The ME-262 was the worlds first operational fighter. With two turbojets it had a speed of 540 MPH, and an altitude capability of 37,500 feet. Manufactured by Messerschmitt it was faster than any allied aircraft by 200 MPH. It had a slow start due to Hitler. He wanted a bomber, not a fighter. After his objections they hung two 500 pound bombs under it. He said "that’s only a fighter with a couple of bombs." In Aug, 1939, one week before the beginning of WWII, a German aircraft made the first jet-powered flight in history. It was two years before the British or American flights. Again Hitler stalled production and ordered only a few initial prototypes. Feb. 1944- allied bombing of the ME factories delayed production another few months. April 1944- the first production planes were destroyed by bombing. In Sept. 1944, the Luftwaffe’s 60 ME 262s were destroyed on the ground by allied bombers. In March 1945 the German jet fighter wing shot down six American bombers and two fighters, and lost only one 262. March 45- In the last big air combat over Germany, Berlin was bombed by 1200 American bombers escorted by fighters. Although greatly outnumbered the 262s shot down 25 bombers and 5 fighters.
The next month 30mm cannons were added plus 50mm air to air rockets. Adolph Galland scored 103 victories, mostly due to the added armament. Overall over 1400 ME-262s were produced, but due to lack of fuel less than 100 were available at any one time. The top German ace was Heinz Baer with 220 victories, scoring 16 of these with the ME -262.