With the rise of the turbojet engine during World War 2 (1939-1945), German engineers found themselves on a quest to find suitable compact single-seat, single-engine high-altitude fighter designs to take advantage of the newfound performance. For Messerschmitt, one of the roads traveled led to the "P.1092A" project which was a series of related fighter studies intended to provide a solution. The initial drawing had slightly sweptback wing mainplanes, a short, retractable tricycle undercarriage, and concentrated its twin cannon armament at the nose. Several unique qualities included an underslung turbojet housing (at the fuselage belly line) and a "V-tail" plane arrangement. This version appeared in May of 1943.
The follow-on "P.1092.1" retained much of these qualities but began the process of streamlining to the point that the nose was better contoured and the fuselage grew deeper in appearance. Additionally, a more traditional single-finned tail unit was now employed (an arrangement not unlike the Me 262 fighter jet still to come).
The next step in the series became the "P.1092/2", the focus of this article. While the aircraft stayed true to its original arrangement, the fuselage grew ever-deeper and a raised spine was apparent behind the cockpit. The nose took on a more rounded shape and the armament of 2 x 30mm MK103 automatic cannons was broadened to include 2 x 15mm MG151/15 automatic cannons - the guns installed in mixed pairs to either side of the forward fuselage (two guns to a side). The undercarriage, while still of a tricycle arrangement, was brought closer to midships while the wing mainplanes, with outboard sections borrowed from the Me 262 fighter, had sweepback mainly at the leading edge. Thought was also given to an "extended wing" mainplane as well in which the tips were lengthened for improved long-range performance.
Power was to come from a single Junkers Jumo 004C turbojet engine offering up to 2,240lb of thrust, the unit slung under the fuselage and aspirated through an intake under the nose cone and exhausting from under the tail boom. Estimated performance specs included a maximum speed of nearly 580 miles-per-hour, a range out to 540 miles, and a ceiling of up to 36,750 feet. The centralized position of the powerful turbojet would have given the fighter an excellent rate-of-climb. With the proposed "extended wing" mainplane, the same design was judged to have been slightly slower (567mph) but range out farther (602 miles) and could operate at higher altitudes (39,700 feet) to meet enemy bomber formations head-on.
At any rate, the promising P.1092/2 was not selected for additional design/development work and went on to serve the company primarily in comparative analysis in future studies all the while providing its engineers with critical experience to boot.
- X-Plane / Developmental
26.57 ft (8.1 m)
25.43 ft (7.75 m)
11.98 ft (3.65 m)
5,787 lb (2,625 kg)
8,080 lb (3,665 kg)
578 mph (930 kph; 502 kts)
36,745 feet (11,200 m; 6.96 miles)
541 miles (870 km; 470 nm)
3,620 ft/min (1,103 m/min)
2 x 15mm MG151/15 automatic cannons in forward fuselage sides.
2 x 30mm MK103 automatic cannons in forward fuselage sides.
P.1092/2 - Base Design Series Designation.
P.1092A - Base Project Designation; original design study of May 1943.
P.1092/1 - Follow-up design study with revised characteristics leading to the P.1092/2 offering.