Me 262 A in 1945

Me 262 in 1945

Maximum speed: 900 km/h

Range: 1,050 km

Service ceiling: 11,450 m

Rate of climb: 20 m/s at max weight of 7,130 kg

Thrust/weight: 0.28

Could a Me-262 fight for (1050 km) / (900 km/h) = 70 minutes?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Range usually means a fuel-efficient cruise speed/altitude. "Fighting" is very much fuel inefficient, so it could not "fight for 70 minutes". Also at it's maximum speed, its range would be greatly reduced (again, range is a fuel-efficient power setting, not max speed). $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    May 15, 2020 at 20:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer: Pilots normally selected full power on takeoff and touched the throttles only for descent and landing. Playing with the throttles like you do on a piston aircraft would be a sure way to risk a flameout. So it pretty much every time flew at maximum speed. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2020 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ If memory doesn't fail me, I've read that the TBO for those early turbojets was only 25h. The reason was the lack of availability of proper alloys for their construction. Those turbojets were, however, designed in such a way that dismounting and servicing them required no special tools, and could be even performed with the simple means available in a bicycle repair shop. $\endgroup$
    – xxavier
    May 16, 2020 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


This depended strongly on the flight altitude. Staying at low level for the full mission meant that the Me-262 would run out of fuel within 40 to 50 minutes.

Climbing above 6 km (20,000 ft) would extend that time to 90 minutes. Time to climb to 9 km was 13.2 minutes, so that would leave a time for engaging the enemy of 60 minutes. Considering that typical armament were 24 unguided rockets and 4 cannons with 80 or 100 rounds means that the 262 would run out of ammo in much less time.

One pilot told me that a typical training mission would start in Munich, continue to a radio station near Berlin and back to Munich, all within 60 minutes.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OK, I was impressed before with all of your answers, but where did you find an Me-262 pilot to chat with about their flying? I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that. $\endgroup$
    – Marius
    May 15, 2020 at 23:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Marius: That was more than 30 years ago. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2020 at 4:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .