Me 262B-1A Rear Cockpit

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Jun 5, 2023
I am looking for photos of a Me 262B-1a trainer rear cockpit, not the night fighter conversion or the Czech Avia CS-92 . The rear cockpit was modified when the conversions were made from a Me 262B-1a to the night fighter, Me 262B-1a/U1 and I'm not sure what mods were made to the Czech aircraft if any. There is only one trainer left in existance (Vera) and it is at the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola. FL. This plane has been restored and I have some pretty good pictures from it but would like to find WWII period photo(s). There were only about 37 trainers converted from Me 262A's, most by Blohm and Voss and some of them were again converted to night fighters. Any help would be most appreciated.
I have not seen any war time photos of the rear cockpit of the trainer. The night fighter version was NOT converted from the B-1a but from the single seat ME 262's. The first idea was a new designation for the night fighter, the B-2, but as this project was divided into two, an intermediate and a series programme, the intermediate with the fuselage of the standard single seated aircraft ending up with the designation B-1a/U1. That is misleading to a conversion of the B-1a that it was NOT.

The trainer was in the beginning produced by Blohm & Voss but as the factory was bombed out in the beginning of 1945 (17 build by the end of 1944), the trainers were built by DLH in Staaken. DHL in Staaken was also the only company making the night fighter version (the B-1a/U1). NO night fighter was converted out of a trainer!
According to Malcolm Lowe (4+ publication Messerschmitt Me 262 Two-seat variants Me 262B-1a, Me 262B-1/U1, Me 262B-2, Avia CS-92 ©2012) the B-1a was constructed from A series airframes supplied by Messerschmitt and other subcontractors with modifications designed by B&V as Messerschmitt did not supply them with any technical drawings or for that matter much help. B&V made some major changes to the airframe in order to make it work. It was intended to have production lines for the trainer but time ran out for Germany.

My bad, most of the conversions were done by DHL as the RLM came to the conclusion that B&V had too many things on their plate.

The same is true of the B-1a/U1 as the fuselage needed major modification very similar to the mods made to the B-1a. These conversions were also performed by DHL.

Lowe's book has a photo of the rear cockpit but it is a restored Czech Avia CS-92 which does differ some from the German aircraft.

Lowe brings up that it is possible that some B-1a/U1 aircraft could have started as a B-1a at DHL and then changed over to B-1a/U1 due to demands of needing night fighters (those pesky Mosquitoes) while others were B-1a/U1 from the start. He mentions that is quite possible as DHL at the time was making the B-1a.

Anyway, bottom line to your answer is no to the photos. My guess is they are few and far between if they even exist.

The decision to build the intermediate night fighter was decided on September 1, 1944 at a meeting in the Messerschmitt design office with partisipation of RLM and Messerschmitt. At a meeting in mid-September 1944 where DHL, RLM and Messerschmitt participated it was agreed that DHL should build the night fighter. Messerschmitt design office supplied the design documents to DHL on September 28, 1944. At a meeting held at DHL on October 14, 1944 the mock-up of the cockpit was discussed and it was decided that DHL should engineer the changes to the rear fuselage to accommodate the standard 600 l fuel tank from the single seated version. So the only component in common between the trainer and the night fighter was the 400 l fuel tank under the rear cockpit replacing the standard 900 l fuel tank.

DHL was ONLY making night fighters from single seated aircrafts. It was discussed in March 1945 that DHL should shift the production to only making night fighters and no trainers. This was not carried out.

In the meantime Messerschmitt design office was working on the series version of the night fighter(with a stretched fuselage), suppling the design drawings and documents on December 22, 1945. This version was probably only build as one prototype that was destroyed in a bombing raid in March 1945.

Messerschmitt design office supplied a similar design package to Blohm & Voss in the early summer 1944 for the trainer version.
Blohm & Voss was also producing complete tail sections for the ME 262.
I have been looking in vain for a photo(s) of the rear cockpit of a Me 262B-1a, not the B-1a/U1. I am currently doing a model of the last surviving B-1a and need them to get the cockpit correct. I believe there are not the same. This plane is at the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. Has anyone seen such a photo and if so is it available for copy. I have some up close and personal history with this aircraft.

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