Messerschmitt Me410 Hornisse A-1/U2 Werk Nummer 420430

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Messerschmitt Me410 Hornisse

One of just two surviving Me410s, this one is at the RAF Museum in Cosford. The other is currently in deep storage at the American National Air and Space Museum.

Note the bomb bay beneath the nose.

The Me410 was known as a Zerstörer (destroyer). Their role was as a light bomber or a bomber destroyer (see contemporary photo below).

The Me410 was the final version of the Me210 which had been dogged by design flaws.

Me210s were so notoriously dangerous, killing numerous test pilots and crews, that the final version had its name changed from 210 to 410 to avoid the bad association.

The delays in getting the design right played a significant part in Germany’s defeat in the air; so much time and money was spent on trying to fix the problems that by the time the Me410 became operational in 1943 it was already outdated and could not compete with the long range P51 Mustangs defending American bomber streams.



Below; image from wikipedia, caption reads
A Messerschmitt Me 410 with a BK 5 heavy autocannon peels off from attacking a 388th Bomb Group B-17 over Europe during the USAAF campaign against Germany, 1943

See this pdf for full history of A-1/U2…

22 comments on “Messerschmitt Me410 Hornisse A-1/U2 Werk Nummer 420430
  1. salfordlad1 says:

    Brilliant – wonderful details you’ve given us again..I can honestly say I never read as much about the war as I do now, thanks to your stream..

    • Joe Lonzello says:

      Just ran across this video for forst time !
      Simply amazing. I have been to Wright Paterson AF Museum but dont recall them having one…

  2. southseadave says:

    Nice bit of word and picture history Ian.

  3. Mustang Koji says:

    I didn’t know the 410 was a direct successor to the 210…until now. Thanks, Ian.

  4. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Oh wow, great history lesson again Ian, so informative. My knowledge must be severly limited as I only really know the Me109 and Me110 from my airfix days. Keep up the great work, always a pleasure visiting your stream

  5. Steve Graham (formerly 'grahamsj3) says:

    Great series of shots and the details make the shots so much more interesting.

  6. stopherjones says:

    I guess everything was developing so fast back then that you really didn’t have time to get things wrong and go back and get them right. Strange to see the bomb doors at the front too

  7. bill_fawcett says:

    Very nice pov and interesting history write-up.

  8. Highy says:

    Great stuff mate, a rare bird indeed. Some good notes there and that bottom shot is fantastic. I can only admire the photographer’s composure to nail that as they were being attacked.

  9. S Cansfield says:

    Very informative!

  10. pasujoba says:

    Brilliant stuff Ian . That engine run is really something . I suppose it will be a very long time before they run again ..if ever . They dont sound as good as merlins do they , a bit tinny by comparison .

  11. Steve Graham (formerly 'grahamsj3) says:

    [] I’m partial to the sound of radial engines…they just seem to have a "throaty roar" that’s lacking from any inline engine. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder in this case…LOL.

  12. cgullz says:

    very interesting info and nice to have a series of shots for added value – that top shot though, wicked perspective – the thing just looms out at you, bulky and imposing indeed. crazy to think that there are only 2 surviving and neither is in Germany! … as for the fact that it was outdated on issue, i think there was a few allied aircraft the same, unsafe for crew and for operations!

  13. bazylek100 says:

    A precious exhibit! One of those lesser-known Luftwaffe fighters.
    Generally, the idea of two-engine fighters (maybe except P-38) proved to be rather mistaken. Ironically, the short 1939 campaign in Poland confirmed the Germans in their opinion that Me-110 is a good fighter design with a great potential for further development. But they didn’t take into account the fact that outdated Polish interceptors were too lightly armed and way too slow (375 km/h max speed) to pose a serious threat for Me-110s. Soon the Battle of Britain proved the Luftwaffe was wrong and Me-110 was of no match for modern and fast single-engine fighters.

    I’m wondering what was the real purpose of those white spirals painted on spinners. Was it purely decorative? Or maybe it was for quick identification, like bright yellow wing leading edges in the IJNAF? Because I don’t believe the spinning spirals were to hypnotise enemy tail gunners 🙂

    Good job with the selective colour in the two pictures in the comment. Aviation museums are always so packed with exhibits that it’s hard to take a photo without dozens of distracting elements in the background. Selective colour works fine!

  14. Ian D B says:

    [] Thanks Robin! Mosquitos were very succesful I suppose though they had a similar role to the Bf110. But you are quite right, 110s were shot down in huge numbers, along with Stukas which had ruled the skies over Europe but not over the English Channel!

    I don’t know about the spiral on the spinners. I have wondered that myself. Maybe it is an additional warning to ground crews that the engines are running?

    Glad you noticed the selective colouring. That is exactly why I do it, museums are not easy places to photograph in.

    [] Thank you!
    [] [] Interesting. My personal preference is for the Merlin. In fact, to be precise the Packard Merlin of a P51D combined with the howl as it dives down…..!
    [] Yeah most of the bombers were too slow or underarmed, things developed really quickly. It’s one reason why those arguments people have on Youtube about whether the P51 was better than the Spitfire or whatever are pointless; they were designed at different times for different jobs.

  15. amyrey says:

    I’m thinking there must be a technical term for the center bit of his propeller… the cone shaped bit. Anyway, I like the whirly white bit on it.

  16. gregduce says:

    There is a Me 410 fuselage and tail on display at the Technik Museum in Berlin. No sign of any wings though!

  17. Robert Williams says:

    Hello again Ian, I remember this very well, I was filming off the starboard

    Engine. Was amazed to hear inertia starter winding up then start, whistling superchargers, DB engines just fab making the hair on my neck stand. You must have filmed the FW 190 running as well? Two ground crew working hard on manual crank! Never seen the JU 87 or the defiant running. St athan was a fab day out, remember in 60s lighting off the Bristol channel going through the sound barrer, we thought a bomb had exploded. Keep your fab work!

  18. Robert Williams says:

    Apologies forgot to mention, I believe this aircraft was one off 3 that was flown into Farnborough for evaluation. The other 2 were scrapped.

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