Military Review

Heavy twin-engine fighters Messerschmitt Bf.210 and Bf.410

According to the memoirs of former Luftwaffe senior officers, the idea of ​​producing a multi-purpose aircraft belonged personally to Hermann Goering, who was thinking about creating elite squadrons armed with heavy fighters. At the same time, these memories can also be treated critically, as they could simply write off a failed concept to Goering. The very idea of ​​a multi-purpose aircraft was not so unusual, such cars were produced in England - Blenheim, in France Potez-63 and even in Poland PZL-38. In Germany, the first aircraft under this concept was a heavy twin-engine fighter Messerschmitt Bf.110 and its enhanced versions of Bf.210 and Bf.410.

The German multipurpose aircraft was supposed to meet the accepted concept of a blitzkrieg. He was supposed to have the ability to support troops that had gone into a deep breakthrough, as well as support German naval operations fleet. Over time, the responsibilities of the aircraft only expanded. Using minor alterations, the aircraft was supposed to be used as: a heavy fighter, a night fighter, a long-range heavy escort fighter, a reconnaissance aircraft, an attack aircraft, a high-speed bomber, a dive bomber, and also a torpedo bomber. It was planned that of the 6000 Luftwaffe fighters, almost half will be in multipurpose vehicles.

From among the proposed designs, the Germans opted for the twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf-110 fighter, the production of which began even before the start of World War II. Having adopted the aircraft, the command of the Luftwaffe almost immediately thought about creating a next-generation heavy fighter. The September campaign against Poland in 1939 clearly showed that Bf-110 has certain advantages as well as serious shortcomings. So he had a limited bomb load and insufficient range. Another drawback was the lack of maneuverability of the fighter. The plane that was supposed to eliminate the shortcomings of this fighter, was to be Messerschmitt Bf.210.
Heavy twin-engine fighters Messerschmitt Bf.210 and Bf.410
Messerschmitt Bf.210

Despite the fact that the first Bf.210 took to the air in September 1939, the work on building and fine-tuning the machines went very slowly, despite the titanic efforts that were made by the Messerschmitt design bureau. As a result, the plane, for which there was notoriety, was decided to be removed from the conveyor. In total, the Germans assembled 90 of such aircraft, another 267 units were assembled in Hungary. All aircraft were mainly used in the Mediterranean theater of war: in Tunisia and Sardinia.

Fully abandon the idea of ​​a multipurpose fighter in the Luftwaffe did not, and using the Messerschmitt experience Bf.210 began work on the version Bf.410 which received the designation Hornisse (Hornet). This solution allowed the use of pre-fabricated parts, tooling and accessories that were prepared for the Bf.210 version. In addition, this approach facilitated the development of a new car flight crew. The first Messerschmitt Bf.410 took to the air in 9 months, after it was decided to discontinue the release of the previous version. Messerschmitt Bf.410 was literally a remake of the Bf.210 production aircraft. During its creation, the midsection of the fuselage and its length were changed, significant changes were made in the wing design, installation of new forced 12-cylinder engines DB-603А-1, which developed power in 1850 hp, was provided. The production of the aircraft was launched in December 1942 in Germany at the plants of the company "Messerschmitt", as well as in Hungary at the Danube aircraft building plant. In total, about 1200 data of twin-engine heavy fighters was produced until the end of the war.

The main difference between Messerschmitt Bf.410 and 210 versions was the more powerful engines DB-603А-1, which developed maximum power at an altitude of 2700 meters. In addition, the sweep of the leading edge of the wing consoles was reduced by 5 degrees, slats appeared. Aerodynamics was improved by changing the radiators and improving the shape of the flaps. Finally, they managed to achieve what the developers have been striving for for a number of years. The new aircraft, according to its flight data, has finally surpassed its predecessor Bf.110. Largely due to the installation of more advanced and powerful engines. The internal suspension of the bombs on the "hornet" allowed him to maintain a high speed compared to one hundred "one hundred and tenth", which in the 1942-1943 was used on the fronts only as a high-speed bomber.
Messerschmitt Bf.410

