16 May 2019
Me 264: The Teutonic Superfortress
The Messerschmitt Me 264 is a German strategic bomber, initially developed during the late 1930s as a long-range reconnaissance aircraft. In the upcoming update 1.89, pilots may look forward to getting the chance to fly aircraft of the well-known German Amerikabomber project!
Briefly: A German WWII heavy bomber, capable of carrying a bomb load of up to 4 tons!
Development of the Me 264 began in the late 1930s when Messerschmitt conducted work on developing a long-range reconnaissance aircraft, designated P.1061. In early 1941, six prototypes of the P.1061 were ordered and the aircraft received the formal designation of Me 264. However, the initial order for six prototypes would shortly afterwards be dropped to three.
Progress on constructing the ordered prototypes was slow at start, but development quickly picked up the pace with the start of the Amerikabomber project in spring 1942. The project called for new very long range strategic bomber designs, resulting in several designs being proposed, among them also the Me 264.
It soon became clear that despite all the advantages of the Me 264 the aircraft would not be able to demonstrate acceptable flight characteristics due to the lack of more powerful engines at that time. Apart from the Amerikabomber project, the Me 264 was also briefly considered by the Kriegsmarine as a possible replacement for the dated Fw 200 in the maritime reconnaissance role.
The first and only prototype of the Me 264 which saw completion, flew on 23 December 1942. While undergoing modifications, the Me 264 project had its further development halted, with the sole completed prototype being used as a transport machine. In 1943, the second prototype was destroyed during an allied bombing raid. The same fate also struck the first and unfinished third prototype in July 1944. After all prototypes were lost, the Me 264 project was officially cancelled in September 1944.
Me 264: Strategic heavy bomber, Germany, Rank IV
- Decent payload
- Deadly defensive weapons
- Low speed and poor climb rate
- Large target
In War Thunder, the Me 264 will be a new heavy bomber, coming to rank IV in the German aviation tree with the upcoming update 1.89. Compared to the existing He 177, the Me 264 offers a more ‘slow and steady’ approach, due to its larger size and rather cumbersome flight characteristics, but retains excellent defensive capabilities as well as payload options.
Fun Fact: The Me 264 was the first aircraft in the world to incorporate integrated wing fuel tanks into its design. This feature has become the standard for most modern aircraft today.
The Me 264 is powered by four Junkers Jumo 213, which allows the aircraft to reach a maximum speed of 520 km/h at an altitude of 6000 meters.
Protecting the aircraft from hostile attacks are a number of defensive turrets scattered around the fuselage. That being said, the Me 264 has access to four 13mm MG131 heavy machine guns as well as two 20mm MG151 cannons which will be sure to make any attack run a daring undertaking to say the least. However, certain blind spots in the aircraft’s defenses, such as directly beneath it, can become a serious problem if the enemy is aware and takes advantage of it, so aspiring pilots of this aircraft should bare this drawback in mind!
Last but not least, the Me 264’s bomb load, while not as impressive as that of the He 177, is still quite considerable and will most certainly be responsible for causing ample destruction among the enemy lines. With its total payload going up to 4,4 tons, pilots of the Me 264 can choose between a variety of different bomb calibers and ordnance presets, ranging from 250kg bombs to the mighty 1,800kg SC1800 bomb!
The War Thunder Team
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