by: Tim Hatton [ ]
Originally published on:
4+ Publications has released a soft back book covering the two seat adaptions of the Me 262, arguably the most advanced fighter desgn of WWII. The types covered in this publication includes the Me 262B1a, Me 262B-1a/U1. Me 262B-2 and the Czechoslovakian built Avai CS-92.
This soft back A4 sized book book contains:
History and Summary :
-The two seat Me 262.
-No production, but much adaptation.
-Me 262B-1a trainer.
-Me 262B-1a/U1 night fighter.
-Me 262B-1a trainer.
-Me 262B-1a/U1 night fighter.
Foreign projects and post war history :
-Me 262 and S-92/CS-92 repairs at the Avia factory.
-CS-92 tests at the LVÚ Avaition Research institute.
-CS-92 service with the CzAF.
Britain and United States.
Technical description and armament:
-Antennae, equipment and lighting locations.
-Me 262 two seater technical data.
Me 262 two seater and Avia CS-92 production overview.
1/72 scale plans.
Me 262 two seater camouflage and markings.
Avia CS-92 camouflage and markings.
The book outlines the development, construction and operational use of the Me 262B Schulflugzeug [trainer] and the Me 262B-1a/U1 night fighter. It initially concentrates on the Me 262A, but this is necessary to understand the long gestation period of the Me 262B and 262B-1a/U1 night fighter. There is a useful summary of the development of the BMW 003 and Jumo 004 engines and the problems the shortage of strategic materials had on the operational hours of a Jumo 004. Operational difficulties of adapting pilots and ground crew to this new aircraft are discussed, as are the challenges coordinating dispersed production of the airframe and engines because of the aerial bombardment by the Allies. The operational history looks mainly at the single seat fighter and the tactics involved in dealing with the mounting level of air superiority enjoyed by the allies towards the end of the war. The night fighter version seems to have been specifically developed to counter the Mosquito. But it was a story of too little too late, the author believes after extensive research only one Mosquito can be confirmed shot down by a Me 262B-1a/U1.
Development of the night fighter into the B-2 would have included a longer fuselage creating a more elegant looking aircraft. There are scale drawings included for this type. Other development plans covered in the text include over wing fuel tanks, improved radar with a dish receiver, improved engines such as the HG I/II/III, looking at various wing sweep angles and revised location of the engines as well as the accommodation of a third crew member [navigator].
There is a well-researched section of what the various allied countries took back with them in order to glean as much information from the Germans experience with jet powered technology. Other than the gathering of hardware and information by the likes of the USA, UK, Russia and France, the newly liberated Czechoslovakia utilised a number of airframes and power plants to design and develop jet aircraft for the reborn air force. There are some excellent photographic images of the Czech version of the Me 262, the CS-92. The reader will find the side profile plan of the CS-92 fitted with the BMW 003 interesting.
The technical section covers the airframe in detail and includes:
-Fuselage central and main section.
-Fuselage rearmost section and lower tail.
Also included is a look at the camouflage and markings of the Me 262 in Luftwaffe service and the Czech built CS-92. The text is backed up by many photographs, a document/plans from Messerschmitt illustrating the camouflage scheme and colours intended to be used on the Me 262. There are fourteen colour profiles illustrating the two seat 262 in Luftwaffe, British, American, Russian, and Czech aircraft, very useful for anyone looking for something different to finish their built models. Finally the walkaround features around 53 colour images of the Me 262-1a/U1 nightfighter that is in a museum in South Africa.
The images are very good quality particularly the walkaround at the end of the book. There are also a number of factory plans reproduced in the book. They include a side view of the CS-92.7 that was fitted with the BMW 003 turbojet. The images illustrating the resin putty filled panels lines will be of interest to the modeler. It seems there was a great deal of effort placed in creating a very clean aerodynamic airframe.
The folded 1/72 scale plans includes drawings on one side of the Me 262B-1a and the Avia CS-92. The drawings include a side view of a reconstruction of the CS-92 powered by the Heinkel HeS 011 engine. The other side of the sheet includes drawings of the Me 262B-1a/U1 night fighter and the Me 262B-2. A side view of the reconstruction of the longer Me 262B-2 is included.
64 B&W images [approx].
70 Colour images [approx].
14 Colour paint profiles.
8 diagrams and plans.
2 A5 sheets of plans.
A5 double sided 1/72 scale drawings.
This is an excellent reference from Malcom V. Lowe and with contributions for the CS-92 from Jaroslav Matoulek. The book is packed with lots of detail and technical information and is very well written and absorbing. The coloured illustration are superbly done by Petr Štěpánek. There is a great selection of photographs, chosen for their quality and information they provide.