The Messerschmitt Me 262 (suggestive name: Schwalbe or Sturmvogel), a development of Messerschmitt AG, Augsburg, was the first jet aircraft to be built in series. Between 1943 and 1945, 1433 examples of the twin-engine aircraft were built, of which about 800 were delivered to the Wehrmacht air force during World War II.
On July 18, 1942, Messerschmitt chief pilot Fritz Wendel made the first flight with the Me 262 V3 from Leipheim airfield using the Jumo 004 jet engines from Junkerswerke intended for the production models, which were larger and heavier but also considerably more powerful than the BMW engines.
Wendel was only able to start the aircraft, which was still equipped with tailwheel landing gear at that time, by briefly braking the tail of the aircraft at a taxiing speed of about 180 km/h and thus achieving an inflow of the elevator. This was covered by the wings when taxiing with tailwheel and showed no effect. These takeoff characteristics were decisive in requiring a nose wheel landing gear for later series production. The rearward offset of the main landing gear required for the conversion entailed extensive changes to the wing structures; only the Me 262 V5 was equipped with such landing gear.
The aircraft on display at AIRPOWER22 is a replica of the legendary Me 262-B1-A jet fighter. As early as 1993, the reproduction of 5 machines of this type began in the USA with the help of drawing fragments and an original two-seater school machine, which served as a sample machine.
All parts had to be newly manufactured, no original parts were used. Equipped with modern engines and modern subsystems from American production, the first aircraft from the new series then flew for the first time on December 20, 2002 in Seattle, WA. The Messerschmitt Foundation aircraft had its maiden flight on August 15, 2005 in Seattle, WA and after a short flight in was disassembled, packed and shipped by air to Manching, its new home base.
After reassembly and ground testing, it flew for the first time on April 25, 2006 under the hands of Horst Philipp. In May 2006, the aircraft celebrated its European premiere at the ILA 2006 in Berlin-Schönefeld.
At AIRPOWER22, this specimen will be on display in the Flying Display.