Me 262 and Me 163 Aircraft Recognition

Recognition features for the German Me 262 and Me 163 aircraft from “Antiaircraft Artillery Notes,” HQ ETO, No. 8, December 1944:

SUBJECT: Aircraft Recognition — Me 262 and Me 163
SOURCE: AA Section, Headquarters, Twelfth Army Group

Of the jet-propelled planes now being operated by the German Air Force, two types are appearing over the Army Group area in increasing frequency — the Me 262 and Me 163, both fighters. Provisional drawings and descriptions of both those types appeared in Twelfth Army Group AAA Notes Nos. 2 & 3. German documents captured recently by Ninth US Army included silhouettes of the Me 262 and Me 163 prepared September 1944 by the High Command of the Luftwaffe; these are reproduced in Appendix I and II of this issue. It should be noted that dimensions differ very little from those given in previous publication, but certain recognition features are considerably different.

Me-262 Jet-Propelled Fighter


Me-163 Rocket-propelled Fighter



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3 comments to Me 262 and Me 163 Aircraft Recognition

  • Pat Flannery

    They did a pretty good job on both those silhouettes, particularly given that encounters with Me-163’s were fairly rare.
    The early recognition drawings of the Komet were pretty cartoonish, but one did incorporate an oddball feature that really might have worked if it had been used on the actual aircraft; the canopy was shown hinged at the rear and attached to the back of the pilot seat so that as it swung upwards for pilot escape it hurled the pilot’s seat through 180 degrees, sending him over the top of the tail fin.
    That was in a WW II era military article I once read that declared that the Nazis were “still trying to put the soup in the supermen” and referred to the Me-163 as a “hopped-up go-buggy”. What they would have made of the Ba-349 Natter is anyone’s guess. 😀

  • PMan

    Good point. The drawings are accurate enough. I don’t know why they called the Komet a “jet-propelled fighter” instead of rocket.

  • Pat Flannery

    Back in the early days, the terms were often used interchangeably, as both were powered by a jet of hot gas coming out the end of the engine.
    You will still run into descriptions of the V-1 pulse-jet powered missile that describe it as being powered by either a rocket or a ramjet.