Messerschmitt Me-262 Z-2 Zerstörer of ZG-1 April 1946


Brief history of the Messerschmitt Me-262 Z

When the Me-262 was introduced into service in early 1944 in soon became apparent that the lack of range and endurance limited the operational use of this formidable fighter. In 1945 a number of developments were started to correct this problem. For the night fighting role a lengthened fuselage was designed so the aircraft could carry more internal fuel. This development produced the Me-262 B-2 night fighter.

For the Destroyer and bomber roles a twin Me-262 was designed, the Me-262 Z. For this two standard Me-262 A-1 fuselages were joined by a new wing center section and a new horizontal tail unit. A prototype, Me-262 Z-0 was built in mid 1945 which was powered by three Jumo 004 engines. Two engines were on the usual place on the wing and one was hung under the new center section of the wing. Test flights proved that this configuration was not ideal. The middle engine changed the center of gravity forward and the aircraft was unstable.

A redesign was needed and in September 1945 the first Me-262 Z-1 flew. This was powered by 4 BMW 003 engines placed in two clusters under the wings. The engine clusters were similar to that used on the Ar-234 C aircraft. The fuselages were lengthened by about one meter by the insertion of a plug just front of the tail units. The prototype performed well in flight and a decision was made to start production of the Z-1 and Z-2 models.

Me-262 Z-1
This was a bomber version of the aircraft, armed with 4 MK 108 canon, two in each nose section, and up to four 500kg bombs. About 100 were built but production was halted in May 1946 in favor of the Messerschmitt P-1100 of Me-362.

Me-262 Z-2
This was a Zerstörer of Destroyer version. It carried a crew of two, seated in the left hand fuselage under a Me-262 B-1 type canopy. The crew consisted of a pilot and a weapons officer. Armament consisted of 8 MK 108 canon in the noses of the fuselages and up to six X-4 air-to-air rockets carried underneath the wings, four under the center section and two outboard of the engines.

The Me-262 Z-2 served with a number of Zerstörer Geschwader, among others with ZG-1, the Wespen Geschwader. About 250 were built which served as bomber destroyers from April 1946 onwards.


The model

This 1/72 model was produced using two Heller Me-262 B kits. The center section was scratch built. The X-4 rockets come from two Dragon Me P-1101 kits..

Last updated: 14/03/2009