Is the 410 a useless round

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornet - Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornet

The Messerschmitt Me 410 hornet was a German heavy hunter and Speed ​​bomber, of the air force was used in World War II. Although it was a gradual improvement on the Me 210, it had a new wing plan, a longer fuselage, and more powerful engines. The changes were significant enough for the aircraft to be renamed the Me 410.

Design and development

Development of the Me 210 had been underway since 1939, but the aircraft proved unstable and was never considered for series production. Changes to the layout resulted in the Me 210C and 210D, which turned out to be somewhat superior. In the course of the studies on the Me 210D and with a separate parallel attempt to improve the 210 with the Messerschmitt Me 310 in the second half of 1943 - which resulted in almost no aerodynamic improvement compared to the risky handling characteristics of the 210 - it was decided to introduce it instead new model, the Me 410.

The main change between the Me 210 and 410 was the introduction of the larger (44.5-liter, 2,715 in 3 Displacement) and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 603 A engines, which increased the output to 1,750 PS (1,730 PS, 1,290 kW) compared to the 1,475 PS strong DB 605 that were used on the Me 210C - the preliminary Me 310- Design experiment actually first used the choice of the DB 603 engine. The engine power increased the Me 410's top speed to 625 km / h (388 mph), significantly improved the rate of climb, the service cap, and especially the cruising speed that 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 in the bomb bay under its nose. To remedy this, shackles for four 50 kg bombs were attached under the wings. The changes added an additional 680 kg to the Me 210 design, but the extra engine power more than made up for the difference. As used with the Me 210, the 410's rear gunner uses the same pair of Remote rotating ring side mount FDSL 131 / 1B turrets mounted on each side of the aircraft, each still fitted with a 13 mm (0.51 in) Mg 131, maintaining the same pivoting handle, trigger and gun-style sight to aim the weapon as the 210 and fire.

Basic side-by-side comparison of the Me 210 and Me 410 wing plan forms

The new version included an elongated fuselage and new, automatic leading edge battens, both of which were tested on Me 210 and which significantly improve handling. The slats were originally present on the earliest Me 210 models, but were removed from production models due to poor handling. In the case of a steep turn, the slats tended to open due to the high angle of attack, analogous to the opening of the slats during the landing approach. (This problem was first observed on the Bf 109V14 and V15 prototypes for the Bf 109E.) This contributed to the problems that ensure smooth flight of the aircraft. However, when the problems with general lateral instability were addressed it was no longer a real problem. The wing plates of the earlier Me 210 were constructed with a planform geometry that directed the aerodynamic center towards the rear compared to the earlier Bf 110 and gave the outer sections of the planform wing behind each engine nacelle a slightly larger value of 12.6 ° the leading edge of 6.0 °. This resulted in inadequate in-flight maneuverability for the original Me 210 design. The planform geometry of the new outer wing panels of the Me 410 has been revised in order to bring the aerodynamic center further forward compared to the Me 210, so that the leading edge sweepback of the outer panels is identical to the inner wing panels and both have identical 5.5 ° return angles, which improved the handling.

Delivery began in January 1943, two years too late, and lasted until September 1944. At that time, a total of 1,160 of all versions had been manufactured by Messerschmitt Augsburg and Dornier Munich. When it arrived, it was liked by its crews, although its improved performance was insufficient to protect it from the swarms of high-powered Allied fighters they were exposed to at this stage of the war.

Operating history

A Me 410A-1 / U4 with a BK 5 cannon detached itself during an attack on USAAF B-17
Messerschmitt Me 410A-1 / U2 (W. Nr. 420428, 9K + AM), flown by Obfw. Hermann Bolten from 4./KG 51, shot down on June 6, 1944

The Me 410 night bomber turned out to be an elusive target for the RAF night fighters. The first unit to operate over Great Britain was V./KG 2, which lost its first Me 410 on the night of July 13-14, 1943, when it was shot down by a de Havilland mosquito of No. 85 Squadron RAF has been .

