Me 262 PROJECT UPDATES ARCHIVE

Production Updates from Calendar Year 2000.

  

27 NOV 00

  • In conjunction with the recent ownership realignment, the CFII effort will soon be proceeding under a new name, presumably "The Me 262 Project."  Also, a final timeline for flight tests, etc. will be released to the public in late January 2001 via this site.  Until then, there will likely be very little news to report.

18 NOV 00

It has come to our attention that some confusion exists with respect to the present status of the Me 262 Project now underway at Paine Field, Washington.

To begin with, we acknowledge that our web site is somewhat behind in terms of providing the latest information.  There are a number of reasons for this; however, the most compelling is simply that our progress has been stalled somewhat during the past 90 days. The main reason for the delay was that a number of deficiencies were discovered in the control surfaces and aircraft systems which required immediate correction.  (These faults were the result of earlier work done while the project was subcontracted to the Texas Airplane Factory.)  Hence, we have had little in the way of new progress to report, as we have been preoccupied with inspecting and rebuilding selected components. 

As of this writing, Classic Fighter Industries, Inc. (CFII) is also undergoing a corporate reorganization, coupled with a transfer of ownership.  As many of our web site visitors are already aware, CFII's founder and CEO, Stephen L. Snyder, was killed in an F-86 crash in June of 2000.  While the project continued undaunted, Snyder's passing did require us to realign and restructure the program to some degree.  The aforementioned reorganization is the final step in this process, and we will be reflagging the effort very shortly as the "Me 262 Project."  Concurrent with this action, a new timeline is being developed for public release in January 2001.  Put simply, the flight test timeline delineated on our web site is no longer realistic, given the unforeseen events of this past quarter.

So ... the question remains:  are Me 262s still being built?  Yes, absolutely!!  We have two in active production as of November 2000, and three more in storage in a semi-completed state, awaiting contracts.  Is the first flight expected soon?  Not exactly, at least in the light of our initial goal of Autumn 2000.  We are, however, making steady progress toward this objective, and will publish the corrected data in the revised timeline, to be released in 01/01. 

This project has had a long and -- at times -- difficult history, but we are excited about where we are today, and where we are headed.  The legend will fly again ... even if it may take us a few additional months to make it happen.

30 OCT 00

  • REORGANIZATION UPDATE  As announced during one of our August updates, Classic Fighter Industries has been formally reorganized.  This realignment has no bearing upon the status of the project, nor our progression timetable.  The work continues.

18 SEP 00

  • WHY NO UPDATES? We apologize for the conspicuous lack of recent information.  The webmaster has been on temporary assignment for the past two months, and will return in late October.  We will reconstruct a chronological record of our progress at that time and update this page.  Thank you for your patience!

14 AUG 00

  • BLUE ANGELS MECHS VISIT PROJECT  Several F-18 Hornet mechanics assigned to the Navy's elite Blue Angels demonstration team recently paid a visit to the project as the guests of B.J. Johnson, a crew chief on the project.  The local newspaper covered this event in a brief feature which may be viewed online.  For more information, point your browsers to  http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/00/8/3/12837383.cfm
10 AUG 00
  • DISTRIBUTION OF LABOR  We have received several inquiries regarding the manner in which we divide our attentions between the various aircraft.   At this time, roughly 3/4 of our total effort is being put into the completion of blue nose, as it will be the first to fly.  The balance of our energies are going into red nose.  The uncommitted jets (3) remain in a partially complete -- but inactive -- status pending the assignment of contracts against them.  The final loadout of White 35 is also expected to occupy several days toward the end of August.
  • CANOPY MODIFICATIONS UNDERWAY  Material deviations from the original Me 262 design made while the project was in Texas were determined to have resulted in a potential bird strike vulnerability in the forward windscreen and supporting structure.  (This was in part due to the elimination of the 3" bulletproof glass used during the war.)  We have taken steps to correct this condition for greater authenticity and -- most importantly -- to guarantee pilot safety.

08 AUG 00
  • REORGANIZATION PENDING  As the work continues, an ownership realignment has been tentatively accepted which would carry the project through to completion.  The change will essentially be transparent, as CFII will continue to operate in much the same fashion as we have since the move to Seattle.
  • TIMELINE UPDATE  Despite some recent engine testing and component design delays, we remain largely on-schedule, with power-on tests coming in the fall.  The test flight program may be slipped somewhat, depending upon the results of these preliminary checks.

05 AUG 00

  • TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS SET  After seven long years away from home, White 35 will be prepared for overland shipment by truck back to Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania.  Airlift support from the USAF was not forthcoming, and we expect to begin this operation within the next 30 days.

26 JUL 00

  • ENGINE TEST UPDATE  Engine testing was suspended earlier in the week, pending some unforeseen inspections which must be completed off-site.  When testing is resumed in a week or so, particular attention will be paid to the impact of the Jumo 004 housing upon the induced airflow to the engine.

