Messerschmitt Me 261

The Messerschmitt Me 261 was a twin-engine German aircraft of the Second World War. It did not come to the prototype status beyond.


The Me 261 was designed in the design offices at Messerschmitt originally for a record flight from Berlin to Tokyo. The Olympic flame should be transported. After the use was intended as a reconnaissance and vans. But the project is no particular urgency was attributed. Nevertheless, a prototype on 25 November 1940, its first flight. The fact that you had chosen 606 engine at the engine for the new and untried Daimler- Benz DB, a possible serial production prevented over again. After the destruction of the prototype V3 in July 1943 the project without militarily usable results was adjusted. No Me 261 ever manufactured in series.

The Messerschmitt 261 was planned as a cantilever mid-wing monoplane. The drive in the prototype V1 & V2 was carried out by two Daimler- Benz DB 606 A / B engines each with 2700 hp starting power. Typical of the appearance of the Me - 261 prototypes were the tail wheel and the elongated shape with the broad wings. The aim of the development of this long-haul aircraft in all-metal construction were a range of 11,000 kilometers and a speed of about 600 km / h

Built aircraft

Me 261 V1

This first prototype had its maiden flight on 23 December 1940. Due to numerous problems in developing a series precursor, the aircraft could be transferred only on 2 October 1941, the test site Rechlin. However, it was not yet operational, tank and engine mount would have required heavy modifications.

Me 261 V2

The first flight of the second prototype was on 25 November, 1942 but further testing was due to shortage of engines forward barely. End of 1942, the testing of this aircraft had no urgency for the Supreme Command of the Air Force. Available resources were used for aircraft that have already been made ​​. 1945, the remains of this aircraft were captured by the Americans in Lechfeld.

Me 261 V3

The third machine was modified so that the wings were enlarged. A test flight was carried out on this prototype on 15 October 1942. The V3 was the most tested aircraft, on him the hitherto largely untested DB 610 engines were tested for their continuous load. In July 1943, the V3 rolled over on landing. It was never rebuilt.


  • Wingspan: 26.87 m
  • Length: 16,675 m
  • Height: 4.72 m
  • Engine: V1/V2: 2x Daimler- Benz DB 606 A / B with 2700 hp starting power
  • Engine: V3: 2x Daimler- Benz DB 610 A-1/B-1 2900 hp starting power
  • Max Speed ​​: V1/V2: 585 Km / h, V3: 620 km / h
  • Reach at an airspeed of 400 km / h: 11,000 km