AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Review

Messerschmitt 262A-1a

and 262B

Product Information

Publishers:  Flight 1 / Flight Replicas

Description: Flight Replicas Messerschmitt Me-262A-A1 and Me-262B Trainer.

Download Size:
N/A

Format:
CD-ROM
Simulation Type:
FS9 & FSX
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen AVSIM Senior Staff Reviewer - September 28, 2009

Introduction

A totally different product than you’re used from me and apart from that, I’ve never seen this military aircraft in real life. I did see and work partly on the British Spitfire during my time at the technical school in Voorburg, near the Hague, but this is a totally different aircraft. Nonetheless, this review is a challenge for me and at the same time a challenge to fly. Don’t forget, the Messerschmitt 262 was the first operational turbojet fighter in the world and that’s something unique.

The offered model from developer Flight Replicas and publisher Flight1 is available for FSX and then only when SP2 or the Acceleration pack installed. The package offers also some FS2004 models, but since the model was primarily designed for FSX, most of the FS2004 VC functions do not work. This and more can be found in the leaflet on pages 6 to 8 of the CD-ROM package.

Ok, let’s first see what Flight Replicas /Flight1 are writing about this product:
"Built specifically for FSX (SP2/Acceleration), this all-new extremely detailed and functional Gmax version of the famed Messerschmitt Me-262 features not only the single seat fighters, but the two-seat trainer with fully operational dual cockpits as well. The Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwalbe (German for "Swallow") saw action from late summer of 1944 until the end of the war, sharing the title of first operational jet fighter with the British Gloster Meteor."

Me-262A-2a number 111711 Me-262 in flight The detailed “Office”
Courtesy Sky Unlimited Productions/Flight Replicas

The Me-262 began life in 1938, when Willy Messerschmitt was called upon to design a new fighter to be powered by two gas turbine engines. The configuration eventually chosen featured a sleek streamlined fuselage with the two podded engines carried beneath a low-mounted wing. Although the first airframe was ready to fly by 1941, the B.M.W. engines were suffering prolonged development delays, which slowed the project significantly. This aircraft has a beautifully rendered cockpit that is designed to be flown in at all times. For this reason no 2D panel is included at this time. Highlights include unique animations such as the gun sight rotating in and out of place as well as custom 3D gauges.

The model is featuring:
• Five different models Including a 2 Seat Variant
• Six different textures
• Fully clickable and workable cockpit overall
• Bump mapping in selected areas
• Revi16B tinted glass can be realistically folded out of the way
• Carefully researched textures, including help from a major museum
• Accurate Luftwaffe pilot flight suit, flight helmet and oxygen mask
• Animated pilot
• Turn on the oxygen system and the pilot puts on his mask
• Full flight operations manual, accurate and derived from the original
• Written history of all the aircraft depicted
• Two paint kits, one for the Me-262a and one for the Me-262B two-seater.

Courtesy of Stormbirds.Com

Before I continue with this review, you’ve got two possibilities:
If you don't have a lot to spend, or are just looking for something fun to do, it's hard to beat the Fiddler's Green Me 262 paper model. This "kit" consists of an Acrobat file, which you can download and print at home on any color printer. Then simply cut out the pieces and paste per the printed directions.

By the way; Fiddler's Green offers a wide variety of paper aircraft models for a minimal fee; however, they have kindly released their Me 262 without charge. You may download this model from Fiddler's, or directly from our server via the following download link (550kb).

However, much more interesting than downloading this paper model is buying the Me-262 for FSX. You will be surprised with the “virtual” Messerschmitt 262 FPS performances. Even the Virtual Cockpit is well simulated but don’t expect a highly complex “office” since Hitler, the Luftwaffe and Messerschmitt didn’t have the time to do so, or there was no money. It was almost a race against the ticking clock unfortunately. The final models where delivered to the Luftwaffe much too late, almost at the end of WWII.

If you’re interested in this Flight Replicas model, please join me on my “virtual” Messerschmitt 262 flight.

A brief description of the Messerschmitt 262 Series

The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (German for Swallow) was the world's first operational turbojet fighter aircraft. It was produced in World War II and saw action starting in 1944 as a multi-role fighter/bomber/reconnaissance/interceptor warplane for the Luftwaffe. German pilots nicknamed it the Sturmvogel (Stormbird), while the Allies called it the Turbo. The Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war due to its late introduction, with 509 claimed Allied kills (although higher claims are sometimes made) against the loss of more than 100 Me 262s.

