OFFICIAL Me 262 PROJECT UPDATES

The latest production news, direct from Paine Field.

 

20 DEC 02

 

THE LEGEND FLIES AGAIN!

We are delighted to announce that White 1 took off this afternoon at 1400 local on a 35 minute test flight with pilot Wolf Czaia at the controls.

The flight was conducted "wheels down" at 2000 feet with a L-39 chase plane in trail.  By all accounts, the flight was a complete success.   Czaia rated the jet's handling qualities as "excellent."

A crowd of some 50 people had gathered to witness the event, and as such, were treated to the first sighting of a Me 262 aloft in more than five decades.

Please see the regular UPDATES page for the latest information on the flight test program!

 

 

18 DEC 02

LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been following our progress closely, and reports that all we are waiting for now is "good weather." Take a look!

10 DEC 02

FIRST FLIGHT DRAWS CLOSER  We are now in the final stages of preparing for an "official" first flight, and expect White 1 to take to the skies just prior to the Christmas holiday.  Please check back soon.

04 DEC 02

AVIATION WEEK UPDATE James C. Goodall has written a short project update for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine in anticipation of the upcoming flight test program.  You may review the contents of this article HERE.

25 NOV 02

LIFTOFF! We are pleased to report that a rather quiet and unofficial milestone was reached today when White 1 took to the skies for a brief period during a high speed taxi test. The aircraft reached an altitude of 5 feet Above Ground Level, and was an important first step in our upcoming test flight program.

18 OCT 02

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS In keeping with our usual practice of accommodating dignitaries and visitors, we recently were pleased to host two ladies with very special connections to the Messerschmitt 262 and/or the Me 262 Project:

Isolde Baur, widow of prominent Messerschmitt test pilot Karl Baur, made the trip from Texas along with her daughter. Wolf Czaia conducted an informal tour with this special family, and Isolde seemed especially pleased to see the progress that has been made on one of her "favorite airplanes."

Barbara Snyder Forer, widow of our own Me 262 Project founder Steve Snyder, also paid us a visit along with her husband John Forer. With the realization of Steve's original vision drawing ever closer, Barbara also came away impressed with all that has been accomplished.

01 OCT 02

MICROSOFT CORPORATION has taken a very strong interest in the Me 262 Project in conjunction with its upcoming release of the Combat Flight Simulator 3 software. As we noted back in July, the CFS crew even paid us a visit to make sound recordings which are to be used in the actual program. A number of relevant features -- to include two excellent video clips -- have been posted to their CFS Insider web site in recent weeks, and we would certainly recommend a visit to anyone not familiar with this site!

27 SEP 02

AIRPLANE UPDATES Both low and high speed taxi tests have now been completed on the White 1 airplane with very encouraging initial results.

Power-on milestones have also been achieved, and we are now in the process of "tweaking" the flight test instrument panel.

We have also been addressing weight and balance issues and have added significant weight to the nose section (nearly 400 lbs.) to compensate for the lack of the usual armament and munitions.

22 SEP 02

MEDIA ROLLUP Several international magazines have featured the Me 262 Project in articles and/or updates, to include ...

Classic Wings (Australia) Volume 9, No. 4 2002 issue 37 has a picture of White 1, taken by our own Nick Cirelli under the headline "Significant First Flights Looming."

Koku-fan (Japan) No. 595 July 2002 has pictures from the factory, as well as interview transcripts in Japanese.

Flugzeug Classic (Germany) July/August 2002 also has pictures from our factory, and interview transcripts (with test pilot Wolfgang Czaia) in German.

Flugzeug Classic (Germany) September 2002 has pictures our our recent taxi tests, and still more German-language interviews -- again with Wolf Czaia. Significant coverage can be found under the headline "Rolltests in Seattle."

16 SEP 02

TEST PILOT Wolfgang Czaia has been busy with taxi testing, and increasingly, with the German media as well. While the project has always been of special interest to German enthusiasts, this seems to have greatly increased in recent weeks.

16 AUG 02

WARBIRD INDEX is preparing to publish the first-ever comprehensive international registry of historic warbird aircraft, and recently featured the Me 262 Project (as well as Stormbirds stablemate Fw 190) in their Latest News section online.

08 AUG 02

PROGRESS! As we near the flight test stage, the importance and frequency of taxi testing has increased. We recently completed our third successful iteration, with plane and pilot travelling some 5000 feet down the runway.

23 JUL 02

MICROSOFT is planning to release an updated version of their flight simulator software in the fall of 2002, and recently sent a team to Paine Field to make several audio recordings of White 1 during power-on checks. These sound files will be used in the newest version of Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle For Europe, due in stores by late November.

26 JUN 02

MILESTONE It is with great enthusiasm that we report passing a major benchmark in our test program. Yesterday, White 1 successfully completed it's initial power-on taxi test, marking the first time in some 55 years that an Me 262 has moved under it's own power. The taxi event coincided with an ongoing (previously scheduled) client meeting, and was also attended by Jagdverband 44 veteran Oberleutnant Franz Stigler, who had travelled from Canada to review our progress. There was certainly no shortage of smiles here on Paine Field on Tuesday afternoon!

Video footage of this event (in .mpeg format) will follow shortly.


TEST PILOT INTERVIEW As promised, here is a LINK* to the March 16th South Whidbey Record interview with our test pilot, Wolfgang Czaia.

* Note: This file was recently moved. Follow the link to the South Whidbey Record web site, and enter "Czaia" in the Story Archives Keyword Search box to locate the document.

