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Duel: Messerschmitt Me 262 vs. Gloster Meteor


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#1 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:14 PM

Let´s do a jet duel, friens. Our contenders are

the Gloster Meteor:

Posted Image

and the Messerschmitt Me 262:

Posted Image

They didn´t encounter each other in WWII, but they missed each other only for weeks. What do you think would have happened if they met?
Please also consider chances for further development of the both.
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#2 simon

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 12:07 AM

Good topic.

Well given initial service versions of each, and assuming each was reasonably equally positioned, the Me262 is of course far superior to the Meteor MkI. However other factors make it not perhaps such an unequal fight as it first appears. The Me262s engines are of course notoriously unreliable, and the 30mm cannon whilst powerful were not ideal dogfighting weapons and also prone to jam.

The Meteor however had more reliable engines and the early bugs in Britain's 20mm Cannon had long been ironed out by this point, giving a reliable, effective dogfighting weapon. The four weapons would be more than sufficient to down an Me262 with a short burst, whereas the Me262s if they hit would be distinctly overkill on a target like a Meteor.

Even on the early marks it's a difficult one to answer. On paper the 262 is far and away the better machine (And of course the more technically advanced design), however the Meteor would have been the better dogfighter if the Messerschmitt pilot could be lured away from a Zoom-and-boom scrap, and the edge passes distinctly to the Meteor if one of the Me262s engines failed, an event which would not have been unlikely.

#3 robert

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:22 AM

Meteor F.1 or Meteor F.3?

#4 GregP

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 02:12 AM

The 262 would have won most of the confrontations unless the Meteor found a 262 in the landing pattern or else flying home on one engine.

The Meteor may never have come into existence if the Germans had built the 262 as soon as they COULD have and if they had used it as a fighter or bomber destroyer.

In any case, no version of the Meteor was as good a machine as the Me-262. I think the 262 could have been developed into a very potent fighter after the war if the Allies had chosen to develop it and continue the German type into service.

Also, the 262 could have had the critical Mach number increased with some research to the point where it was routinely flying in the 600 to 650 mph range, ot better. Granted the F Mk.8 was close at 598 mph, but it was the fastest Meteor by a wide margin. The other marks weren't even close. The Me-262, on the other hand, may have been a good match for the planes we were flying 8 years later.

This is, of course, speculation. However, we now have at least one flying Me-262 wiith modern engines built by the Stormbirds operation.

I would be curious to see it flown and reported on by a fighter pilot familiar with Meteors, P-80s, F-86s, CVampires, and Hunters. The Stormbirds are placarded at about 520 mph, but that is done for safety reasons since the reproductions are not at war. The wing and tail airfoils are the same as used on the Me-262 that was stored for so long at Willow Grove NAS in Philadelphis, PA, U.S.A., so it has WWII aerodynamics even though the engines are modern.

Perhaps a pilot's report in some future FLight Journal magazine?

#5 robert

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 03:37 AM

quote:Originally posted by GregP



Also, the 262 could have had the critical Mach number increased with some research to the point where it was routinely flying in the 600 to 650 mph range, ot better. Granted the F Mk.8 was close at 598 mph, but it was the fastest Meteor by a wide margin. The other marks weren't even close. The Me-262, on the other hand, may have been a good match for the planes we were flying 8 years later.


The production Meteor F.4, which was flying (in prototype form) in 1945, had a top speed of 585 mph. I think that's close.

Specially prepared Meteors cleared 600 mph routinely. The Meteor, of course, held the World Speed Record in 1946/1947, with F.4 EE549, flown by E.M. Donaldson, setting a record of 615.65 mph on September 7, 1946. The same aircraft, flown by Bill Waterton, flew from London to Paris at an average speed of 618.4 mph on January 19, 1947. Although not an official record attempt, D.V. Coates-Preedy flew Gloster's demonstration Meteor F.4 G-AIDC from Brussels to Copenhagen on April 22, 1947 at an average speed of 630 mph.

I still maintain that the Me 262 was put into service at the earliest possible moment. As William Green said in Warplanes of the Third Reich:

"...the simple fact remains that Junkers failed to resolve the problems poised by series manufacture of the turbojet powering the Me 262 until mid-1944, and thus could not commence volume deliveries to Messerschmitt until the following September/October. Furthermore, the consensus of opinion of those actually engaged in the design development and testing of the Me 262 was to be that the fighter was introduced to service at the earliest practicable stage in its evolution; that any earlier deployment of the warplane on a large scale would have been entirely premature."

One can always play "what if", but then one must also consider the impact of a fully funded RAF jet program backing Frank Whittle in 1936, and Meteors being ready for the Battle of Britain...