The Me 262 was already being developed as Projekt P.1065 before the start of World War II. Plans were first drawn up in April 1939, and the original design was very similar to the plane that eventually entered service. The progression of the original design into service was delayed greatly by technical issues involving the new jet engines. Funding for the jet program was also initially lacking, as many high-ranking officials thought the war could easily be won with conventional aircraft. Adolf Hitler had envisioned the Me 262 not as a defensive interceptor, but as an offensive ground attack/bomber. His edict resulted in the Sturmvogel (Stormbird) variant. Although debatable, it is generally agreed Hitler's interference was not a major reason for delay in bringing the Swallow into operation.

The aircraft was originally designed with a tail wheel undercarriage and the first four prototypes (Me 262 V1-V4) were built with this configuration, but it was discovered on an early test run that the engines and wings "blanked" the stabilizers, giving almost no control on the ground. Changing to a tricycle undercarriage arrangement initially a fixed the problem on the fifth prototype, then fully retractable gear on the sixth and succeeding aircraft corrected this problem.

Courtesy U.S. Military / Department of Defense

Although it is often stated the Me 262 is a "swept wing" design, the production Me 262 had a leading edge sweep of only 18.5°. This was done primarily to properly position the center of lift relative to the centre of mass and not for the aerodynamic benefit of increasing the critical Mach number of the wing. The sweep was too slight to achieve any significant advantage. This happened after the initial design of the aircraft, when the engines proved to be heavier than originally expected.

On 1 March 1940, instead of moving the wing forward on its mount, the outer wing was positioned slightly backwards to the same end. The middle section of the wing remained unswept. Based on data from the AVA Göttingen and wind tunnel results, the middle section was later swept.

The first test flights began on 18 April 1941, with the Me 262 V1 example, bearing its Stammkennzeichen radio code letters of PC+UA, but since its intended BMW 003 turbojets were not ready for fitting, a conventional Junkers Jumo 210 engine was mounted in the V1 prototype's nose, driving a propeller to test the Me 262 V1 airframe. When the BMW 003 engines were finally installed, the Jumo was retained for safety, which proved wise as both 003s failed during the first flight and the pilot had to land using the nose mounted engine alone.

The V3 third prototype airframe, with the code PC+UC, became a true "jet" when it flew on 18 July 1942 in Leipheim near Günzburg, Germany, piloted by Fritz Wendel. This was almost nine months ahead of the British Gloster Meteor's first flight on 5 March 1943.

The 003 engines, which were proving unreliable, were replaced by the newly available Junkers Jumo 004. Test flights continued over the next year, but the engines continued to be unreliable. Airframe modifications were complete by 1942 but hampered by the lack of engines, serial production did not begin until 1944.

This delay in engine availability was in part due to the shortage of strategic materials, especially metals and alloys able to handle the extreme temperatures produced by the jet engine. Even when the engines were completed, they had an expected operational lifetime of approximately 50 hours; in fact, most 004s lasted just 12 hours. A pilot familiar with the Me 262 and its engines could expect approximately 20 to 25 hours of life from the 004s.

Courtesy NASA

Changing a 004 engine was intended to require three hours, but typically took eight to nine due to poorly made parts and inadequate training of ground crews. Turbojet engines have less thrust at low speed than propellers and as a result, low-speed acceleration is relatively poor.

It was more noticeable for the Me 262 as early jet engines (before the invention of afterburners) responded slowly to throttle changes. The introduction of a primitive auto throttle late in the war only helped slightly.

Conversely, the higher power of jet engines at higher speeds meant the Me 262 enjoyed a much higher climb speed. Used tactically, this gave the jet fighter an even greater speed advantage in climb rate than level flight at top speed. With one engine out, the Me-262 still flew well, with speeds of 450 to 500 km/h (280 to 310 mph), but pilots were warned never to fly slower than 300 km/h (186 mph) on one engine, as the asymmetrical thrust would cause serious problems.

Comparable aircrafts are for example the Gloster Meteor, P-59 Airacomet, P-80 Shooting Star, Nakajima J9Y, Nakajima Ki-201 or the Sukhoi Su-9 (1946).

