Me 262 A-1a

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A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
This page is about the German jet fighter Me 262 A-1a. For other versions, see Me 262 (Family).
GarageImage Me 262 A-1a.jpg
ArtImage Me 262 A-1a.png
Me 262 A-1a
7.3 7.0 7.0
Research:95 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:270 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe is a rank V German jet fighter with a battle rating of 7.3 (AB) and 7.0 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

The Schwalbe in its interceptor role.

This aircraft is a true heavy fighter in every way: bomber "box formations" fall apart under your heavy rocket bombardments, flying fortresses perish within seconds by this machine's MK 108 cannons, whose unusually low velocity you will have to take into account.

The Schwalbe's instrument panel.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 6 000 m865 km/h
Turn time28 s
Max altitude12 500 m
Engine2 х Junkers Jumo 004B-1
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight7 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 824 796 12500 29.0 30.0 16.0 14.9 750
Upgraded 909 865 27.7 28.0 24.5 20.0


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1050 450 558 529 380 ~10 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 500 < 600 < 680 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Empty mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Junkers Jumo 004B-1 2 4,280 kg 287 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 16m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 45m fuel 53m fuel
720 kg Axial-flow turbojet 4,894 kg 5,041 kg 5,409 kg 5,961 kg 6,255 kg 6,520 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB / SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)
Condition 100% WEP 16m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 45m fuel 53m fuel MTOW
Stationary 910 kgf N/A 0.37 0.36 0.34 0.30 0.29 0.28
Optimal 910 kgf
(0 km/h)
N/A 0.37 0.36 0.34 0.30 0.29 0.28

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 050 km/h
Gear450 km/h
  • 15 mm Steel - Behind the pilot
  • 15 mm Steel - Pilot's headrest
  • 15 mm Steel - Between cockpit and fore fuel tank
  • 15 mm Steel - Instrument panel plate
  • 16 mm Steel x 2 - Ammunition protection plates
  • 90 mm Bulletproof glass
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 in front of pilot, 1 under pilot's feet, 2 behind pilot)

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 740 → 4 738 Sl icon.png
RB10 790 → 13 670 Sl icon.png
SB15 910 → 20 157 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications82 200 Rp icon.png
133 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 000 Ge icon.png
Crew training78 000 Sl icon.png
Experts270 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 500 Ge icon.png
Research Aces670 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
130 / 350 / 600 % Sl icon.png
190 / 190 / 190 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
8 300 Rp icon.png
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods jet compressor.png
6 200 Rp icon.png
10 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
10 000 Rp icon.png
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
9 000 Rp icon.png
15 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
6 200 Rp icon.png
10 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
9 000 Rp icon.png
15 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
R1 modification
8 300 Rp icon.png
13 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
6 200 Rp icon.png
10 000 Sl icon.png
230 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
R1/II modification
10 000 Rp icon.png
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
9 000 Rp icon.png
15 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png

The biggest issue of the Schwalbe is its bad acceleration across all speeds. Thus, Compressor and Engine upgrades have the highest priority. The cannons' stock belts are decent, but the high explosive content increases with the new ammo in Offensive 30 mm. Including them into the upgrade route is not a bad idea. The same applies for the rockets in the R1 modification. Being able to knock out bases (~40) or tanks (direct hit) with these warheads makes a long game much easier to win. New 30 mm cannons is an interesting upgrade choice as it increases accuracy above 300 m (350 yds), but the MK 108 will still be unable to hit any at 500 m (600 yds).


Offensive armament

Ammunition360 rounds
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: MK 108 (30 mm)

The Me 262 A-1a is armed with:

  • 4 x 30 mm MK 108 cannons (2 x 100 RPG top + 2 x 80 RPG bottom = 360 total)

The MK 108 has a high damage potential. With a great in-game burst mass of 14.52 kg/s (32.01 lbs/s) and the great explosive warhead "Minengeschoss" (mine-shell), this weapon will vaporize aircraft, especially bombers. But every coin has a flip side and the MK 108 is no exception. The amazing rate of fire is exchanged with a very short barrel and small propellant charges, resulting in very poor ballistics. The MK 108 cannon fires very slow shells with a great bullet drop.

The MK 108 cannons have an ammo indicator in the cockpit, which is typical of Luftwaffe aircraft. It sits directly beneath the compass (the one with the little plane in the middle). The left white column is for the two top autocannons. The right one is for the bottom two cannons; this bar is also taller than the left one as the ammo count is different for the two pairs.

The MK 108 is a very bad anti-fighter weapon particularly in a jet-to-jet combat. Bullet drop and slow velocity result in a severe difficulty leading shots at ranges above 300 m (350 yds). In dogfights where both aircraft are constantly turning and changing direction, this trait gets even worse. The high speed of jet battles push the necessary lead for hitting the target farther in front of the enemy. Training with this weapon system before getting into battle is heavily advised.

All four cannons are arranged in bundles of two mounted on the underside of the upper mounted in the nose of the aircraft. Two are outfitted with 100 RPG, while the other two have 80 RPG.

