26 DEC 99
UPDATES POSTED It has begun ...
for the very first time, we have released a series of our regular
internal progress/status reports.
These pages reveal a number of specific details about our manufacturing
activities and the latest developments with various aircraft on the
production line. More to come!
20 DEC 99
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! New information,
historical progress reports, and a series of subtle visual enhancements
... all of these features will be added to the site in a major phased
upgrade scheduled to take place between Christmas Day and New Year's
05 DEC 99
03 DEC 99
05 NOV 99
VIRTUAL TOUR Additional images
(w/captions) have been added to the Virtual Tour feature, as promised.
Standard progress reports are also being transcribed for inclusion
GRAND OPENING After a lengthy delay,
we are pleased to announce that official Classic Fighter Industries
merchandise is NOW AVAILABLE
on the new Stormbirds ANNEX site.
(Note: Proceeds from the sale of these items goes directly into offsetting
the costs of developing and maintaining this web site.)
13 OCT 99
SITE UPDATES. We have received
a number of inquiries lately concerning updates on the project, and
to this site. During the last 90 days, the staff at Stormbirds.com
has been busy preparing some new features elsewhere on the server,
and has had to postpone some minor updates. Our intent is to
consolidate several significant updates for posting during the upcoming
10 SEP 99
VISITORS. We continue to receive
dozens of inquiries every week from folks wishing to visit to the
production facility. Put simply, we welcome visitors and are
happy to oblige whenever possible. If you would like to pay
us a visit, please contact our on-site liaison, Jim
Byron to make the necessary arrangements. We are generally
open from 8 to 5 on weekdays, and "drop-ins" are normally
08 SEP 99
HELP WANTED. Detail work continues
on the Navy jet, and you may be able to help us! We are looking
for period photographs of the Me 262s whip antenna, as mounted just
behind the B-1a's cockpit. If you have any useful leads, please
contact our Technical Consultant, Richard
01 SEP 99
23 AUG 99
- USN JET.
New wing alignment and "fitting checks" continue on the original
B-1a. It now appears that this jet is destined for the U.S. Naval
Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida upon completion, although this
decision has no impact upon our work on the plane. (This aircraft
spent the last several decades on display outside of Philadelphia at
Willow Grove NAS.)
18 AUG 99
- PAINT SCHEMES.
Research continues on the original colors of the Navy's Me 262B-1a.
We know from the records of its capture that that jet wore Luftwaffe
markings as "White 35." Further details to follow in
the weeks to come.
13 AUG 99
- The recent acquisition
of some original pitot static system components has enabled us to begin
the "reverse engineering" process for the other aircraft.
This is an important detail, as the pitot system is of critical importance
to the operation of the flight instruments suite.
10 AUG 99
04 AUG 99
PROGRESS REPORT SUMMARY. In keeping
with our agreement with the United States Navy, we have begun preparing
monthly status reports for the Naval Historical Center on the progress
of their Me 262B-1a. Here is an excerpt from SR #1, released
As of July, the Navy's Me 262 is being
aggressively worked on. The skin lapses on the fuselage have
all been taped and primed.
The cockpit was missing all instrumentation
when it was received from Willow Grove NAS, so an original Me 262
instrument panel has been purchased and replica instruments will be
The landing gear has been assembled.
There are some missing parts which are presently being fabricated.
The horizontal stabilizer has been
reassembled with a new upper skin and it has been taped for priming.
A new wing will be mated to the fuselage
in the next few weeks, and new slats, elevators and inboard flaps
are presently in the works
These status reports will be sent
periodically to convey the latest information regarding new events
leading to a finished Me 262 for the U.S. Navy.
by Paul A. Ludwig, Me 262 Project staff
19 JUL 99
It has been one month since the passing
of our former President, but the project is on very steady ground.
A recent strategic planning meeting in Seattle between CFII (East
and West) and the current buyers confirmed that the project will continue
undaunted and as planned. In many respects, this gathering served
as a "high water mark" for the entire effort, as all concerned
were able to come together to address their concerns and hopes for
Three of the new production aircraft
remain in active, full-scale production, as does the restoration of
the Navy aircraft. Work on the remaining two fuselages, however,
will taper off until buyers can be found. Once these parties
are identified and issued contracts, their machines will enter an
active production stage along with the others.
06 JUL 99
The CFII Me 262 project is proceeding
on schedule, and there have been no changes of consequence since our
last report. Standard contracts remain in force, and our customers
have reaffirmed their desire to see the jets completed under the terms
of our existing arrangements.
Among the more creative rumors
we've encountered is the assertion that the planes might be moved
back to Texas. Put simply, the project is not going to be moved,
much less placed back under the operational control of the former
subcontractor there. Such speculation is irrelevant as the organization
in question was incapable of completing the project to the technical
standards dictated by our production agreement.
Our Seattle-based team (CFII
West) continues to make excellent progress and remains engaged in
an exhaustive inspection and correction process. Bob Hammer
and his band of hopelessly overqualified experts are surpassing expectations
daily, and the project has never been in better hands.
