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"The Me-410 Aircraft" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. intelligence report on the German Messerschmitt Me-410 aircraft was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 34, September 23, 1943. The Messerschmitt Me-410 Hornisse ("Hornet") was a Luftwaffe twin-engine aircraft which served as a heavy fighter (Zerstörer), ground attack aircraft, and light bomber. The Me-410 was developed to replace the earlier German Bf-110 and Me-210 aircraft.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The Messerschmitt Me-410, recently encountered among German operational aircraft, was predicted to be a development of the Me-210 fighter air plane, with a more powerful engine. This has been verified in a report of three of these aircraft examined in Sicily.

The airframe appears to be approximately the same as the 210, which is a two-place, twin-engine, low-wing monoplane, the wings having a pronounced taper to rounded tips. The slim fuselage has a blunt nose, a humped cockpit inclosure in the forward end, and a large fin and rudder. The tail wheel and landing gear are both retractable, the latter into the engine nacelles. Dive brakes are fitted on the upper and lower wing surfaces, outboard of the engine nacelles. The aircraft has a wing span of 53 feet, 9 inches and a length of 40 feet, 3 inches.

The major apparent difference is found in the engine. The Me-410 is powered with the new Daimler-Benz 603A-2 motors, developed from the DB 601 used in the Me-210 but somewhat larger. Those examined had 12 cylinders rather than the 16 cylinders hitherto thought to be in the 603's. They had inverted "V" liquid-cooled units with no turbo-blower system.

The DB 603 is probably de-rated, as are most of the newer German engines, and estimated performance figures have therefore been made for a de-rated version. The maximum emergency power at 19,000 feet is estimated to be about 1,800 hp with a normal fuel capacity of 608 U.S. gallons. This indicates an estimated maximum speed of 390 to 400 mph at 22,000 feet, with a normal cruising speed of 335 mph and an economical cruising speed of 260 mph. A service ceiling of 33,000 feet and a normal range of about 1,100 miles appears possible.

The armament of the Me-410 was expected to be heavier than that of the 210, which consists of two 20-mm fixed cannon and two 7.9-mm fixed machine guns located in the forward fuselage, and two 13-mm machine guns firing to the rear each with a 50° traverse, mounted in blisters on each side of the fuselage just aft of the trailing edge. However, while this proved in general correct, the two 7.9-mm forward machine guns were not actually installed in the aircraft examined and the apertures were blocked off.

The armor in the new aircraft is similar to that of the 210, which is very heavy, varying in thickness from 5 mm to 13 mm and protecting the pilot's seat, cockpit, engine and radiators. There is also bullet-proof glass protection for the radio operator.

The 410 is seen more and more frequently, and is possibly being used as a substitute for the FW-190 as well as replacing the Me-210. There has been some indication that this model may also have been equipped for use as a bomber.


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