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 '20 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. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf May 15 '20 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 '20 at 7:14

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 '20 at 23:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Marius: That was more than 30 years ago. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf May 16 '20 at 4:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.