FIREPOWER SERIES CERTIFIED AIRCRAFT

Messerschmitt Me 334 Interceptor

This was a design for a small tailless fighter, based on the wings of the Me 163, but with a Daimler Benz DB 605A 12-cylinder piston engine instead of the rocket engine of the Me 163. The wings were mounted mid-fuselage and were swept back at a 23.4 degree angle. The engine was installed in the nose, but drove a pusher propeller on the tail. The Me 334 would also have had a tricycle undercarriage and a ventral fin. The main landing gear retracted inwards and the front gear retracted to the rear. Intended armament was to be two MG 131 13mm machine guns. When the rocket engine for the Me 163 was ready the Me 334 was abandoned.

This design was clearly a stopgap solution and would not have been a very good fighter.  With the addition of the large, heavy engine in the plane's nose, coupled with the tremendous torque of the pusher propeller, it would have been very difficult to fly and would have required a good deal of retrimming as airspeed changed, particularly with respect to rudder and aileron trim.  Changing the powerplant from a jet to a propeller would have had drastic effects on the handling.  This "What if?" aircraft reflects this fact and portrays the plane as it most likely would have flown had it been produced, as a somewhat desperate attempt to reach the Allied bombers and shoot them down at any cost.

Pilot Comments:

"This airplane is a serious handful in a spin and isn't much of a fighter.  And the pusher prop makes takeoffs and landings real dicey because you can't flare much without striking the prop.  It's also very sensitive to trim settings; you'll need to crank in a lot of rudder trim to get it to fly straight because of the short fuselage and small tail surface combined with that powerful engine.  But it climbs well, is fast and slashes into a bomber formation pretty well.  You have enough ammo for several passes, but avoid mixing it up with the Mustangs.  They can outturn you easily.  Use your plane's diving ability and high speed to break off the fight and head for home base."

ABBREVIATED CHECKLIST

ENGINE OPERATION

This engine uses the common German "Kommandogerat" system which automates mixture control.  Mixture control is not available on this engine.

TAKEOFF (8217 lbs.)

One notch of flaps (10 degrees) may be used for shorter runways or heavy loads.  Rotate in a very shallow climb or you will strike the propeller.  The torque will pull the aircraft to the right because the propeller is spinning opposite the normal rotation.  Left rudder will be needed to keep the aircraft headed straight down the runway.

CLIMBING

LANDING (7873 lbs.)

Landing should be done in a nearly three-point attitude to avoid scraping the vertical fin and/or striking the propeller.  Lowering the last notch of flaps creates a substantial nose-up pitch and will require trimming the aircraft.

Firepower Certified Specifications: