The most advanced fighter aircraft of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Me 262, is returning to Cosford after 14 years on display at the RAF Museum London. Prior to the move the aircraft was dismantled to arrive safely at Cosford where it will be re-assembled and displayed alongside fellow German fighters the Me109, FW190 and the Ju88 night fighter in the ‘War in the Air’ hangar. This fleet of rare Second World War Luftwaffe aircraft unique for Cosford, which is also home to their rival RAF equivalents.
The Me 262 was the only jet fighter to see air-to-air combat in the WW2 and its appearance in 1944 was a great shock to the Allies. It was a significantly more advanced design than its British counterparts and many of its aerodynamic secrets were eagerly incorporated in later post-war combat aircraft. Fortunately for the RAF, chronic supply shortages meant that few Me 262s saw combat and the true potential of the Me 262 was never realised. Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said, “The Me 262’s were the first turbojet fighter to do so it heralded a new era in aerial warfare and represented a step change in technology. Today very few original examples survive so we are delighted to present this significant aircraft to our visitors at Cosford.”