Installation and documentation (FSX/FS9 version)

Installation

Since the product is published by Flight1 and offered on a CD-ROM there’s no need for an online Flight1 wrapper. This means a straightforward installation where you can choose for either the FS2004 or the FSX Me-262 version. During the initial part of the installation process, the correct FSX/FS9 directory is taken from the Windows Registry. I think – since I don’t have it installed on my PC – this will also be the case when your PC uses Vista instead of Windows XP.

Most of you, including me, are not that interested in what the installer is telling you. Lots of background information is passed and integrated into the different windows. Is there really a need to offer you some screenshots about this installation process? I don’t think so but probably it’s a good idea to tell you in advance which models can be expected.

Me-262-1a, Wk.Nr unknown Me-262-1a, Wk.Nr unknown Me-262-1b Wk.Nr. 500071
Me-262-2a Wk.Nr 500200 Me-262-2a Wk.Nr 111711 Me-262B Wk.Nr 110639
Two seat trainer
In case you choose for the FS2004 Me-262 installation, there’s a slight difference in the available aircraft types. This MSFS version offers only the Me-262-1a and 2A models. Ok, the 1A comes in three different models but compared to the FSX is for sure, a lot less configurations.

Documentation

The CD-ROM box comes with a printed black-white manual with some background information, FS2004 model limitation including the necessary references to an Acrobat manual explaining the FS2004 model. Furthermore, the manual offers an in-depth description and operation of the VC. Oops, there’s no 2D cockpit available, but there’s no need for this and you won’t miss it either since the Virtual Cockpit FPS is great. Finally, there’s a chapter offering a checklist and how to fly the Me-262.

Via the Start menu -> Messerschmitt Me-262 for FSX (FS2004) you’ve got access to the Flight Replica –the developer – Me-262 manual and of course, the uninstaller. I don’t know exactly since there’s no table of contents, but it seems to me that the 19 pages document isn’t covering that much information or not much more then the printed manual. There’s no table of contents but roughly the manual consists of the following chapters; model information and simulated items including some FSX limitations or model limitation due to the original complexity, VC instrument and side panels description and operation, flying the Me-262 and the offered models including some history of those Me-262 types.

Page 6 (FSX version)
Description of LH console
Page 14 (FSX version)
Aircraft type and historical info
Page 11 (FSX version)
Part of the “Flying the Me-262”

Ok, to be very honest not really impressive. This military fighter/bomber is not offering a complicated cockpit and then I mean, even in real life it’s a straightforward cockpit without of course FMS, IRS, EFIS and many more of that stuff. No, the cockpit just has what is necessary for a fighter pilot to fly with. Nothing more, nothing less!

External Me-262 models

The Flight Replicas Me-262 comes in the following models; standard (whatever this may be), R4M rocket equipped launcher, Jabo fighter/bomber and a 2-seater. I think it’s time to have a closer look at these configurations. Remember, to prevent a slide show instead of a review of this product, you only find six screenshots of two different models, the Me-262-1a of the night fighting squadron 10./NAGr 11 and the Me-262B nr. 110639, which is for this special occasion, transformed into a two seat trainer by the aircraft manufactures Blohm and Voss. Some of the other models are presented during the test flights in the United States.

Ok, the model’s external look and detail is pretty good. Some parts are not that impressive but other parts, like the main landing gear wheels and then especially the tires, look great. Other simple things are added to the model like the wire running from the aft side of the canopy to the tail, probably an antenna. I know, it’s a very thin detail but it’s there! Another interesting part and for some probably not that important, is the brake line – I’m not sure about this but I think so – on the nose landing gear strut. It seems like a small wire but I think it represents a brake line. Very small detail with a huge impact. You should not think about it when there’s no brake line at all installed!

On the models you find everywhere lines of panels and unfortunately, it stays as a line so there’s no possibility to open a specific panel. The following question could rise … “are you interested in these external panels or not?” That’s up to you. I’m personally more interested in a good looking model with a nice cockpit above all, plus good and workable frame rates. Nothing is more frustrating than having a replica of the original model but flying with frame rates of less the 10 or even 5.

When I finally got the chance to make pictures of the two seat version, it was a rainy and cold day, but nevertheless it offers a good idea of this fighter. I’m not a designer at Blohm and Voss, but I think the basic Me-262 version is very similar to the “B” model only for the two seat canopy. Although it doesn’t belong here, the two seat VC looks very realistic and detailed.

