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ja_62 9.10.2009 15:05 - č. 9525
ja_62 Zajímavé je také co píše Alfred Price v The Last Year of the Luftwaffe (kap. 14 - With Hindsight, s. 147-148) Úryvek navazuje na líčení toho, že v květnu 1944 začala výroba draků ve větších počtech, a operační nasazení Me 262 ve velkém rozsahu vypadalo jako bezprostředně možné.
The restricting factor was the Jumo 004 engine that powered the new fighter. The 004 was the first turbojet engine in the world to enter pilot production and initially its average running life was only about 10hr. That was too low for general service use, and until it was improved the design could not be frozen for mass production to begin. When engineers face technical problems never previously encountered, it is impossible to predict how long it will take to find a solution - hence the over-optimistic noises being made in May 1944 on when the 004 would be ready for mass production.
Much has been written about the delay to the Me 262 programme supposedly imposed by Hitler's edict that initially the aircraft be used as a fighter-bomber rather than an air defence fighter. Few commentators have considered the possibility that Hitler's edict might have been correct in military terms, and this author believes it was. If the Allied landings in Normandy had run into serious difficulties - as actually happened to American troops coming ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day - repeated bombing and strafing attacks from a few score Me 262s could have tipped the balance and changed the operation from one that just succeeded to one that failed with heavy loss of life. If the jet aircraft were available only in small numbers they were better employed as fighter-bombers against the beach-head than in high-altitude jousts with Allied fighters aloof from the troops coming ashore. Yet the point is purely academic, for in June 1944 the Me 262 was quite unready for operations in any role.
It has become part of the accepted wisdom about the Luftwaffe that Hitler's decision was instrumental in preventing the large-scale deployment of the Me 262 in the fighter force. In fact his edict was not the main reason, or even a major reason, for the failure to deploy the fighter in the hoped-for numbers. Not until August 1944 was the average running life of the 004 jet engine raised to 25hr; that was still a very low figure, but it meant that the design could be frozen and mass production could begin. In September Hitler rescinded his order that all new Me 262s be delivered as fighter-bombers. By then more than a hundred fighter airframes were sitting around without engines, and as soon as 004s became available these aircraft were completed and delivered to the Luftwaffe. In fact Hitler's order delayed the introduction of the Me 262 into service in the fighter role by only about three weeks. For the real reason for the failure to deploy the fighter in large numbers, we must look elsewhere.
As a completely new combat aircraft, the Me 262 suffered its share of teething troubles when it entered service. Despite energetic efforts to eradicate these, serviceability was poor and its sortie rate was correspondingly low during the latter part of 1944. As we observed in Chapter 8, the first Me 262 fighter unit to see regular action, Kommando
Nowotny, entered the fray at the end of September 1944. It soon became clear that the unit was inadequately prepared for combat and after six weeks of fighting, during which it achieved relatively little, Kommando Nowotny was withdrawn for its pilots to receive additional training and for the aircraft to be modified. By January 1945 more than six hundred Me 262s had been built, production was running at about 125 per month and the great majority were fighters. By then many of the teething troubles had been solved, though the average running life of the Jumo 004 would never exceed 25hr and the need for regular engine changes depressed serviceability.