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Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet) Fighter-Bomber / Multirole Platform (1943)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 5/1/2015
Picture of Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)
Picture of Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)
Picture of Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)
Picture of Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)

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The Messerschmitt Me 410 improved upon the failed Me 210 platform in a variety of ways, but eventually gave way to dedicated fighter production for Germany.

The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet") was, in effect, a further development of the unstable Me 210 system. Though improved to some extent by the Hungarians in the Me 210C model, the Me 410 was fitted with a new designation to distance the new design from the previous failed one. In the end, the Me 410 would prove an effective combat platform for a time, though the system would be no match for the Allied escort and interceptor fighters.

The Me 410 saw the introduction of the new Daimler-Benz DB 603A which offered up 1,750 horsepower. Engines were mounted one to each wing, with the end design appearing very much in the vein of the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and the British de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. The aircraft was crewed by a compliment of two personnel that included the pilot and the rear-gunner. As a heavy fighter, the aircraft made use of twin 20mm MG 151 type cannons along with twin 13mm MG 131 machine guns. Additionally, a pair of 7.92mm MG 17 type machine guns were used in the design for an additional defensive punch. External ordnance capabilities consisted of up to four hardpoints that could each mount a 50kg bomb.

The Me 410 saw successes against Allied bomber formations but was easy pickings when squaring off in a head-on dogfight with fighters. In the close-support role, the airframe proved to be a capable performer as well. Variations in the system produced a variety of fighter-bomber / reconnaissance platforms and included several proposed and experimental derivatives that would never see the light of day. Appearing en masse in 1943, the Me 410 would see a short shelf life as resources were placed into dedicated fighter production - mostly in the form of the definitive BF 109G "Gustav" fighter series for the defense of Germany and its interests.

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Specifications for the
Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)
Fighter-Bomber / Multirole Platform

Focus Model: Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1 Hornisse (Hornet)
Country of Origin: Nazi Germany
Manufacturer: Messerschmitt - Germany
Initial Year of Service: 1943
Production: 1,913

Crew: 2

Length: 40.68 ft (12.4 m)
Width: 53.64 ft (16.35 m)
Height: 14.04ft (4.28 m)
Weight (Empty): 13,448 lb (6,100 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 23,479 lb (10,650 kg)

Powerplant: 2 x Daimler-Benz DB 603A liquid-cooled V-12 engine developing 1,726 horsepower each.

Maximum Speed: 388 mph (624 kmh; 337 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,429 miles (2,300 km)
Service Ceiling: 32,808 ft (10,000 m; 6.2 miles)

Hardpoints: 4
Armament Suite:
2 x 20mm MG 151 cannons
2 x 13mm MG 131 machine guns
2 x 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns

Maximum bombload of up to 2,204 lb.

Variants: [ SHOW / HIDE ]

Hungary; Nazi Germany