Several FSX ground shots of two offered Messerschmitt 262 models, the -1a and B version.
You like the paintings or not, since that’s a personal feeling but the overall model offers lots of tiny details which makes it overall a look looking and realistic Messerschmitt 262.

One last word about the paintings. Most of the old available pictures are black and white however, since the aircraft still exists in museums, it seems that the created virtual models reflect the real version. Of course, certain things are not simulated because of the complexity and because of the available polygons. Looking at the available paintings or liveries I think it’s well done although this is a personal issue.
My conclusion is that I’m happy with the model keeping in mind that this is a military airplane where the painting during wartime was not as important as with modern airliners.

Virtual Me-262 Cockpit (FSX)

Oops, this is strange … this time only one cockpit version and then as expected, only the Virtual Cockpit. I don’t know about other military fighters and what they are offering but thinking about it, it’s a relatively small cockpit area with one or two seats and not too many complicated instruments. This makes it possible to fly - without frame rate reduction – an easy VC, with or without a TrackerIR and even on one or two TFT’s, like I have. The manual gives us a good idea of what is possible and more over, the different “created VC’s.

Different created VC’s means that depending on the Me-262 configuration, you could find a different set of instruments. OK, let’s give you an example; this time only one cockpit version and then as expected, only the Virtual Cockpit. I don’t know about other military fighters and what they are offering but thinking about it, it’s a relatively small cockpit area with one or two seats and not too many complicated instruments. This makes it possible to fly - without frame rate reduction – an easy VC You still with me? The reason that this is done is because during the war they had supply difficulties and not always the same kind of instrument was available, so that’s why the developers created different set of instruments, to create a more realistic “available” cockpit as it was in those days.

Let’s go a little deeper and let’s look at the radios. According to Flight Replicas, the WWII German Luftwaffe system was deemed too different to warrant an attempt at accurate replication and because of this, they used a convenient present day 2D panel. I personally would say that I’m not really happy with it but on the other hand, when it looks old and it fits well into the created side console, then nobody worries about it. Moreover, the Flight Replicas developers are open with this and for good reasons as it was better to do it like in the simulated Me-262.

Then unfortunately, the engine start procedure is not like the real Messerschmitt but again – according to the developers – for good reasons. First of all, the rookie Messerschmitt fighter pilot is able to fire-up the Jumo 004 engines via the basic FSX engine controls “Ctrl+E”. That hurts, since starting procedures like this should - in my personal opinion - belong to default FSX aircraft only and not to add-ons, but again, that’s the way I feel about it. Due to the highly complex real engine start procedure, the developers decided to create a simplified way of starting the Jumo’s 004. So the start-up of the real Me-262 was too complex, it requiring multiple users of each hand simultaneously and above all, it’s too complex to duplicate/simulate in FSX. Still interested in the official procedure … the manual tells you all about it.

Although the simulated procedure is more simplified, the animated movement of the starter handles and clutch buttons has been replicated to show what was required. In the simulated Me-262, a click on the handle will simply start the engine.

One last item before we jump into the cockpit and that’s the absence of instrument back lighting and no landing lights are available on the simulated Me-262. It sounds odd but this is like the real Me-262. They simply didn’t have those things and why should they? It was a mass produced aircraft for the German Luftwaffe during war time. It was not a fancy, super modern aircraft.

Now it’s time to see what they’ve all created and I can tell you I’m impressed; and not only impressed with lot’s of tiny details, but also high FPS. Remember, I don’t have a modern Intel Dual or Quad Core CPU but still two P4 Xeon 3.06Ghz … not bad eh!

Nice looking LH wing Not bad at all! Close-up Jumo 004
engine instruments
Jumped for a minute outside Looking forward Canopy release handle with cables
Close-up flight instruments Revi 16B gun sight Radio console with FuG 25
Just a small collection of the fighter office, as they say it themselves. It’s not a fancy cockpit with lots of funny stuff or extreme photo-realistic panels. Instead of this they tried to create a realistic VC as it was in those days. Remember, it was at the end of WWII and planes like these are not nice looking ones. They had to be cheap, efficient to kill the enemy and straightforward. Keeping this in mind, that worked out very well.

