FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The staff answers your questions about the Me 262 project.

 


  Image courtesy of the DVHAA.  Credit: Gary J. Campbell.

1.  If you have a project-related question, this is the first (and usually the best) place to look for an answer, as we find that many of the inquiries that we continue to receive have already been fielded here.

2.  Should your question not be reflected in the FAQs, the Me 262 Project Discussion Board on the Stormbirds Forum is often the fastest and most beneficial means of getting a timely response to questions that may also be of interest to the general public.

3.  Of course, we recognize that some questions are decidedly unique, or not necessarily well-suited for the discussion board.  In these cases, please use the Feedback form to streamline your inquiry.

 

The current FAQ List (click on questions to access answers)

When will the planes actually fly?

What original paint schemes or markings will the new planes carry?

Are any of the two-seaters going to be configured as night fighters?

Will any of these planes run a regular air show circuit like the CAF?

I remember reading that several of the new aircraft were going to be convertible between a single-seat and two-seat configuration.  Wasn’t the fuselage lengthened on the original two seaters?  How has the project handled this?

Who are the new owners and when will this information be made available to the public?

How many of each Me 262 variant are being manufactured?

Will the project be building a replica of the Arado Ar 234 in the future?

Are the new Me 262s going to be a lot faster with the J-85 engines?

Will there be any air intake problems associated with the J-85 engines being located so far aft of the nacelle openings during flight operations at high angles-of-attack (i.e. climbs and/or diving attitudes)?

Will the new Me 262’s be able to "take a beating" from aerobatic maneuvers like the originals?

Are visitors permitted inside the production facility at Paine Field?

Where can media personnel obtain a Press Kit or other public domain project information?

Are any of the original Me 262 pilots or engineers involved in the project?

Where can I get a shirt or hat with the Me 262 Project logo?

Why produce only five aircraft, especially since all of the special tooling will still be available after the project?

What kind of spare part program do you have for the 5 planes after delivery? Since they will be flying planes it is presumable that things will break or wear out or just plain fail.

Will the Navy jet be restored to flyable condition?

Is there or will you have a video of work done and one of the first flight available to the public for purchase? Also can still photos be purchased of completed aircraft?

What do these airplanes cost?


Q1: When will the planes actually fly?

A1:  You can check out the LATEST UPDATES pages for the specific details on who, where and when, but the first flights are now scheduled for the first half of 2002.

Details on the Flight Test program will be released as we get closer to actually completing the project.


Q2:  What original paint schemes or markings will the new planes carry?

A2:  This decision has been left up to the individual customers.  We have been told to expect RLM standard schemes for the first two machines, with at least one of these finished in JG 7 livery (UPDATE: see the PHOTO GALLERY for rollout shots of this aircraft).

The Messerschmitt Foundation has also specified an RLM scheme for the Red Nose jet; however, specific details regarding unit markings have yet to be announced. 

None of the aircraft are presently anticipated to wear the tail Hakenkreuz (swastika). There are a number of reasons for this decision, with the most obvious being the extremely negative connotation associated with the use of this symbol by the Third Reich. In a purely historical sense, we feel that it is also worth noting that the swastika was essentially just a political symbol, and as such, of little direct relevance to the military men and machines which served in Germany's air forces.

To insure authenticity, the Project has consulted with Mr. David Brown of Experten Historical Aviation Research, Inc. Brown is an internationally-known expert on Luftwaffe marking schemes, as evidenced by the superb Experten Decals™ book series.

When additional details are available, we will post the new information directly to the site, including any applicable color plates, etc.  In the meantime, please understand that we cannot answer individual requests for this information as there are presently no answers to give other than those which have already been revealed. 


Q3:  Are any of the two-seaters going to be configured as night fighters?

A3:  Two of the jets are "full-time" two-seaters, and these would be the most likely candidates for any such conversions; however, we have not received any requests from the current owners to recreate specific components like Nachtmusik antennas or Wikingerschiff mounts.


Q4:  Will any of these planes run a regular air show circuit like the CAF?

A4:  At present, this is more of an "owner issue" than anything else.  It is certain that these jets will be in great demand at air shows and they will no doubt make frequent public appearances at their owner's pleasure.


Q5:  I remember reading that several of the new aircraft were going to be convertible between a single-seat and two-seat configuration.  Wasn’t the fuselage lengthened on the original two seaters?  How has the Me 262 Project handled this?

