Alexander Lippisch was a prolific aeronautical engineer in Europe during the Nazi German era, responsible for everything from tailless research to rocket-powered aircraft designs intended to fulfill a seemingly endless line of Luftwaffe requirements. One of his greatest achievements became the Me 163 "Komet" (detailed elsewhere on this site) under the Messerschmitt brand label, a rocket-powered interceptor that made a brief appearance as one of the many "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" showcased by the Germans towards the war's end. Beyond this was the "P.13" and all its known variants, the evolved Komet form in the jet-powered "P.15", and the evolved P.15 becoming the jet-powered "P.20". In the post-war years, he lent his talents to help develop the Dornier Aerodyne VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) testbed.
The Messerschmitt Me 334 was another of Lippisch's entries though only existing in paper form - this aircraft originating as something of an insurance policy against the Me 163B V1 which was delayed by its Walther rocket motor. Lippisch modified his jet-powered P.20 concept to become a simpler piston-driven design, retaining the general stubby shape and arrangement. The mainplanes were slightly swept-back in the revised Me 334 but the vertical tail fin was now relocated ventrally on the fuselage (as opposed dorsally) to help clear the rear of the airframe for the propeller unit. The Me 334 would, therefore, have a "pusher" arrangement with the cut-off nose section used to drive air into the airframe while a long shaft drove the three-bladed propeller unit. As in the proposed P.20 fighter, a wholly-retractable, wheeled undercarriage was to be used for ground-running.
The cockpit was positioned near-center with a lightly-framed canopy offering good vision for the single crewman. Armament was to comprise 2 x 13mm MG131 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), each unit buried in the wing roots to either side of the cockpit and offering a good offensive punch against enemy bombers and fighters of the day.
Proposed dimensions included a wingspan of 30.5 feet, an overall length of 22.9 feet, and a height of 12 feet. Wing sweep of the mainplanes amounted to 23.4 degrees to give the fighter basic aerodynamic efficiency at high speeds.
Drive power would have come from a single Daimler-Benz DB605A-C 12-cylinder liquid-cooled inverted Vee engine developing 1,475 horsepower at take-off. This would be used to drive a three-bladed, 9.9-foot diameter propeller centered on a conical spinner at the rear of the airframe.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Survivability enhanced by armor allocated to protect pilot / crewspaces and / or critical operating systems.
Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
23.0 ft (7.00 m)
30.5 ft (9.30 m)
12.2 ft (3.72 m)
5,071 lb (2,300 kg)
6,614 lb (3,000 kg)
+1,543 lb (+700 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Messerschmitt Me 334 production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / swept-back
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Messerschmitt Me 334 production variant)
1 x Daimler-Benz DB605A-C 12-cylinder, inverted-Vee, liquid-cooled piston engine driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in pusher arrangement.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Messerschmitt Me 334 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x 13mm MG131 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) with one gun per wing root.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
Me 334 - Base Design Designation; paper proposal only.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Messerschmitt (Lippisch) Me 334...
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