These screenshots are not enough to give you a good impression of what’s all there. As written before, flying in the VC only is great. FPS counter including high resolution settings and clouds do give me between 20-25 FPS, which is I think very good. Of course, this is in relation to my PC configuration. When zooming in on certain details like text, placard, instrument needles, values in indicators and many more of those things, I’m very happy to write that all that I see is sharp .. sorry... very sharp. It also offers lots of funny details, which tells me something about the developers interest and love when creating a product like this.

Probably you’re thinking … are there no better VC’s with other FSX fighter cockpits? Probably there are. I honestly don’t know but it offers lots of details and above all, very good frame rates and that’s also important in my personal opinion. Compare the following: you’ve got a highly photo realistic fighter VC but frames are between 5-10 or you’ve got a very good looking VC with 20-25 frames! That’s more or less the case with this product. I’m very happy with the cockpit design, panel drawings, normal and tiny details, although I do know and understand that the smaller the size of a cockpit with simple instruments, the higher the FPS. BTW, with “simple instruments” I don’t mean that these instruments are not good. No, they are excellent but they are not as complicated to create and calculate like EFIS, ECAM, EICAS or FMC (M)CDUs.

Oops, before I forget … here are some two seat trainer shots. Ok, to finish it, some shots of the two seat trainer while in flight. The only thing which is odd is the absence of the pilots. Looking from the outside to the canopy, you will find one or two pilots – only males !@#$%^&* - which can be selected ON or OFF, by clicking the RH strut screw – item 32 from the manual – of the main instrument panel. This is nice but still, when you look inside the cockpit, you never see any pilot while the outside tells you they’re in. Whatever, just a small “missing” detail and hardly important but worth mentioning.

Virtual FS2004 Me-262 Cockpit

As written earlier, due to some limitations, the FS2004 VC doesn’t offer the same functionality. This manual tells us that “this model was built using FSDS2.24. As such, it does not have the total functionality possible with FSDS3 or Gmax, but as the Me-262 cockpit does not have many features supported by FS2004 anyway, this should not present much of a problem. Relevant buttons can be pushed, and there are clickable areas in the cockpit, such as for the Revi 16B gun sight, and canopy. Pushed (activated) buttons will turn black.”

Ok, I’m not a programmer but to clarify this sentence; the FSDS2.24 is related to FSX while FSDS3 belongs to FS2004. In other words, the cockpit looks very similar, however not all of it is operative. When you own an older PC and you’re able to run FSX within normal parameters, I strongly advise you to install the FSX model since it’s a very friendly FPS model.

Indeed, some flight shots of the FS2004 Me-262. With Building Storms active, all sliders maximum, with an average of 60-80 FPS and I didn’t tweak anything. For sure it could be higher but already having 25-30 FPS is enough to have a fluent and pleasant flight. AS you can see with the previous FSX VC shots, the cockpit offers some similarities but there’s a slight difference in the available instruments.

Any need to add more FS2004 screenshots? No, there’s no need for that. Ok, it seems it’s slightly different but in general the Me-262s are the same and as said before and important to mention it again; when your PC can handle FSX with average FPS then please install the FSX model. Remember, the Me-262 was primarily designed for FSX including all the available feature FSX is offering.

Are the flight dynamics as real as possible?

Test System

Intel Core Extreme i7-965 3.2Ghz
6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 1600Mhz
EVGA GTX-285 For the Winner
Quad WD VelociRaptor 300GB HDD
Single WD 1TB HDD
Windows Vista Ultimate x64
W7 Ultimate RC1 x64 (not used)
Flight Simulator FSX SP2
Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
Saitek ProFlight Yoke System
Saitek Pro Flight Switch Panel
TrackerIR Pro 4
TrackerClip Pro

Flying Time:
44 hours

I’ve had a great day .. why .. because I’m able to see those “virtual” Messerschmitt 262 models from close up and I’m even able to fly with them in the same way the rookie pilots did during their first flight attempts. So please join me on these real virtual test flights.

I’m invited by one of the test pilots who still flies different Me-262 models. This virtual museum holds the single and two seat models. The morning is planned for some classroom training while the afternoon schedule is flying a virtual Me-262-2a. This, by the way, is a replica of manufacture number 111711, so the bare Aluminum model. As said, the morning is tough. I try not to fall asleep but the environment – the classroom – doesn’t offer relaxing seats, the lighting conditions are bad, the whiteboard is still a black board and the slides including the study books are of a very old quality. It seems it’s all old stuff, like in the old WWII days. Oh well, the instructor is doing his best and with some videos to keep our attention and with a fixed simulated model in the classroom, we try to follow the guy since this is our last chance.

