Production Updates from Calendar Year 1999.


26 DEC 99

  • UPDATES POSTED  It has begun ... for the very first time, we have released a series of our regular internal progress/status reports.  These pages reveal a number of specific details about our manufacturing activities and the latest developments with various aircraft on the production line.  More to come!

20 DEC 99

  • MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  New information, historical progress reports, and a series of subtle visual enhancements ... all of these features will be added to the site in a major phased upgrade scheduled to take place between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

05 DEC 99

  • NEW IMAGES ONLINE  A short series of new photographs of the project have been posted by our friends at the AvPhoto web site.  Stop by and take a look today!

03 DEC 99

  • UPDATES COMING SOON  We are presently working on a series of significant site updates, just in time for the holidays.  Stay tuned!

05 NOV 99

  • VIRTUAL TOUR  Additional images (w/captions) have been added to the Virtual Tour feature, as promised.  Standard progress reports are also being transcribed for inclusion online.

  • GRAND OPENING  After a lengthy delay, we are pleased to announce that official Classic Fighter Industries merchandise is NOW AVAILABLE on the new Stormbirds ANNEX site.  (Note: Proceeds from the sale of these items goes directly into offsetting the costs of developing and maintaining this web site.)

13 OCT 99

  • SITE UPDATES.  We have received a number of inquiries lately concerning updates on the project, and to this site.  During the last 90 days, the staff at has been busy preparing some new features elsewhere on the server, and has had to postpone some minor updates.  Our intent is to consolidate several significant updates for posting during the upcoming holiday season. 

10 SEP 99

  • VISITORS.  We continue to receive dozens of inquiries every week from folks wishing to visit to the production facility.  Put simply, we welcome visitors and are happy to oblige whenever possible.  If you would like to pay us a visit, please contact our on-site liaison, Jim Byron to make the necessary arrangements.  We are generally open from 8 to 5 on weekdays, and "drop-ins" are normally no problem.

08 SEP 99

  • HELP WANTED.  Detail work continues on the Navy jet, and you may be able to help us!  We are looking for period photographs of the Me 262s whip antenna, as mounted just behind the B-1a's cockpit.  If you have any useful leads, please contact our Technical Consultant, Richard Eger.

01 SEP 99

  • EAA MEMBERS.  Be sure to check out your September 1999 issue of Sport Aviation magazine (page 62) for a 1/2 page recap of the continuing work in Seattle.

23 AUG 99

  • USN JET.  New wing alignment and "fitting checks" continue on the original B-1a.  It now appears that this jet is destined for the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida upon completion, although this decision has no impact upon our work on the plane.  (This aircraft spent the last several decades on display outside of Philadelphia at Willow Grove NAS.)  

18 AUG 99

  • PAINT SCHEMES.  Research continues on the original colors of the Navy's Me 262B-1a.  We know from the records of its capture that that jet wore Luftwaffe markings as "White 35."  Further details to follow in the weeks to come.

13 AUG 99

  • The recent acquisition of some original pitot static system components has enabled us to begin the "reverse engineering" process for the other aircraft.  This is an important detail, as the pitot system is of critical importance to the operation of the flight instruments suite. 

10 AUG 99

  • Photographer Nick Eaton has joined our consultant staff, and will be preparing a detailed photo-documentary record of the work in progress.  The results of this project will be made available on the site.

04 AUG 99

  • PROGRESS REPORT SUMMARY.  In keeping with our agreement with the United States Navy, we have begun preparing monthly status reports for the Naval Historical Center on the progress of their Me 262B-1a.  Here is an excerpt from SR #1, released today: 

As of July, the Navy's Me 262 is being aggressively worked on.  The skin lapses on the fuselage have all been taped and primed.  

The cockpit was missing all instrumentation when it was received from Willow Grove NAS, so an original Me 262 instrument panel has been purchased and replica instruments will be made.  

The landing gear has been assembled.  There are some missing parts which are presently being fabricated.  

The horizontal stabilizer has been reassembled with a new upper skin and it has been taped for priming.  