A5:  The pure Nachtjaeger variant (B-2a) was to have been lengthened by nearly four feet; however there is no evidence that this model ever saw serial production or wartime service.  In fact, aside from two known prototypes, the A-2a never really existed as a viable instrument of war.  Thus, we have made no attempt to duplicate this particular aircraft.

It is also worth noting that our pattern aircraft (B-1a) was never equipped as a night fighter, despite many postwar photographs showing it wearing a false antenna set.  This plane (werknummer 110639) was one of 15 dual-control training aircraft modified under contract by the Blohm und Voss company and was apparently used for pilot training with NAG 6.  This research is ongoing.


Q6:  Who are the new owners and when will this information be made available to the public?

A6:  Due to the nature of the program, it is really best that these parties reveal themselves,  whenever and however they deem most appropriate.  Revealing this sort of information could subject future owners to unwelcome attention from the media and well-meaning enthusiasts worldwide, so we have adopted an informal non-disclosure policy in this matter.

Two aircraft are currently sold.  One is destined for a private owner in the state of Arizona, while the other (WNr. 501243) has been purchased by the Messerschmitt Foundation in Germany.  

Follow the death of CFII President Steve Snyder in June of 1999, a third aircraft became available; thus three machines were uncommitted as of the most recent update.


Q7:  How many of each Me 262 variant are being manufactured?

A7:  One (1) single-seater, two (2) two-seaters and two (2) "convertibles" are currently in production.  If you have counted six fuselages in the various project photographs, keep in mind that one of these machines is actually the original Navy aircraft, and not new production.  This has confused many people, as the original jet is currently partially disassembled, and wearing a  coat of dull yellow primer.

The convertible jets were designed to be readily reconfigured as either a single-seat or two-seat airplane by the owner in the space of about four hours.  For more information on the configuration of these jets, visit the AIRCRAFT PROFILES page.


Q8:  Will the Me 262 Project be building a replica of the Arado Ar 234 in the future?

A8:  No.  We have no plans in this regard, nor do we believe that it is technically feasible at the present time.

What made the Me 262 project possible was the availability of an original, un-restored example for teardown and duplication. This was truly the key to the entire effort.  Surviving Me 262s are rare indeed, but the Arado 234 is far rarer … only a single example has survived at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington.  

As this aircraft underwent a complete restoration just a few years ago, it is obviously not available for "teardown and duplication." Thus, we have no template from which to work.  It is exceedingly difficult to construct an airplane from technical drawings alone and, in the case of the German jets, these are incomplete at best.  Even if we desperately wanted to reconstruct the Blitz, the technical challenges of such an endeavor would be all but impossible to overcome.

The Me 262 Project is currently making no statements regarding potential follow-on programs, except to say that another jet aircraft is not under consideration at this time.  Additional information, if any, is likely to be released as we near the completion of the current Project.  This is our only real concern at the present time.


Q9:  Are the new Me 262s going to be a lot faster with the J-85 engines?

A9:  In theoretical terms, a significant potential speed increase is to be expected.  However, the critical issue here has little to do with speed, as the original aircraft was already capable of near-transonic flight.   We are far more concerned with pilot safety and airframe preservation, and there is simply no need to push these airframes into the 600+ mph range.

As such, the Me 262 Project will place a placarded airspeed limitation upon the jets.  Aside from the obvious reliability advantages over the Jumo 004, the real performance benefits of the J-85 will be realized during much shorter takeoff distances and higher climb rates.

This and several related performance issues are examined in greater detail in the TECHNICAL pages.


Q10:  Will there be any air intake problems associated with the J-85 engines being located so far aft of the nacelle openings during flight operations at high angles-of-attack (i.e. climbs and/or diving attitudes)?

A10:  None are anticipated.  Actually, the T-38 inlet duct is much longer -- although it has no obstructions such as the Jumo "bullet" and support vanes.  Even so, the bullet and vanes in the new Jumo casing are located far enough ahead of the J-85's compressor that the air should easily stabilize prior to entering the engine.  (The new inlet radius has also been enlarged slightly to deal with inlet variations in the angle-of-attack.)

Even if this were not the case, the J-85 has a very high tolerance for handling airflow distortions, especially when compared to fan-type engines.  Put simply, the J-85 is an "iron engine" that is more than up to the task.


Q11:  Will the new Me 262’s be able to fly the same sorts of maneuvers as the originals?

A11:  For the most part, yes. Keep in mind that the new jets are rivet-for-rivet duplicates of the original design, and we have been able to place much more care into the manufacturing process than the Germans were ever able to do.  Also, due to a handful of very subtle engineering modifications, the most critical areas will actually be stronger than they ever were 60 years ago!