After some hours of theoretical lessons it’s time for a small lunch. I’m not that hungry anymore since I had a lot of coffee in the morning hours. Coffee, to keep my attention with the lessons and to keep my eyes open. During lunch it seems that we have received all the necessary information before going to the real “virtual” model.

Oops, that sounds scary and believe me it is! It means that my life lies in the hands of the few hours I’ve spend in the classroom and the Messerschmitt 262 from Flight Replica. Is it a dream or something else?

I try to look around, ask some others to confirm it’s a dream but unfortunately, it’s not a dream, it’s real … I’m going to fly by myself the virtual Messerschmitt 262 from Flight Replicas. After visiting the toilet, changing my clothes for more proper stuff, I’m ready to jump into an Me-262-2a bare model. Now I’ve really got sweaty hands and I’m still on the ground. According to the instructor, who is standing next to me on the wing with the canopy opened, I start the engines, do some other checks and here we go.

I’ll taxi towards the runway, decide and confirm with the instructor that I’m ready and close the canopy and leave the instructor behind me on the field. According to others, it’s a very easy airplane to fly but special care must be taken related to the engines. Ok, the engine start procedure is not really simulated as in the real version, since this is too complicated for FSX but as far as possible, it seems to me that it looks realistic. I’ll put the flaps to the correct TO position, turn onto the runway and apply full thrust, keeping in mind the engine limitations.

Oops, I’m pressed in my seat while the aircraft is accelerating. At VR I slowly pull the stick and there I go. Ok, so far so good. According to the checklist, I perform the necessary steps and slowly but steadily the 262 is climbing out towards open water.

Since my speed is not too high, I’ll decide to play a little with the gear and while you can see the outside photo shot, it looks good. Some details are visible while others are not that detailed but the overall look is great and even much more important, the frame rates are impressive. I can’t find any other words for this, really great. Even for an old WWII fighter like this one, frame rates are extremely important. As can be seen by my system specifications, I don’t own a modern dual or quad core CPU system, nor I don’t have a SLI graphics card construction and still with clouds and high graphical settings, it produces 20-25 FPS. Perfectly to fly “as real as it gets”!

Oops, I’m climbing too fast. Back to my active lessons! I level off and turn into the direction of a nearby airfield. It seems that the airfield is closed, which gives me the possibility to make a low fly-over, turn left, back to the sea and make another steep turn – a little more then normal … almost a 90 degrees turn – before heading back to my original destination. Wow, it flies great and every movement with the stick is more or less directly followed. This time it’s not a huge commercial jet but a very handy, flexible old type jet fighter.

I have some other plans I would like to try but before doing this, I think it’s wise to ask my instructor, otherwise I could end up on the ground as a result of a crash. I try to find my way which is not that difficult and .. yes, there it is. Ill take my checklist in my hands which is by the way not provided in the software, lower the flaps step by step and finally when the runway is in sight, the gear. Slowly but gently I make a nice, soft landing. This was really awesome; a virtual flight with the Flight Replicas Messerschmitt 262-2a.

My real flight experience with this kind of aircrafts is of course very limited – not at all of course - and probably none of the reviewers have that but I can tell you, it feels good. It feels like a real virtual WWII jet fighter. Flexible, fast for it’s time/design, basic cockpit as it was and high frame rates!

My second flight and also my last one is with the Me-262-1b Wk.Nr. 500071 model. This time my instructor is flying with me in formation. He wants to show me certain things – acrobatic performances – and that helps a little when he is there and explains directly to me what to do and how to handle the aircraft. After the necessary preparations, we go side by side into the empty and cloudy sky. The weather has changed, there’s a huge overcast at low altitude, it’s also raining but that won’t stop me or my instructor for doing virtual practical maneuvers.

We’re heading in a southern direction with lots of forests and small hills. We’re flying just below the clouds and because of the lighting conditions, it looks very scary but on the other hand, I’m feeling myself like a tiger looking for the enemy. Of course, there’s no enemy except my instructor but I believe that’s not the idea to shoot him into the ground. Oops, that’s true. The guns and or bomb facilities are, according the Michael from Flight Replicas, not simulated because they wanted to keep preference to the complexity of the Messerschmitt model. At the same time to keep the frames as high as possible.