#6 curmudgeon

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 05:51 AM


quote:
"...the simple fact remains that Junkers failed to resolve the problems poised by series manufacture of the turbojet powering the Me 262 until mid-1944, and thus could not commence volume deliveries to Messerschmitt until the following September/October. Furthermore, the consensus of opinion of those actually engaged in the design development and testing of the Me 262 was to be that the fighter was introduced to service at the earliest practicable stage in its evolution; that any earlier deployment of the warplane on a large scale would have been entirely premature."

One can always play "what if", but then one must also consider the impact of a fully funded RAF jet program backing Frank Whittle in 1936, and Meteors being ready for the Battle of Britain...


The Me262 is the favourite romantics' plane. Yes it is pretty, yes it is (in theory) wildly ahead of the opposition. Yes it was an irrelevance.

After WW II only the Czechs produced 'new' Me262s ... none of the major powers bothered. Which should tell us something as both the UK and the US had reliable engines that could have powered the airframe.

If it could have bounced a Meteor (1, 3 or 4) it would likely have succeeded in destroying it. If it was bounced it in turn would have been destroyed. It wasn't a dogfighter, so in a dogfight it could have gone either way ... except that the 262's 30mm cannon jammed if fired under even moderate g forces, and the Meteor (3, 4) had a tighter turning circle at dogfight speeds than the 262 would have been harder to outrun than the piston engined fighters that did kill 262s that were foolish enough dogfight - remember early jets didn't accelerate well.

From maintenance records - day 1: 262?, day 2: 262?, day 3 and forever after: Meteor ... the 262s would never have got off the canvas.

BTW (off topic) RAAF Meteor ground attack aircraft had success(es) and few losses against MiG 15s in Korea.

#7 GregP

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 07:31 AM

I am aware of the Meteor's success in Korea.

Nevertheless, I think the 262 was a better aircraft in WWII. After WWII is another story, and you could make a case for either plane. Still, early Meteors went less than 500 mph and were developed into 600 mph airplanes, though not routinely in service ... more of a "let's clean one up, wax it, and make it as smooth as possible, and make the run with mimimum fuel and no antennas on it" sort of thing.

My point is that, with similar cleanup, the Me-262 could also have been improved a great deal. If fitted with a larter, higher=power engine, it might also have made a good single-engine plane.

Who can say?

I appreciate the Meat Box and its contributions. I just think that the German designs, partlcularly the Me-262, He-280, and the piston Ta-152 series could have been developed into an effective fighter force easily.

History is usully written by the victors of a conflict, perhpas rightly so, perhaps not. I simply state that the early German jets could easily have been a deciding factor is deployed correctly and with sufficient Luftwaffe support.

Of course, this would also mean Hitler would suddenly have gotten smart and listened to his advisors. That, too, fortunately never happened.


#8 BuzzLightyear

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 09:03 AM

IMO, the Germans were well on their way to having a transonic plane in the Me-262. A clean airframe and axial flow engines were already in place. More highly swept wings and a redesigned stabilizer may have done it.

The Meteor used in Korea was hardly the same plane used in WWII. Nevertheless, while it had some success against the MiG-15 (so did the F-80 and F-84), it was more a target for the MiG than a hunter.

#9 simon

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 02:49 PM

"The Meteor may never have come into existence if the Germans had built the 262 as soon as they COULD have and if they had used it as a fighter or bomber destroyer."

"I simply state that the early German jets could easily have been a deciding factor is deployed correctly and with sufficient Luftwaffe support."

Two very sweeping statements. OK this prompts me to ask the next question then, how?

For a start the Me262 was put into service as soon as reliable engines were available and although issued to bomber units many of those "Bombers" still seemed to have been used as fighters and bomber interceptors. So the Me262 was used as soon as it could have been, unless you intended series production of the piston engine prototypes... ;)

As for being a deciding factor, against what? The whole of the allied war machine? How could the Me262 have ever turned the war for the Eastern front for example?

As I said earlier, the Me262 was one of the most technically advanced designs of the war. The superiority of the aircraft possibly exceeded the abilities of the Luftwaffe to service and maintain it, and certainly the ability to provide pilots capable of flying it.

I also stated in another thread that the only way to have completed halted the US Daylight bomber offensive would have been to destroy the production lines on the mainland USA, something the Me262 was patently incapable of doing. Otherwise the US would have just increased the numbers of fighter escorts until the Luftwaffe interceptors were completely swamped. Something the US was capable of doing.

Phrases like "The Me262 could have won the war!" are often used, but I have yet to hear any convincing arguments as to exactly how.

#10 Corsarius

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 04:17 AM

"the Me-262 could have won the war!"

*ahem* just kidding.

I would say, however, that if Australians were equipped with more developed Schwalbes than Meteors in Korea, we might have given them a bit more stick (although we did all right for an aircraft that was considerably outclassed).

I'd go with the schwalbe against the meteor, but only just, as the schwalbe had superior performance, it's armament was not really designed for dogfighting and there the meteor has it.




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