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Out of the 1500 or so Me262`s built during the war, and the post war Avia built machines, sadly only a handful of original machines still exist. Luckily, they are all kept in superb condition, with the prospect of a possible forthcoming rebuild of wk/nr 500200 in Australia, by the establishments listed at the foot of this page. Once such a powerful, respected and feared machine, it's jet engines are now silent, it's regime finally dead. The silent museum is now the last home of this truly awesome fighting machine. Even over 50 years since the Me262 was in front line service, it still conjures up a sense of foreboding, and fires the imagination of all who encounter it. Soon, the Me262 will fly again, as the machines created for Classic Fighter Industries are completed.

 

A SPOTLIGHT ON ...
(click on a colour plate to view the galleries)

Me262B-1a/U1, (Wk.nr 110305) Johannesburg War Museum

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Me262B-1A/U1 wk/nr 110305 flew operationally with Kurt Welters 10./NJG11 at Magdeburg. Whilst at this location it boasted all-black undersurfaces and also mostly black engine nacelles. 'Red 8' is the only genuine night fighter version of the Me262 which has survived to the present day - yet 110305 was one of a trio of night fighters collected by the RAE's Aerodynamic Flight at Schleswig during the summer of 1945. The other two were 'Red 12', wk/nr 111980, which was subsequently destroyed in a gale at Brize Norton in 1947, and 'Red 10', wk/nr 110635, supposedly scrapped at No 6 Maintenance Unit (MU), also at Brize Norton that same year. 'Red 8' was ferried to the UK on 19th May 1945 by Wg Cdr RJ 'Roly' Falk, via Twente, Gilze-Rijen and Melsbroek. It was then flown by Wg Cdr Gonsalvez from the RAE to RNAS Ford, and used for radar and tactical trials from 6th July 1945. Ascribed Air Ministry No50 and RAF serial VH519, this aircraft was damaged on its first landing at Ford, but was quickly repaired.

Me262A-1b, (Wk.nr 500071) Deutsches Museum, Munich

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Thanks to Ingemar Melin, Thomas Sivhed, both of Sweden, and the UK`s Francis Farquharson for these fine detail shots of Munichs `Weisse 3` displayed in the Deutsche Museum. For detailed information on White 3`s last wartime flight, please click here to read Bert Hartmann`s translation of Hans Guido Mutke`s personal statement. Thanks for the hard work Bert!

Me262A-1a, (Wk.nr500491) NASM, Washington DC


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When surrendered to the Allies on 8 May 1945, Me 262A-la wk/nr 500491, 'Yellow 7' had seven kill markings painted on the rear of its fuselage. This aircraft had been the personal mount of Ofw Heinz Arnold, who flew with 11./JG 7 from Brandenburg-Briest. On 3 March 1945 Arnold had opened his Me 262 kill-account with two aircraft destroyed- a P-47 and B-17, both near Genthin. Four days later over Wittenberg, he claimed a P51 Mustang. On 18 March, Arnold submitted claims for a pair of P51`s that had fallen to his cannon fire, followed by a single B17 on the19th and 21st. He claimed a further two B-17s on 22 and 24 March, Wk/nr 5000491 was unserviceable at Alt Loennewitz when, on 16 or 17 April, Arnold took a replacement Me 262A-lb into an action from which he failed to return. Ofw Heinz Arnold had been one of a very small, and highly select, group of pilots who had become an ace on both jet- and piston-engine aircraft during World War 2; he had earlier scored 42 victories with JG 5 over the Eastern Front, prior to scoring seven, or perhaps even nine, victories with Me 262A-la wk/nr 500491. Having scored all his jet kills over such a short period of time, it is likely that he would been awarded the Knight's Cross had he survived.