Options fighter Bf.410A-1 and A-2 largely repeated each other. Both of these aircraft carried the same armament: two 20-mm MG 151 / 20E guns and two MG17 7,92-mm rifle machine guns, which were rigidly fixed in the nose of the fuselage. Also, in special rotating turrets FDL or FDSL, one 13-mm MG131 machine gun was installed. On the internal suspension, the aircraft could carry up to 1000 kg. bombs: one 1000-kg, two 500-kg, or 8 50-kg bombs. Although the load is more than 500 kg. already considered as "overload". In addition to this version of the Bf.410A-1, which were adapted for a dive, they were equipped with a special Stuvi 5B sight, as well as external bombing spreaders for 4 50 kg. bombs. In addition, on the basis of the A-1 model, highly specialized aircraft were also manufactured, for example, the Me-410A-1 / U1, a reconnaissance aircraft, which was equipped with a different set of cameras. Also produced a heavy fighter Me-410A-1 / U2, which was equipped with a drum weapons a compartment for the 2nd gun MG 151 / 20E (with ammunition of 250 shells per barrel). This container could be fixed on top of the bomb bay.

Until the end of 1943, about 457 aircraft in the Messerschmitt Bf.410A version were built at the Augsburg plant. In December, aircraft production was launched at the Dornier Werke factory in Oberpfaffenhofen. In February 1944 he reached his design capacity. By this time, many Me-210s had also been remade to the Me-410 standard. At the same time, the idea of ​​arming a new aircraft aviation a VK 5-caliber 50-mm cannon, which was justifiably considered a very effective weapon in the fight against Allied bombing aircraft. Shooting using this powerful weapon ended quite successfully.

Aircraft models with 50-mm gun were designated Bf.410V2. Tests in combat ended successfully, after which a final decision was made to build 100 aircraft armed with 5 guns and equipped with ZFR 4 sights. This modification was named Me-410A-1 / U4. At the same time, the standard Me-410А-1, which was difficult to adapt to the role of a scout, underwent a number of changes. At its base, the Bf.410A-3 aircraft was created, in which all reconnaissance equipment was placed in front of the fuselage, from which the offensive armament of the aircraft was dismantled. Also in April, the Messerschmitt Bf.1944 aircraft began to be equipped with new, more advanced 410 S DB engines, which had a high compression ratio and could for some time work in a forced mode with an 603 horsepower. with 1900 rev. a minute
Messerschmitt Bf.410A-1 / U4 with 50-mm gun

The aircraft of the Bf.410B-1 and B-2 series were a high-speed bomber and a heavy fighter, respectively. All of them were made in a variety of versions. So, on the Bf.410B-2 / U2 series aircraft, the standard armament was replaced with two 30-mm MK 103 guns, while the additional armament was powerful 50-mm VK 5 gun. Also, in parallel with this, work was being done on the release of the vehicle, armed with the Rustsatz interchangeable armament complex, as well as the new alternative 37-mm BK 3,7 cannon, which, like its 50-mm analog, was designed to fight Allied bombers. Several aircraft armed with such guns were even able to pass combat tests in units.

On a number of cars, the Germans tried to mount launchers for launching 210-mm Wurf Granat 210 missiles. So on the plane version Bf.410A-1 was installed 6-tube launcher to launch missiles of this type. As tests have shown, the simultaneous launch of 6 missiles could seriously damage the aircraft. Despite this, work in this direction was continued, and after numerous experiments, the designers managed to achieve a relatively safe launch of rockets in the air. At the same time, in spite of all the initial successes, the work on further improvement, as well as the production of these aircraft, were curtailed by September 1944. Messerschmitt Bf.410 was not maneuverable enough to escape the attacks of the American Mustang fighters, which began to accompany the Allied bombers. In addition, the program “Jagernotprogramm” adopted in Germany (the program of accelerated release of cheap fighters) put an end to all twin-engine machines of this class.

Performance characteristics of Messerschmitt Bf.410A2

Dimensions: wingspan - 16,35 m, length - 12,48 m, height - 4,28 m.
Wing area - 36,2 square. m
Aircraft weight, kg
- empty - 7 518
- normal takeoff - 9 165
- maximum take-off - 10 650
Engine type - two liquid-cooled Daimler-Benz DB 12A 603-cylinder engines, hp 1850 power. each
Maximum speed - 620 km / h
Combat radius - 2300 km.
Practical ceiling - 10 000 m.
Crew - 2 man (pilot and gunner)
Gun-gun armament: 2 × 20-mm gun MG-151, 2 × 13 mm machine gun MG-131 2 × 7,92 mm machine gun MG-17.
Combat load 1000 kg.

