Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1a/U1
This is a great kit for the price. The fit is pretty good over all with the exception with a bit of difficulty when attaching the main wing to the fuselage. Beautiful cockpit interior.
I decided to go with the number "11" decals from the Trumpeter kit as opposed to using the "12" or "8" decals that came with the kit. The reason for this is that I wanted to have the mottled pattern on the wings instead of the splinter pattern as with the kit.
The engine detailing needed a bit more detailing so I added to it. I also created some detail in the area under the nose cap. Plus I added some cabling to the machine gun bay.
Another minor complaint I have about this kit is that when I first saw pictures of the prototype sprues, the paneling detail was far more intense than what came with the actual kit release. Overall though it produces a nice model. Certainly worth the price.
The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed Schwalbe (German: "Swallow") in fighter versions, or Sturmvogel (German: "Storm Bird") in fighter-bomber versions, was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but problems with engines, metallurgy and top-level interference kept the aircraft from operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. The Me 262 was faster and more heavily armed than any Allied fighter, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Me 262's roles included light bomber, reconnaissance and experimental night fighter versions.
Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied aircraft shot down, although higher claims are sometimes made. The Allies countered its potential effectiveness in the air by attacking the aircraft on the ground and during takeoff and landing. Engine reliability problems, from the pioneering nature of its Junkers Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojet engines—the first ever placed in mass production—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 put in operational service.
While German use of the aircraft ended with the close of World War II, a small number were operated by the Czechoslovak Air Force until 1951. Captured Me 262s were studied and flight tested by the major powers, and ultimately influenced the designs of a number of post-war aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre and Boeing B-47 Stratojet. A number of aircraft survive on static display in museums, and there are several privately built flying reproductions that use modern General Electric J85 engines.
Me 262 B-1a trainers converted into provisional night fighters, FuG 218 Neptun radar, with Hirschgeweih (eng:antler) eight-dipole antenna array.