On 18 April wk/nr 500491 was flown from Alt Loennewitz to Saaz, whereupon it became the aircraft of Lt Muller, who flew it until the end of the war. Muller made the final Luftwaffe flight of wk/nr 500491 when he flew from Prague-Ruzyne to Lager Lechfeld on 8 May. He later said that he handed this aircraft over to Karl Baur, the former chief test pilot of experimental aircraft for Messerschmitt who, by this stage, was working for the USAAF, and leading the training of American aircrews on the new jets. However,  M/Sgt Eugene Freiburger accepted the surrender of wk/nr 500491 and its pilot, Lt Muller.


At Lager-Lechfeld it was allocated Watson's Whizzers' number 888, and was initially christened 'Dennis' after Eugene Freiburger's son. When Col Watson's team of pilots arrived at Lechfeld, it was renamed Julie' and then 'Ginny H'. After leaving lager Lechfeld, wk/nr 500491 was flown to (Cherbourg, via Melun, by Lt James K Holt, before being shipped to the USA on HMS Reaper and ascribed Foreign Equipment No FE-III for use in USAAF trials. It was located firstly at Wright Field in August 1945, and then at Freeman Field the following month, before being transferred to No 803 Special Depot, Park Ridge, Illinois, during July 1946, and placed in storage. By 1950, wk/nr 500491 had been moved to the National Air and Space Museum's Silver Hill annex in Maryland. Restoration at the Paul E Garber Preservation Restoration and Storage Facility at this location commenced in 1978, and extensive corrosion in the nose was discovered. Over 6000 hours were consumed in the successful transformation of this aircraft back to it's original configuration, and it now resides in the National Air and Space Museum, in Washington DC.

Passage from `Stormbird Rising` by Hugh Morgan

Me262A-1a, Cosford Aerospace Museum, UK


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One of the Me262`s to be surrendered at Fassberg, along with Australia's `Black X`, this machine was assigned to I/JG7 and flew as `Yellow 7`. She was initially damaged on landing during a ferry flight piloted by Wing Commander Schrader. After repair, Sqdn Leader Moloney flew the 262 to Farnborough from Copenhagen/Kastrup. Following evaluation by the RAe, she took her first flight from Farnborough in the September 0f 1945, designated `AirMin51`, and flew trials by the RAe between September and November 1945.
After a long period in storage, she was displayed at several RAF bases until her final move to Cosford, where she is now based.

Me262A-2a, Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Wk/nr 500200`s history remains unclear, although we do know that she was built at Regensburg in March 1945, from the same batch which the Deutsche Museums `White 3` was built.. It is currently believed that she operated with II/KG51. For a more detailed history of this machine, please visit Dave Browns site, The Australian Connection, which had a wealth of detail on this bird. The build quality of 500200 was, to say the least, questionable, with very poor alignment of major components, and roughly sawn metal, a sign of the desperate conditions in which the German war machine had to operate in the final stages of the war.
Black X had indeed fought in combat during it`s brief life in operation. The spent cartridge chutes were dented, proving shell ejection, and also, a single .50 caliber round was found within one of it`s wings during an exploratory. She also remains the only 262 left in existence, to wear her original, albeit worn, colours. Her markings show both the Unit signatures along with the Air Ministry colours applied at Farnborough, where she was allocated reference `AirMin81`. After a period on display, she was dismantled and placed in storage. She, though, now currently is displayed in a stripped down condition at the AWM, pending a possible rebuild in the near future.

  Complete List Of Current Survivors...... (links to other websites)  

Messerschmitt Me262A-1a Werke Nr: 112372
@Cosford Aerospace Museum, England, United Kingdom

Messerschmitt Me262A-1a Werke Nr 500491
National Air Space Museum, USA

Messerschmitt Me262B-1a/U1 Werke Nr 110305
@Johannesburg War Museum, South Africa

Messerschmitt Me262A-1a
@Planes of Fame, Chino, USA

Messerschmitt Me262A-1a U.S. Navy
@U.S.A.F. Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA

Messerschmitt Me262A-1b Werke Nr 500071
@Deutches Museum, München, Germany

Avia S92 & CS92 Single seat/two seat fighter
@Prague. Chekoslovakia

 

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