Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the nose of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Twin engine, single seat, low wing, jet fighter

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Twin engine, single seat, low wing, jet fighter

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Twin engine, single seat, low wing, jet fighter

    5 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the nose of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the cockpit of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the fuselage of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the engine of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the wheel of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the tire of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the wing of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)

    Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war. The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. Highlighted in this image is the engine of the Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262

    The Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter.

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    Messerschmitt Me 262

    A Messerschmitt Me 262 on display in the Jet Aviation gallery at the National Mall building.
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    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow) Panorama

    Panoramic view inside the cockpit of Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow) (A19600328000).

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    Building the First Operational Jet Fighter

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Nicknamed Schwalbe (Swallow), the Messerschmitt Me 262 surpassed the performance of every other World War II fighter. Faster than the North American P-51 Mustang by 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, the Schwalbe restored to the faltering German Luftwaffe a short-lived qualitative superiority that it had enjoyed earlier in the war.

The Me 262 appeared in only relatively small numbers in the closing year of World War II. Messerschmitt factories produced 1,443 Me 262s, but only about 300 saw combat. The others were destroyed in training accidents or by Allied bombing attacks. The almost absolute Allied dominance of the air, and the development of fighter sweep tactics that offset the Me 262's performance advantage, ensured that the revolutionary fighter did not affect Allied air operations.

Only nine Me 262s survive in museums around the world. This one served with the famous Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 7. According to the tally on the fuselage, the Schwalbe's pilot, Heinz Arnold, scored 42 victories over Soviet piston-engine fighters and 7 over American bombers and fighters.