Tuesday 28 November 2017

Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1 WNr. 111711 at Frankfurt/Rhein-Main Airfield and Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, 1945

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Left side front view of WNr. 111711 Me 262 A-1a (USAF designation FE-107) on the ground at Wright Field being fueled by a crewman sitting on the fuselage. Engine panels have been removed. Photo is dated 26 July 1945. Original caption: "German Messerschmitt ME 262, FE 107, details, at Vandalia 7-26-1945.

Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1 WNr. 111711 at Frankfurt/Rhein-Main Airfield, 1945

31 March 1945: Messerschmitt AG test pilot and technical inspector Hans Fay (1888–1959) defected to the Allies at Frankfurt/Rhein-Main Airfield at the controls of a brand new Me 262 A-1 twin-engine jet fighter.

Fay had been waiting for an opportunity to bring an Me 262 to the Americans, but feared reprisals against his parents. When he learned that the U.S. Army controlled their town, he felt that it was safe to go ahead with his plan.

Fay had been ordered to fly one of twenty-two new fighters from the Me 262 assembly factory at Schwäbisch-Hall to a safer location at Neuburg an der Donau, as they were in danger of being captured by advancing Allied forces. His aircraft was unpainted other than low visibility Balkenkreuz markings on the wings and fuselage, and standard Luftwaffe markings on the vertical fin. Fay was the fourth to take off, but instead of heading east-southeast toward Neuburg, he flew north-northwest to Frankfurt, arriving there at 1:45 p.m.

WNr. 111711 was transported to the United States and was tested at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.

711 was lost during a test flight, 20 August 1946, when one of its engines caught fire. The test pilot, Lieutenant Walter J. “Mac” McAuley, Jr., U.S. Army Air Corps, safely bailed out. The Me 262 crashed 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) east of Lumberton, Ohio, and was completely destroyed.

(text by Bryan Swopes at https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/)

Note the presumably hand-scrawled 'notes' written on the port side of the lower rudder - also evident on the kodachrome image above..(thanks for the spot Stephen!)

More like this including some fine detail shots - if you can find them - at the preposterously named Central Respository for Aircraft Photos on flickr here