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Messerschmitt Me-328

Messerschmitt Me-328
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        Primary Function:
        Weight Empty:
        Max. Weight:
        Cruise Speed:
        Max. Speed:
        Climb Rate:
        First flight:
2- 900 lbs. ea.
4,056 lbs.
5,896 lbs.
2- 20 mm
440 lbs.
27 ft. 7 in.
20 ft. 6 in.
263 mph
375 mph
2,500 fpm est.
30,500 feet
350 miles

The Messerschmitt Me-328 was the world's smallest pulse jet.  Its design started in 1941. The small fighter was intended to be launched from a bomber, defend the bomber formation, and then glide back home.

Flight testing of the aircraft began in 1943. They were carried "piggy back" without engines on a mother aircraft to test their flight characteristics. In early 1944 tests were conducted with a pulse jet engine fitted on the rear of the fuselage. The wooden airframes couldn't take the vibrations from the engines and two of the prototype aircraft were lost in flight due to airframe failures. The engines were then fitted to the under side of the wings to try to lessen the vibrations. Although this helped somewhat, strong vibrations still persisted.

Even before the first flight tests were finished, the firm of Jacobs Schweyer, Darmstadt, was preparing to produce the series B. This version had the wings mounted higher on the fuselage which provided sufficient ground clearance for the Argus pulse jet engines. The program was canceled in September 1943 only to be revived again in 1944.

The Messerschmitt Me 328 was originally designed as a parasite fighter to protect Luftwaffe bomber formations during World War II. During its long development, a wide variety of other roles were suggested for it ranging from a point-defense interceptor, to a U-Boat defense system, to a ground-attack machine. Late in the war, the design was resurrected for consideration as a selbstopfer aircraft, but was judged unsuitable even for this purpose. The unsuitability of the pulse jet engines doomed the aircraft from the start.

The vibration problem of the engines simply could not be overcome and the program was abandoned in early 1944, just as production facilities were being readied to construct the Messerschmitt Me-328 at the Jacob Schweyer sailplane factory.

Messerschmitt Me-328
Messerschmitt Me-328 ready for test flight.

Messerschmitt Me-328
Messerschmitt Me-328 showing engine.

Pictured first and second below is the Messerschmitt Me-328 built by Jim Kiehl. It is powered by a couple of electric Hi-Line Red Flame Blaster fan units and has a wingspan of 42 inches. All up weight is about 30 ounces.

We received the following email:
I have attached photos of my fathers Pulse Jet and Jet Engine Version. I hope you find them interesting.
Thank you and best regards,
Gotz Vogelsang

The Messerschmitt Me-328 models built by Gotz father, Jorg, can be found in the last two pictures on this page.  Turbine power is by a pair of 22 lb. thrust AMT engines. The model weighs around 45 lbs.  We do not have any details about the Me-328 pulse jet powered model.

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Jim Kiehl's Messerschmitt Me-328.

Messerschmitt Me-328 in flight.

Messerschmitt Me-328 at display.

Jorg Vogelsang with his Messerschmitt Me-328.