POWER PLANT: Two Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1.300 kp thrust each
PERFORMANCE: 663 mph at 26,250 ft (estimated)
COMMENT: This Focke-Wulf project was submitted by Professor Kurt Tank and his team in late 1944 for a twin-jet fighter which could be used as a fighter, fighter/bomber or long-range fighter, and was to be constructed in contrast to Tanks wooden Focke-Wulf Ta 154 entirely of metal. The RLM number of 250 was assigned to this project, which had previously been held by the land version of the huge Blohm & Voss Bv 238 flying boat.
The fuselage was wide, to accommodate the nose air intake for the twin Heinkel-Hirth He S 011 jet engines that were buried in the rear fuselage. The wings were swept back at 40 degrees, with the main landing gear retracting inboard into the wing. Mounted on a “boom”, the tail unit was set high in order keep it free from jet exhaust. A single pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit located near the nose. Armament consisted of four MK 108 30mm cannon or four MG 213 20mm cannon. Also, a droppable supplemental fuel container of 1000 kg could be carried by the long-ranged fighter variant as well as guided missiles.
Further testing and work would doubtless have been needed on this project, for example, the long air intake would have resulted in a loss of power, but this could have been overcome by using leading edge or wing root air intakes instead. Even though it would have been superior in climb and turning ability than the similar Messerschmitt “Hochgeschwindigkeitsjäger” (“High-speed fighter”) Me262 HG III, but the Focke-Wulf project would have been slower and would have a longer design-to-prototype time than the Me 262 HG III. All design work was ceased in order to concentrate on Focke-Wulf’s Ta 183 “Huckebein” single jet fighter. The information learned during this project’s design was later used in the Focke-Wulf Fw P.011-45 and Fw P.011-47 jet powered night and all-weather fighter projects.
The aircraft shown here is armed with two Henschel “Zitterrochen” (“Crampfish”) radio-controlled anti-ship missiles (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: Two BMW P.3302 (BMW 003) turbojet engines, rated at 550 kp thrust each, plus one Junkers Jumo 210G liquid-cooled engine, rated at 720 hp
PERFORMANCE: 350 mph
COMMENT: Several years before World War II, the Germans foresaw the great potential for aircraft that used the turbojet engine constructed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, engineer with the Heinkel Company, in 1936. After the successful test flights of the world’s first jet aircraft—the Heinkel He 178, Messerschmitt and his design bureau adopted the turbojet engine for an advanced fighter aircraft. As a result, the Messerschmitt Me 262 was already under development as “Projekt 1065” (P.1065) before the start of World War II. The project originated with a request by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM, Ministry of Aviation) for a turbojet aircraft capable of one hour’s endurance and a speed of at least 530 mph. Dr. Waldemar Voigt headed the design team, with Messerschmitt’s chief of development, Robert Lusser, overseeing.
Plans were first drawn up in April 1939, and the original design was very different from the aircraft that eventually entered service, with wing root-mounted engines, under development by BMW as 003 or by Junkers as Jumo 004, rather than podded ones, when submitted in June 1939. The progression of the original design was delayed greatly by technical issues involving the new turbojet engine. Because the engines were slow to arrive, Messerschmitt moved the engines from the wing roots to underwing pods, allowing them to be changed more readily if needed; this would turn out to be important, both for availability and maintenance. Since the BMW 003 jets proved heavier than anticipated, the wing was swept slightly, by 18.5°, to accommodate a change in the center of gravity. Funding for the turbojet engine program was also initially lacking as many high-ranking officials thought the war could easily be won with conventional aircraft.
Test flights began on 18 April 1941, with the Me 262 V1 example, bearing its “Stammkennzeichen” (radio code letters) of PC+UA, but since its intended BMW 003 turbojets were not ready for fitting, a conventional Junkers Jumo 210 piston engine was mounted in the V1 prototype’s nose, driving a propeller, to test the Me 262 V1 airframe. After successful trials demonstrating good flying characteristics of the design two prototypes of the BMW P.3302 turbojet engines, forerunner of the BMW 003 turbojet engine, were installed. The Jumo 210 piston engine was retained for safety, which proved wise – so often reported in literature – as both turbojet engines failed during the first flight and the pilot had to land using the nose-mounted engine alone. Original test-flight protocols published some years ago show reasonable doubt on that report.
