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  • Messerschmitt Me P.1101/92 Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer

    The impressive-looking Messeschmitt P.1101/92 did not proceed beyond the design stages during World War 2.

     Updated: 5/26/2016; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    In 1944, Messerschmitt (among other German aircraft firms) was hard at work penciling out design concepts for the German Air Ministry (RLM) July 1944 initiative looking to fulfill the requirement for its "Emergency Fighter Program" (Jagernotprogramm - translating to "Fighter Emergency Program"). Following years of daylight and night time bombing raids by American and British bomber forces, German command began adopting a defensive-minded approach to keep its factories up and running and supply lines intact. The Luftwaffe was a vital component of the German war machine and losing air power in whole would have been a disastrous affair. As such, production of defensive-minded fighters was on order to content with the powerful Allied bombers - these bombers capable of absorbing large amounts of damage and flying in formations numbering hundreds, sometimes thousands, of aircraft not including their pesky fighter escorts. The advent of jet propulsion solidified the design direction for this new generation of German fighter. One of the most well-known late-war initiatives went on to become the jet-powered, single-seat, single-engine Volksjager ("Peoples Fighter") by the Heinkel bureau in which the aircraft would have been flown by lesser-trained, non-military personnel such as the Hitler Youth in the final defense of Germany. A lesser-known development was the Messerschmitt Me P.1101.

    The Jagernotprogramm sought to bring to bear the power of a 2nd Generation jet fighter design in the single-seat, single-engine design mold. Of course the winning design for the RLM became the Focke-Wulf Ta 183 "Huckebein" ("Hunchback") - intended to replace the Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe" ("Swallow") 1st Generation jet fighter - but the Messerschmitt P.1101 program was allowed to continue development albeit with reduced funding and resources. This particular Messerschmitt airframe sported swept-back wings, a single engine and variable sweep wings - the latter quite revolutionary for its time. Fortunately for the Allies, only one example was ever constructed and this was found still incomplete at the Oberammergau complex on April 29th, 1945 by advancing American forces and taken back stateside for evaluation in the months and years following the end of the war.

    Like the P.1101 aircraft, the P.1101/92 was another Messerschmitt-inspired jet fighter design attempt but instead focused use on a two-man crew and a pair of engines for maximum performance as well as a large-caliber cannon suitable for "bomber-hunting". The P.1101/92 would have, therefore, been classified as a "heavy fighter" or, perhaps more appropriately, as a "destroyer" ("Zerstorer") in line with other such aerial weapons like the preceding prop-powered Messerschmitt Bf 110. Unlike the P.1101, the P.1101/92 never evolved past the "paper stage" and was never constructed, even in a developmental prototype form.

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    Messerschmitt Me P.1101/92 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1944
    Type: Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Messerschmitt - Germany
    Production Total: 0

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 42.98 feet (13.1 meters)
    Width: 43.57 feet (13.28 meters)
    Height: 13.45 feet (4.10 meters)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Heinkel-Hirth He S 0 11 jet engines developing 2,860 lb of thrust each.

    Maximum Speed: 559 mph (900 kph; 486 knots)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 75mm (3-inch) cannon in nose underside, offset to starboard.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Nazi Germany

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    P.1101/92 - Main Developmental Series Designation