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WRG Me 263

Me 263[1]

The Messerschmitt Me 263 was a rocket powered interceptor, designed during the final months of World War 2 to rectify the major faults in the Messerschmitt Me 163.

HistoryEdit

In retrospect the Me 163 need not have suffered from its most serious faults, and the 263 emerged on the Lippisch/Messerschmitt drawing boards in winter 1943-44 to rectify them. The new design had a larger and better-shaped body housing more propellants, a new engine with separate low-thrust cruise chamber for long endurance, and a proper landing gear. The 163D V1 was completed in spring 1944 but the RLM transferred the programme to Junkers to ease Messerschmitt's burdens. At Dessau, Prof Hertel improved the 263A-1 into the Ju 248, with automatic slats, bubble hood and cut-down rear fuselage, larger flaps and other changes. Two 30mm MK 108 were fitted in the wing roots. The RLM insisted on restoration of the Me 263A-1 designation, and hastened production, planning for the 5,511 lb (2500kg) BMW 708 nitric-acid motor when ready, but in the chaos of late 1944 tooling was never finished, though a single Dessau-built 263A-1 flew as a glider in August 1944. It was briefly developed further by the Russians.[2]

SpecificationEdit

  • Origin: Messerschmitt AG; transferred to Junkers.
  • Type: interceptor.
  • Engine: Walter HWK ‘I09-509C-4 rocket with 3,750lb (1700kg) main chamber and 660lb (300kg) cruise chamber.
  • Dimensions: Span 31ft 2in (9.50m); length 25ft 10 1/2 in (7.88m); height 8ft 10 1/4 in (2.70m).
  • Weights: Empty 4,640lb (2105kg); loaded 11,354lb (515Okg).
  • Performance: Maximum speed 62Omph (1000km/h) at height; time to 49,213 ft (15,000m) 3 min; max endurance, about 1hr including 15min under power.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Me 263 entry at Warbird Resource Group
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wood, Tony and Bill Gunston. Hitler's Luftwaffe. Salamander Books. 1997. ISBN 0 86101 935 0 Page 236

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