Suspended armament

List of setups (2)
Setup 124 x R4M rockets
Setup 248 x R4M rockets
Main article: R4M

The Me 262 A-1a can externally outfit:

  • 24 x 55 mm R4M rockets
  • 48 x 55 mm R4M rockets

Usage in battles

As a heavy fighter, the 'Schwalbe' is not nimble, but neither are other first-generation jets. Compared to them, the Me 262 is actually quite agile and possesses a speed, roll, and damage output advantage against certain adversaries.

However, don't be fooled - this aircraft was the first operational jet fighter. Generally, anything 3 years older than the 262 outclasses it. Against them, the 262's turn rate is your only advantage, with the exclusion of the Gloster Meteor. Avoid combat with Meteors if possible, however, if engaged with a Sea Meteor or any later variant, do not attempt to dive as it will only make your situation worse. Try alternating barrel rolls to force them to overshoot. Joystick users can try the classic trick of banking the aircraft about 120-180 degrees out of phase of the enemy aircraft with a positive G-load but as usual, they will need to watch their altitude carefully.

The 'Schwalbe' climb rate is actually not too bad as stock in 6.0-7.0 games but to climb well you need to be around 450 to 500 km/h for best climb rate which can be visually unappealing due to its low angle of climb. This in itself can be used to out-run and climb simultaneously as an advantage.

The Schwalbe has three main possible usages:

  • Air-supremacy-fighter:

Find and destroy other fighters. While the historic purpose of the Me 262 was a bomber interceptor, it performs well against other fighters. However, it must be played like a heavy fighter or, for instance, the Fw 190 series. Be careful and plan every step ahead, including your retreat and how you will regain lost energy. A standard attack looks like the following:

  1. Find a target already engaged in combat and busy or an enemy who is alone.
  2. Position yourself with either a speed or energy advantage in the enemy's blind-spot (where they would least expect you, attacking with the sun behind you is a good tactic).
  3. Proceed closer to the enemy aircraft with the energy advantage you hold.
  4. Launch a deadly surprise attack.
  5. Escape any other nearby enemies with a "zoom climb" or a continuation of the approach at your maximum speed.
  6. Once enough separation has been gained (3-5 km), regain energy by accelerating or climbing. Likewise, engaging a different target who has lower energy is an option.

These tactics are virtually the same as used by the Fw 190 series and also works on all early jets (Meteor F 3, P-80, MiG-9, F2H, Kikka, R2Y2), etc.
Against later jets, (Sea Meteor, La-15, F9F), it gets trickier as they can easily neglect any energy advantage you built up due to their superior acceleration. The approach suggested above will still work, but needs to be executed with even more caution. Having allies nearby to assist is also often mandatory in matches like these, as a single 262 bears little threat to Korean War jets.
Against these superior foes, one of the 262's lesser strengths can be used - the turn rate. For a few turns, the Schwalbe will easily outmanoeuvre most Korean War jets, apart from the naval carrier jets like the F9F Panther and Seameteor.

  • Bomber interceptor:

Seek and annihilate any heavy bombers with the impressive armament the Me 262 brings to the battlefield. Avoid getting shot at though! The 262's engines are weak and like to burn. If the engines catch on fire, throttle down and then shut off the engine (default "i") and go into a dive to gain speed. Rockets are also fun in this mode, as the Schwalbe has the option to carry up to 48 55 mm R4M rockets. Don't forget to set a detonation timer for the R4M missiles so they do not require direct hits. 600-800 m is suggested.

  • Ground attacker:

Bad acceleration and a high stall speed - usually not the traits wielded by an attacker, but the Schwalbe as two very convincing arguments on its side: R4M rockets and bad matchmaking. The 24 (48 seconds unlock) rockets can destroy light pillboxes, medium tanks and mini bases (~50 rocket impacts). Peculiar to note is the ability of the MK 108 to destroy light pillboxes. 60-80 shots are needed from a very low angle and from a short distance. Also, the Me 262 can get dragged up to games where it will face Korean War jets. One could try, as an experienced pilot, to get the best out of the situation. Those who are not as skilled at ground attacking still benefit the team; if the match starts to take longer, a ground victory becomes a viable option. The same applies if the last enemy is hiding and the tickets start to count down.

Going against other countries would bring out their jets. Other countries' first-generation jets include the F-80A-5, Meteor Mk. 3, Vampire, MiG-9, Kikka and Yak-15. The Me 262 is the heaviest of them and thus reigns straight line kinetic energy retention at high speeds.

  • Top speed goes to the F-80, followed by the MiG-9 and Meteor F.4. Not all is grim though! Both the Vampire and Yak-15 sit far at the end of the spectrum.
  • The Sea Meteor has the best acceleration in the horizontal, although it will break apart before it can reach its top speed. In the vertical, however, the weight and design of the Me 262 allow for the most rapid dive in this time era.
  • Turn rate: Do not turn in jets!, or heavy fighters like in this case. Pure horizontal manoeuvres are reserved for emergency situations and should be avoided accordingly.

