FHCAM Me-262 Presentation
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Thread: FHCAM Me-262 Presentation

  1. #1

    FHCAM Me-262 Presentation

    This was filmed this past Saturday at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum's Me-262 "Sneak Peak" event, about the restoration and up-coming first flights. This is the only original Me-262 in private hands, and the only original that is operational. This presentation includes a discussion about the restoration by senior project manager Jason Muszala along with a question and answer portion with Jason, Steve Hinton and Tim Morgan.

    Test flying is anticipated to begin later this year or very early in the coming year. Test flying will be performed at Moses Lake, WA, with 10-15 test flights expected to be required before they are satisfied with moving the aircraft to the FHCAM home base of Paine Field in Everett, WA, where, depending on how things go, the aircraft will continue to be operated on a limited basis (as is the case with all of the FHCAM aircraft that fly). The newly-manufactured Jumo 004 engines, built to the same design but using proper metals, have an estimated life expectancy of over 300-hrs before overhaul (compared to just 25-hrs with the original WWII-manufactured engines).



    Note toward the end of this video, someone asks about the He-111 behind where everyone is seated, and being another of the FHCAM projects, they are clearly not at liberty to discuss it yet (in the past, the FHC/FHCAM has been very secretive about the aircraft they have under restoration, but that has changed a bit lately). The presentation was held at the Arlington Airport where the final portion of the Me-262 restoration has been taking place, but it is also where some of the other FHCAM projects have been housed.

  2. #2
    Interesting choice of paint scheme. I'm most curious to see/hear the video when they fly it. I've always been curious about the sound of the early Jumo jets. Probably "underwhelming", but still a curiosity of mine.

    Thanks for posting this!

  3. #3
    The aircraft is painted to look as it did when it was found by the Allies in 1945. As standard practice, the aircraft was delivered to its squadron in the factory-applied paint scheme of overall light blue, and the top-side swirl pattern camouflage was applied by the squadron in the field. The aircraft would have originally been manufactured as a fighter, and was first flown on March 14, 1945 by Messerschmitt factory pilot Otto Kaiser, at Memmingen, Germany. However, when it was found by the Allies, it had the reconnaissance camera nose. That post-factory modification is known to have been performed by Lufthansa at Eger-Cheb, Czechoslovakia.

    These photos were taken of the aircraft very shortly after it was found by the Allies and placed under the control of the 54th Air Disarmament Squadron. The swastika was overpainted and it temporarily gained the name "Connie...the Sharp Article", named after the wife of 54th ADS Master Sgt. H. L. Preston.





    While they have the large dark green rectangle painted on the left side on the restoration, unfortunately they don't have it painted on the right side as it should also be (those dark green rectangles had obviously been applied to cover over an earlier tactical number, prior to the application of the number 25).




    It soon after was taken over by the 86th Fighter Group and made ready for a ferry flight from Letchfeld, Germany to Cherbourg, France. 86th FG pilot Lt. Roy Brown was assigned to fly it, and he had the aircraft named "Pick II" (his assigned P-47 had been named "Pick", named after his wife's maiden name Pickrell).





    From Cherbourg, the aircraft was loaded onboard the H.M.S. Reaper on July 19, 1945, with 40 other aircraft (including the FHCAM's Fw-190D-13), and shipped to the US. Once in the US, WkNr.500453 was sent to Freeman Field for evaluation by "Watson's Whizzers" under the command of Col. Harold E. Watson and given the "Foreign Equipment" number FE-4012.


  4. #4
    While at Freeman, the aircraft was spruced-up a bit and the camera nose was swapped for the fighter nose off of another Me-262, that being FE-111 (WkNr.500491), which today is displayed at the Smithsonian. The ID of FE-4012 was also changed to T-2-4012 at some point. From Freeman the aircraft was flown to Patterson Field where it was used in classified tests against the Lockheed P-80. At Patterson and Wright Fields, the aircraft was flown for a total of four hours and forty minutes over the course of eight flights. The trial flights were put to a stop in August 1946 after there had been four engine changes required during the course of those test flights, resulting in two single-engine landings.

    At that point, with the Army through with testing the aircraft, it was given to the Hughes Aircraft Company. There has been a story that has been around for many, many years, that Howard Hughes was possibly interested in entering the aircraft in the Thompson Trophy race, but that he was strongly discouraged from doing so by senior military officials due to the P-80 being entered in the same race. It could all just be nothing more than a story, but its a story that has been attached to this aircraft for a long time. While with Hughes, the aircraft's engines were run, but it was never flown. In 1949, Hughes' movie company, RKO, received permission to use it as a film prop in the movie "Jet Pilot". When filming was completed in 1951, the Air Force was no longer interested in the aircraft, so RKO donated it to the Glendale Aeronautical School for use as an instructional airframe.






    In 1955, Ed Maloney acquired the aircraft and it was put on display at his Planes of Fame Air Museum. During its time with the Planes of Fame, being a static display piece, some restoration work was performed over the years, but it was never fully restored nor operational.






  5. #5
    The aircraft was acquired by Paul Allen in 2000, for his then newly begun "Flying Heritage Collection". The project was sent to England where the main airframe restoration was performed by JME Aviation Ltd. It then spent a brief time undergoing further work at GossHawk Unlimited in Arizona before it was finally moved to Morgan Aircraft in Arlington, Washington where the final work has been taking place for the past 6-7 years. Meanwhile, all of the Jumo 004 engine researching, reverse-engineering, manufacturing and testing was taking place by Aero Turbine in Stockton, California. Although it was Paul Allen's desire to have the aircraft restored to absolute accuracy, with every detail authentic, it was also his decision to keep the fighter nose as is, rather than recreate the camera nose it once had. When you look at the aircraft up-close today, you can still see fasteners plugging the holes where the camera blisters were once mounted, where they extended aft of the gun access doors.

