The Me 262 Schwalbe was a German jet fighter designed by the team led by Willy Messerschmitt. It was one of the most advanced warplanes to see front-line service during WWII. Its protracted development began in 1939, but aerodynamics research work and jet engine development delayed its mass production.
The two-seat aircraft based on the Me 262A-series was conceived in August 1943, but its prototype, a Blohm und Voss-converted Me 262 S5 was first flown only in July 1944.
Two basic B-models existed: the Me 262B-1a trainer and the Me 262B-1a/U1 night-fighter.
In total, some 29 Me 262Bs were modified, with the conversions shared between B&V and DLH. The Me 262B-1a/U1 night-fighters were all modifications, either from already-adapted B-1a trainer aircraft or directly from Me 262A airframes.
The Me 262B was an all-metal low-wing monoplane, of a streamlined design and with two cockpits in tandem. It was powered by two Jumo 004 turbojets suspended under the wings. It was fitted with a swept-back wing and a tricycle landing gear. It had a long clear-view canopy and was fitted with a non-ejection seats. Carriage of the four MK 108 cannons in the nose was intended for all the night-fighters; however, one of the NJG 11-operated Me 262B-1a/U1 had its lower two MK 108 cannons replaced by a pair of MG 151/20 guns. Due to revised fuel tankage the Me 262B-1a/U1 carried two pylons with external fuel tanks under the front fuselage.
A number of Me 262s fell into Allied hands and some were examined in Britain, the USSR and the USA post-war.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1, Red 10 (W.Nr. 110635), 10./NJG 11, Luftwaffe, Schleswig-Jagel Air Base, Germany, May 1945 and Royal Aircraft Establishment, Oxfordness Air Base, U.K., November 1946-47
2) Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1, Red 9 (W.Nr. 110306), 10./NJG 11, Luftwaffe, Schleswig-Jagel Air Base, Germany, May 1945 and U.S. Army Air Force, July 1945
3) Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a, White 9 (W.Nr. 110494), III./EJG 2, Luftwaffe, Lechfeld Air Base, Germany, January 1945
4) Messerschmitt Me 262B (W.Nr. unknown), NII VVS (Scientific Research Institute of the Army Air Forces of the Soviet Union), Chkalovsky Air Base, Soviet Union, September 1946