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Messerschmitt Me 282 Nachteule

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 The Me 282 Nachteule was designed as a rapid response night fighter that could be deployed from almost any location to provide a defence against bomber raids. The prototype was a success after much development, however due to the advanced alloys no more that a few were built.


 These revolutionary rotating engine nacelles were the key feature of the Nachteule. They allowed the aircraft to take off and land vertically; and thus be deployable to relatively small areas. Driving each constant speed prop were two V6 engines linked via a centrifugal clutch so if one engine failed the aircraft could still land safely. Like many wartime aircraft, it was designed for multiple power plants, and in this case it was designed for use with a jet engine. However, the prototype of this version was stolen prior to testing, crashed upon landing, and it was deemed un-economical to be rebuilt. Due to reliability issues with jets at the time it probably was for the best.


 This is the only surviving photo of the jet prototype. It was taken during the incident.


 Up front are the other key features, a powerful radar and cannon. The radar was the capable Lichtenstein SN2 set and the weapons were two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. Together these made the Nachteule quite effective against bombers, and with a good pilot, deadly even to fighters! The ability to instantly jump up and behind a target proved highly effective in trials. This manoeuvre however did eventually result in the destruction of the rotor of the aircraft used for anti-fighter trials, which later crashed while landing.


 The cockpit had room for the pilot, and a radar operator/observer. There were no plans for a rear gunner due to the rear prop/rotor.


 The wing was a simple but strong design. It was mounted in the center of gravity as during take off the tail and other control surfaces couldn't be used to balance the aircraft.



 To the rear was a balancing prop. Trials found that gusts of wind could cause lift variations so this was added to make the aircraft more stable during take off and landing. It was electrically driven and could be angled back. During forward flight it was generally left to feather, but it could be used if one of the main props failed.


 Entrance was made via this rear hatch.


 The Nachteule in flight.


Boring notes by the creator:
This was built for an Indy competition on Eurobricks that I never got around to finishing. The first engines I put together in 10 minutes as I ran out of time. The new engines use a castle piece with Technic piece going though the window.

Last updated 2 Jun 09

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