Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe
The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed Schwalbe, or Swallow, surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. This was remarkable, considering the very early state of development of the Junkers Jumo 004B axial flow jet engines that powered it. Faster than the opposing North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a qualitative superiority that it had not enjoyed for years.
Fortunately for the Allies, the Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II, and the almost absolute Allied dominance of the air was not greatly disturbed. Although 1,443 Me 262s were produced, it is estimated that only about 300 saw combat; the others were destroyed in Allied bombing attacks or in training accidents.
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