In total the Messerschmitt Me 262 V1 successfully completed 74 flights but only one under turbojet power. The prototypes V2 through V4 were purely turbojet driven, but with the more powerful Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines.
The V1 through V4 prototype airframes all possessed what would become an uncharacteristic feature for most later jet aircraft designs, a fully retracting conventional landing gear setup with a retracting tailwheel. Indeed, the very first prospective German “turbojet fighter” airframe design ever flown, the Heinkel He 280, powered by a Heinkel HeS 8A turbojet engine, used a retractable tricycle landing gear from its beginnings, and flying on turbojet power alone as early as the end of March 1941. From prototype Me 262 V6 onwards all aircraft featured a fully-retractable, hydraulically-operated tricycle undercarriage. Dubbed unofficially the “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”), the first production sub-type off the new warplane, the Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a single-seat interceptor fighter entered service with the “Erprobungskommando (EKdo) 262” at Lechfeld in July 1944 (Ref.: 7, 24).
POWER PLANT: One Walter R II-203b bi-fuel liquid rocket, rated between 150 to 750 kp
PERFORMANCE: 550 mph
COMMENT: In early 1941, based on the success by the DFS 194, production of a prototype series, known as the Messerschmitt Me 163, began. Secrecy was such that the RLM’S “GL/C” airframe number, 8–163, was actually that of the earlier, pre-July 1938 Messerschmitt Bf 163. It was thought that intelligence services would conclude any reference to the number “163” would be for that earlier design. Five prototypes (V1 to V5) were ordered designated Messerschmitt Me 163A “Komet” (“Comet”).
In May 1941 the Messerschmitt Me 163A V4 was shipped to Peenemünde to receive the Walter HWK RII-203 engine. By 2 October 1941, the Me 163A V4, bearing the radio call sign letters, or Stammkennzeichen, “KE+SW”, set a new world speed record of 624.2 mph. Piloted by Heini Dittmar, the fully tanked up aircraft was towed to an altitude of 13,120 ft behind a Messerschmitt Me 110C. After casting-off from the tow-plane, the rocket engine was fired. At about Mach 0.84 compressibility effects resulted in a sudden loss of stability, and the Me 163A V4 went into a dive. Dittmar promptly cut the rocket motor, the aircraft decelerating rapidly and full control being restored. The aircraft was landed on skids with no apparent damage to the aircraft during the attempt.
During further flight testing, the superior gliding capability of the Me 163A proved detrimental to safe landing. As the now un-powered aircraft completed its final descent, it could rise back into the air with the slightest updraft. Since the approach was unpowered, there was no opportunity to make another landing pass. For production models, a set of landing flaps allowed somewhat more controlled landings. This issue remained a problem throughout the program. Nevertheless, the overall performance was tremendous, and plans were made to put the Messerschmitt Me 163 squadrons all over Germany in 40-kilometre rings (25 mi) around any potential target. Development of an operational version was given the highest priority.
Five prototype Me 163A V-series aircraft were built, adding to the original DFS 194 (V1), followed by eight pre-production examples designated as “Me 163 A-0”.
Note: Some postwar aviation history publications stated that the Messerschmitt Me 163A V3 (CD+IL) was thought to have set the record. The 1,004 km/h record figure would not be officially approached until the postwar period by the new British and American turbojet-powered aircraft. It was not surpassed (except by the later Me 163B V18 in 1944, but seriously damaged by the attempt) until the American Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak” turbojet-powered research aircraft did so on 20 August 1947 with no damage (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: One Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp
PERFORMANCE: 599 mph
COMMENT: On February 1945 the Tank design team proposed a second design of the Focke-Wulf/Tank Ta 183 turbojet fighter although the RLM accepted the first design for production. The new aircraft was similar to the Ta 183 design, except the wings were swept back at 35 degrees and the cockpit was set farther aft. Also, the tail unit was of more conventional design, with a curvilinear sweep of the fuselage into the vertical tail. This seemed to be necessary because it was expected that the long vertical tail of Ta 183 led to vibrations. By that the horizontal tail planes were mounted lower at the end of the fuselage. As with many other projects al work was halted with the end of the WW II two months later (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: One Daimler Benz DB 613 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 3,500 hp
PERFORMANCE: 491 mph
COMMENT: In early 1941 the OKL asked for a possible successor for the Messerschmitt Me 110 heavy fighter. Among others the Henschel Aircraft Company proposed a design of a futuristic and unusual configuration. This design, the Hs P.75, featured a tapered fuselage with slightly swept-back wings set back to the rear fuselage of the aircraft and a pair of slightly swept-back canards located on the nose. The widened fuselage housed a powerful engine that drove three-bladed contra-rotating pusher propellers at the rear via an extension shaft. As power unit a Daimler Benz DB 610 engine, which were two DB 605 liquid-cooled engines joined side-by-side, was proposed. These were the same engines that the Heinkel He 177 bomber used and became known for overheating and catching fire. So it was decided to install the Daimler Benz DB 613, in fact two coupled DB 603 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 3,500 hp. A vertical tail unit was mounted beneath the fuselage additionally functioning as a tail bumper and protected the propellers from stroking the ground during take-off. A tricycle landing gear arrangement was chosen and a single pilot sat in the cockpit located about midway along the fuselage. All weapons were mounted in the nose. The advantage of the pusher propeller and the forward canard design was the excellent view of the pilot and concentration of weapons in the nose. The disadvantage would be the engine cooling and the pilot’s safely exit in case of emergency. Although good results were obtained in wind tunnel testing this design was not followed up further.
