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Me-262C Heimatschutzer
Interceptor Fighter
Messerschmitt

262C-1a (W.Nr. 130186) V186  III./JG 2

At the beginning of 1945, special attention was paid to the development of a missile version of the aircraft, the so-called Heimatschutzer ("Defender of the House"), capable of reaching interception altitudes very quickly. The first of these, the Me.262C-1a, was converted from the Me 262A-1a (No. 130 186) and flew on February 27, 1945 under the direction of Gerd Lindner. The Me 262C-1 was powered by a Walter R II-211/3 (HWK 509) rocket engine mounted in the aft fuselage. T-fuel was poured into the front 900-liter tank, and C-fuel was poured into the rear 600-liter. Fuel for the Jumo 004B was poured into the rear main 900-liter tank and into the front additional 170-liter tank.

Although the rocket engine significantly reduced the take-off distance, on the Me 262C-1a it was mainly used for climb. Despite the additional 1700 kgf thrust, the "Home Defender" with a weight of 7800 kg required 600 m of "concrete" for take-off - 20% more than with two starting 500-kg Borsig missiles. As a result, "Walter" was launched after the start of the takeoff run, for which the pilot had to press two buttons with a two-second interval. Although the R II-211/3 operated for only three minutes, this was enough to climb 8000 m, and the aircraft climbed 11,700 m from the start in 4.5 minutes. Lindner managed to make only four flights on the Me 262C-1, when the work was switched to the Me 262C-3.

The second missile variant of the Me 262C-2b - "Defender of the House" -II - was also redesigned from the Me 262A-1a (No. 170 074). It made its only flight in March 1945 under the control of Karl Baur. The Me 262C-2b was powered by two BMW 003R engines, which were a twin turbojet BMW 003A with a thrust of 800 kg and a rocket HWK 718 with a thrust of 1225 kgf. The tanks were used as on the C-1a, only S-fuel was poured into the front, and R-fuel was poured into the rear. The BMW 718 engine, despite 50 runs of the BMW 003R on the ground, presented a problem as the spilled fuel would immediately ignite. Karl Baur described his only flight like this: "At a speed of about 160 km / h, I pressed the launch button (for BMW 718), and the rockets started to crash. The plane was accelerating so fast that after a few seconds I had to retract the flaps and the landing gear, because I was afraid that the plane would just flip. I felt that the speed had reached the critical Mach number, and lifted my nose, but the speed seemed to continue to increase. Fuel burned out at an altitude of 7000 m, I gained more than 1000 m - in total since a minute and a half have passed since the start.

The main drawback of the first "Defender of the House" was the limited capacity of the tanks for the turbojet engine. As a result, the Me 262C-3 was equipped with a Walter R P-211/3 rocket engine suspended under the fuselage with fuel tanks on bomb racks directly in front of the engine. The rocket engine could be dropped by parachute after running out of fuel. Fuel entered the rocket engine through flexible pipelines, but a problem arose - the tanks were located slightly lower than the engine, which made it difficult to supply fuel to the combustion chamber. This problem was never resolved until the end of work on the "Defender of the House".


                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Me 262C-la Specification
Crew 1
Dimensions
Wing span, m 12.50
Wing area, m² 21.80
Length, m 10.60
Height, m 3.80
Powerplant
Main 2 × Jumo-004В-3, thrust, kg 2×900 кг
APU Walter R II-211/3 (HWK 509), thrust, kg 1×1700
Weight, kg:
Empty 3,800
Gross weight 7,800
Performance
Maximum speed, km/h
at altitude 868
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 2990
Service ceiling, m 11700
Service range, km 760
Armament
4 × 30 mm MK-108 cannon with ammunition, pcs. 2×100 and 2×80
Photo Description
Drawing Me 262 C-1bs

Drawing Me 262 C-1b

Bibliography

  • Luftwaffe Aviation / V.N. Shunkov /
  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • German trace in the history of Russian aviation. / Sobolev D.A., Khazanov D.B. /
  • Wings Digest / №10 1997 /
  • War Diaries of the Luftwaffe / Caius Becker /
  • AIRCRAFT OF LUFTWAFFE FIGHTER ACES. A Chronicle in Photographs. / Bernd Barbas /