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German WWII jet fighter. Night-fighter version of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the first operational turbojet aircraft and the first jet fighter to enter combat. The Me 262 was developed from a 1938 design by the Messerschmitt company. Although faster than conventional aeroplanes, it was not until late 1943 that Adolf Hitler agreed to put the Me 262 into mass production, but as a bomber, rather than a fighter. This order was ignored but when Hitler found out, he ordered an immediate conversion of all planes. Allied bombing raids destroyed hundreds of Me 262s on the ground while they underwent conversion. More than 1400 Me 262s were built, but fewer than 300 ever saw combat.
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