Messerschmitt Me 410

The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet") was a German heavy fighter and Schnellbomber used by Luftwaffe during World War II developed from the badly flawed Me 210. Essentially a straightforward modification of that type, the Me 210 had garnered such a negative reputation it was renamed the Me 410 to avoid association with its predecessor.

The major change between the Me 210 and 410 was the introduction of the larger and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines, which improved power to 1,750 PS (1,730 hp, 1,290 kW) compared to the 1,475 PS DB 605s used on the Me 210C. The engine performance increased the Me 410's maximum speed to 625 km/h (388 mph), greatly improved rate of climb, service ceiling, and most notably the cruise speed, which jumped to 579 km/h (360 mph). It also improved payload capability to the point where the aircraft could lift more war load than could fit into the bomb bay under the nose. To address this, shackles were added under the wings for four 50 kg (110 lb) bombs. The changes added an extra 680 kg (1,500 lb) to the Me 210 design, but the extra engine power more than made up for the difference.

Deliveries began in January 1943, two years later than the original plan had called for, and continued until September 1944, by which point a total of 1,160 of all versions had been produced by Messerschmitt Augsburg and Dornier München. When it arrived, it was liked by its crews, even though its improved performance was not enough to protect it from the swarms of high performance Allied fighters they faced.

The Me 410 was also used as a bomber destroyer against the daylight bomber streams of the USAAF. They were moderately successful against unescorted bombers, with a considerable number of kills against USAAF day bomber formations being achieved. Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, the Me 410 was no match in a dogfight with the lighter Allied single-engine fighters.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2 (pilot and gunner)
  • Length: 12.56 m (41.2 ft)
  • Wingspan: 16.34 m (53.6 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 3.7 m (12,14 ft)
  • Wing area: 36.20 m² (390 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,627 kg (14,597 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 11,244 kg (24,766 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2× Daimler-Benz DB 603A liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,750 PS each

  • Maximum speed: 624 km/h (388 mph)
  • Range: 2,300 km (1,400 mi) combat
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,800 ft)

  • 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns with 1,000 rpg, firing forward
  • 2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons with 350 rpg, firing forward
  • 2 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns with 500 rpg
  • 1,000 kg (2,204 lb) bombs

** Messerschmitt Me 410 - Warbird Fare

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