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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet) heavy fighter

Photos

  • Messerschmitt Me 410 fighter
  • Messerschmitt Me 410 reconnaissance

 

Design

The Messerschmitt Me 410 was based on the failed Me 210.

A number of changes were made to make the Me 410 a useful combat aircraft. The fuselage was made deeper and longer. The wings had automatic wing slots, new outer wing panels, and changed ailerons and flaps.

Armament

The fuselage had remote controlled barbettes in the fuselage sides.

Prototype

The Me 410 prototype first flew at the end of 1942.

Production

In January 1943 deliveries of the Me 410A-1 bomber and Me 410A-2 Zerstörer started.

Production of the Me 410B started in April 1944.

Production ended in September 1944.

  • Me-410: 1,160
    • Messerschmitt: 902
    • Dornier: 258

Variants

  • Me 410A-1: Light bomber. High Performance bomber. Used against the British Isles starting in 1943.
  • Me 410A-1/U1: Photo reconnaissance.
  • Me 410A-1/U2: Fighter bomber. Heavier armament. Had gun pack in the ventral weapons bay.
  • Me 410A-1/U4: Bomber destroyer. Had a 50 mm gun under the fuselage. It carried 21 rounds.
  • Me 410A-2: Heavy fighter.
  • Me 410A-3: Long range reconnaissance. Additional fuel in weapons bay.
  • Me 410B: Had two Daimler-Benz DB 603G engines (1,900 HP).
  • Me 410B-1:
  • Me 410B-2: Heavy fighter.
  • Me 410B-3: Reconnaissance.
  • Me 410B-5: Torpedo fighter. Didn't go into production.
  • Me 410B-6: Anti-shipping fighter. Had two 30 mm, two 20 mm, and two 13 mm guns. It used a FuG 200 Hohentweil radar.

Usage

The Me 410s were used of Britain as night fighters and bombers.

Off the coast of France the Me 410s were used as anti-shipping bombers.

To battle the American bombers, the Me 410s were pressed into anti-bomber service but suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the American fighters.

From the middle of 1944 most of the Me 410s were converted to Me 410A-1/U2s and Me 410B-1/U2s to be used on Zerstörer missions.

Specifications

  Messerschmitt Me 410
Type Heavy fighter bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"
16.35 m
Length 40' 11.5"
12.48 m
Height 14' 0.5"
4.28 m
  Messerschmitt Me 410A
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber, Reconnaissance, Ground Attack
Crew 2
Pilot / Bombardier, Rear Gunner / Radio Operator
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603, Daimler-Benz DB 603A
Cylinders Inverted V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,720 each, 1,750 each
Propeller blades 3 each, VDM constant speed
Fuel Capacity 550 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 53' 9"
16.4 m
Length 40' 10"
12.4 m
Height  
Wing area 390 sq ft
36.2 sq m
Performance  
Speed at 22,000' / 6,710 m 390 mph
624 kph
Climb to 20,000' / 6,100 m 10.7 minutes
Service Ceiling 34,000'
1,037 m
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.9 mm MG 17
2: 20 mm MG 151/20
Fuselage - Barbettes 2: 13 mm MG 131
Bombs 2: 550 lb
2: 250 kg
OR 1: 1,100 lb
1: 500 kg
  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1
Type High Performance Bomber, Fighter Bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A
Cylinders Inverted V 12
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"
16.35 m
Length 40' 8.5"
12.41 m
Height 14' 0.5"
4.28 m
Wing area 389.6 sq ft
36.19 sq m
Weight  
Empty 13,338 lb, 13,550 lb
6,050 kg, 6,150 kg
Loaded 23,215 lb, 23,500 lb
10,530 kg, 10,670 kg
Performance  
Speed at Sea Level 341 mph
549 kph
Speed at 21,980' / 6,700 m 396 mph
638 kph
Climb to 21,980' / 6,700 m 10.7 minutes
Service ceiling 32,810'
10,000 m
Range 920 miles
1,480 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.9 mm MG 17
2: 20 mm, 20 mm MG 151/20
Fuselage Barbettes 2: 7.92 mm
2: 13 mm MG 13
Bombs 2: 2,205 lb
500 kg, 1,000 kg
  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2
Type Heavy fighter
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A inlines
HP 1,750 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"
16.35 m
Length 40' 8.5"
12.4 m
Height 14' 0.5"
4.28 m
Wing area 389.7 ft2
36.2 m2
Weight  
Empty 13,558 lb, 17,598 lb
6,150 kg, 7,982 kg
Loaded 23,483 lb, 24,772 lb
10,650 kg, 11,236 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 317 mph
510 kph
Speed @ 21,980' /
6,700 m
388 mph
625 kph
Speed @ 26,575' /
8,100 m
391 mph
629 kph
Climb to 21,980' /
6,700 m
10.7 minutes
Service ceiling 32,810'
10,000 m
Range 1,448 miles, 1,450 miles
2,330 km, 2,333 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 20 mm, 20 mm MG 151/20
2: 7.9 mm MG, 7.92 mm MG 17
Ventral 2: 20 mm
Barbettes in fuselage side 2: 13 mm MG, 2: 13 mm MG 131
Bomb Bay 2: 20 mm MG 151/20
OR 1: 50 mm BK 5
Bomb 2,205 lb
1,000 kg
  Messerschmitt Me 410B
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz 603G
HP 1,900 each
Propeller blades 3 each

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site