Notable is the fact that this basic design was realized in several WW II aircraft design such as Curtiss XP-55 “Ascender” and Kyushu J7W1 “Shinden” (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: One Heinkel/Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp
PERFORMANCE: 609 mph
COMMENT: As part of the “Emergency Fighter Program” (”Jägernotprogramm”), at the beginning of 1945 a program was launched by the OKL (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, High Command of the Luftwaffe) for a new generation of fighter/interceptor aircraft in order to replace the winner of the “Volksjäger” fighter design competition, the Heinkel He 162A “Spatz” (“Sparrow”) . The new aircraft was intended to have superior performance in order to deal with high altitude threats such as the the Boeing B-29 “Superfortress”, but only had a 30-minute endurance figure.
Heinkel produced three different designs of the project (He P. 1078A, B, and C) which were submitted in February 1945. The high-altitude fighter designs brought forward by other German aircraft makers were the Messerschmitt Me P. 1110, Focke-Wulf Ta 183 “Huckebein”, Blohm & Voss Bv P.212 and Junkers EF 128, the official winner of the competition. After being subject to severe criticism, the project was cancelled by Heinkel at the end of February 1945. Other reports state that these Heinkel projects have never been submitted to the OKL. In fact, members of the Heinkel construction bureau were working on these designs under U.S. supervision after WW II during the summer of 1945 (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT:One BMW 003A turbojet engine, rated at 800 kp
PERFORMANCE: 485 mph at 19,685 ft
COMMENT: Early in 1943, the RLM issued a specification for a single-seat attack aircraft to combat the anticipated Allied invasion in Europe. Although the specification called for a piston-engine powered dive bomber it was soon realized that only a turbojet-driven aircraft could hope to match the proposed performance requirements. The Henschel Company submitted a design which was approved as Henschel Hs 132 and placed accent of simplicity and ease to manufacture. The wing was a wooden structure with plywood skinning, and the fuselage was a circular metal monocoque. The single turbojet was mounted above the fuselage, exhausting over the rear fuselage and between the twin vertical surfaces of the tail assembly. A tricycle landing gear was to be used and the extensively glazed cockpit was completely faired with the fuselage. The pilot was in prone position better to withstand the high G-forces of the fast and steep dive during the bomb run. It was estimated that during the dive a speed of more than 570 mph could be reached and after the bomb was released the aircraft was pulled up thus inducing acceleration forces of up to 10 G. A contract for six prototypes was placed in May 1944, and construction began in March 1945. When the war in Europe ended the Henschel Hs 132 V1 was nearly complete and captured by Soviet forces
NOTICE: To ascertain the practicability of the prone position for dive bomber pilots, the DLV ordered in early 1943 a small prone-pilot research aircraft that was designed and built by the FFG Berlin (Flugtechnische Fachgruppe/Aerotechnical Group, University Berlin) and designated Berlin B9. The design was a low winged, twin-engine aircraft of standard layout. It was built of mixed construction and could accept up to 22 G. It was flown by many experienced pilots and showed the advantages of a prone position for pilots to tolerate high g-forces. (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 603A-1 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,750 mph
PERFORMANCE: 496 mph at 26,200 ft
COMMENT: During 1941 the Messerschmitt design bureau began work on a new fighter intended to succeed the Messerschmitt Me 109. Designated Me 309, the new fighter employed a nose-wheel undercarriage. The first prototype Me 309 V1 began taxi-ing trials on June 1942 and the first test flight was not attempted until July 1942. Subsequent flight tests revealed some instability, and the prototype was grounded for several modifications.