While I’m flying under the clouds like a predator, my instructor made some nice screenshots, which can be found right below. During this flight I tried several maneuvers but one I did was really spectacular. I made a virtual “up-side-down” flight maneuver and as you can see on the screenshots, that was really great. So easy, so handy but still with a good “realistic” feeling! With my cell phone – that’s one of the advantages of these days - I was able to make for you during this up-side-down flight, a picture. The tricky part of flying up-side-down is of course that the flight controls suddenly work in the opposite direction. Because of this, I did my maneuvers a higher altitude in case I forgot this strange behavior.

With this maneuver I only made a small mistake and that’s I ended up in the clouds and because of this, I lost a little of my orientation and when I finally came out of that white/grey area, I felt myself very close flying along a rim. Lucky for me, my virtual instructor spotted me, made a screenshot and that was it. Time to go home!

GEAR UP, just after TO Like a tiger somewhere in the jungle of clouds Looking and looking around for enemies but there’s nobody.
Great to fly with high FPS Right on... upside down! Oops, I lost the way ….
Together with my virtual instructor, we made a formation flight with lots of practices. One of this was a flip over … sorry … up-side-down flight performance. I was really fun flying and performing this since it felt very realistic. I don’t have any idea of the real one but what I know, it’s a fighter and a fast one!

It’s almost sunset and although the instructor gives me a chance to fly during evening/night, I’m a little afraid of doing this. I got another proposal and that’s going together in a two seat trainer, the Me-262B. Since the museum holds this model as well, we decide to do this and before I know, the 262B is rolled out of the hangar, refueled and other things are done by the ground maintenance division and there we go again.

It’s already dark outside when we taxi to runway 03-21 but that doesn’t matter anymore, since my instructor is flying and I’m very relaxed sitting behind him. You think so … no way. I need to fly but with the help of the instructor. Nothing can happen even during these dark hours. The tricky thing is that the real and virtual simulated Flight Replica model doesn’t have any taxi and landing lights, so trying to find your way on the ground isn’t that easy as you think. See it the same as driving on a road without any street lights and no headlights on. Scary, believe me!

Gently as usual we liftoff and make a steady climb into the dark sky. I have to say that it isn’t really that difficult or different. Although it’s dark, it still flies great including the good looking instrument. By the way, the instruments do not have any electrical backlight but the instrument plates are equipped with radium, so luminescent dials.

Holding short at 03-21 for a special night flight. Indeed, no taxi and landing lights. Ready for TO. The only available outside lights are the moon and the runway border lights. Oops, it’s pretty dark outside. I hardly see anything but they don’t see me ….!

This time our flight is much shorter then the two others. Probably because the instructor is as tired as I am. This was not a normal virtual day, it was a very heavy impressive morning and afternoon including an impression during a night flight. Believe me, it’s not even night –it’s 8:00 PM – but it feels like that. I know one thing, I flown virtually three different Flight Replica models and I’m well impressed about the flight dynamics or if you will, flight characteristics or in MSFS terms “the air file”. Although I’ve got no idea how it flies in real life, I don’t hold any licenses which comes close to an old WWII military fighter. I know, no I feel, that the flight characteristics are coming close to the real one.

This brings me also to the end of my virtual flight experience with a WWII fighter and I loved it!

Sound

We’re not talking here about a new or modern aircraft, which can be found on every military base in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. That’s also the reason why it’s so difficult to figure out if the offered sound by Flight Replicas is the real sound. Surfing on the Internet and then especially on YouTube gives me the possibility to look at several video’s and try to get a feeling of how it really was. Apart from these old movies and brand new recordings of still available and airworthiness models, the Flight Replica team tells us something about the real story behind it.

According to Flight Replica, “there does not appear to be any actual sound recordings of the Jumo 004 engines. The term "Screaming Meemie" was applied by US forces after WWII to describe the sound, but to people who had heard only piston engines up to that point, any jet would have sounded like a scream. The one description I could find of the sound a Me-262 made was by a former Luftwaffe pilot, who described the sound inside the cockpit as a "quiet hum" compared to piston-engined fighters. The VC cockpit sound has been tailored around this description as much as possible.”

In other words, the offered sound with these Me-262 models is not the real sound but I’ve got the idea it’s pretty close to. At least, it sounds totally different than normal turbojet engines.

