In 1939, Germany managed to surprise the world aviation the public, in just four weeks, set two new world speed records. Moreover, the second record set by the Me-209 aircraft lasted more than 30 years. Ernst Heinkel and Willy Messerschmitt sought to glorify their businesses with a world speed record. At the same time, they were completely unaware of each other's work, and their approaches to achieving the goal were diametrically opposed. If Heinkel was going to set a world speed record on a modified fighter, then Messerschmitt initially created a record aircraft without planning any practical use, although subsequently the record aircraft served as the basis for the creation of a new fighter. But first things first.
November 11 1937 German test pilot Herman Wurster on a specially prepared fighter Bf.109V-13 set a world speed record for ground aircraft - 610,95 km / h. The designer of the record aircraft, Willy Messerschmitt, despite the success of his creation, did not stop there. In the same 1937 year, he began work on a new project of a record aircraft. It was not easy to get funding for this work - the Ministry of Aviation already “worked for the war”. Only the assurances of the well-known designer that the completion of the project will be a new fighter, helped to obtain the necessary funding. Now it is difficult to guess how sincere Professor V. Messerschmitt was, promising a new fighter. However, it is clear that it depended largely on the direction in which the design of a high-speed aircraft would go. He chose the easiest way - to create an aircraft with the highest possible speed of horizontal flight. It was decided to create a sort of "flying engine", obzhav whole structure of the aircraft around the engine. The resulting machine, which received the designation Me-209, unlike its competitor He-100, was not pleased with the beauty of the eye, but it was all about the main goal - setting a speed record. The new aircraft was a metal monoplane with a low wing and a working skin on hidden rivets. The hydraulic system cleaned the main landing gear towards the fuselage. The tail support was made in the form of a non-retractable ski mounted in the lower ridge under the keel.
To reduce the resistance, the oil radiator was made round, and its air intake was installed immediately behind the propeller fairing. To cool the engine chose steam and condensate circuit. The geometric dimensions of the airframe were minimal: the wingspan of the 7,78 m, the length of the 7,24m. With the estimated take-off mass of 2515 kg and the total area of the wing 10,69 square. m it gave a high load on the wing - 237,5 kg / sq. m
For the record Me. 209, a special forced engine Daimler Benz DB-601 was ordered, which was planned to be installed on a third experimental machine. The first two were supposed to use the usual DB-601.
The first prototype of the Me.209V-1 was made in June 1938. After ground tests and X-NUMX rolls of August 1, Mr. Wurster took off on the Me. 1938V-209 from the Augsburg-Haunstättin airfield. The first flight was very short due to the uneven operation and overheating of the motor, due to the lack of efficiency of the cooling system. The cabin could only be in an oxygen mask. Subsequent flights revealed many other shortcomings. The chassis was not produced at speeds greater than 1 km / h, and with a sharp maneuvering, the racks fell out of the niches. In addition, the strut dampers flowed, causing the cockpit canopy to be splashed with oil in flight. Fuel tank caps were torn off at high speed. The load on the control knob was excessively high; at speeds above 250 km / h, the control became ineffective. On a bend at high engine speeds, the plane rolled over onto its back. On the whole, maneuverability and stability were below any criticism. In essence, the plane flew only in a straight line. To fly this plane could only very skilled pilot. On landing, the plane turned around, and when braking it was demolished from the strip. The nicknames of the “quick-ridden little beast” and “the monster” that Wurster’s follower Fritz Wendel gave him say a lot.
For any other aircraft, the identified design flaws would have been fatal, but for a record aircraft, whose life is measured by a very limited number of flights, it was no big deal.
Work on the elimination of defects lasted long enough, but the most serious to eliminate and failed. 8 February 1939, Wurster performed on the second Me prototype. 209V-2 first flight. This car behaved in the air the same way as the Me.209V-1. April 4 landing approach due to engine failure aircraft, piloted by F. Wendel, crashed. Fortunately, the pilot got off with minor scratches and bruises. The record was supposed to be set on the third prototype plane of the Me.209V-3 in July, but the unexpected news about the improvement of the world speed record by the pilot Hans Dieterle on the Heinkel Not-100V-8 (Not-112V) aircraft changed all previous plans.
The DB-601АRJ engine, specially designed for the record aircraft, was urgently installed on the Me.209V-1 time remaining. The motor developed maximum power in 1550 hp, and using methyl alcohol injection - 2300 hp This mode could withstand the engine for a minute, which, as it turned out, was quite enough.
It took several days in anticipation of favorable weather conditions. Finally, on April 26 1939, the pilot Fritz Wendel took off and at a three-kilometer-based base, he reached 755,138 km / h, which exceeded G. Dieterle’s achievement on 8,532 km / h. Success was achieved mainly due to the huge engine power.
As in most cases with the records set by the aircraft of the Third Reich before the war, the demands of the Ministry of Propaganda were quite cleverly taken into account and used with a certain amount of misinformation. When the data on the new speed record was published, and the documents were sent to the International Aviation Federation for approval, the aircraft that set the record was called Me. 109R. This designation of the new aircraft was not accidental, but was made for the purpose of propaganda, to create the impression that the high-speed vehicle is a variant of the standard Luftwaffe fighter.
Heinkel quickly began to prepare Non-100V-8 to set a new record, hoping under similar conditions to reach a speed of at least 765 km / h. However, in July, he was instructed to stop all work on a record modification of the Non-100, since the record should remain behind the imaginary modification of the main production fighter of Germany.