CFII remains committed to the
full realization of Mr. Snyder's intent for these aircraft.
We have no relevant plans, agendas or objectives aside from our stated
aim to construct faithful reproduction Me 262s. To that end,
the work continues, undaunted.
The Legend Flies Again in 2000.
05 JUL 99
A number of rather specific questions
regarding the future of the project have been received in the past
few days. Unfortunately, it appears that these are the result
of some rather opportunistically-timed hearsay, both online and elsewhere.
We have no changes to report at this time, and plan to post a more
comprehensive update within 7 to 10 days.
CFII requests the cooperation of Me 262
aficionados worldwide in politely, but decisively, dispelling these
distracting rumors. Those requiring additional clarification
on a particular aspect of the program may contact us directly via
We appreciate your continued patience as we work through this
most difficult time.
03 JUL 99
22 JUN 99
Mr. Howard Snyder, the eldest son of
Stephen L. Snyder, is assuming operational control over the Me 262
Project until further notice. The family has released a statement
that -- inasmuch as it is possible -- the effort WILL continue on
it's present course. No significant changes are anticipated
at this time.
page has been posted to the site in honor of our late President.
Please take a moment and read this, as it contains answers to many
of the questions we have been fielding recently.
19 JUN 99
A tragic flight
accident early this afternoon has claimed the life of CFII's President
and Founder, Stephen L. Snyder. As of this writing, additional
details were not available. Please continue to check back over
the course of the next several days for the latest developments from
CFII East in New Jersey.
14 JUN 99
07 JUN 99
Links were added for a newspaper
article on the project that recently appeared in the Everett,
Work continues on the vertical fin /
horizontal stabilizer area, as the original components and plans are
being examined to determine the precise mounting points of these components
and the correct configuration of the requisite fairings and mounting
05 JUN 99
27 MAY 99
- We've quietly posted
some significant upgrades to the Classic Fighter Industries site over
the past week, to include a series of previously unreleased photographs
of the aircraft (photo pages I, II & III).
- In early June,
watch for a "Virtual Tour" in photographs of the CFII West
production facilities at Paine Field. We will also be posting additional
updates, new FAQs, surveys and other items of interest.
06 MAY 99
- We are now nearing
the end of our "transition" phase from Fort Worth.
On Monday, a truck containing the fuselage for the
Green Nose airplane and miscellaneous cowling parts arrived and was
offloaded without incident.
The project is beginning to generate a great deal of interest in the
local area, and an interview with Bob Hammer was recently granted
for publication in the "The Everett Business Journal."
Keep a watch over the Classic Fighter Industries Inc.
pages here on Stormbirds for these and upcoming updates.
03 MAY 99
The fuselage of the Green Nose airplane
and miscellaneous cowling parts arrived via truck and all were offloaded
The project is beginning to generate
a great deal of interest in the local area, and an interview with
Bob Hammer was recently granted for publication in the "The Everett
24 APR 99
Avionics, radios and related electronic
equipment have been sent out for bench testing and certification following
the discovery of certain electrical system discrepancies.
A final rework of the main landing gear
torque link bolts is underway, and assembly of the torque links is
expected to be completed next week. Wing tip drawings are nearly
19 APR 99
The final shipments of project materiel
are expected to leave the Fort Worth area in the next 10-14 days.
This should complete the overland moving -- or TRANSITION
Classic Fighter's Steve Snyder and Chuck
Petrie met today with former American Me 262 pilot Bob
Strobell to discuss a number of technical and flight performance
issues. Stormbirds RESEARCHER'S
FORUM Moderator Richard Eger was also in attendance at this important
14 APR 99
- The management
team in Seattle is making maximum use of the region's rich aerospace
resources through an extensive subcontracting plan. This rather
new approach (as compared to the former constructor) has already yielded
- The subcontracted
elevator components were received on schedule and sent through technical
- Several nose wheel
"horseshoe" braces are now undergoing a comprehensive rework
to eliminate a potential retracted nose gear interference condition.
06 APR 99
- Technical drawings
for the elevator assemblies were completed and forwarded to a major
project subcontractor for fabrication; meanwhile, work began on wing
tip drawings, and new fuel cell purchase orders were drawn up.
- Inventory actions
are continuing each day as the last of the boxes from the former constructor
are examined. Raw materiel and special tools are also being segregated
from finished parts and stored in separate locations.
- Some basic facility
site work continues. A caged tool room was recently constructed
for the storage of pnuematic, power and other high-value tools and components.
03 APR 99
Obviously, it has been several weeks
since the last update. This is largely due to the fact that
reception, inventory and inspection tasks have required a great deal
more time and effort than was originally expected. There are
literally thousands of parts, and each of them must be processed individually.
A major site expansion/redesign is pending
for mid-May. The most significant addition is expected to be
in the area of project PHOTOGRAPHS
... we are now in the process of preparing a series of photo-documentary
pages to let the images "speak for themselves."
