Aviation of Word War II

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Me-210 V13
  • Heavy Fighter
  • Messerschmitt

In the design of the aircraft, an attempt was made to combine the intention to achieve air supremacy with the desire of the Messerschmitt concern to become the leading supplier of aircraft for the Luftwaffe. Only thanks to influence in the OKL (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe) and TA (Technisches Amt) did the concern manage to produce a rather crude long-range fighter for a long time.

The need for Me-210 class aircraft appeared due to the fact that over time, the Allied aviation received very good American aircraft. The German command underestimated and neglected the potential of the American aviation industry. Ordinary German designers and engineers, of course, understood the capabilities of the Americans, but their opinion was not taken into account at the top level.

According to the memoirs of many senior officers of the Luftwaffe, the idea to create a multi-purpose aircraft (Mehrzweckflugzeug) belonged to Goering himself, who wanted to form elite squadrons of heavy fighters (Zerstoerer). However, these memories should be treated critically, since there is a possibility that Göring is being blamed for a failed concept.

In October 1938, Hitler approved a new program for the development of military equipment, in which aviation played a significant role. It was supposed to form 16 aviation regiments equipped with Bf-110 and Me-210 fighters. To this end, in September 1938, the Luftwaffe ordered 1,000 Me-210 aircraft. The development program of the Luftwaffe was approved in the form of an industrial production plan, signed on November 9, 1938. The plan provided for the delivery of 3,320 Bf-110 and Me-210 aircraft by April 1942.

However, the organization of serial production of the Me-210 was slow, although the aircraft itself was considered promising. Subsequent production plans (No. 10 dated January 24, 1939 and No. 11 dated April 1, 1939) provided for the continuation of work on the aircraft and their early completion.

While attempts were made to establish serial production of the Me-210, the aircraft was continuously adapted to install the most powerful engines available on it. However, new engines were constantly in short supply. For example, instead of the provided DB603G motor, it was necessary to install DB601, which were also produced in insufficient quantities. The forced Jumo 213E, which was a modification of the Jumo 213A, was also absent. And the BMW 801TJ engines, in general, existed only in the form of prototypes. All this caused additional problems and lengthened the terms of work.

After the war, Fritz Wendel, the leading test pilot of Messerschmitt, said that the Me-410, like the He-177, became the misfortune of the aviation industry of the III Reich. Having absorbed a huge amount of forces and means, this aircraft did not justify the hopes that were placed on it. As a result of the failure of the Me-210 program, only the Bf-110 won. Initially, it was planned to stop its production back in 1941, but as a result, the aircraft stayed on the assembly line until March 1945!

The first prototype Me-210V1 (V - Versuchsmuster - prototype) W.Nr.0001 D+AABF took off on 5 September 1939. The aircraft was piloted by engineer Hermann Wurster. The aircraft was equipped with 1100 hp DB601А-1 engines. and had a mass of 5300 kg. The aircraft had no armament and was equipped with a spaced tail. During the test flight, it turned out that the aircraft was unstable both in the vertical and in the horizontal plane. The aircraft was returned to the factory, where it was equipped with an enlarged tail unit. Also increased the area of ​​the rudders. The plane converted in this way took off on September 23. At the same time, comparative tests were carried out with the second prototype V2 (W.Nr.0002, WL + ABEO), which had a conventional tail. Later, the V2 prototype also received a new tail unit. Flight testing of both prototypes continued until the winter of 1939/40. They showed that it was not possible to improve the flight characteristics of the aircraft.

The design of the aircraft continued to improve, but at the same time they "forgot" to eliminate the already known shortcomings. So, the aircraft received automatic slats on the leading edge of the wing. The design of the tail section of the fuselage has changed, while the length of the fuselage has increased by 647 mm. The first new fuselage appeared on the Me-210A-0 (W.Nr.101 NE + BH), which took off on October 3, 1941 (after the alteration, the aircraft received the designation V17). Comparative tests with the V16 prototype showed that it was not possible to correct the shortcomings.

In fact, the new fighters were no longer the same Me-210. Since the designation Me-210 already had a notorious reputation, the new aircraft was designated Me-410. All further tests of the Me-210 aircraft were aimed at improving the design of the Me-410.

Me-210A-1 Specification
Crew 2
Wing span, m 16.35
Wing area, m² 36.25
Length, m 12.15
Height, m 4.3
2 × PE Daimler-Benz DB 601F 2 × 1350 hp
Masses, kg:
Empty weight 7080
Gross weight 9715
Maximum speed over ground, km/h 460
Maximum speed at altitude, km/h 560
Service ceiling, m 8900
Service range, km 1800

Armament. Two 20 mm MG 151 cannons with 350 rounds per barrel and two 7.9 mm MG 17 machine guns with 1000 rounds per barrel forward and two 13 mm MG 131 machine guns in remote-controlled mounts FDL 131 with 450 rounds per gun

Drawing Me 210 A-1 Drawing Me 210 A-1


  • "Messerschmitt Me 210/410 Luftwaffe heavy fighter" /Compiled by E.V.Egers, translated by D.G.Tereshchenko/
  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "The German Imprint on the History of Russian Aviation " /D.A. Sobolev, D.B. Khazanov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering " /Aerospace Publising/