Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a “Schwalbe”
Pilot & Markings
Oberleutnant Günter Kahler — 3/KG(J) 54, Giebelstadt, Germany, 1945
Scale & Kit
1/32 Trumpeter Scale Model
The Messerschmitt Me 262 “Schwalbe” (Swallow) was the first turbojet fighter aircraft in aviation history. Although the original plans for this jet were drawn in 1939, before the conflict of WWII, it did not see action until April of 1944.
With highly experienced pilots, effective armament and incredibly high speeds, the Me 262 was a huge threat to allied bomber formations over Europe. However, as powerful as it was, the Schwalbe was very vulnerable during take-off and landing. It required long runways and accelerated slowly. As allied forces exploited this weakness, a protection squadron was soon required to provide airfield cover. By the end of WWII, the jet-powered fighter accumulated a victory tally of 509 against a loss of only 100 aircraft. This 5 to 1 ratio was exceptionally high and many historians believe that the Me 262 would have eventually given air supremacy back to the Luftwaffe. However, of the 1,400 that were produced, only 200 Me 262’s reported for combat duty. This fact, coupled with its late introduction, a lack of supporting airfields, as well as fuel and pilot shortages, meant that the Me 262 had little influence over the outcome of WWII.
The Me 262 A-1a is the fighter version showcased in this scale model aircraft. Its four 30mm nose cannons carried a massive punch, which could easily take down a heavy bomber. It also featured a maximum speed of 870 km/h (540 mph), which made it about 170 km/h (105 mph) faster than the P-51 Mustang. The particulars of this scale model aircraft belong to Oberleutnant Günter Kahler, who was killed in action on January 22, 1945 by a Spitfire near Recke, Germany.
The 1/32 Trumpeter scale model aircraft kit was used to replicate Oberleutnant Günter Kahler’s Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a (W.Nr. 110802). As an added enhancement, Black Box’s super detailed cockpit set was also utilized for this project. The scale model aircraft gallery index also includes photo sets of a 1/48 scale Me 262 A-1a in the markings of Heinz Bär, as well as a tiny 1/72 scale Messerschmitt jet in the markings of Walter Nowotny. Enjoy the photos.