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US test pilot assesses the German ME 262 jet fighter over Ohio, late 1945. This aircraft fell into Allied hands when the German pilot defected and landed the plane at a US held airfield in Germany.

Caption   US test pilot assesses the German ME 262 jet fighter over Ohio, late 1945. This aircraft fell into Allied hands when the German pilot defected and landed the plane at a US held airfield in Germany. ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives via D. Sheley
More on...   
Me 262 Schwalbe   Main article  Photos  
Photos at Same Place Dayton, Ohio, United States
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 17 Jan 2013

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,800 by 1,172 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
9 Feb 2013 04:58:47 PM

WAR PRIZE:

On 30 March 1945 Messerschmitt test pilot Hans Fay
landed his Me262 at Rhein/Main airfield. This was
the first Me262 to fall into Allied hands.
Fay waited until his prents home town was in US hands, before making his defection.

THE TIME TO GO WAS NOW:

Fay was ordered to ferry the fighter to a more secure location so not to fall into enemy hands.
With his parents safe he went ahead with his plan
flying low to avoid Allied fighters, Fay made it to Rhein/Main, and made a perfect landing.
Looking at the file photograph, you can see that W.Nr. 111711 hasn't received any camouflage to its aluminum skin, both fuselage and wings were smoothed out with putty/filler and primer over the rough aluminum skin, this was done to smooth out the construction seams and cut down any drag over the surface of the airframe.

MARKINGS:

Standard late war Luftwaffe black crosses were applied to its rough aluminum fuselage and wings, with swastika on tail along with the last three numbers of the Werk Nr.711 below the swastika.
Aircraft was inspected and later shipped back to the United States for tests and evaluation and given the number FE-0107 for Foreign Equipment.

During tests in the USA, the Me262 was nearly equal and in some aspects superior in performance to the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. On 20 Aug 1946
Werk Nr.711 crashed due to an engine fire, the pilot bailing out. Total flight time on the Me262
was 10 hours and 40 minutes.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
15 Mar 2013 03:39:35 PM

PHOTO OF MESSERSCHMITT Me262,711:

Pilot flying the fighter isn't Hans Fay, but was flown by Major Russ Schleeh, USAAF at Wright Field
Ohio after WWII. The photo I have, shows a P-38
Lightning making a bank to the right towards the Me262.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
8 Apr 2013 03:16:22 PM

WAR PRIZES:

FRENCH LESSIONS:

After WWI the Messerschmitt continued to fly in the skies of Europe. The French captured eight of the Me262 jets, including a two-seat model.
The aircraft were tested by both French air force and navy pilots.

FOR THE EMPIRE:

Britain captured a Messerschmitt Me262, after it was surrendered to Allied forces in May 1945
was flown to Britain and tested. Later aircraft was sent to Canada, where it was later destroyed.
Other Me262s were also captured by the British and used for tests.

Did you know that the 30mm cannon and 30mm rounds that armed the Me262, were later used as a model for the post-war Aden 30mm cannon. The surviving Me262s, in British hands, were saved for museums and others used as ground targets in Canada.

BACK IN THE USSR:

The Russians captured several Me262s. Aircraft were shipped back to the USSR for flight testing and evaluation. However, little is known about the post-war Soviet tests.

UNITED STATES:

The USAAF captured a number of single-seat and two-seat Me262's. Aircraft were shipped to the USA for testing and evaluation after WWII.
In the late 1940's the aircraft were declared surplus, some were kept to be displayed in museums others were saved from the scrapper by private buyers.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA:

When the Germans left they abandoned the Avia plant both Messerschmitt Bf 109G's and Me262's were left. Avia assembled several of the jets at the Letnany Research Center in 1945.

In Czech service the aircraft were known as the Avia S.92 single-seat and the two-seat CS.92 the aircraft were identical to the Messerschmitt jet fighter.
The aircraft were used for a short time by the Czech Air Force being retired in 1951 and later replaced with Russian built aircraft.
Today the survivors are in museums in the Czech Republic. Surviving Messerschmitt Me262's are on display in Europe, Britain, USA, South Africa and in other museums world-wide.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
10 Jun 2015 10:45:56 AM

SEEDS OF THE FUTURE:

The Messerschmitt Me262 was the world's first operational jet fighter. Total production numbers were 1,430 However, the Luftwaffe operated 200 jets at any time.
File photo shows captured number 711 in natural aluminum finish, near wars end some aircraft left the factory without camouflage or primer to coat.