Sources used:

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  1. 8 company
    8 company 29 May 2012 10: 02
    Before the war, ours tried to create such a universal heavy fighter, entrusting it to the prison bureau Petlyakov, but changed their minds in time and ordered to remake the already created aircraft into a light diving bomber PE-2.
    1. Kibb
      Kibb 29 May 2012 10: 15
      Well, heavy fighters were created not only in the Petlyakov Design Bureau and not only before the war
      Quote: Company 8
      changed their minds in time

      Pe2I and Pe3 still came in handy, but to a limited extent. Of the twin-engine fighters, only the P38 performed well. But here is a slightly different concept of the aircraft (not a "flying cruiser", but all the same a classic fighter, albeit a twin-engine), and another theater of operations - in Europe they showed themselves not very much as I remember
      1. Vadivak
        Vadivak 29 May 2012 12: 12
        Quote: Kibb
        they showed themselves not as far as I remember

        Not very weakly said, 210 is Willy’s failure at all, the size of the collapse was truly grandiose and comparable only to the collapse that accompanied the release of the He-177 bomber and then Milkh recouped on it in full

        Factory clogged with unnecessary Me 210
        1. Kibb
          Kibb 29 May 2012 13: 12
          Quote: Vadivak
          Not really

          I'm talking about Lightning. I know about Ме210 / 410 - unsuccessful cars
          1. Vadivak
            Vadivak 29 May 2012 14: 19
            Quote: Kibb
            I'm talking about Lightning.

            Sorry, I did not understand

            7.11.44, 12.50, a group of 12 LIGHTING type aircraft attacked parts of the rifle corps of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, moving along the road from NIS to the west in the CHAMURLIA region.
            Four airplanes in the ranks of the extended bearing carried out attacks one at a time from H - 4 m with a lead to H - 400 m. Two fours LIGHTING in the ranks of the bearing went to H - 50 m. After the first attacks on the aircraft, opened fire for air defense from the air defense of the NISH airfield, with fire ZA, 1500 LIGHTING plane was shot down, which fell 1 km north of the airfield.
            At 13.00, the on-duty pair Yak-9 866 IAP, the leading crew of KRYVOGOGIKH and the led youth of the ship of SHIPULA, took off in a sighted manner. At 13.05, 6 Yak-9 took off, the commander of the AE, Mr. BONDAR, the flight commanders of the senior fighter SURNEV, senior fighter ZHELEZNOV, senior fighter POTSIBA, pilots fighter ZHESTOVSKY and ml. L-t Serdyuk .
            At 13.10 a pair of Yak-3s took off, leading to Mr. KOLDUNOV and led by l-KRASYUKOV.
            The first pair, taking off, went with a right turn to approach with the attacking 4 LIGHTING aircraft. 2 LIGHTING aircraft attacked a couple of CURVES. MLT SHIPULA attacked the LIGHTING plane, calling on a second attack by ground forces, lit it from the first attack, the latter crashed into the ground about 40 meters north of the NIS airfield, where it burned down. Lt. KRYVONOGIKH, fighting off the attack of 500 LIGHTING planes, from a vertical maneuver lit one of them, which was burning 2-8 km north of the NIS airfield, on a mountain in a forest.
            During the subsequent attack, the Lt. Krivonogikh hit the tail of the next LIGHTING plane, for which ZA opened defensive fire. Having fallen into the explosions of the shells FOR, the plane of the Krivonogikh smoked, made a coup and crashed into the ground 80 km north-east of the airfield with an angle of 85-3 degrees.
            The AE commander, Mr. BONDAR, and the flight commanders of senior fiscal units SURNEV and senior fellow ZHELEZNOV, having ascertained that these were American aircraft of the LIGHT type, tried not to engage in air combat with them. Attacked by single and pairs of LIGHTING aircraft, maneuvered vertically and horizontally, trying to prevent them from firing. Lt SURNEV shook the plane to let him know that this was not the enemy, after which the LIGHTING aircraft dropped off and the attacks stopped.
            The pilot, Serdyuk, having taken off alone, was immediately attacked by the LIGHTING aircraft. Coming out of the attack, he saw that one LIGHTING plane was attacking the Yak-9 plane, in turn, attacked this plane, which immediately caught fire and fell 1 km northwest of the airfield.
            During the subsequent attack, ml.L.T. SERDYUK attacked another LIGHTING, gave him two bursts of a cannon and a machine gun, which was smoking and left with a decrease in a north-westerly direction.
            In an area 2 km north of NIS, the ZHESTOVSKY fighter fought with a couple of LIGHTING, attacked one of them from above and behind, and knocked him out with cannon-machine gun fire, which began to smoke and left with a decrease in a north-westerly direction.

