Planes of World War II: Me 262-Part 2: Operational use
After the prototypes, 20 pre-production aircraft were delivered. The Me 262A-1a was powered by the Jumo 004B turbojets, which gave it a top speed of 530 mph(870 km/h) at 19,680 ft (6000 m). The armament of four 30-mm MK 108 cannon mounted in the nose contained 100 rounds per gun for the top two and 80 rounds per gun for the bottom pair. However these guns were reported to have poor trajectory and tended to jam. Therefore it was decided to test an armament of six-cannon consisting of two Mk 108s, two 20-mm Mg 151s, and two longer barreled Mk 103s. This version was designated the Me 262A-1a/U1, it for whatever reason however never was produced. The next version the A-1a/U2 was provided a FuG 125 'Hermnine' radio homer, although only a small number were ever made. The U3 was purely a reconnaissance aircraft and was given cameras in place of cannon. The U5 increased the armament to six Mk 108 the last two having 65 rounds per gun, and is credited with shooting down a P-47. Various rockets were tested on later A-1a aircraft, such as two 210-mm WGr 21 mortars, and batteries of 55-mm R4Ms which were fitted in 12 rails on the wings. A training variant was created as the A-1a/schul. An interim fighter bomber: A-1a/Jabo was made. The A-1B version was equipped with a powerplant of BMW 003A turbojets, the production totaling only three aircraft before the war's end. The A-2a version was unlike the previous fighter bomber specifically suited for the job. This was born of Hitler's requirement for a fighter bomber capability for the new jet, which coated valuable time and resources for something not particularly needed at the time. Sub-variants of the A-2a includes the U1 for testing a new bomb aiming device and the U2 which featured a glazed nose for a bombardier. A more heavily armed ground attack version, the A-3a, and an armed reconnaissance version, the A-3a were planned but never built. In the end the jet couldn't stop the bomber hordes which targeted its own factories and suffered from few numbers and lack of pilots.
#Me262 #earlyjets #worldwar2 #thegreatpatrioticwar #worldwars #westernfront #germany #germanjets