25 JUN 02

STILL MORE MEDIA COVERAGE When you're on a roll, you're on a roll: you can check out the latest coverage of the project in the July 1st issue of Fortune magazine on page 191 (At Last: Bird of Prey). Also, for our friends in Germany, the July/August issue of Flugzeug Classic contains an extensive feature on the Messerschmitt 262, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the aircraft's first flight. Special Me 262 Project coverage begins on page 46, and runs through page 50 -- including an interview with test pilot Wolfgang Czaia. Horrido!

24 JUN 02

FIRST FLIGHT?? No, we haven't actually sent White 1 aloft just yet, but while cleaning up the server recently, we did run across a very short conceptual animation (.avi) done last year by Sabre Design Group's own Jamie Iverson ... take a look!

MORE WALLPAPER! Here are two more wallpaper images for you to choose from, also showing White 1 on the ramp in early summer 2002.

 

22 JUN 02

WALLPAPER PHOTO In response to your requests for larger photographs, suitable for use as desktop wallpaper, we've added our first "rollout" shot of White 1. This image (below) was taken in conjunction with the recent Fortune magazine shoot, and shows the airplane essentially complete, lacking only the landing gear doors. Simply select your desktop resolution to download a correctly size background.

21 JUN 02

UPDATES We've been innundated over the past several weeks from visitors asking about site updates. Visually, much of our recent progress has been difficult to measure (i.e. one cockpit wiring bundle looks pretty much like every other one), but we have just added several new pages to the photo gallery, showing the work being done in early June.

FORTUNE MAGAZINE has published a short feature on the project to their web site HERE.

12 JUN 02

SECOND WING PROGRESSES We are anticipating having the Red Nose wing out of the wing jig and in the laydown position shortly. We will start loading our next wing later this summer.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FIRST FLIGHT(S) We've been fielding a lot of questions regarding the upcoming test flight program. There has been considerable pressure for us to announce dates, issue visitor passes, and arrange media coverage of the first flight of White 1. While we certainly understand and appreciate all of this interest, none of these actions fall into line with our current plans. We expect that our first flight(s) will actually be private, unannounced, and of very short duration. Given that the primary objective of the test flight program is to evaluate the aircraft, it is important for us to minimize these outside distractions as much as possible. After we are able to sort through the initial results, and post a few measurable successes, we will make a further determination as to how formal and public our "official" first flight will be.

Media interest is growing with both Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine keeping track of our progress. Watch for a brief feature in Fortune later this month!

04 JUN 02

COCKPITS TAKING SHAPE At the moment, our crews are engaged primarily in cockpit finish work. Instrument panel fitting and related electrical work (testing and sorting through the wiring) has been progressing slowly, but steadily.

MORE PHOTOS COMING We expect to have our first completed cockpit photos posted to the site within the next several weeks, with preliminary taxi footage to follow shortly thereafter.

01 MAY 02

TEST PILOT INTERVIEWED Our test pilot, Wolfgang Czaia, was recently the subject of a short biographical article in a local paper, the South Whidbey Record. We'll be further information on this article during the next major update in late June.

04 APR 02

LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE The project was recently the subject of a well-written article in the business section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. You can review the contents of this article HERE.

22 MAR 02

GROUND TESTS CONTINUE We've not had a great deal of news to report over the past few weeks, as engine tests and final assembly have continued largely as expected. What we do have for you this month, however, is a selection of short MPEG clips taken during a recent engine test run. At long last, you can not only see the work in progress, but you can hear a bit of it as well -- enjoy!!

ENGINE TEST MPEG #1

ENGINE TEST MPEG #2

ENGINE TEST MPEG #3

 

13 FEB 02

ENGINE TESTS NOW UNDERWAY We have yet to work up a comprehensive photo essay, but here are a pair of photos taken only days ago of our first successful engine test run. More to come!

 

The above images are thumbnailed. Click for an enlarged view.

22 JAN 02

AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY magazine recently featured the project with a short update piece in the January 14th, 2002 "Source" issue (page 430). You may read a transcript of the entire article below, or click on the image to download a larger format scan.

 

Me 262 Jet Nears Testing

Final assembly and painting have been completed on the first of five reproduction Messerschmitt Me262 jet fighters in preparation for installation of two General Electric J85 turbo jet engines (without afterburners).The airplanes are being completed by the Me262 Project, based at Paine Field, Wash. The program is led by former Boeing vice president Bob Hammer.

 

The twin-engine jets will be tested and certified in the FAA's Experimental Category by Wolfgang Czaia, a retired American Airlines captain. He said plans call for initial taxi tests and first flight of a two-seat version this spring. One of the two-seat jets has been sold to the Messerschmitt Foundation based near Munich.

That airplane will be powered by CJ610 turbojet engines, which are the commercial equivalent of the U.S. military J85 power-plants. In addition, the Foundation is assigning consecutive Messerschmitt Me262 production serial numbers to each airframe because of their authenticity.

The first two-seat fighter will undergo a 40-hr. flight test program with particular attention paid to determination of minimum single-engine control speed, overall handling characteristics and critical Mach number (Mach 0.83 - 0.86). Czaia said the airplanes are priced at about $2 million each, not including engines and custom avionic installations. Fabrication of the fighters began early in the 1990s at the Texas Airplane Factory in Fort Worth, under the direction of Herb Tischler, before they were relocated to Paine Field.

 

As expected, we are presently installing the engines in preparation for end-of month operational tests.

 


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