Messerschmitt Me-262 - $5.95

Sleek and Deadly..The Messerschmitt Me 262. During WWII's final two years this gas turbine-powered M2-262 was the great white hope of the Luftwaffe's Fighter Force.Far faster than any allied fighter type, with its powerful armament, it promised to be a potent bomber destroyer. Yet in combat, the revolutionary jet made little impact in any role..WHAT went wrong??

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WWII Messerschmitt ME-262 "Swallow" Jet Fighter

Me-262 Swallow


Me-262 by Dave Caldwell


Messerschmitt Me-262


Engine Problems

In the late 1930s, engineers in Great Britain and Germany began for work on a new method of aircraft propulsion: the gas turbine engine.

It promised far higher power-to-weight ratios than were possible with piston engines-without any reciprocating parts or airscrew conversion losses. There was a significant tradeoff at first. The gas turbine ran at far higher rotational speeds and far higher temperatures than its piston equivalents, and early examples were more difficult to control.

Developing the new power unit was difficult enough, but German engineers faced a further problem. Owing to the Allied blockade; the hardening elements necessary for effective high-temperature-resistant steel alloys-in particular, chromium and nickel-were in short supply. Only limited quantities could be spared for the jet-engine program, so those who worked on the new propulsion system had to make the best of what was available. For the Jumo 004 engine that powered the Me 262, Junkers engineers used some substitute materials that were not up to the job.

For example, the combustion chambers were made of mild steel and coated with baked-on aluminum to prevent them from oxidizing. When the engine was running, these combustion chambers slowly buckled out of shape. The turbine blades were made of a steel-based alloy that contained some nickel and chromium. That material was insufficiently resilient, however, when the engine was running, the centrifugal forces used the blades to elongate, or "creep."

Under this Me 262A-2a's nose, a streamlined rack carries an SC 250 high explosive bomb.

Limited by combustion chamber buckling and turbine blade"creep," the running life of pre production Jumo 004s rarely reached 10 hours. Throughout a flight, careful throttle handling was vital to avoid having an engine flame-out or overheat. At altitudes of above 13,000 feet, the engine became increasingly temperamental, and if it suffered a flameout, the pilot had to descend below that altitude before he attempted a relight. In its early form, the Jumo 004 had too many weaknesses to allow mass-production.

After much hard work to improve matters, late in June 1944, the Jumo 0048-4 emerged with a running life of 25 hours. That still wasn't impressive, and certain reliability problems remained, but the Luftwaffe couldn't afford to wait any longer. The design of the Jumo 0048-4 was "frozen" and the unit was put into mass production. During Sept '44, Jumo 004B-4 production reached significant levels, and that month, the Luftwaffe took delivery of 90 Me 262s.

Me-262 cardmodel

Purchase Information
The Messerschmitt 262 Swallow comes in two scales and a BW version

What people say...

After having filled a waste paper basket with partially built models, I just finished 2 Fiddler's Green, ME262's that are now part of my collection. One is WSAM scale and the other is an HO scale model.They are both really fantastic. The way the engines build up is really ingenious. I found that the trick to building this model, is to make the center section of the model, which has tabs on both ends, oversize. In HO scale, I made the fuselage section about 1/16 of an inch oversize and on the 1/60 scale model, it is about 1/8 inch oversize. The HO scale model is so cool, that I immediately started work on a Texan in the same scale. How cool is it? Its so cute that my 13 year old daughter offered to take it and make it the first model in her own paper plane collection. Roger Cousineau, 3/14/01

Yes I was very skeptical of the method , especially as at the moment I use paper and not card for my models but it works.

Probably a good idea to print out a few noses i.e. Me262 or Me163 and try them to get the hang of it.

I am sure someone with more skill/experience than me will add/correct this for you.

Forming noses are a pain, The last model I designed had a big one and I had to make it again and again and again. I hated it.But I found a trick that made it easy and I got pretty good at it. First I had been doing it by forming them around a ball of tissue paper with some glue on it, very messy but it works if you are careful.

I was sitting at my desk and on it was a track-ball mouse. This is one of those logitech track balls with the control ball sitting in a cup shaped holder on top of the mouse. I removed the ball and looked in the hole. it was a spherical shaped depression in the top of the mouse. It occurred to me the hole was also just a little bigger diameter then the cruise missile nose. I cut out a cruise missile nose and formed it into a ring and let that dry. I put some glue on the insides of the petals. Then I took the ring, petals downward and pushed it into the hole on the mouse.

The curved sides of the hole formed the petals together smoothly. I was able to hold the ring in the hole (all petals formed together with just two fingers.) Then with the other hand I took a small swatch of tissue and pressed it over the back of the petals and held it for a few seconds while the glue set into the tissue. I pulled the nose back out and viola a perfect nose.

