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.

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  • Title: Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow)
  • Physical Dimensions: Wingspan: 12.5 m (40 ft 11 in)Length: 12.1 m (39 ft 9 in)Height: 3.8 m (12 ft 7 in)Weight, empty: 4,419 kg (9,742 lb)Weight, gross: 6,010 kg (13,250 lb)Top speed: 870 km/h (540 mph)
  • External Link: https://airandspace.si.edu/collection/id/nasm_A19600328000
  • Medium: Overall: Aluminum

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