The Me 262 Stormbird Story
By the time of its introduction into front-line service in July 1944 many Germans thought the Me 262 was capable of turning the tide of the Second World War. Accelerating to speeds well over 500mph, it was faster than the Allied fighting operating in the European theatre. Officially designated as the Schwalbe, or Swallow, its pilots soon renamed the Me 262 as the Sturmvogel. While the war was still going Hitler's way the Me 262 was not considered a high-priority project by German High Command, until May 1943 when the celebrated Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland flew the Me 262 and was so impressed by its performance that he advocated immediate mass production. Several types of the Me 262 were deployed - fighter bomber, interceptor and an unarmed reconnaissance version - but although over 1,400 Me 262s were constructed less than 300 saw combat. Even so, the Stormbird signalled the beginning of the end for piston-engined combat aircraft, and with the fall of the Third Reich the Allies were quick to seize the surviving Me 262s and their design directly influenced the development of jet fighters after the war.
- Electronic book text | 128 pages
- 29 Feb 2012
- The History Press Ltd
- Stroud, United Kingdom
About John Christopher
John Christopher is a life-long transport enthusiast, author and balloon pilot. He is involved in Airship Initiatives, which is bringing a Zeppelin airship to the UK for pleasure trips. He has previously written Balloons at War and Brunel's Kingdom.