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The British also had a Jet operational in 1944, so why does the Me 262 get all the credit?

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by GunSlinger86, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    The Meteor was the first operational Jet in Squadron service. You can twist that any way you want but it wont change tha fact it beat the Me 262.
    The German Jet program was driven by desperation and the Me 262 was not front-line fit. In any sensible regime (say RAF) the aircraft would heve been kept in 2nd line until the bugs had been ironed out. Circumstances forced the German to risk everything in a last desperate throw.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    1500 bombers in a few months...you wouldnt make it second line mate...i suppose if it were British Air Ministry though...
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    CAC,

    Are you saying that the 262 knocked down 1500 bombers in a few months? Are you sure that's right? Seems a little high to me. Well, actually, really high. How'd you come by that figure?
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    500 odd...my mistake.

    Could we at least all agree that the 262 was the first jet aircraft used in combat?
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Yes it looks like the Me-262 saw action a day before the Meteor did and about a week before the Ar234.
     
  6. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I guess the Me262 was made active in April 1944, so that would make it first in terms of when it was actively used by a power in war. The Meteor first saw action at the end of July 1944. They both were being developed by Germany and England in the 1930s though, the Germans were the first to use it, by about 2 months.
     
  7. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    If my facts are correct I think that the very first duel between jet propelled aircraft was between a British Meteor and either a V-1 or a V-2. Now I now that the V-1&2s weren't exactly made for dueling like the meteor. But the significance is that it was the first engagement between aircrafts that were propelled by a jet. I think that is what happened.
    If that is incorrect you can point that out. I'm not exactly sure.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The v1 and 2 were not strictly 'aircraft'...but rockets or missiles...unmanned and incapable of return fire...hardly a duel let alone combat. Imo
     
  9. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Maybe a better word for it is "interaction" maybe? Between two jet propelled crafts/missiles?
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    There's been a couple more comments on this page regarding "operational"...

    When this subject was discussed a few years ago on AHF, I emailed the RAF Museum at Hendon for clarification of what the RAF regarded as "operational..."

    And the answer came back "roster-able for normal operations each morning" In other words - in regular squadron service, on the flightline, ready...along with the rest of a Fighter Command squadron's dozen rostered aircraft every morning.

    In other words...when 616 Sqn became in RAF terms "operational" on the Gloster Meteor...EKdo 262 was still carrying out operational testing I.E. testing the 262's performance parameters, establishing tactical profiles etc. in operational conditions. But the Me 262 was not as yet rostered daily with a "normal" LW fighter geschwader.

    It's a bit apples and oranges - but depends on the definition of "operational" as used by each air force.
     
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  11. michael6120

    michael6120 New Member

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    Another thing to consider was how devastating the me626 was against the 8th and 15th airforce bombers.. I think the fact it was" that dangerous" is one of the main reasons you hear about them and not the english jet. . I've never even heard of the English jet before until now!
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The Me262 was indeed devastating in a defensive role ; those big daylight formations of slow-moving bombers provided a target-rich environment for very fast, twin-engined aircraft with heavy close-range cannon and rockets. The RAF were by this late stage of the war heavily involved in fast-moving offensive action which valued the qualities of P-51s, Tempests and Griffon-engined Spitfires.
     
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  13. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    while the Me 262 was on the surface technologically very impressive, its shortcomings and teething problems rendered much of its impact 'psychological' rather than anything else. The high speeds, the poor low speed performance, engine flame outs, the difficulties in juggling the throttle controls, weak undercarriage - all these aspects of flying the Me 262 were a given for every Me 262 pilot.

    ...during February 1945 5./KG 51 pilot Egon Hummel found himself strafing and bombing US troop and re-supply columns;

    ".. The aircraft flew beautifully although our combat-radius (endurance) was limited. The Jumos were real 'gas-guzzlers' ('Spritfresser'), there was never more than 45-minutes flying time possible and as a pilot you always had to factor in a reserve for safety so that in practise you couldn't even stay airborne for the full 45 minutes. The speed of the jet was of course phenomenal but it was very possible to approach the sound barrier in a dive which meant having to juggle with the throttles and that was something that you couldn't really do - on two occasions I had an engine flame-out.."
     
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  14. michael6120

    michael6120 New Member

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    Whilst on the topic FalkeEins, Wasn't the 626 also really difficult to land?? I might be thinking of something else though . . But right now I 'think' I remember watching a documentary that noted it. .
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It had a high stall speed I believe and needed a paved runway. The touchy engines could be a problem on landing or takeoff as well.

    Does anyone know what the German defintion of operational was? I don't think it would fit the US definition either but I don't have it rady to hand.
     
  16. dude_really

    dude_really Doesn't Play Well With Others

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    but where ? only behind buckingham palace!
    It was expressly FORBIDDEN for the glosters to operate over the continent , let alone engage with the enemy.
    so OF COURSE the G Meteor does NOT get credit.

    But since you want to compare pissing distance; please dive into the soviet rocket and jet propelled OPERATIONAL fighters:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxSchs1ByiU
    Starting from 17:40 ...
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    LWD, in the main the 262s actually DID operate from grass runways, and the vast majority of the "forest factory" assembly areas had grass runways...

    Yes, this meant MAJOR problems - such as no ops when the runways were too soft - the 262 being a very heavy aircraft for its size - and when the USAAF attacked a number of forest factories they clobbered dozens of completed aircraft and airframes that just couldn't be evacuated in time due to soft flightlines.

    The problem was, of course, that creating paved runways was next to impossible in the last months and weeks of the war....due to the Allied domination of Germany's skies. There was indeed a plan to operate 262s off sections of straight autobahn - and either five or seven locations selected (can't remember offhand which)....but work was only begun at three; the central reservations had to be cleared/levelled and paved to create a wide runway...and then disguised. And then they weren't used...

    For some time; IIRC 262 operated from two sections of autobahn east of Berlin before the Battle of Berlin, I'm not sure if they were the pre-developed sections or not.


    Michel, the 262 was difficult to land in the sense that it "landed long" as it's called - after a very long, very flat approach to avoid flameouts it came in long and low and fast over the end of the runway....then the pilot lowered his gear and tried to persuade it down into contact at speed. A number of modern fighters have the same landing profile, noticeably the French Dassault Mirage delta configurations.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Thanks for the correction on that. I guess I assumed that most of the runways in Germany itself were paved for some reason. Modern thinking rather that period thinking perhaps.
     
  19. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Suprisingly few WWII era runways in the UK or Europe were paved; it has caught me out before now too. The USAAF fields in the UK were paved...because they were laid down new and FAST...but the RAF preferred unpaved ones, it allowed several aircraft to take off at once! Even bombers...

    In the early years of the war they also preferred concealment and camouflage as RAF fields' best means of defence against possible raids...which became next to impossible as aprons, fighter pens etc. became paved first - then most parts of the flightline EXCEPT runways! :)

    It did mean they suffered too in bad weather and conditions; famously, Scampton, where CHASTISE was flown from, had three separate attempts to improve it and open if for operations from the mid-1930s on, but it wasn't until 1942-3 when it finally became possible. It took years of cultivation, care, rolling etc. to develop a "quality" grass field. The big period of concreting and of course extending RAF runways was the last years of the 1940s...with the advent of jets. Naturally!
     
  20. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    All newly-built RAF Class A bomber stations completed during WWII had concrete runways which was caused by the advent of the four-engined bombers. Expansion-period airfields were upgraded during the war years which created difficulties as they became non-operational while being upgraded ( work on the runways at Scampton, for instance, started in August 1943 and the station didn't reopen until the Summer of 1944 ).
     

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