A new wing will be mated to the fuselage in the next few weeks, and new slats, elevators and inboard flaps are presently in the works

These status reports will be sent periodically to convey the latest information regarding new events leading to a finished Me 262 for the U.S. Navy. 

Report drafted by Paul A. Ludwig, Me 262 Project staff

19 JUL 99

  • It has been one month since the passing of our former President, but the project is on very steady ground.  A recent strategic planning meeting in Seattle between CFII (East and West) and the current buyers confirmed that the project will continue undaunted and as planned.  In many respects, this gathering served as a "high water mark" for the entire effort, as all concerned were able to come together to address their concerns and hopes for the project.

  • Three of the new production aircraft remain in active, full-scale production, as does the restoration of the Navy aircraft.  Work on the remaining two fuselages, however, will taper off until buyers can be found.  Once these parties are identified and issued contracts, their machines will enter an active production stage along with the others.

06 JUL 99

  • As promised, here is the first of our "post-June 19th" summaries.

Rumor-Free Zone  

The CFII Me 262 project is proceeding on schedule, and there have been no changes of consequence since our last report.   Standard contracts remain in force, and our customers have reaffirmed their desire to see the jets completed under the terms of our existing arrangements.

Among the more creative rumors we've encountered is the assertion that the planes might be moved back to Texas.  Put simply, the project is not going to be moved, much less placed back under the operational control of the former subcontractor there.  Such speculation is irrelevant as the organization in question was incapable of completing the project to the technical standards dictated by our production agreement.

Our Seattle-based team (CFII West) continues to make excellent progress and remains engaged in an exhaustive inspection and correction process.  Bob Hammer and his band of hopelessly overqualified experts are surpassing expectations daily, and the project has never been in better hands.

CFII remains committed to the full realization of Mr. Snyder's intent for these aircraft.  We have no relevant plans, agendas or objectives aside from our stated aim to construct faithful reproduction Me 262s.  To that end, the work continues, undaunted.

The Legend Flies Again in 2000.

05 JUL 99

  • A number of rather specific questions regarding the future of the project have been received in the past few days.   Unfortunately, it appears that these are the result of some rather opportunistically-timed hearsay, both online and elsewhere.  We have no changes to report at this time, and plan to post a more comprehensive update within 7 to 10 days.

  • CFII requests the cooperation of Me 262 aficionados worldwide in politely, but decisively, dispelling these distracting rumors.  Those requiring additional clarification on a particular aspect of the program may contact us directly via e-mail.  We appreciate your continued patience as we work through this most difficult time.

03 JUL 99

  • YOUR help may be needed in clearing up some enduring mysteries with respect to the layout of our original (pattern) aircraft.   Please follow this link to view the latest assistance request from one of our Technical Consultants, Richard T. Eger.

22 JUN 99

  • Mr. Howard Snyder, the eldest son of Stephen L. Snyder, is assuming operational control over the Me 262 Project until further notice.  The family has released a statement that -- inasmuch as it is possible -- the effort WILL continue on it's present course.  No significant changes are anticipated at this time.

  • A tribute page has been posted to the site in honor of our late President.  Please take a moment and read this, as it contains answers to many of the questions we have been fielding recently.

19 JUN 99

  • A tragic flight accident early this afternoon has claimed the life of CFII's President and Founder, Stephen L. Snyder.   As of this writing, additional details were not available.  Please continue to check back over the course of the next several days for the latest developments from CFII East in New Jersey.

14 JUN 99

  • A truck containing the final two incomplete wing assemblies and an original Jumo 004 engine arrived at CFII West (Paine Field) this morning, completing the transition of major components from Texas.

07 JUN 99

  • Links were added for a newspaper article on the project that recently appeared in the Everett, Washington Herald.

  • Work continues on the vertical fin / horizontal stabilizer area, as the original components and plans are being examined to determine the precise mounting points of these components and the correct configuration of the requisite fairings and mounting plates.

05 JUN 99

  • The first few pages (some 20 images in all) of the "Virtual Tour" feature were posted, with more to follow in a few weeks ...

