Messerschmitt Me 329 (Zerstorer) Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer / Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal
Developed along the lines of heavy fighter and ground attack aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 329 succeeded in only reaching the mockup stage before the end of World War 2.
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The Messerschmitt concern of Germany delivered for World War 2 (1939-1945) some of the most iconic fighters of the conflict. Their most famous product became the Bf 109 but the twin-engined Bf 110 proved itself serviceable throughout the war and the company was also responsible for the world's first operational jet fighter in the turbojet-powered Me 262 "Schwalbe" design. Its engineers did not stop at these well-known entries, however, for there existed a whole slew of "paper" designs destined to never see the light of day. One such offering was the Me 329 project aircraft which envisioned a heavy fighter-type form going head-to-head with enemy bombers at high altitudes. A ground attack function would also be built-in giving the platform some tactical flexibility.
The discerning reader will note this aircraft's over-battlefield role, targeting Allied bombers and advancing ground forces alike, meaning German was now clearly on the defensive in its war over Europe.
The Me 329 gained traction only towards the latter half of the war and was being developed as a successor to Messerschmitt's other fighter-bomber product, the Me 410, introduced in 1943 (1,189 were produced) to shore up limitations encountered in the earlier Me 210. In the new aircraft, engineers elected for a pseudo-flying-wing arrangement which seated no horizontal tail planes. Instead the planform was dominated by a large mainplane wing area with a sole vertical fin fitted at the tail. At the nose was the twin-seat cockpit and a twin-engine arrangement was featured in which the powerplants were seated facing aft ("pusher" function). The undercarriage, wheeled and retractable, was made up of three landing gear legs.
The crew of two (pilot / navigator-gunner) were to be seated in a staggered, side-by-side formation within a pressurized cockpit under a heavy-framed canopy with good views out of their aircraft. Contours of the airframe were very smooth and the wings were blended nicely to the airframe. Power was to come from a pair of Daimler-Benz DB603G inline piston engines developing 1,874 horsepower each ( Jumo 213 series units also given mentioned) and driving three-bladed propellers. The engines would be buried in the wings to maintain aerodynamic efficiency - aspiration coming from leading wing edge intake slots.