Author: Colin D. Heaton
The Me 262 Stormbird: From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It
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The Me 262 was the first of its kind, the first jet-powered aircraft. Although conceived before the war, with the initial plans being drawn in April 1939, the Stormbird was beset with technological (particularly the revolutionary engines) and political difficulties, resulting in it not entering combat until August 1944, with claims of nineteen downed Allied aircraft. The performance of the Me 262 so far exceeded that of Allied aircraft that on 1 Sepember 1944, USAAF General Carl Spaatz remarked that if greater numbers of German jets appeared, they could inflict losses heavy enough to force cancellation of the Allied daylight bombing offensive.