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Messerschmitt Me 262

ICAO aircraft code ME262
Manufacturer Messerschmitt
Country Germany

The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed Schwalbe (German: “Swallow”) in fighter versions, or Sturmvogel (German: “Storm Bird”) in fighter-bomber versions, was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft.


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Messerschmitt Me 262 Specifications

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ICAO aircraft code
1944 - 1945

Aircraft performance

2x Junkers Jumo 004B-1
1,980 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
490 Kts
907 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
92 Kts
Travel range:
570 Nm
1,056 Kilometers
Service Ceiling:
37,600 feet
Rate of Climb:
3937 feet / minute
20.00meter / second
Take Off Distance:
1005 meter - 3,297.20 feet

Weight & dimensions

Max Take Off Weight:
7,045 Kg
15,531 lbs
Max Payload:
1,000 Kg
2,205 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
635 gallon
2,404 liter

Disclaimer: The information on this page may not be accurate or current. Never use it for flight planning or any other aircraft operation purposes. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning or any other aircraft operations should only be done using official technical information provided by the manufacture or official aviation authorities.

About the Messerschmitt Me 262

The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed Schwalbe (German: “Swallow”) in fighter versions, or Sturmvogel (German: “Storm Bird”) in fighter-bomber versions, was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but problems with engines, metallurgy and top-level interference kept the aircraft from operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. The Me 262 was faster and more heavily armed than any Allied fighter, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Me 262’s roles included light bomber, reconnaissance and experimental night fighter versions.

Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied aircraft shot down, although higher claims are sometimes made. The Allies countered its effectiveness in the air by attacking the aircraft on the ground and during takeoff and landing. Strategic materials shortages and design compromises on the Junkers Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojet engines led to reliability problems. Attacks by Allied forces on fuel supplies during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. Armament production within Germany was focused on more easily manufactured aircraft. In the end, the Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war as a result of its late introduction and the consequently small numbers put in operational service.

While German use of the aircraft ended with the close of World War II, a small number were operated by the Czechoslovak Air Force until 1951. It also heavily influenced several designs, such as the Sukhoi Su-9 (1946) and Nakajima Kikka. Captured Me 262s were studied and flight-tested by the major powers, and ultimately influenced the designs of post-war aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre, MiG-15 and Boeing B-47 Stratojet. Several aircraft survive on static display in museums, and there are several privately built flying reproductions that use modern General Electric J85 engines.

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