The Me 410 was also used as a bomber destroyer against the daylight bomber formations of the USAAF, being upgraded with Conversion kits Factory conversion kits, all bearings / U - Suffix for the design - these suffixes vary in meaning between subtypes. As an example, the former designation Me 410 A-1 / U1 meant a camera adaptation in the underwater ordnance bay for reconnaissance purposes (as the A-3 should do from the beginning), while the same designation / U1 or the later Me 410 B-2 meant the installation of a pair of the 30 mm MK 103 cannons with a long barrel in the underwater ordnance bay. The suffix / U2 instead referred to the installation of two additional 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in the underwater ordnance bay - the subtype A-1 / U4 matched the massive one On-board cannon Series weighing 540 kg (1,190 lb) and weighing 50 mm (2) in) BK 5 cannon loaded with 21 cartridges in the same underwater ordnance bay in place of the cameras of the / U1 or MK 103 or the added pair MG 151/20 autocannon of the / U2. To break up the bomber formations, many Me 410 also had four under-wing cannon launchers, two per wing plate, the converted 21 cm Launcher grenade 21- infantry - Fired blocking missiles . Two squadron , Destroyer Squadron 26 and 76, were equipped with the Me 410 at the end of 1943.

They were moderately successful against unaccompanied bombers until 1943, with a significant number of kills being made against USAF day bomber formations. However, the Me 410 could not be compared in a dogfight with the lighter single-engine allies such as the North American P-51 Mustang and Supermarine Spitfire. At the beginning of 1944 the Me 410 formations encountered swarms of Allied fighters protecting the bomber streams, usually flying far ahead of the battlefield formations as air supremacy movement in clearing the skies of any Luftwaffe opposition, which is the Me 410's previous successes bombers escorted against are now often offset by their losses. An example of this - as part of a campaign launched two days earlier by the USAAF - was on March 6, 1944, during an attack by 750 heavy bombers of the 8th AF on Berlin, as 16 Me 410s in return for eight B-17s and four P-51s were shot down (which were destroyed by fighters of the Bf 109 and Fw 190 who were escorting the Me 410). In the following month, on April 11th, with the 8th AF raids on Sorau, Rostock and Oschersleben, the Me 410 from II./ZG 26 were a rare clear success and initially brought 10 B-17s to a standstill without losses. During the same raid, their second deployment was intercepted by P-51s, which destroyed eight Me 410s and three Bf 110s. Sixteen crew members were killed and three wounded.

As of mid-1944, the Me 410 units, although they were Hitler's most popular bomber destroyers, were taken out of the duties of Reich defense and production was discontinued in favor of heavily armed single-engine fighters as dedicated bomber destroyers, with the Me 410 still in service for reconnaissance purposes only . Some Me 410 were used during the Battle of Normandy with Junkers Ju 188 for night reconnaissance at high altitudes.


A-series aircraft were armed with two 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns and two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in the nose and as a light bomber Me 410 A-1 delivered . The heavy hunter Me 410 A-2 was deleted because the double 30 mm gun mount MK 103, which was also used for the later subtype Me 410B-2 as Werr- Kit Conversion kit / U1 was available until 1944, was not finished in time. The Me 410A had a bomb bay for carrying bombs, but it could be used with conversion kits to equip other devices. Initially there were three Conversion kits to disposal: U1 with cameras for photo reconnaissance, U2 with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons with 250 RPG for the heavy fighter and U4 with 50 mm (2 in) rifle of the On-board cannon Series, the BK-5 cannon with 22 cartridges (21 cartridges for loading and 1 extra round in the breech) to turn either a Me 410A or B-series aircraft into a bomber destroyer. The BK 5 cannon - derived from the 50 mm (2 in) KwK 39 L / 60 of the Panzer III - enabled the Me 410 to fire at their targets from over 914 m away, a distance that the defensive weapons of the Bombers found, usually "light-barrel", .50 caliber AN / M2 aviation version of the M2 Browning machine guns, were useless.

