|Click Here For Full Artist Print Indexes||Aviation History Archive|
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|The Aircraft :|
|Me262||The Messerschmitt Me-262 Swallow, a masterpiece of engineering, was the first operational mass-produced jet to see service. Prototype testing of the airframe commenced in 1941 utilizing a piston engine. General Adolf Galland, who was in charge of the German Fighter Forces at that time, pressured both Goring and Hitler to accelerate the Me-262, and stress its use as a fighter to defend Germany from Allied bombers. Hitler, however, envisioned the 262 as the aircraft which might allow him to inflict punishment on Britain. About 1400 Swallows were produced, but fortunately for the Allies, only about 300 saw combat duty. While the original plans for the 262 presumed the use of BMW jet engines, production Swallows were ultimately equipped with Jumo 004B turbojet engines. The wing design of the 262 necessitated the unique triangular hull section of the fuselage, giving the aircraft a shark-like appearance. With an 18 degree swept wing, the 262 was capable of Mach .86. The 262 was totally ineffective in a turning duel with Allied fighters, and was also vulnerable to attack during take off and landings. The landing gear was also suspect, and many 262s were destroyed or damaged due to landing gear failure. Despite its sleek jet-age appearance, the 262 was roughly manufactured, because Germany had lost access to its normal aircraft assembly plants. In spite of these drawbacks the 262 was effective. For example, on April 7, 1945 a force of sixty 262s took on a large force of Allied bombers with escort fighters. Armed with their four nose-mounted cannons, and underwing rockets the Swallows succeeded in downing or damaging 25 Allied B-17s on that single mission. While it is unlikely that the outcome of the War could have been altered by an earlier introduction or greater production totals for this aircraft, it is clear to many historians that the duration of the War might have been drastically lengthened if the Me-262 had not been too little too late.|
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : D. C. Beddow : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Sergeant Hugh Murray added to aircrew database :|
Killed aged 25 on 4th July 1943 when his Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He is buried in Overloon War Cemetery. Son of Hugh and Alice Murray; husband of Frances MacMillan Murray.
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P5013 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was unable to comply with diversion order and subsequently was abandoned at Hatfield Military Complex.)|
|Hurricane Mk.IIb Z5617 of No.229 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Douglas : Airframes updated (added Wellington R1004)|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden X3001 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Hampden was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed north of Alkmaar in Holland.)|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley T4217 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley's crew were unable to pinpoint their position and abandoned the aircraft at Bircham Newton. )|
|Pilot Officer Geoffrey Charles Smith added to aircrew database :|
Killed on 4th July 1943 when his Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He is buried in Overloon War Cemetery.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Sergeant George Llewelyn Williams : First name updated (now George Llewelyn), Service number updated (now 524733), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-3166 : Squadrons updated (added 301st Bomb Group)|
|SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
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