24 FEB 99
After many frustrating months of inactivity,
we are back on track at last! The first holes were drilled today
in the left hand spar wing jig, and the spar cap was aligned in the
jig and drilled up. This action paves the way for the final
preparation of the remaining wing spars, and signals the official
resumption of fabrication and assembly work.
18 FEB 99
09 FEB 99
The preparation of specialized jigs for
the elevator assemblies is now underway in Seattle. Additionally,
fabrication of various engine "accessory" components to
be mounted on the Jumo castings is about to begin. When complete,
these parts will be installed on the new housings to duplicate the
appearance of the original powerplant.
Additional information on technical and
engineering aspects of the casting design is forthcoming, and
will be posted to the TECHNICAL
pages, as mentioned previously.
The fuselage of aircraft WNr. 501241
arrived at the CFII facilities on Monday, 08 FEB 99, and was offloaded
without incident. One fuselage and two wing assemblies are still
awaiting transport to complete the move.
05 FEB 99
The CFII Stormbird Project pages have
been given a new format for greater simplicity and ease of navigation.
Several subtle improvements and updates were also incorporated.
In Seattle, the move of the airframes
and components to Paine Field continues. The transition from
the Texas Airplane Factory at Meacham Field is now approximately 90%
complete. (Note: This is a correction to the original
05 FEB 99 posting.)
The time-consuming work of inspecting
and cataloguing parts continues. All of this information is
being captured in a database to streamline the production effort.
Work is expected to begin within two
weeks, marking the formal resumption of the production effort.
30 JAN 99
The aircraft PROFILES
page has been posted.
The aircraft have tentatively been assigned
the designation Me 262A-1c or B-1c (depending upon configuration).
The "c" suffix is historically significant in that it authentically
reflects the change in engines on the new jets. Wartime Me 262s
were "a" variants -- or Jumo 004 powered -- while the "b"
suffix was reserved for a few BMW 003 powered prototypes. CFII
has requested the formal input of Messerschmitt administrators in
Germany regarding this measure.
25 JAN 99
The final two fuselages and wing assemblies
are being prepared for shipment to CFII's facilities at Paine Field
(outside of Seattle) this week. The arrival of these airframes
and flight surfaces will complete the TRANSITION
phase of the project.
Beginning in early February, work is
to begin on the elevators, flaps and slats. These are among
the last component parts yet to be built.
In response to a number of inquiries
from around the world, a series of TECHNICAL
pages are currently in development. These pages will address
several of the engineering issues associated with the project, especially
those dealing with performance, speed and endurance. Additional
details on the modified J-85 engine installation will also be provided.
We expect to post the new material within 30 days.
21 JAN 99
Most people who have followed the Stormbird
Project for any length of time have come to realize that each aircraft
has been given a temporary color-coding on its nose cone (blue, green,
white, red or yellow) for ease of identification. However, few
outside of the project have known that formal production numbers were
also assigned to each jet at the beginning of the project.
When complete, these jets will formally roll out under the following
Werk Nummern.: 501241, 501242, 501243, 501244
and 501245. Ardent researchers
may note that this is an intentional continuance of the original serial
production numbers for the Me 262.
We will soon be posting an aircraft PROFILES
page, giving more in-depth information on each of the new jets.
This will be expanded as the project progresses and each machine begins
to develop its own "identity."
18 JAN 99
page has been posted, containing a few photographs from the recent
move. There is much more yet to come, and the first of the new
production updates is expected to be issued in a few weeks.
09 JAN 99
Five truckloads of unfinished airframes
and related parts have already arrived at the holding facility near
Seattle. The moving process is approximately 70% complete at
All parts and assemblies are currently
undergoing a rigorous inspection and inventory process in preparation
for the COMPLETION phase.
The program will be managed by retired
Boeing Master Engineer Bob Hammer. Hammer has been joined in
the effort by Pat Coluccio, well known for his recent work in restoring
the world's only airworthy B-17F; the "Boeing Bee."
Seattle is a region rich in aerospace
resources. This will enable CFII to take advantage of a system
of excellent shop networks and a pool of highly qualified personnel.
This technical base will also permit flexibility in subcontracting,
allowing in-house work to progress more rapidly.
An expert production team has been assembled
to complete the project. These technicians will be assigned
by specialty (i.e. airframe, powerplant, electrical, hydraulics, etc)
to the various production areas.
04 JAN 99
CFII has leased two well-appointed alert
hangar facilities. These 13,000 square foot structures are now
undergoing final preparations, and rest at the end of a 9,000 foot
runway. They are ideally suited for the project.
The first priority will be to accelerate
the Navy aircraft's restoration cycle; however, this will by no means
impede progress on the remaining aircraft. The test flight program
has been tentatively scheduled for late 1999.
01 JAN 99
the 2002 Updates Archive
the 2001 Updates
View the 2000