Since then I have been looking for items with similar shaped depressions (spherical) but with different diameters. I found a couple that will work (shot glasses) I will just keep collecting an assortment of shapes and keep them in a box till needed. Matthew Sparks

Me-262 Messerschmitt (Swallow)


EXPECTATIONS that the axial-flow BMW114003 turbojet would reach a workable stage by the end of 1939 resulted in Messerschmitt being asked to design an aircraft to use it. By August 1940 work had begun on three prototypes. The Me262, as the design was designated, was developed as a prospective fighter, and featured slightly swept wings and a triangular-section fuselage, the original tail wheel landing gear being changed subsequently to a tricycle type in order to overcome difficulties in taking off.

These were caused by the elevators failing to work effectively in the aerodynamic shadow of the deep fuselage. It was November 1941, however, before the first supposedly airworthy BMW 003s were ready for installation. By this time the Mc 262 VI first prototype had undergone flight trials with a nose-mounted piston engine, and fortunately this was retained for the first flight with the turbojets installed, in March 1942. Both jets suffered broken compressor blades within seconds of take-off, and the aircraft just managed to fly a circuit on its propeller.

It was to be nearly two more years before a redesigned BMW engine was completed, and in the meantime a pair of 850-kg (1874-lb) thrust Jumo 004A engines were fitted to the third prototype, the Me 262 V3 making a successful take-off and first flight with these engines in July 1942.

It was the end of 1943, however, before any of the prototypes was fitted with armament, and by then there was an additional requirement - from Hitler personally - for the type to carry bombs. But the Me 262 was now a top-priority program and in July 1944, the first production Me 262s were delivered to a special Luftwaffe test unit.

three view of the Me-262

The first production model was the Me 262A-la Schwalbc interceptor, with a nose armament of four 30-mm (1.18-in) MK 108 cannon. The poor performance of these weapons led to a number of alternative armament schemes being tested, including the use of cannon up to 55-mm (2.17-in) calibre. The use of wire-guided X-4 missiles was also proposed, but under wing racks for 12 spinstablized R4M rockets on each side, introduced on the A-lb proved the most immediately effective solution.

Other production variants in the A series included small numbers of the A-2a Sturmvogel fighter-bomber, which carried two 250-kg (551-lb) or one 500-kg (1 102-Ib) bombs, one example being modified to accommodate a bomb-aimer in the nose, and the photo-reconnaissance A-5a, with only two MK 108s.

By the end of 1944 the Me 262B-la two-seat trainer had appeared, but only 15 were completed as such, a few more being given Neptune V radar to become B-la/Ill night-fighters, and only one example of the definitive B-2a night-fighter, which was to have had Berlin radar, was flown during the war. Also, shortly before Germany's capitulation, two A-l's were fitted with rocket boosters to become the fast-climbing C-la and C-2a.

Shortages of time and resources prevented the Me 262s achieving service in sufficient numbers to have a significant effect on the course of the war. After 1945 some Me 262s were rebuilt in Czechoslovakia and entered Czech air force service as S-92s.

Assembly Details for the ME-262

Design of the Me 262 jet fighter, which had the Messerschmitt Projekt number 1065, began about a year before the outbreak of World War II . But, due to delays in the development and delivery of satisfactory engines, the depredations caused by Allied air attacks, a troublesome development program, and Hitler's refusal to be advised regarding its most appropriate role, it was six years before the aircraft entered Luftwaffe squadron service.

A mockup of the aircraft was completed during the latter half of 1939, examination of which prompted the RLM to order three flying prototypes in the spring of 1940. These were all completed by early 1941, long before the arrival of their engines; so, to test the basic attributes of the airframe, the Me 262 VI (PC + UA) made its first flight on 18 April 1941 with dummy jet-engine nacelles under the wings and a single 700hp Jumo 21 OG piston engine mounted In the nose. On 25 March 1942 it made a barely successful attempt to fly with two under wing BMW 003 jet engines, but still with the nose-mounted Jumo 210G. The first all-jet flight was made on 18 July 1942, when the Me 262 V3 (PC + TIC) took off under the power of two 840kg (l,8521b) st Jumo 004A turbojets. Many more prototypes were completed and used for trials with various armament and equipment installations, and from the VS onward (first flight 26 June 1943) a tricycle landing gear was substituted for the original tail wheel type.

 Several Fiddlers Green models have the orange-peel type of rounded nose shown above...To shape is not only easy, but lots of gooey, messy fun...