All of the foregoing notwithstanding, we are very hesitant to discuss performance and handling qualities in terms of an aggressive aerobatic capability. Although we have designed the fuel system to operate much as the original did, it must be remembered that the airframe itself is a limiting factor against prolonged or intentional negative G flight. Bottom line: The new Me 262s will do everything that the originals did with an added margin of power, safety and efficiency.


Q12:  Are visitors permitted inside the production facility at Paine Field?

A11:  Generally, yes. Workload permitting, guests are welcome to stop by.  We would ask, however, that any aspiring visitors contact the facility before making long-distance travel plans.  This way we can insure that someone is always available to serve as an escort.  You may CONTACT US via our on-site liaison, Mr. Jim Byron, to arrange a visit at any time. 

NOTE:  Please do not misuse this address by forwarding general project inquiries or other requests for information.  These requests cannot be honored, and will simply be referred back to the Webmaster for action.


Q13:  Where can media personnel obtain a Press Kit or other public domain project information?

A13:  We are presently redesigning our marketing support materials to reflect changes within the project; however, specific coordination can still be made on a case by case basis.  Please contact the Webmaster directly with a summary of your needs and interests.


Q14:  Are any of the original Me 262 pilots or engineers involved in the project?

A14:  Yes!  Several Me 262 pilots, both German and American, have been consulted on a regular basis, and a number of former Messerschmitt engineers have also expressed an understandable interest in the effort.  Their input has been invaluable in reconstructing the performance and handling characteristics of the airplane.


Q15:  Where can I get a shirt, hat or mug with the Me 262 Project logo or new Me 262 design?

A15:  Several authorized items are available through an exclusive arrangement with the Stormbirds ANNEX, here on the Stormbirds server.  The current lineup includes Me 262 Project logo-embroidered baseball caps, polo shirts, denim shirts and wind shirts.


Q16:  Why produce only five aircraft, especially since all of the special tooling will still be available after the project?

A16:  We hear this question quite often.  Once the current program is completed, no additional Me 262s will be produced, irrespective of the available jigs, templates and special tools available.   There are a number of reasons for this.

1.  Put simply, the completion of these five will meet our stated objectives (this is also all that our funding profile was designed to accommodate).

2.  This decision protects the investment of the individual aircraft buyers by insuring their rarity.

3.  Once the Navy aircraft is fully restored, no "pattern" aircraft will be available.

It is unlikely that anyone will ever duplicate what we have done/are doing here. They (like us) would have to face some considerable challenges with respect to proprietary engineering requirements, and they would also need to obtain an original template aircraft. 

There is only one un-restored example left in the entire world (Australia), and it is very unlikely that this plane would be ever released for such a project.  


Q17:  What kind of spare part program do you have for the 5 planes after delivery?  Since they will be flying planes, it is reasonable to assume that things will break, wear out or just plain fail.

A17:  We will, of course, be building spares as required by the customers. This is not currently on our radar screen, but we are aware of the situation and will address it a later date.


Q18:  Has the Navy jet been restored to flyable condition?

A18:  No.  According to the terms of our agreement with the Navy, our sole objective was prepare it for permanent static display.  In the fall of 2000, the jet was returned to the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, outside of Philadelphia, PA. The paint scheme applied was the same one this aircraft carried while in Luftwaffe service as White 35.


Q19:  Is there or will you have a video of work done and one of the first flight available to the public for purchase? Also can still photos be purchased of completed aircraft?

A19:  We are still exploring the possibility of offering videos and/or still photos. We may, at some point, collate all of our project photos on a single CD-ROM and offer this via the Stormbirds ANNEX. The same holds true for rollout/first flight videos and stills. One of the factors to consider here is that the aircraft technically belong to our individual customers, so we will need to abide by their wishes with respect to what we make available. As this situation develops further, we will post any relevant updates to the site.


Q20: What do these airplanes cost?

A20: We are often asked about pricing and production costs. In general, three factors must be kept in mind when discussing acquisition costs: (1) those jets which remain available are already some 50% complete, and were assembled with project funds that must be recoupped in the purchase price; (2) these are hand built, high performance, twin jet aircraft involving hundreds of thousands of manhours to complete; and (3) engine and avionics costs are variable, depending upon the owner's specific wishes with respect to configuration.

The baseline figure for purchase of a completed aircframe (less engines and avionics) is USD 2,000,000.00. This figure is expect to rise somewhat after the initial flight test program has been completed.

 

 

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