As such, the Me 262 is often lacking in certain traits compared to its BR contemporaries. Always try to get a drop on the opponent and catch them by surprise rather than a straight-up dogfight.

Pros and cons


  • Heavy armament of 4 x 30 mm MK 108 cannons
  • Powerful mine shells
  • Decent agility


  • Bad acceleration
  • Bad climb rate
  • As with most Me 262s, the take-off run is relatively long
  • Exposed and fragile engines, very prone to fires and oil leaks
  • Mediocre aircraft gun ballistics: very low muzzle velocity and a lot of drag, hitting a manoeuvring target beyond 500 m is nearly impossible
  • Cannons have very small ammo count, requires trigger discipline
  • Cannons are inaccurate
  • Tends to "flip about" after doing vertical manoeuvres
  • Unusually high wing angle of attack is required for level flight at most speed ranges so aircraft tends to bleed energy easier when turning
  • Fuel feed cuts off if flying with inverted G-loads for an extended period of time


Archive of the in-game description

The Messerschmitt Me 262 was a German jet fighter, fast bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of the WWII era. It was the world's first mass-produced jet fighter and the first jet aircraft to see combat. The first serial variant, the Me 262 A-1a, unofficially known as 'Schwalbe', arrived for flight testing in Lechfeld in July 1944. The construction used generic alloys, was almost fully riveted and its weight was rather high, all for the sake of ease of mass production. The Jumo 004B-1 jet engine (later B-2 and B-3) also housed a 2-stroke Riedel motorcycle engine, used as a starter. Two small 17-liter fuel tanks were used to power the starter. The rest of the fuel was housed in the fuselage. Two main and two extra fuel tanks were used. Main tanks held 900 liters of fuel, the nose tank had 170 liters and the rear tank held 600 liters.

Radio equipment included the FuG 16ZY radio (later replaced with the FuG 15) and the FuG 25a IFF set. The 262 was armed with four 30 mm MK 108 cannon with 100 rounds per gun for the top pair and 80 rounds per gun for the bottom pair. The pilot was protected by a 90 mm armoured glass and 15 mm armoured plating on the sides and back.

The Me 262 A-1 was easier to fly than the Bf 109G. Considering the great range of available airspeeds, the cockpit equipment was rather sparse. Although the turn radius for the jet fighter was significantly wider than that of a piston fighter, it could better retain high speeds in a turn. Its acceleration was much worse than that of a piston plane, but the Me 262 had an incredible dive rate, which could occasionally threaten going past Mach 1.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Bavarian Aircraft Corporation (BFW*)
Bf 109  Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1 · Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2
  Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop · Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 K-4 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · Bf 109 Z-1
Bf 110  Bf 110 C-6 · Bf 110 C-7 · Bf 110 F-2 · Bf 110 G-2 · Bf 110 G-4
Me 410  Me 410 A-1 · Me 410 A-1/U2 · Me 410 A-1/U4 · Me 410 B-1 · Me 410 B-1/U2 · Me 410 B-2/U4 · Me 410 B-6/R3
Bombers  Me 264
Jet Fighters  Me 163 B · Me 163 B-0 · Me 262 A-1a · Me 262 A-1a/Jabo · Me 262 A-1a/U1 · Me 262 A-1/U4 · Me 262 A-2a · Me 262 C-1a · Me 262 C-2b
Export  ▅Bf 109 E-7 · ▄Bf 109 G-14/AS · ▄Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-2 · ▄Bf 109 G-2 · ▄Bf 109 G-6 · ▄Bf 109 G-6 Erla · ▄Bf 110 G-4
Captured  ▃Bf 109 F-4
  * BFW was later renamed Messerschmitt Aktiengesellschaft (AG) on 11 July 1938. All aircraft currently in production at this time retained the designation Bf while those developed after this date had the designation Me.

Germany jet aircraft
Ar 234  Ar 234 B-2 · Ar 234 C-3
He 162  He 162 A-1 · He 162 A-2
Ho 229  Ho 229 V3
Me 163  Me 163 B · Me 163 B-0
Me 262 A  Me 262 A-1a · Me 262 A-1a/Jabo · Me 262 A-1a/U1 · Me 262 A-1/U4 · Me 262 A-2a
Me 262 C  Me 262 C-1a · Me 262 C-2b
Tornado  ◄Tornado IDS ASSTA1 · ◄Tornado IDS
USA  ◄F-84F
  ◄CL-13A Mk 5 · ◄CL-13B Mk.6 · ◄F-86K
  ◄F-4F Early · ◄F-4F
USSR  ◊MiG-15bis
  ◊MiG-21 SPS-K · ◊MiG-21MF · ◊MiG-21bis-SAU · ◊MiG-21 "Lazur-M"
  ◊MiG-23BN · ◊MiG-23MF · ◊MiG-23MLA
Britain  ◄Sea Hawk Mk.100 · ◌Hunter F.58 (Swiss)
Italy  ◄G.91 R/3 · ◄G.91 R/4