The Messerschmitt Me-262A Schwalbe (German: swallow) is a German twin-engine fighter-bomber with a metal structure in a low wing configuration. The Me-262 was the first combat jet in the history of aviation. The first flight with piston engines took place in 1941, and with turbojet engines on July 18, 1942. The first design of the airframe, designated P.1065, was presented in 1939 and, surprisingly, differed significantly from the final version. It was quickly decided to use oblique wings and test the airframe in flight with piston engines (Jumo210), which was successfully completed in 1941. As a result of problems with the target power unit (BMW003 engine), the first jet flight on the Me-262 took place with Junkers Jumo004 engines. Interestingly, the Me-262 was structurally ready for serial production at the end of 1942. However, his entry into the line was significantly delayed. Firstly, due to material deficiencies (especially tungsten and chrome deficiencies), which forced technological changes, secondly, because of the failure of the BMW003 engines, and third, because of Hitler's resistance to the Me-262 being a fast bomber, not a fighter. As a result of all factors, the plane entered the line only in 1944! Given the already overwhelming advantage of the Allies in the air, the shortage of fuel and trained crews of the Me-262 could not have had a major impact on the course of the war. Undoubtedly, it was technologically superior to enemy aircraft, and the loss ratio was 1: 9 in favor of the Me-262. A total of about 1,400 machines were built, but only about 300 entered service. Several development versions of this revolutionary aircraft were created: a bomber (A-2a), reconnaissance (A-1a / U3 and A-4a), day fighter (A-1a) and night fighter (B-1a / U1). Technical data (version Me-262A-1a): length: 10.6m, wingspan: 12.6m, height: 3.5m, maximum speed: 900km / h, speed of climb: 20m / s, maximum range: 1050km, ceiling maximum 11450m, armament: fixed - 4 30mm MK108 cannons, underslung - 24 R4M rockets, 55mm caliber, up to 1000 kg of bombs.
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