27 MAY 99

  • We've quietly posted some significant upgrades to the Classic Fighter Industries site over the past week, to include a series of previously unreleased photographs of the aircraft (photo pages I, II & III).
  • In early June, watch for a "Virtual Tour" in photographs of the CFII West production facilities at Paine Field. We will also be posting additional updates, new FAQs, surveys and other items of interest.

06 MAY 99

  • We are now nearing the end of our "transition" phase from Fort Worth.

    On Monday, a truck containing the fuselage for the Green Nose airplane and miscellaneous cowling parts arrived and was offloaded without incident.

    The project is beginning to generate a great deal of interest in the local area, and an interview with Bob Hammer was recently granted for publication in the "The Everett Business Journal."

    Keep a watch over the Classic Fighter Industries Inc. pages here on Stormbirds for these and upcoming updates.

03 MAY 99

  • The fuselage of the Green Nose airplane and miscellaneous cowling parts arrived via truck and all were offloaded without incident.

  • The project is beginning to generate a great deal of interest in the local area, and an interview with Bob Hammer was recently granted for publication in the "The Everett Business Journal."

24 APR 99

  • Avionics, radios and related electronic equipment have been sent out for bench testing and certification following the discovery of certain electrical system discrepancies.

  • A final rework of the main landing gear torque link bolts is underway, and assembly of the torque links is expected to be completed next week.  Wing tip drawings are nearly complete.

19 APR 99

  • The final shipments of project materiel are expected to leave the Fort Worth area in the next 10-14 days.  This should complete the overland moving -- or TRANSITION -- phase.

  • Classic Fighter's Steve Snyder and Chuck Petrie met today with former American Me 262 pilot Bob Strobell to discuss a number of technical and flight performance issues.  Stormbirds RESEARCHER'S FORUM Moderator Richard Eger was also in attendance at this important conference.

14 APR 99

  • The management team in Seattle is making maximum use of the region's rich aerospace resources through an extensive subcontracting plan.  This rather new approach (as compared to the former constructor) has already yielded excellent results.  
  • The subcontracted elevator components were received on schedule and sent through technical inspection.
  • Several nose wheel "horseshoe" braces are now undergoing a comprehensive rework to eliminate a potential retracted nose gear interference condition.

06 APR 99

  • Technical drawings for the elevator assemblies were completed and forwarded to a major project subcontractor for fabrication; meanwhile, work began on wing tip drawings, and new fuel cell purchase orders were drawn up.
  • Inventory actions are continuing each day as the last of the boxes from the former constructor are examined.  Raw materiel and special tools are also being segregated from finished parts and stored in separate locations. 
  • Some basic facility site work continues.  A caged tool room was recently constructed for the storage of pnuematic, power and other high-value tools and components.

03 APR 99

  • Obviously, it has been several weeks since the last update.  This is largely due to the fact that  reception, inventory and inspection tasks have required a great deal more time and effort than was originally expected.  There are literally thousands of parts, and each of them must be processed individually. 

  • A major site expansion/redesign is pending for mid-May.  The most significant addition is expected to be in the area of project PHOTOGRAPHS ... we are now in the process of preparing a series of photo-documentary pages to let the images "speak for themselves."

24 FEB 99

  • After many frustrating months of inactivity, we are back on track at last!  The first holes were drilled today in the left hand spar wing jig, and the spar cap was aligned in the jig and drilled up.  This action paves the way for the final preparation of the remaining wing spars, and signals the official resumption of fabrication and assembly work.

18 FEB 99

09 FEB 99

  • The preparation of specialized jigs for the elevator assemblies is now underway in Seattle.  Additionally, fabrication of various engine "accessory" components to be mounted on the Jumo castings is about to begin.   When complete, these parts will be installed on the new housings to duplicate the appearance of the original powerplant.

  • Additional information on technical and engineering aspects of the casting design  is forthcoming, and will be posted to the TECHNICAL pages, as mentioned previously.

  • The fuselage of aircraft WNr. 501241 arrived at the CFII facilities on Monday, 08 FEB 99, and was offloaded without incident.  One fuselage and two wing assemblies are still awaiting transport to complete the move.