Common problems with blockages and limited ammunition supplies, as well as the extra weight of the large-caliber cannon under the nose of 540 kg made the other anti-bomber versions of the Me 410, especially those with an additional 20 mm MG 151/20's, much more useful. The reconnaissance version Me 410 A-3 received a deeper hull for additional cameras and fuel. The Me 410 A-3 was put into service in small numbers at the beginning of 1944 and equipped three long-range reconnaissance squadrons Reconnaissance squadrons out , usually larger ones Remote reconnaissance groups with three or four squadrons (one group on the Western Front and the other two on the Eastern Front). .

The Me 410B -Series was similar to the A-series, but replaced the pair of 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 17 with 13 mm ( 0.51 in ) MG 131 machine guns. The originally planned DB 603G engine with 1,900 PS (1,400 kW) was discontinued in early 1944, so that all Me 410B used DB 603A or DB 603AA engines. The DB 603G would have increased the top speed to 630 km / h and the cruising speed to 595 km / h, although the weight would have increased again. The versions were the same as the A-series, with the Me 410 B-1 and Me 410 B-3 held the same roles as the earlier A-1 and A-3 versions, also with the option to do the same Conversion to use. Kits Factory conversion kits like the A series.

Several experimental models have also been developed. The Me 410 B-5 added shackles under the hull of a carry torpedo, and removed the MG 131s in the nose to make room for power FuG 200 Hohentwiel 550 MHz UHF band maritime patrol radar. The bomb bay was not used in this version to make room for a 650L fuel tank, and the backward firing remote turrets were replaced with another 700L long-range fuel tank for missions. The Me 410 B-6 was a similar conversion against shipping, but only intended for the role of coastal defense with short range. No torpedo was used for this mission, but a simple modification of the B-1 with the FuG 200 radar. The Me 410 B-7 / B-8 were updated B-3 reconnaissance models built only as prototypes.

The Me 410C was a high altitude version created in early 1944 with two new wing designs that increased the wingspan to 18.25 m (60 ft) or 20.45 m (67 ft). Due to the larger wings, the gearbox could be retracted directly to the rear. A new universal engine mount would allow the use of one of the DB 603JZ or BMW 801 J turbo engines, or the two-stage mechanically charged Jumo 213E engines, which power a new four-bladed propeller with very wide blades. The BMW 801 radials were air-cooled and the DB 603 and Jumo 213 used an annular radiator, all Kraftei (Power Egg) -Motor modules Located on an airframe to simplify on-site installation and maintenance. None were ever built as the Me 410 ceased production before the engines matured.

The Me 410D was an easier upgrade of the B-series to improve altitude performance than the C-series. It would be powered by the DB 603JZ engines and would have a redesigned front fuselage to increase the pilot's field of view and reduce drag. It also replaced parts of the outer wing panels with wooden ones to conserve strategic materials. Some were built, but like many other attempts by the German aviation industry to build wood in the late Second World War, the loss of Goldschmitt Tego-Filmfabrik in Wuppertal in a nightly bombing raid by the Royal Air Force meant that the available acidic substitute adhesives were too corrosive to use the materials to be glued, and the wooden parts tended to fail. Production eventually ceased to focus on Bf 109G in August 1944 after 1,160 Me 410s had been built, one month after the Hunter emergency Program.


Nazi Germany
  • The Air Force was the main operator of Me 410 from 1943 to 1945
    • Swarm & 2. (F) / Scout Group 22
    • 1. (F) / Reconnaissance Group 33
    • 1. (F) / FAGr.121
    • 1., 2 (Ekdo)., 5. (F) / Reconnaissance group 122 (later FAGr 122 )
    • Distress group 80 (Sea reconnaissance and rescue)
    • 9., 20. / ZG 1 'Wasps'
    • 2nd, 4th, 6th, staff / ZG 26 'Horst Wessel'
    • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, / ZG 76
    • Trial command / (Z) 25
    • 5. (night), 14. (night), 15., 16. / KG 2 (Night intruder)
    • 1. (hunt), 2. (night), 5. (erg / hunt), 6. / KG 51 'Edelweiss' (Long-range night operations)
    • 1./NJG 5 (Mosquito Chaser)
    • 3. / NJG 1 (Mosquito hunter)
United Kingdom
  • The Royal Air Force received at least two captured aircraft during the war and shortly thereafter.
    • No. 1426 flight RAF operated a single Me 410 A-1 / U2 (WNr.10259, RAF serial number TF209) during the war.