            CONCLUSION: A flying group of LIGHTING planes, obviously, mistakenly attacked a convoy of our troops in connection with the loss of detailed orientation, taking this area as enemy territory.
            In the aerial combat of Yak-9 aircraft with LIGHTING aircraft, the latter showed good horizontal maneuverability, and when conducting air combat on turns, the advantage remained for LIGHTING aircraft, which easily went into the tail of Yak-9 aircraft, which have a significantly larger bend radius than LIGHTING aircraft.
            On a vertical maneuver, the Yak-9 had an advantage over the LIGHTING aircraft

            Lightning’s horizontal maneuver is good, like some tricky slats, but the Yaks seemed to be with a 37 mm cannon, heavy.
      2. Dust
        Dust 29 May 2012 14: 22
        And how did Lightning prove this way? just became curious ...
        A larger number of Pe-3s could be needed to cover the same convoys at sea - how many ships were lost due to the lack of air cover ...
        1. Kibb
          Kibb 29 May 2012 14: 46
          Quote: Dust
          And how did Lightning prove this way?

          it’s not at all special in Europe, but it fought very nothing in the Pacific Ocean, even if you can recall the interception of Yamamoto
          Major Richard Aira Bong (40 wins)
          Major Thomas B. McGuire (38 wins)
          Colonel Charles X. McDonald (27 wins)
          Gerald Johnson, Tommy Lynch ... "
          "Pe-3s in larger numbers could have been needed to cover the same convoys at sea" - yes they could
      3. Civil
        Civil 30 May 2012 14: 44
        in the battle for England, it already became an obvious unsuccessful decision on me 110, why 210 and 410 were needed is not clear at all
    2. Vadivak
      Vadivak 29 May 2012 12: 31
      210 Was strict in control of the aircraft, especially on landing. This can be judged on the basis of at least the fact that the operational losses in the III / ZG1 equipped with these aircraft significantly exceeded the combat losses.
    3. Dust
      Dust 29 May 2012 14: 23
      According to legend, the Pe-2 is almost a copy of the Me-110, but taking into account local capabilities ...
      1. Kibb
        Kibb 29 May 2012 14: 48
        Do not believe the legends
        1. Vadivak
          Vadivak 29 May 2012 15: 41
          Quote: Kibb
          Do not believe the legends

          This is due to the fact that at first the Germans often mistook the Pe-2 for their Bf 110 and Do l7Z, which also had a two-keel plumage, and did not attack these aircraft. And vice versa, at the beginning of the war, Pe-2 was often mistaken for 110. and then ...

          Outwardly slightly similar, structurally not. Here is a captured first episode ...
      2. Alf
        Alf 2 June 2012 00: 30
        Yeah, 2 motors, 2 keels, of course, copied. Interestingly, I still meet people who believe that Petlyakov stole the drawings from Messerschmitt (probably himself) and built the PE-2 on them.
    4. Insurgent
      Insurgent 29 May 2012 22: 32
      Yes, it was true
  2. borisst64
    borisst64 29 May 2012 11: 12
    I wonder how the plane perceived recoil 50 mm guns? A serious load is applied to the structure at the point.
    1. Kibb
      Kibb 29 May 2012 11: 24
      Yes, I probably didn’t take it that way, and the gun was rubbish
      1. Vadivak
        Vadivak 29 May 2012 12: 21
        Quote: Kibb
        Yes, I probably didn’t take it that way, and the gun was rubbish

        That trash is yes, wedged, but in skillful hands and horseradish balalaika

        Lieutenant Fres (second from left) from the composition of 2 / ZG26 against the background of the main caliber of his Me410B-2 / U4 - 50-mm gun BK5. The gun barrel is decorated with marks of three B-17s shot down in April 1944, and a fourth will be added to them by the end of the month.
  3. Rus_87
    Rus_87 29 May 2012 15: 33
    And on the top photo is a Messer with a 50mm gun, like with a star on board, a trophy chtoli?
    1. Vadivak
      Vadivak 29 May 2012 17: 24
      Quote: Rus_87
      like with a star on board, a trophy chtoli?

      During the passage of state tests in the Civil Aviation Research Institute of the Air Force 1945
    ESCANDER 29 May 2012 19: 55
    In the East at night used. He is far from Pawn, a completely different plane with other tasks (which did not materialize).