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The Me 262 was the first of its kind, the first jet-powered aircraft. Although conceived before the war, with the initial plans being drawn in April 1939, the Stormbird was beset with technological (particularly the revolutionary engines) and political difficulties, resulting in it not entering combat until August 1944, with claims of nineteen downed Allied aircraft. The performance of the Me 262 so far exceeded that of Allied aircraft that on 1 Sepember 1944, USAAF General Carl Spaatz remarked that if greater numbers of German jets appeared, they could inflict losses heavy enough to force cancellation of the Allied daylight bombing offensive.
The story of how the Stormbird came to be is fascinating history, and it comes to life in the hands of noted historian Colin Heaton. Told largely in the words of the German aces who flew it, The Me 262 Stormbird provides the complete history of this remarkable airplane from the drawing boards to combat in the skies over the Third Reich. Features two forewords, one by Jorg Czypionka, Me 262 night fighter pilot, and another by historian and author Barrett Tillman.