Four German Jet-Type Warplanes Identified
During the past months American escort lighters have met and overcome new German jet-propel1ed fighters, notwithstanding their spectacular speed and rate of climb.
In all, four jet-propelled or jet-assisted planes have been reported. One of these is the Heinkel He-219 night fighter, conventionally powered but having a jet unit for extra speed to get away from Allied lighters. Another is the Heinkel He-280, infrequently spotted and of which little is known beyond the fact that it has a twin jet unit with double tail surface.
Already shot down by our fighters is the Messerschmitt Me-163, a batwing plane somewhat similar to Northop's flying wing. Powered with a single jet it is said to attain 600 mph for short periods. Its jet operation, controlled by the pilot, is used in bursts, with the plane doubling as a glider when the jet is idle.
Fourth jetplane is the Me-262. As with the He-280, little ls known about it, except that it, too, employs a double jet.
Nazis Try Ju-88/Me-109 Pick-a-Back Bomber
With the robot launching-platform country fairly well cut off by Allied armies, resulting in virtual stoppage of robomb attacks on Britain, the Germans switched to another aerial monstrosity or so-called "secret weapon?
This time the Nazis copied the old English Mayo Composite aircraft, using as lower component a Ju-88 with radio control and carrying about two tons of explosive in the fuselage and an Me-109 fighter with the remote control equipment as the pick-a-back unit.
Results are termed nil so far, control being imperfect; and tied together the planes are slow and easy fighter prey.
The fading Germans are said to have come up with a new high-altitude fighter to combat expected raids by Boeing B-29s. Known as the Henschel 130, it has three engines, two for driving propellers and the third to operate cabin and engine superchargers. But the three prototype craft are reported to have crashed.
It's implied from Germany that Nazi bigwigs may escape the Reich in Me-264s, one of which is said to have flown nonstop to Japan last year. But official circles doubt production on the 264. Most likely escape plane would appear to be the Heinkel 274, transport version of the He-177 four-engine twin-prop bomber, known to have an 8,000-mi range with crew and six passengers. Meantime, a submarine is also rumored as the escape vehicle.
These news clips were originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column in the October, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 10, p 237.
Henschel 130 mention was in "International Briefs" section; Me-264/He-274 mention was in "Worldata ... by 'Vista'" sidebar.