The interceptor Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. In the role of a fighter plane / interceptor it’s nickname was Schwalbe or Swallow, but in the role of fighter-bomber it’s nickname was Sturmvogel or Petrel.
The Me 262 was armed with four 30mm MK 108 cannons in its nose section. The two upper guns had 100 rounds each and the two lower 80 each. Besides the four cannons it could be outfitted with 24 Orkan R4M rockets. 12 Rockets under each wing attached to a wooden rack.
This specific Messerschmitt Me 262 landed in Dübendorf, Switzerland on 25 April 1945. The Jet landed with a minimum of fuel left and was piloted by Hans Guido Mutke from Jagdgeschwader 7. The Me 262 returned to Germany in 1957. This Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a/R7 W.Nr.500071 White 3, III./JG 7 has werknummer 500071 (production number) and is marked with a White 3. The III/JG7 section of Jagdgeschwader 7 was the initial Me 262 test wing named Kommando Nowotny. Me 262 A-1a/R7 explained; A-1a is the Fighter interceptor version, the “Schwalbe”. The R7 is the Orkan Rocket designation.
The Me 262 A-2 is the Fighter – Bomber “Sturmvogel”. There were more versions like a Night Fighter and Bomber-Destroyer.
Its first flight was on 18 April 1941. The Jumo jet engines weren’t ready by then, so it used propellor propulsion. It’s first Jet powered flight was on 18 July in 1942. It was powered by two Jumo 004 jet engines which gave the Me 262 speeds up to 900 km/h. The engine had a short service life of 10 to 25 hours due to inferior materials used by shortages near the end of the war, earlier test modals reached up to 100 hours of service. Although the Me 262 was superior in airspeed its landing and takeoff speed was on 175 km/h which made it vulnerable.
1,430 Messerschmitt’s Me262 in various versions were made and it was used by Nazi Germany until 1945. The Japanese military attaché in Germany witnessed some test flights of the Me 262 and sent reports to Japan in September 1944. Japan made their own version of the Me 262 named “Nakajima Kikka” – Orange Blossom or Nakajima J9N1 (occasionally named Nakajima J9Y). After the war it was also made in Czechoslovakia and in service until 1951 under the designation Avia S-92 and Avia CS-92.
This Messerschmitt Me 262 was photographed at the Deutsches Museum in Munich in 2012.
The German Museum has more locations throughout Germany, like the Deutsches Museum Flugtwerft Schießheim, north of Munich. Check out where the planes currently are before your visit.