    Through the restoration process, the aircraft remains extremely original, with the majority of its original structure and skins remaining (just much of the steel parts had to be replaced). Every component that needed replacement is authentically accurate to that of the original component, down to the smallest piece of hardware (nut/bolt/rivet, etc.).




    These photos were recently posted on the FHCAM Facebook page showing the painting process (more than enough to give me a headache):






  6. #6
    SOH-CM-2019 WarHorse47's Avatar
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    Haven't seen a graffiti fighter before. Wonder how many cans of spray paint they used?

    Thanks for the update, Bomber.
    -- WH

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try,try again. ... or go read the manual.

  7. #7
    The Germans were "Masters" of Camouflage. That 262 is absolutely gorgeous!

  8. #8
    Hey, I was there! That's me asking Steve Hinton about flying the replica Me-262 at 1:16:40. John, were you there?



    The HE-111 that we, um. didn't see, was a fun surprise. Looked to be in great shape; full camouflage, but no national or other markings.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails me-262.jpg  

  9. #9
    That's fantastic that you were able to be there, Denny! It was an event I would have loved to have gone to (I'm very glad for the Youtube video!). I do plan to make a trip to Everett once the Stuka is completed and flying.

    Speaking of the FHCAM He-111/CASA - now, as of about a week ago or so, they were masking out and painting the German crosses on it, based on a few photos that were posted of it on Facebook (now since removed, obviously at the request of the FHCAM). They've made quite a bit of progress on the aircraft this year, since seeing a photo of it taken back in January.

  10. #10
    John, if you do make the trip out, let me know I'd love to tour the museum with you! You'll love the B-25 as well.
    Commercial AS/MEL & Instrument
    Certified Airplane Nut

  11. #11
    Will do, Rick! Yes, their B-25 is definitely the nicest one out there/most authentically-restored. I've got a folder of photos of that one, from saving every detail photo I find of it online.

    In-case anyone missed it, just a few days ago they did a full power run on the port-side engine of the Me-262, mounted on the aircraft. Although the engine had some known oil leaks and needs to be sent back to the shop again for some more work before the aircraft flies, it was fantastic to hear a Jumo 004 fully running for the first time, as well as the sound of the incredibly loud, original, Riedel two-stroke engines (that spin up to 6,000 RPM) that are used to start the Jumo's just as was done in WWII.

    Video here (the engine starts after the 10:40 mark): https://www.facebook.com/flyingherit...1141397982054/

  12. #12
    SOH-CM-2019 WarHorse47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomber_12th View Post
    Will do, Rick! Yes, their B-25 is definitely the nicest one out there/most authentically-restored. I've got a folder of photos of that one, from saving every detail photo I find of it online.
    Or elsewhere...

    -- WH

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try,try again. ... or go read the manual.

  13. #13
    By "out there", I meant compared to all of the Mitchells in the world (not just the Pacific Northwest or west coast). Although there are a few others that are also just as fully equipped/outfitted, the FHCAM B-25 is the only one that has been restored to where every part in every nook and cranny throughout the airframe is painted in the original primers and paints (or lack there of) as it would have been when it came out of the factory. I wish it had the three-piece windscreen, but as I understand it, it was among one of the production blocks that didn't have the three-piece windscreen, and ultimately the restoration was to return the aircraft to the exact configuration it had when it was originally manufactured (accurate to the airframe, not the paint scheme). It was Paul Allen's personal decision to paint the FHCAM B-25 in the markings it has, as it was the squadron which Steven Spielberg's dad served with in the Pacific (Allen and Spielberg having been good friends).

    The exterior work on my flight sim B-25J is essentially complete now (though still working on the graphics, engines and just beginning on the internals), but it is photos of the authentically-restored interior on the FHCAM B-25 of which I continue to be on the lookout for. I do have the luxury of having the B-25J "Miss Mitchell" based just a few miles from home, so I have made quick research trips when I've needed to and I have tons of personal photos of that one. Over time, "Miss Mitchell" has been returned closer and closer to fully stock/fully-outfitted configuration as well - it has gotten to the point now where just about the only things missing are the life raft compartment (of which the Minnesota Wing does have the parts for), and the original carb intakes and full compliment of short stack exhaust, otherwise just about everything else is in it now. "Miss Mitchell" is the most authentic/fully-equipped B-25 that the general public can take a ride on - featuring a working top turret ("Miss Mitchell" was the first B-25 ever restored with a functioning and correct Bendix top turret), working tail turret, working bomb sight and bomb release system/controls all setup and functioning with the working releases in the bomb bay, bomb target camera, radio operator's station, period radios and control boxes, ammo boxes and feed chutes, flares, navigational sextant, all of the period radio antennas, gun camera, etc. It's void of the original heating system as that was all taken out on the original "Miss Mitchell" during WWII to save weight.

  14. #14
    SOH-CM-2019 WarHorse47's Avatar
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    Nope. No interior pics of the FHCAM B-25. I do have some cockpit interiors of 'Pacific Princess', 'Grumpy' and 'Maid in the Shade.

    To my knowledge FHCAM has never allowed interior tours of their B-25. I participated in a photo session prior to their 2018 Skyfair, but none of us were allowed to touch any of the aircraft which were on display without any barricades.
    -- WH

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try,try again. ... or go read the manual.

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