A) After rolling the nose over a sharpened pencil , glue together at the tab.
B) Dab the nose with a generous amount of white paper glue (Tacky or Elmers)
C) After about a minute, the glue will soften the paper and you can then...
D) Slowly and creatively swirl and twist the yucky nose cone into the palm of your hand one way, then the other as the glue sets and starts to harden.
E) Presto !!!! Nose cone
F) Go wash hand...
Note: Some like to pack glue saturated tissue into the nose cone for added support.. Keep in mind too, that this is exactly where the penny or pebble goes to keep model nose-down on it's landing gear. Ideal also, for tiny radar


From the Cartoon Book

Plans for priority mass-production were seriously affected by Allied air attacks upon Messerschmitt's Regensburg factory, and there were numerous development problems involving engine fires and failures, landing gear collapses, guns jamming, and in-flight break-ups. Engine deliveries began in earnest in June 1944, permitting deliveries of production Me 262As to begin, and 513 had been accepted by the Luftwaffe by the end of the year-less than 40 per cent of the planned number. The Me 262's flying qualities were excellent, and a pre-series batch of 23 A-Os was accepted in the spring of 1944.

These were allocated to the Erprobungsstelle at Rechlin and the conversion unit EKdo 262, the latter unit becoming, on 25 July 1944, the first to fire the Me 262's guns in anger. The two principal basic production versions to become operational were the Me 262A-la Schwalbe (swallow) interceptor and the Me 262A-2a SturmVogel (stormbird) fighter-bomber. The former was built in numerous sub-types with four 30mm MX 108 cannon in the nose, or alternative armament installations; the latter, produced as a result of Hitler's insistence upon developing the aircraft as a bomber, had external racks for one 1,000kg or two 500kg bombs.

Other variants included the A-la/V 083, with a single 50mm BK 5 cannon in the nose; the A-lb, with twelve 55mm R4M unguided rocket projectiles under each wing: the one-off A-2a/U2 with a gla2ed nose-cap over a prone bomb-aiming position; the ground attack Me 262A-3a; and the photo-reconnaissance Me 262A-la/U3 and Me 262A-Sa. A tandem two-seat trainer version was designated Me 262B-la, and one prototype was completed of a proposed two-seat night fighter, the Me 262B-2a. This incorporated a longer fuselage, containing more fuel, and a SchrAge Musik installation of two MK 108 cannon aft of the cockpit, firing upward. Messerschmitt ME-262

The B-2a did not enter production, but several B-las were convened for night fighting (without the extended fuselage) and redesignated Me 262B-1a/Ul. These were employed quite successfully by the Kommando Welter, or 10./NIG II as it was later known. The few Me 262C models completed before VE-day were fitted with various rocket motors in the fuselage to boost the fighter's climb rate. Although little more than 500 Me 262s had been produced by December 1944, by the end of the war the total had risen to about 1.430.

Probably less than a quarter of these saw frontline service, and losses among them were quite heavy, even though relatively few losses were realized in combat. Despite this, their destruction of Allied bombers and fighters was greater than one for one, and JV 44, the top-scoring Me 262 interceptor unit, achieved some 50 kills' in little more than a month's operations in 1945. In air-to-air combat the Me 262 never engaged its British counterpart, the twin-jet Gloster Meteor (which was slower and less well armed); conversely, many Me 262s were destroyed by Allied Mustang, Spitfire, Tempest and Thunderbolt piston-engine fighters.

Good Friend Doc Rowland spotted the ME-262 and Blue Oyster Cult connection

Messerschmitt ME-262  The Blue Oyster Cult ME-262Picture thanks to the fine folk over at Kozmik JellyFish


 Country of origin: Germany.  Length:10.6 M (34ft 9in)  Maximum speed: 870Km/h (540mph).
Type: Single-seat fighter.  Height: 3.8m (I12ft 7in).  Engine: 900Kg (1980 lb) thrust
Wingspan: 12.5m (41 FT) Weight: 7131 Kg ( 5,720b). 2  junkers jumo 0048-2 axial turbojets.
Ceiling: 11,500m (37,700ft). Range:1050 km (650 miles). Four 30mm MK108 cannon above nose.

Jim and Jeremy CooksonJim and son, Jeremy Cookson send in these great photos and letter (see below). The feel of these scenes is that of a Black Forest concealed air strip during the war. Notice the clear canopy and wire antenna on the fuselage.

It sure is nice seeing Fiddlers Green models used in such imaginative and creative ways.

 Messerschmitt ME-262Dear Chip...

Greetings from a convert to Card Modeling! Around two and a half years ago, while vacationing in San Diego we discovered your Post Card sized models at the San Diego Aerospace Museum; soon my son & I were "hooked"! Then we found you on the Internet and we've continued to enlarge our collection.

We thought you might like to see a couple of our models, in this case the Me109, FW190 and the Me262. The latter went together so nicely I was inspired to add a little to it in the way of 2 JUMO 4 engines, a clear canopy and some cockpit details. I also used built up gear and tires, loop and radio antennae. We printed up some concrete and threw together a temporary diorama for the "shoot"....Jim & Jeremy Cookson

P.S. Jeremy said to mention that " the LAD in this case is 17y/o and 6' 4" -- "he sure makes nice planes though"...says his DAD