To reduce drag uneven sections of the fuselage and wings were sealed with putty and sanded smooth to improve its aerodynamic performance in photo you can see the vertical and horizontal putty lines.

EARLY JET ENGINES:

The Me262 was powered by the Junkers Jumo 004 or the BMW 003 jet engines only a handful of Me262s were powered by the BMW 003's both engines had a short service life and had to be overhauled after about 25 hrs. of operation.

BRUTE FORCE: MISSILES & GUNS

The Me262 was armed with 4 x 30mm MK 108 cannons. Seeds of the future tests were carried out with the advanced Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air
missile this was a wire-guided weapon controlled
by the pilot using a joystick it had a top speed of 560mph, range of 1.5 - 3.5km. After launch, the X-4 was stabilized by spinning slowly, much like the post-war American "Sidewinder air-to-air missile" No post war reports of the Me262 ever firing the X-4 at targets in combat, are known of.

Another last ditch weapon carried by the Me262 was the 21cm Nebelwerfer artillery rocket. Two of these rockets were carried in launchers under the fuselage, the idea was to fire them at allied bomber formations, it was never successful and was dropped.
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
11 Jun 2015 01:25:55 PM

PERSPECTIVE:

Aircraft 711 left the factory without primer coat or camouflage, looking at the file photo, aircraft is unfinished and rough looking areas lacking any primer coat on its airframe.
The Luftwaffe suffered from material shortages, quality of aircraft grade aluminum used was poor leading to poor quality control, 711's finish looks dull and gray areas with poor fit required putty and sanding to help reduce drag some sources list the putty color as dull yellow or gray in color.

ENGINE LIFE:

The Me262 Jumo 004 jet engines suffered from short service life, technically engine life was to last up to 50 hrs. However, due to the reliability of each engine, some lasted between 20 to 25 hrs. in the field under combat conditions engines lasted 12 hrs.
Adding to poor working conditions, shortages of engines, oil, fuel, spare parts engine changes by the book were to take 3hrs. with poor fitting of parts, lack of proper tools, support equipment limited training and experience of ground crews, engine change took up to 9hrs. to complete.

Aircraft were lost due to a number of reasons training, takeoff and landing accidents, destroyed on the ground by enemy air attack, bad weather conditions, pilot error, engine flameout or shot down by allied fighters in combat.
Aircraft were destroyed in transit being shipped by train, destroyed by allied fighter-bombers. Attacks on production centers destroyed aircraft on the production-line. Jets were built in underground factories or scattered in occupied countries many never left the factories due to sabotage by slave labor.
6. Anonymous says:
4 Mar 2016 07:04:26 PM

I have 2 original photos of this Me.262 jet #711 first captured nazi jet march 30 1945
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
17 Oct 2016 06:44:54 PM

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME:

Focke-Wulf Ta 183 Huckebein
(Raven) the Ta 183 was a design proposal for a single-seat, swept back wing and tail single-engine jet fighter,
as a replacement for the Messerschmitt Me 262.

In 1942 project VI design started with a wind tunnel model built to study high transonic speeds.
Design was constructed from aluminum, thin steel sheeting, plywood and other non-strategic materials.
It would have taken 2,500 man hours to build one aircraft.
With Allied forces closing in on Nazi Germany, no production aircraft were ever built. British forces captured the Focke-Wulf factories along with any technical data, and other related material, and personnel most of whom were glad to escape from the Russians...

FIGHTER WITH GUNS & MISSILES:

The Ta 183 was to have been armed w/4 x 30mm MK 108 cannons two w/120 rounds per gun and the other two w/60 rounds per gun. The Ta 183 would have carried 4 x Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided missiles, or 500kg/1,102lb of bombs, powered by 1 x Junkers Jumo 004B jet engine
or a BMW jet engine.

POST-WAR: STUDIES

During the post-war era, the USA, USSR, France and UK studied German jet technology, swept back wings, ejection seats, air to air missiles, V-1 and the V-2 missiles and other advanced wartime projects designed by the Germans...

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WW2-Era Place Name Dayton, Ohio, United States
Lat/Long 39.8231, -84.0494
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