Messerschmitt Me 410
DB 603A V-12
2 x 1,850 h.p. ea.
4- 20 mm
2- 13 mm and 2- 7.73 mm
4- 8 inch
40 ft. 11 in.
53 ft. 8 in.
Messerschmitt Me 410 aircraft were a continuation of their twin engine line of heavy fighter aircraft.
Original prototypes of the aircraft had unstable flight characteristics. However, the Luftwaffe was confident that these problems could be solved and placed a production order for 200 of the aircraft.
Eventually the Messerschmitt Me 410 was modified with more powerful engines, a longer rear fuselage, and wing slats to make the aircraft more stable in flight.
Messerschmitt Me 410 aircraft were originally used on night bombing missions over England when they were first deployed in 1943. Later missions employed them as interceptors, first over the Mediterranean theatre, then the Eastern Front, and eventually over their German homeland.
One version of the Me 410 was armed with a 50 mm cannon carrying 21 rounds of ordnance. It added 1,984 lbs. to the weight of the aircraft and had an enormous recoil. The idea was to be able to fire at bomber aircraft from beyond the range of their 12.7 mm machine guns. However, the lack of maneuverability of the aircraft, the short amount of ammunition, and frequent jamming of the cannon, kept this version from being effective
Messerschmitt Me 410 aircraft were initially effective against unescorted bombers. However they were at a distinct disadvantage against quicker and more maneuverable fighter escorts.
Over 1,100 Messerschmitt Me 410 aircraft of all types were produced.