ME 262 excavated

Remnants of an ME-262 excavated, near Deelen airfield.


The wreckage was accidentally found in the investigation of bomb craters that were frequently used as “garbage disposal” in close proximity to the airport

1 Of the craters contained, to everyone's surprise, remnants of a plane. The recognition of the type was actually pretty easy. The distinctive nose, with the 4 openings for board weapons is undeniably a ME-262. Also the armored windshield is unmistakably Me-262. Additionally 2 (quite rare) MK-108 board cannons were found..DIG-messerschmitt-262 museum-airbase-parts-diving bird-sturm jet fighter

The hole at first was dug by hand. After 1 whole day was digging the hole so that you become an adult van in size could disappear. Still, there was then no movement in the visible part of the wing with the landing gear. It was decided to return at a later time to dig this out with larger equipment.

This proved a good decision because besides many loose parts, including the JUMO-004 jets we found the immense main wing bar with landing gear and a huge wing section at the bottom of the hole.

The ME-262 “Schwalbe” and “Sturmvogel”

Initially there were other engines planned for the Messerschmitt 262 At first these were 2 BMW engines, but the development was too slow and Messerschmitt switched to the Junkers engine JUMO004-A. It was from the ME-262-V3 and higher. (V = Versuchs = test model)
The first ME-262 flew already by test pilot Wendel on the 15 th of March 1942. He got straight into trouble but managed to put his plane on the ground. On the 18 th of July 1942 Wendel completed the first successful test flight.
Despite the immediate questions of Hitler and Goering Messerschmitt asked point blank: “this plane can also be used as a bomber ?” He replied resolutely “yes” not to bring the production of the ME-262 in jeopardy. The plane, however, was just further developed as a fighter.
Later, when this became known Hitler insisted that it had to meet the requirement. It had to be a fighter / bomber to beat off invasions.
This one-seater “Jabo” ME-262 variant had the designation “Me-262A-2a Sturmvogel (Storm Bird)”. Flown by 1 pilot and equipped with 2 racks under the front part of the fuselage for 2 250 kilogram (550 pound) standard of cluster bombs. This model had only the top 2 MK-108 30 millimeter cannons in the nose.

The Sturmvogel was too fast for real bombing. As a dive bomber he was unfit. The speed was too high and the aircraft became uncontrollable. It also had no bomb sights for horizontal flight, but a good pilot could be fairly accurate in dropping bombs if they flew low.

In Sturmvogel the armor of the cockpit was almost completely removed and there was an extra fuel tank located in the rear part of the fuselage.
The engines in the production cars were now also been “improved”. Scarce resources such as chromium, Nickel, molybdenum have been avoided as far as possible in the B version of the jet engine Junkers. It became much lighter, but it had also “its price”

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Logic from facts

In September there were only 91 of the total 1368. This limits the number of possibilities already.
As far as we know, there were in total 9 ME-262's down during the whole war, of which 6 in Brabant, 1 in Friesland, 1 in Vorden, parts salvaged by “”ARGA” and 1 in Elden.
Only Elden is close to the german airport Deelen. For all other places would it would have been more logical to use other airports as they were closer.
This plane is not complete, so the probability that it is a crash site is very small.

Would the plane day or days after the crash have been salvaged and brought to his Deelen ? It is certain that the plane wreck was heavily guarded in the field in Elden and was even covered. The Germans would like to have removed it as soon as possible. They had 2 good reasons for that….

First, it was a completely new and, definitly secret plane.

Secondly: it was actually a big disgrace for the Germans because a RAD (Reichs Arbeits Dienst) anti-aircraft battery, had shot down the Me-262 ! A RAD FLAK battery that would have been quite similar to the RAD display and 75mm gun in our museum.

On the debris which found, was the number 130026. The “werk nummer”, like the chassis number of a car. Now the investigation begins in archives and we start the cleaning and conservation of all that is found. We assume that we will soon be able to make definite conclusion(s) about the plane. Check our website regularly for more news.

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View the photo album of the excavation


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