Messerschmitt Me P.1111 Jet-Powered, Single-Seat Fighter-Interceptor Proposal
A tailless design approach was used when finalizing the promising Messerschmitt P.1111 single-seat jet fighter in the latter stages of World War 2.
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Messerschmitt AG of World War 2 Germany managed three of the more iconic aircraft used operationally the conflict - the prop-driven Bf 109, the rocket-powered Me 163 "Komet" and the jet-powered Me 262 "Schwalbe". Between these designs lay a host of other submissions and design studies, some entertained by the German Air Ministry for possible development and others remaining in-house research projects or barely pencil sketches. The P.1111 was one of the many designs that never saw the light of day as an intended single-seat, jet-powered fighter. The aircraft was born from the P.1112 initiative which became Messerschmitt's last jet-powered design initiative of the war and fell in line with the sudden trend of Messerschmitt jet aircraft featuring tailless arrangements.
To help further the P.1112 endeavor along, design studies were ordered in January of 1945 and Willy Messerschmitt himself championed that these be developed along the lines of tailless aircraft after seeing several other tailless configurations find Air Ministry interest and approval. Despite the objections of some of his engineering group, the project continued as tailless to better the odds for a Messerschmitt aircraft being chosen by a desperate German government.
P.1111 became the first design study and the aircraft incorporated a planform featuring 45-degree sweptback wing mainplanes. While a single vertical tail fin was used, no other true tail surfaces were part of the layout. The wing mainplanes were of a considerable surface area that they nearly formed a true delta-wing planform. Beyond the sweep seen at the leading edges, the mainplanes were also given sweepback along their trailing edges. With its tubular fuselage, a single turbojet engine was selected to power the type and this would be aspirated by a pair of elliptical intakes set to either side of the near-nose position by which, via ductwork rounding the cockpit walls, the sole jet installation at rear would be fed. The cockpit was set aft of the nose assembly with the wing root structure running along both sides and the roots ran from the near-nose location to just near the exhaust port identified under the tail. A tricycle undercarriage would have been in play featuring a single-wheeled nose leg at the extreme nose position and the single-wheeled main legs found under the mass of the aircraft near midships.