechoslovakia, some Me 262s were produced by Avia, in Czechoslovakia after the war, under the designation S.92.

In its brightest moments, when it was used as intended, the Me 262 was the equivalent of sending the "Three Musketeers" against Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn. In one battle, for instance, 37 of the 262s were scrambled against an Allied raid that consisted of 1,221 bombers and 632 fighter escorts! In their most effective performance, they cost the Allies a one percent loss.

Despite the fact that the Me 262 is one of the most rare and esoteric aircraft of World War II, at least one group has endeavored to build brand new copies of this interesting airplane, updated to modern safety standards, and powered by more modern jet engines. The distinctive profile of the Me 262 has recently graced the skies again, this time in peaceful reflection rather than with hostile intent.  [History by Kevin Murphy]

Nicknames: Turbo (Used by German pilots.)

Specifications (Me 262A-1a):
        Engines: Two 1,984-pound thrust Junkers Jumo 004B-1/-2/-3 turbojets (Modern replicas to be powered by General Electric J85 axial-flow turbojets).
        Weight: Empty 8,378 lbs., Max Takeoff 14,110 lbs.
        Wing Span: 40ft. 11.5in.
        Length: 34ft. 9.5in.
        Height: 12ft. 7in.
        Performance:
            Maximum Speed: 540 mph
            Ceiling: 37,565 ft.
            Range: 652 miles
        Armament: Four 30-mm MK 108 cannon in nose

Number Built: 1,433

Number Still Airworthy: Two replicas, with more expected to be airworthy in the next few years. See links below.

Links:
Air Assets International, Colorado, USA -- Brokers for new Me-262 replicas.
Classic Fighter Industries, Inc.
Me-262 "Stormbirds" Site
 
 

Messerschmitt Me262

Messerschmitt Me 262
By David Baker
192 Pages, Hardcover
Published 1997 by Crowood Press
 
Price $44.95


 

 

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All text and photos Copyright 2006 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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