FPS (Frames Per Second)

Keeping my PC specifications in mind, I moved all the FSX or FS2004 sliders to the right (maximum) and generated the worse complicated weather conditions, the overall FSX FPS lay between 25-40FPS. Of course, this depends on ground and/or flight conditions like during a climb, or when flying in cruise conditions above water, land, mountains or even during taxiing, takeoff or final approach. For FS2004 the FPS figures are – of course – much higher. I wrote it already, frames at or around 50 and higher is very normal.

Is this all so important; 30, 40, 70 or if you like 100FPS? I don’t think so! Important is that your frame rates while flying only with the VC are high, and thus your combat flight is smooth and therefore realistic.

Interesting links

Since you can’t go to your local military airbase, to a flight show or museum where lot’s of information can be found about the Messerschmitt 262, I’ve collected for you some document and video links, which helps the potential rookie Messerschmitt 262 pilot to become a real virtual pilot, so here we go ….

- Wikipedia Messerschmitt 262 In General
- Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association
- Stormbirds.Com – Legend Flyers
- Me-262 A-1 Pilot’s Handbook
- Debriefing Me-262 form flight instructor Hans Fey
- Pilots notes Me-262 by Captain Wendel
- ILA2006 Berlin (original sound) Messerschmitt 262 flight (VIDEO)
- Great movie of the Schwalbe Me 262 (VIDEO)

Remember, when you “google” or visit “YouTube” by yourself, you can find much more than this small collection of what can be found here. It should only trigger you’re Messerschmitt feelings and make run to your wallet and buy this nice, small but deadly German WWII fighter, bomber and/or trainer.

Summary / Closing Remarks

What will it be, a long or short summary? I think a short summery since it was really fun flying this baby. You only get an FSX model specially designed to work with FSX SP2 or the Acceleration Pack. You don’t get the FS2004 version, which also on the market, included with this package.

Last incoming notes from Flight Replica or items found on the Sky Unlimited forum:

- Correct real head position should be modified from [Views]
eyepoint=3.20, 0.00, 2.50 into eyepoint=3.18, 0.00, 2.50!
I doubt if you see this but anyway, I found it via the following link.

- Radio panel/controls (FSX):
Shift-1 should open the radio window. This is just a "throw-away" window, to allow users to select frequencies, etc., as applicable for navigation and communication within FS. German radios were too different from anything FS will allow us to use.

- Trigger button on control stick:
The trigger button does not activate any guns. While the 262 was a military aircraft, the developer’s intention was to model the aircraft as a piece of historical technology, not as a weapon. There is, however, a freeware package in the AVSIM library (rcbmc-20.zip) that does add gun effects to the Messerschmitt 262, so users can now have the option if they so choose.

- Revi Gunsite:
The Revi gunsite was used to aim the aircraft and its guns at a target. When you switch it on, you will see the round reticle with the cross through it. The pilot would sight the target through this. It is slightly to one side, as it was originally placed to be used by one eye - however, FS does not give us binocular vision. In that freeware gun effect package(AVSIM rcbmc-20.zip), the developer tells users to shift their viewpoint slightly in order to centre the reticle.

- Question Angelique; It seems to me that the Me-262A-2a Wk.Nr 111711 allows to carry two bombs but it seems that the user is not able to connect two bombs to the fuselage fittings?
Answer Michael Flight Replicas; Wk.Nr 111711 had pylons that could be used for both fuel tanks and bombs. The real 111711 aircraft never used them, but as they were found on the real aircraft, I put them there for authenticity.

- Question Angelique; Are there any animated external panel opening/closing possibilities?
Answer Michael Flight Replicas; There are no external panels that open. This was done to keep model complexity down, and give better frame rates to the model which is indeed verified.

 

What I Like About The Me-262

  • “Easy to go” Flight1 installer
  • From-the-ground-up rebuild model, purely for FSX
  • Model also available for use with FS2004 although some VC options are not working
  • Good and realistic looking Messerschmitt Me-262 models
  • Very nice looking Virtual Cockpit with detailed instruments
  • Great Frame Rates
  • As far as I can judge, highly realistic flight dynamics
  • Manual offers not only standard items but also practical tips
  • Very helpful e-mail support.

 

What I Don't Like About The Me-262

  • No 2D cockpit but I have to be honest, I didn’t miss it at all!
  • Messerschmitt model doesn’t offer a gun “system” but this is available for free via the AVSIM library.

 

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