Thursday, August 15, 2013

Me-262 Schwalbe


From Wikipedia:
The Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwalbe (English: "Swallow") was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. Compared with Allied fighters of its day, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor, it was much faster and better armed. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Me-262 was used in a variety of roles, including light bomber, reconnaissance and even experimental night fighter versions.

Me-262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied kills (although higher claims are sometimes made). The Allies countered its potential effectiveness in the air by attacking the aircraft on the ground and while taking off or landing. Engine reliability problems and attacks by Allied forces on fuel supplies during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. In the end, the Me-262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war as a result of its late introduction and the consequently small numbers that were deployed in operational service. The Me-262 influenced the designs of post-war aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre and Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
During World War II, my Uncle Charlie had the dubious pleasure of having been strafed by a Schwalbe. His reaction was typical of infantrymen throughout the ages:

"What the f**k was that?!?"


11 comments:

  1. Very good.

    Apropos o' not much... I thought of you when those kind folks at the Tube o' You sent me this as part of my weekly update.

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    1. An interesting film and an interesting bird.

      Apparently Pierre Clostermann and a flight of 4 RAF Tempests encountered a Pfeil in April of '45. The pilot spotted the Allied aircraft and got away. This was at low altitude where the Tempest was pretty fast.

      The Dornier was faster.

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  2. Hard to beat German technology in the 1940's. Luckily for the world, its leader was a cracked pot, otherwise, they might have been unstoppable.

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    1. You may very well be right, but as one of my air to air IPs once told me that "Mass has a quality all of its own." Up until recently, that was definitive of the American way of war, annihilate them by weight of sheer numbers.

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    2. German tech in the '40s was impressive but many of their most impressive tools of war were maintenance and logistics nightmares.

      And juvat is right. It may have taken five Shermans to kill a Tiger or multiple P-51s to kill an Me-262, but we had those numbers, they didn't.

      But yes, having a nut-job at the helm didn't help the Germans. He wanted to use the Me-262 as a bomber!

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  3. Good to see you juvat! Up early this am--morning go or on the way to the cubicle?

    Sarge--the British aircraft depicted in the art-work entitled "Goodnight Jerry!" is a Bristol Beaufighter--another great all-purpose ac much like the Mosquito.

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    1. Yup, another aircraft I had a model of.

      Of course, the thought just struck me, while you were flying the real thing, some of us were still building models of them. I'm guessing that while I was playing Little League, you were probably going "Downtown". And for that you have my undying gratitude. Just sayin'...

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    2. Cubicle bound. Last day before the Teachers officially come back, and much like the the Dams on the River Ruhr after Operation Chastise, the tech requests will flow like a tsunami.

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    3. Heh, awesome historical reference.

      +1 to juvat.

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  4. I never had a model of the Beaufighter, sadly I don't think they made one--whether Revel, monogram, etc--in my youth Of course I think I stopped modelling when I entered HS in 1958--didn't have time. All in all I had some 40+ in my room--WW II and latest jets up thru F-105/106--never did have a model of the F4, lol, although I did have its predecessor, the F3H Banshee Hell, I had everything from the Canadian Arvo Arrow to the old F-86D, F-94C Starfire and F-89D Scorpion Interceptors to Stukas, B-26 Mauraders, B-24s, and SBDC-3 Helldivers.. Dad strung up two sets of parallel wires in a giant "V" that covered the ceiling just below the light fixture with the point centered over my bed. I placed the majority of the models athwart the wires all facing straight ahead in perfect giant "V" formation. The rest went on shelving amidst the books, etc.

    PS: You being a maint guy you'll appreciate this. In my F-4D Squadron in the UK we had a Sr Maj. Navigator who had flown F-89s. Said they constantly leaked so much hydraulic fluid that they had a "drip-chart" as part of the pre-flt checklist. Anything above a certain rate/min was no go--anything less was normal normal good to go, lol.

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    1. Drip chart? That's pretty wild.

      I can't remember who made the Beaufighter model, I just remember having one. Of course, when I was a lad we also got Tamiya and Hasegawa and such. Pretty sure those guys weren't around before the late-60's early 70's.

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