11 JUL 00
  • CONSTRUCTION UPDATE  Work continue on blue nose structures and the red nose wing at this time.  We have also met with the U.S. Navy representatives charged with inspection and acceptance of White 35.  The aircraft must be approved in accordance with the terms of our agreement with the Navy before final transportation plans can be made.  
  • OSHKOSH REPRESENTATION  The events of the past 12 months have precluded our making an appearance at Oshkosh 2000, as planned earlier.  The work will continue unabated; however two of our staff will attend the event as private citizens.  If you do happen to spot them in their "Classic Fighter Industries" hats and shirts, feel free to stop them and ask for an "on the spot update."

06 JUL 00

  • DESTINATION CONFIRMED  After months of conjecture and high-level negotiation, the Navy has decided that White 35 WILL be returned to Willow Grove, despite earlier indications that the jet was actually Pensacola-bound.  No word on transportation plans is available at this time, pending further contact with the USAF.

29 JUN 00

  • ENGINE TESTS TO COMMENCE  Tomorrow is expected to mark the formal commencement of the engine test program, as one of the CJ-610s is currently scheduled for test stand operations out on the ramp.  Earlier tests were postponed to allow sufficient time to diagnose and correct a few last-minute discrepancies.
  • TEST PILOT SELECTED  The owner of aircraft 501241 (blue nose) has approved a test pilot for the aircraft's first flight.  We are safeguarding the specifics of this arrangement at the moment, but can disclose that the selectee is a German national with considerable career experience in both military and commercial jet aircraft, to include the F-104 Starfighter.

10 JUN 00

  • BUSINESS AS USUAL  As the pace of our updates has slowed a bit in recent weeks, we've begun to receive many inquiries regarding the status of active production.  In effect, there is little new to report, though we promise to promptly report any changes.

28 APR 00

  • STILL MORE PHOTOS POSTED  Our series of post-restoration images of White 35 have been continued with a new three page spread, courtesy of Mr. Gary Webster of Travis Industries in Kirkland, Washington.  Watch for Mr. Webster's companion trip notes in a future update.

09 APR 00

  • NEW PHOTOS POSTED  We have just posted several new pages of images, including the first rollout shots of White 35, the original Me 262B-1a used as our template aircraft.

04 APR 00

  • PAINTING COMPLETED  The former "Navy jet" emerged from the paint hangar at Paine Field today, and was repositioned for a formal photo shoot.  Project photographer Nick Cirelli captured a series of images for the DuPont company's popular "Top Gun" calendar and for use in the company's newsletter in an upcoming feature.

03 APR 00

  • PAINTING UPDATE  Stencils, decals and Luftwaffe markings were applied to the Navy jet today.  The scheme used (White 35) is a replication of the markings the plane wore when originally captured by U.S. forces in May of 1945.  After nearly six decades, the wartime identity of this Me 262B-1a has finally been restored.  The term "Navy jet" will henceforth give way to the more correct White 35.

25 MAR 00

  • NAVY JET TO PAINT SHOP  The Navy jet has been prepared for the final step in the restoration process: reapplication of its original wartime paint scheme.  Known in Luftwaffe service as White 35, these markings will now be reapplied with automotive-grade paints graciously donated by the DuPont Company.

13 MAR 00

  • NAVY RESTORATION COMPLETE  With the completion of the Navy jet's restoration, all work from this point on will go into the completion of the new production jets.  The "blue nose" airplane (werknummer 501241) will receive the lion's share of initial effort, as it is currently scheduled for engine tests -- and a first flight -- later in the year.
  • Engineering work continues on fuel and hydraulic systems designs.

12 MAR 00

  • TRAVEL JOURNAL POSTED Richard Eger's trip diary from his recent visit to the production facility has been converted to a compatible format and added to the site.  

10 MAR 00

  • MOVING DAY  The Navy jet has left building 221, hangar bay 4, on it's way to the paint shop on Paine Field.  Appropriately, the tow vehicle was a 1942 Willy's Army Jeep, owned by one of our volunteers (see photo, below).

 

07 MAR 00

  • TRANSPORT PLANS  Negotiations are now underway with United States Air Force representatives to have the Navy jet airlifted to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida.  The proposed plan calls for transport via C-17.
  • In consideration for their support, the Air Force will tentatively be given permission to place the jet on short term display at McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington ... nose to nose with the F-22 Raptor. Afterward, the Me 262 will be loaded aboard the Globemaster III and flown to its new permanent home in Pensacola.

28 FEB 00

  • ASSISTANCE VISIT  Project consultant Richard T. Eger is presently on a five-day technical assistance visit to document the internal structure of the Navy jet, determine the original fuel system configuration, and provide general technical consultation.  He will also return with an updated series of photographs for use in the project's web site and related marketing efforts.

15 FEB 00

  • NAVY JET NEAR COMPLETION  The Navy jet (alternatively known as White 35, Vera, 555 and BuAer 121448) is nearing the end of it seven year restoration cycle, and will be prepared for painting in a few weeks.

18 JAN 00

  • CFII SITE FEATURED  We are pleased to note that COMBATSIM, the ultimate resource for combat simulation and strategy gamer's, has selected the CFII web site as their latest special feature link.  A special welcome to all of our friends in the sims community!   

 


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