05 FEB 99

  • The CFII Stormbird Project pages have been given a new format for greater simplicity and ease of navigation.  Several subtle improvements and updates were also incorporated. 

  • In Seattle, the move of the airframes and components to Paine Field continues.  The transition from the Texas Airplane Factory at Meacham Field is now approximately 90% complete.  (Note:  This is a correction to the original 05 FEB 99 posting.)

  • The time-consuming work of inspecting and cataloguing parts continues.  All of this information is being captured in a database to streamline the production effort.

  • Work is expected to begin within two weeks, marking the formal resumption of the production effort.

30 JAN 99

  • The aircraft PROFILES page has been posted.

  • The aircraft have tentatively been assigned the designation Me 262A-1c or B-1c (depending upon configuration).  The "c" suffix is historically significant in that it authentically reflects the change in engines on the new jets.  Wartime Me 262s were "a" variants -- or Jumo 004 powered -- while the "b" suffix was reserved for a few BMW 003 powered prototypes.  CFII has requested the formal input of Messerschmitt administrators in Germany regarding this measure.

25 JAN 99

  • The final two fuselages and wing assemblies are being prepared for shipment to CFII's facilities at Paine Field (outside of Seattle) this week.  The arrival of these airframes and flight surfaces will complete the TRANSITION phase of the project. 

  • Beginning in early February, work is to begin on the elevators, flaps and slats.  These are among the last component parts yet to be built. 

  • In response to a number of inquiries from around the world, a series of TECHNICAL pages are currently in development.  These pages will address several of the engineering issues associated with the project, especially those dealing with performance, speed and endurance.  Additional details on the modified J-85 engine installation will also be provided.  We expect to post the new material within 30 days.

21 JAN 99

  • Most people who have followed the Stormbird Project for any length of time have come to realize that each aircraft has been given a temporary color-coding on its nose cone (blue, green, white, red or yellow) for ease of identification.  However, few outside of the project have known that formal production numbers were also assigned to each jet at the beginning of the project.   When complete, these jets will formally roll out under the following Werk Nummern.: 501241, 501242, 501243, 501244 and 501245.  Ardent researchers may note that this is an intentional continuance of the original serial production numbers for the Me 262. 

  • We will soon be posting an aircraft PROFILES page, giving more in-depth information on each of the new jets.  This will be expanded as the project progresses and each machine begins to develop its own "identity."

18 JAN 99

  • The TRANSITION page has been posted, containing a few photographs from the recent move.  There is much more yet to come, and the first of the new production updates is expected to be issued in a few weeks.

09 JAN 99

  • Five truckloads of unfinished airframes and related parts have already arrived at the holding facility near Seattle.   The moving process is approximately 70% complete at this time. 

  • All parts and assemblies are currently undergoing a rigorous inspection and inventory process in preparation for the COMPLETION phase.

  • The program will be managed by retired Boeing Master Engineer Bob Hammer.  Hammer has been joined in the effort by Pat Coluccio, well known for his recent work in restoring the world's only airworthy B-17F; the "Boeing Bee."

  • Seattle is a region rich in aerospace resources.  This will enable CFII to take advantage of a system of excellent shop networks and a pool of highly qualified personnel.  This technical base will also permit flexibility in subcontracting, allowing in-house work to progress more rapidly.

  • An expert production team has been assembled to complete the project.  These technicians will be assigned by specialty (i.e. airframe, powerplant, electrical, hydraulics, etc) to the various production areas.

04 JAN 99

  • CFII has leased two well-appointed alert hangar facilities.  These 13,000 square foot structures are now undergoing final preparations, and rest at the end of a 9,000 foot runway.  They are ideally suited for the project. 

  • The first priority will be to accelerate the Navy aircraft's restoration cycle; however, this will by no means impede progress on the remaining aircraft.  The test flight program has been tentatively scheduled for late 1999.

01 JAN 99

  • Welcome to the online debut of the Official Classic Fighter Industries, Inc. (CFII) web site ... your one stop source for the latest information on the most exciting warbirds production project in the world today!


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