TYPE: Two-seat jet sportplane.
PROGRAMME: Original prototype first flew 25 March 1942; entered operational service June 1944; flying terminated May 1945, except for limited number assigned to Allied technical evaluation or flown by Czechoslovak Air Force. Total of 1,443 built by Messerschmitt.
Classic programme based on reverse-engineering of WkNr 110639, former US Me 262B-1a evaluation aircraft, refurbished by Classic from 1993 onwards and redelivered to US Navy at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, on 8 September 2000. Completion of first new-build aircraft rescheduled to 2002, due to company restructuring. First taxi testing undertaken 25 June 2002, following engine tests conducted from February 2002. Maiden flight (following earlier short 'hops') (N262AZ) 20 December 2002, but damaged in landing accident on 18 January 2003; repairs undertaken during 2003 and almost ready for flight in January 2004.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Me 262A-1c: Single-seat version; one (501245/'white 3') under construction by Classic; 55 per cent complete in mid-2001, but suspended, pending customer interest.
Me 262B-1c: Two-seat trainer; two (501241/N262AZ/'White 1' and 501243/'White') under construction; first airframe for private owner in US; second 55 per cent complete, but suspended.
'Me 262A/B-1c': Further two aircraft (501242/'White 8' and 501244/N262MS/'Red 13', or 'Tango Tango'; can be converted to either of above variants; second machine earmarked for private owner in Germany and underwent wing/fuselage mating in January 2004; will be second aircraft to fly.
Current production aircraft assigned 'c' type suffix by Messerschmitt Foundation to indicate employment of CJ610 engine; maker's serial numbers follow on from German 1945 production.
Descriptions of Me 262 appear in various historical references. Differences from original are noted below.
COSTS: Around US$2 million for flying example and US$1.1 million for static display example, excluding engines and avionics.
DESIGN FEATURES: Modifications minimal, except where required to enhance safety. Replacement of Jumo 004 engine involves smaller, lighter and more powerful CJ610 being located in rear of original-sized nacelles; interior air duct and false Jumo engine exterior shape below access panels restore weight to original for aerodynamic and balance purposes. Landing gear mountings strengthened to obviate original weakness; modern disc brakes within mainwheel hubs; nosewheel brake deleted.
POWER PLANT: Two 12.7 kN (2,850 lb st) General Electric CJ610 turbojets; soft throttle stop at 8.0 kN (1,800 lb st) to emulate Jumo engine max output; full estimated installed thrust rating of up to 11.1 kN (2,500 lb st) employed for initiating (only) take-off roll and may be re-engaged above 226 kt (418 km/h; 260 mph) asymmetric safety speed.
Never-exceed speed (VNE) 434 kt (804 km/h; 500 mph)*
Max level speed (estimated) 539 kt (998 km/h; 620 mph)
Range with max fuel more than 869 n miles (1,609 km; 1,000 miles)
* voluntary limitation