The Luftwaffe’s chief armament specialist, Ernst Udet, saw in Me.209 a sort of successor to Bf.109, and the Messerschmitt company was given the task of continuing the work of transforming a record aircraft into a combat fighter. The Fighter Me.209V-4 took to the sky already 12 May 1939. On the machine, they installed weapons consisting of two synchronized machine guns МГ 17 of caliber 7,9 mm, placed above the engine, and motor-gun МГ FF / М of caliber 20 mm. The fuselage of the fighter remained essentially the same. The tail assembly was increased and a completely new wing was installed, equipped with automatic slats and slotted flaps, and the main landing gear struts were shortened. Despite the span increased to 9,29 m, the wing area increased slightly - to 11,069 sq. M.
The aircraft used a standard engine DВ-601А. The former cooling system also survived, but after the eighth test flight it was dismantled and two small radiators were installed on the underside of the wing. Renewed flight tests, however, revealed insufficient engine cooling. By 1940, the wing span was increased to 10,05 m, both vertical and horizontal tail assembly were increased, and the area of underwing radiators increased. However, the tests in Augsburg-Haunsteten and in the Rechlin Test Center did not please the aircraft makers with a significant improvement in performance. With each subsequent revision increased the weight of the car, and deteriorated flight qualities.
In the summer of 1940, on the Me.209V-4, a new motor DB-601N was installed, which developed power up to 1270 hp. It was supposed to reinforce the armament by replacing the MG FF / M cannon with the MK.108 caliber 30 mm, and install the same guns in the wing, but since the take-off weight already reached 2800 kg, this weapon variant was not implemented.
The problem of engine cooling using two under-wing radiators was also not resolved. An attempt to install a large radiator under the fuselage instead caused such resistance to the oncoming air flow that the speed was even lower than that of the Bf.109Е.
Attempts to bring Me.209 to the level of a full-fledged combat aircraft went to the spring of 1943, however, the specialists of the company could not boast of any success, or name a specific deadline for the work. By this time, successful tests of the fourth prototype of the jet М.262V-4 showed tremendous prospects for the development of jet aircraft. According to such authoritative specialists as Lieutenant-General A. Galland and General Inspector of Aviation Field Marshal E. Milch, all the forces and means needed to be directed to the development of precisely jet aviation. This view was supported by the leadership of the Luftwaffe. In May 1943, it was decided to stop work on Me. 209.
Willy Messerschmitt, however, did not give up and began to fight for his plane. In June, he managed to get a personal audience with Hitler, after which work on the project was resumed. However, by that time it finally became clear to all that the further development of the construction of the record Me.209 was unpromising. It was decided to create a completely different aircraft, giving it the designation Me. 209II. It was originally planned that the design of the new Me.209II will use at least 65% of the details of the serial Bf.109G (modified wing and part of the fuselage). But tests conducted in a wind tunnel, revealed the unsuitability of using the Bf.109 wing and forced the designers to develop a completely new wing. As a result, when the 3 of November 1943, the plane took to the sky, with the designation Me.209V5, it looked like a Bf.109G, perhaps only a cabin. The chassis had a large gauge and was removed in the direction of the fuselage, the radiators under the wings were removed and replaced with a common ring radiator in front of the engine. The shape of the tail vertical tail was changed and increased in size. Initially, the Me.209V-5 was tested with a DV-603A motor with an 1100 horsepower. without weapons. The final version had a DV-603G motor with an 1900 horsepower, a GM1 system, and a high, rectangular tail.
The armament consisted of an MK.108 motor cannon of 30 mm caliber firing through a shaft of a propeller gearbox, two MG 131 machine guns of 13 mm caliber above the engine, and two synchronized MG 151 mm guns of the 20 mm caliber in the wing root. After testing the glider Me.20V-209, the motor DВ-5В was installed. But at the beginning of 603, this aircraft, located in Augsburg, was destroyed by American bombers. By this time, the technical committee of the Ministry of Aviation demanded that Messerschmitt be installed on the Me.1944II engine of Junkers Jumo 209E. This caused a change in the design of the front of the fuselage due to the larger, compared to the DВ-213, diameter of the Yumo engine. In the spring of 603, the flight tests of this prototype aircraft, designated Me.1944V-209, began. It had a Yumo 6 X engine with 213 horsepower, a nitrous oxide injection system GМ1750, which allowed it to increase the power of the aircraft engine at 1 height with the 10000 hp. to 1270 hp The armament was weaker compared to the Me.1690V-209 and consisted of the MK.5 cannon engine (108 ammunition), fired through the propeller shaft, and two synchronized MG 70 / 151 guns (20 shells per barrel) at the root of the wing. For serial production, the planes Me.250А209 with the engine DВ 1G and М.603А209 with the engine Yumo 2Е were prepared. despite the successful tests of both aircraft, all work on them in June 213-th were discontinued. By this time, it was finally decided to begin mass production of reactive Me. 1944 and the need for Me. 262 disappeared.
Known another aircraft, bearing the designation Me.209. 23 April 1943 of the Messerschmitt company’s proposals for the creation of a high-altitude interceptor with the designation Me.209H were submitted to the technical committee of the Ministry of Aviation. The design work was completed on October 25, but work on the prototype Me.209HV-1 progressed slowly, and in February of the 1944, the aircraft in the assembly was seriously damaged during one of the bombings.
The assembly of the Me.209HV1 was completed in July of the 1944 year. The car had a wing with an increased span, the engine DB-603G with a wooden four-blade propeller increased to 3,4 m in diameter. Radiators mounted in the leading edge of the center section. Very serious weapons, consisted of one motor cannon Mk.108, two synchronized machine guns MG 131 and 4-x guns MG 151 / 20 in the wings. This, according to the developers, allowed the aircraft to be a serious opponent of heavy American bombers. Some aviation researchers claim that flight tests of this vehicle were conducted. It is not known for certain why this aircraft was not built in series. Probably, its characteristics were not so high, and preference was given to its main competitor - Ta-152H.
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