Surviving aircraft

Me 410, W.Nr.10018, ( FE499 ) after this shipping in the USA

Two Me 410 survive:

Me 410 A-1 / U1 (W.Nr.10018, converted from the airframe Me 210)
This aircraft is owned by the American National Air and Space Museum and is being held at the Paul E. Garber Conservation, Restoration and Storage Facility until restoration. It was made in August 1943 on an airfield in Trapani, Sicily, with the markings of the 2. Season / Remote reconnaissance group 122 of the Luftwaffe found intact and shipped to the USA in 1944. it became the US serial number FE499 given ,
Me 410, W.Nr.420430, RAF Museum Cosford (2009)
Me 410 A-1 / U2 (W.Nr.420430)
This aircraft is part of the collection of the RAF Museum and is on public display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. It was built by Messerschmitt in Augsburg at the end of 1943. There is evidence that it served Destroyer Wing 26 before it was surrendered in Vaerlose, Denmark, in May 1945. It was one of six Me 410s brought to Britain for assessment in 1945, but the only one later selected for conservation and avoidance to be scrapped. It was restored in 1986, after which both engines were successfully operated on the ground. It was relocated to Cosford in 1989 and has remained there ever since.

Technical data (Me 410 A-1 / U-2)

data from the warplanes of the Third Reich, German warplanes

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 12,484 m
  • Span: 16.3513 m
  • Height: 4,280 m
  • Wing area: 36.2031 m 2 (389,687 sq ft)
  • Blade: Root: NACA 23018-636.5; Tip: NACA 23010-636.5
  • Empty weight: 7,518 kg
  • Gross weight: 9,651 kg
  • Fuel capacity: 550 imp gal (660 US gal; 2,500 l) in four wing tanks
  • Engine: 2 × Daimler-Benz DB 603A V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engines, each 1,290 kW (1,750 PS) at the start
1,360 kW (1,850 hp) at 2,100 m (6,890 ft)
1,195 kW (1,625 hp) at 5,700 m
  • Propeller: 3-blade VDM propeller with constant speed


  • Top speed: 507 km / h (274 kn) at sea level, 624 km / h (337 kn) at 6,700 m (21,980 ft)
  • Cruising speed: 587 km / h (365 mph, 317 kn)
  • Range: 1,200 km at maximum continuous cruising speed, 1,690 km at economical cruising speed
  • Range of the ferry: 2,300 km
  • Service level: 10,000 m
  • Time to Height: 6,000 m in 10 minutes and 42 seconds


  • Weapons: ** 2 × 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 17 machine guns at 1,000 rpm firing forward
    • 2 × 20 mm (0.79 in) MG 151/20 cannon at 350 rpm, firing forward
    • 2 × 20 mm (0.79 in) MG 151/20 cannon with 250 RPG in the bomb bay, firing forward
    • 2 × 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 machine guns at 500 rpm, each firing backwards from the remote-controlled turret FDSL 131 / 1B, one per side
  • Missiles: 4 x 21 cm Launcher grenade 21 missiles
  • Bombs: ** One-way supplies up to 1,000 kg

See also

Related development

Aircraft with a comparable role, configuration and era


further reading

  • Caldwell, Donald L .; Müller, Richard R. (2007). The Air Force over Germany: Reich Defense . London, UK: Greenhill Books. ISBN.
  • Hess, William. N. (1994). B-17 Flying Fortress - Combat and Evolution History . Engine books. ISBN.
  • Scutts, Jerry (1994). 8th Air Force Mustang Aces . Oxford: Ospreys Aerospace. ISBN.
  • Stocker, Werner; Petrick, Peter (2007). Messerschmitt Me 210 / Me 410 Hornisse / Hornet: an illustrated production story . Hinckley: Midland. ISBN.

External links