Despite continual modifications, the characteristics of the fighter were still not entirely satisfactory. On November 1942 a flight comparison between the Me 309 V1 and a standard Me 109G revealed the fact that the older fighter could turn-out its potential successor. In the meantime three further prototypes were ready for test flights but the results showed that numerous modifications were necessary. During summer 1943, however, the complete program was abandoned owing to the superior qualities of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D and Tank Ta 152.
Prior to the termination of the program several variants of the basic design were proposed including different engines as Daimler-Benz DB 603H and Junkers Jumo 213. Another development, the Me 609, with two Me 309 fuselages joined by a constant center wing, was not proceeded with (Ref.: 11).
POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 627B liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2,000 hp
PERFORMANCE: 460 mph at full boost altitude
COMMENT: In April 1943 the Messerschmitt design bureau submitted proposals for a high-altitude fighter designated Messerschmitt Me 209H. This project envisaged the insertion of an additional rectangular center section in the wing to increase overall span and gross area, and the use of either Daimler-Benz DB 628A high altitude engine or the DB 603U which was a DB 603E equipped with a TKL 15 turbo-supercharger. Owing to the time element Messerschmitt was instructed to embody some of its proposals for the Me 209H into the Me 109H which, making extensive use of Me 109G components, offered a quicker solution to the requirement for a fighter of superior altitude capability.
Nevertheless, the Messerschmitt bureau persisted with the development of the Me 209H, detail design being completed on October 1943, and work on the prototype, the Me 209H V1, began shortly afterwards, but proceeded slowly, and was delayed as a result of an air attack in February 1944 in which the partly assembled prototype was damaged, and some of its components destroyed. Thus, the Me 209H V1 was not rolled out until June 1944, by which time the entire Me 209 program had been officially abandoned. It had been intended that the Me 209H V1 should receive the Daimler-Benz DB 627 which was basically a DB 603 G with aftercooler and two-stage mechanical supercharger, and afforded 2,000 hp for take-off. The engine drove a four-bladed wooden airscrew and the annular radiator was discarded in favor of radiators in the leading edge of the wing center section. No records exists of the results of flight testing or the ultimate fate of the sole Me 209 high-altitude prototype (Ref.: 7).
POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 603G liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,900 hp
PERFORMANCE: 416 mph at 19,685 ft
COMMENT: Despite the total failure of the Messerschmitt Me 209 V4 and the disappointing performance of the Messerschmitt Me 309, the Messerschmitt design bureau was still determined to provide the successor of the Messerschmitt Me 109 in the Luftwaffe’s fighter arm and a competitor for Focke-Wulf’s Fw 190D and Ta 152 fighters. It was realized that no useful purpose could be served in attempting any further development of the original Messerschmitt Me 209, and it was decided, therefore, to produce an entirely new fighter design which, in order to accelerate development and subsequent production, was to use a large proportion of standard Me 109 components. The new fighter was designated Messerschmitt Me 209-II and was, in fact, a modernized, more powerful Me 109 and employed sixty-five per cent of the earlier fighter’s components. The Me 209-II adopted an exceptionally wide-track, inward retracting undercarriage. Another major change was the installation of a Daimler-Benz DB 603G with an annular radiator. Overall wingspan was substantially increased and the vertical tail surfaces were enlarged. The prototype for the Me 209-II, the Me 209 V5 (A-1), was flown for the first time on November and tests revealed that the aircraft processed an excellent performance and overcame most of the Me 109’s shortcomings. Shortages of the DB 603G engine resulted in a demand for the installation of the Junkers Jumo 213E liquid-cooled engine. Designated Me 209A-2 flight trials began in December 1943. By this time, however, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 was entering service and this fighter had a speed advantage of some 30 mph at altitude, and as the introduction of the Me 209-II would disrupt fighter deliveries at a critical phase of the air war, it was decided to discontinue the development of the Messerschmitt design (Ref.: 11).