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.
Estimated performance specs included a maximum speed of 425 miles per hour, a range out to 1,565 miles and a service ceiling up to 41,000 feet.
Recorded dimensions were a length of 7.7 meters, a height of 4.7 meters and a wingspan of 17.5 meters. Construction would have incorporated large amounts of wood due to the shortage of metals across wartime Germany and in an effort to keep the heavy fighter as light as possible.
In terms of armament, the Me 329 would not have disappointed. Its primary battery was to be made up of 4 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in the nose (over / under) and 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons in the wing roots. To protect the aircraft's vulnerable "six" from approaching interceptors there would be a remote-controlled 20mm MG 151/20 at the extreme tail-end of the design and facing aft (aimed by way of periscope by the second crewman). For the ground attack role up to 2,200lb of conventional drop ordnance would be carried, possibly both internally and externally with the latter at presumed underwing hardpoints.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.