The Messerschmitt ME 262
Original planning provided for the production of the conventional aircraft types FW190 and TA152, but in 1944 the decision was made to manufacture the “Wunderwaffe” (miracle-weapon) Messerschmitt Me 262 instead. Every day 40 aircraft were to leave the mountain, thus assembling 1200 jets per month. Up to the end of the war a total of 20 to 30 aircraft were completed.
The Messerschmitt ME 262 was the first mass produced jet-propelled fighter of the Second World War. Its top speed exceeded that of the Allied fighters by 100km/h due to the use of the new jet-engine technology. Because of strategic misjudgments, material problems, fuel shortages and the lack of pilots, utilization of the Me 262 had no bearing on the progression of the war any more.
Miracle Weapon Me 262?
The Messerschmidt was presented as a “Miracle Weapon,” being the world‘s first mass produced fighter-jet. Reaching top speeds of 530mph the Me 262 was 60mph faster than the planes of the Allies.
Because the factory construction was delayed, a production of the Me 262 fighter-jet never took place.
Only in four preliminarily outfitted bunkers on the south side of the mountain a few aircraft were assembled out of pre-mounted components.
20 to 30 aircraft left the factory until the war ended. Extensive ware of the engines, fuel shortages and poorly trained pilots were the main problems encountered. In March 1945 Sauckel took over the test production of the Horton XVIII flying wing from the Railroad-Car Factory in Gotha, which proved to be another unsolvable task.