Aviation of Word War II

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Me-262 B

Night Fighter - Interceptor


Me 262B WR 110306

The high performance of the Me-262 made a tandem-seat operational conversion trainer version desireable, and such an aircraft, the "Me-262B-1a", was introduced in the summer of 1944. The trainer of course had dual controls, with the second seat replacing one of the fuel tanks. Range was extended by fitting two 300 liter (80 US gallon) external tanks under the forward fuselage. About fifteen were built.

The trainer led to the impressive "Me-262B-1a/U1" night fighter, with "FuG-218 Neptun" long-wavelength radar and "Naxos" centimetric-radar-homing gear, plus armament of two MK-108 30 millimeter cannon and two MG-151 20 millimeter cannon. The type was put through trials in October 1944 by the well-known Hajo Hermann. The Neptun "antler" antennas slowed the aircraft down, but it was still faster than the hated British Mosquito, which preyed on German night-fighters.

During the following winter, Kurt Welter, head of "Kommando Stamp", used Me-262A-1a day fighters for "Wilde Sau (Wild Boar)" night fighting, and in April the unit obtained a few of the Me-262B-1a/U1 night-fighter variants. Despite all the difficulties, Welter claimed 20 kills, making him one of the first jet aces and likely the highest-scoring jet ace in all history.

By the end of the war, Messerschmitt was working on a prototype of the improved "Me-262B-2a" night fighter with a longer fuselage and increased fuel capacity. It was fitted with the Neptun radar at the outset, but there were plans to fit it with the "Berlin" centimetric radar, with improved range and resolutions and a dish hidden in the nose, instead of the clumsy and drag-inducing "antlers" of the long-wavelength radar. There was also consideration of fitting the Me-262B-2a with upward-firing cannon installed in the rear fuselage to allow it to attack RAF bombers from their belly blind spot.

Modifications Weights: Empty: 4000kg (B-1a 4400kg); Loaded: 7045kg (B-1a 6400kg)

Performance: Maximum speed: Me 262A-1a: 540mph (870km/h); Me 262A-2a: 470 mph (755km/h); Me 262B-1a: 497 mph (800km/h)

Armament: Me 262A-1a: Four 30mm MK 108 cannon in nose -two with 100 rounds each, two with 80

Me 262A-1a/U1: two 30mm MK 103; two MK 108; two 20mm MG 151/20

Me 262A-1b: as A-1a plus 24 spin-stabilised R4/M 55mm rockets

Me 262A-2a: as A-1a plus bomb load of two 500kg bombs

Me 262B-1a: as A-1a

Me 262B-2a: as A-1A plus two inclined MK 108 behind the cockpit in Schrage Musik installation

(D) SG 500 Jagdfaust with 12 rifled mortar barrels inclined in nose

(E) 50mm MK 114 gun or 48 R4/M rockets

Me 262A-1a Specification
Crew 1
Wing Span 12.5 m (41 ft 0 in)
Wing Area, 21.7 m? (234 ft?)
Length, m 10.58 m (34 ft 9 in)
Height 3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)
2 ? TJE Jumo-004B-1, B-2 ore B-3, thrust 2 ? 900 kgp (1,980 lbf)
Empty weight 3800 kg (8,380 lb)
Loaded with 1800 l Fuel 6400 kg (14,110 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight with 2565 l fuel 7130 kg (15,720 lb)
Maximum speed at weight of 6475 kg (14,275 lb) at sea level 822.5 km/h (511 mph)
at altitude 850 / 865 / 815 km/h
(528 / 538 / 506 mph)
m (ft) 3,000 / 6,000 / 10,000 m
(9,824 / 19,685 /32,808 ft)
Rate of climb at sea level 20 m/s (66 ft/s)
at altitude 11/5.5 (36 / 18 ft/s)
m 6000/9000 m (19,685 / 29,527 ft)
Time to level 6,000/9,000 m (19,685 / 29,527 ft) 6.8/13.1 min
Service ceiling 11,450 m (37,600 ft)
Service range at altitude 9000m with 1800 l Fuel 1040 km (646 ml)
4x30-mm MK-108 cannon in a nose with shell, pcs. 2?100 and 2?80

Photo Description
Drawing Me-262 B-1a/U1

Drawing Me-262 B-1a/U1

Messerschmitt Me-262B

Messerschmitt Me-262B



  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/