Messerschmitt Me 410 "Hornisse" - nose section (scan - 1997)

The forerunner of Me 410, Me 210 initially had serious stability problems never totally resolved. Although 184 production versions went into service, stability still marginal. Production ceased Jan 42; aircraft it was to have replaced, Me 110, remained in service. Extensive redesign and testing of 210 finally resulted in satisfactory configuration. But by then, 210's reputation so tarnished it was decided to completely cancel program. Messerschmitt proposed modified design based on revised Me 210 configuration and DB-603 engine. Because of urgent need to replace 6000 Me 110s still in service, proposal accepted and 410 designation assigned as means of distancing it from earlier embarrassment of 210 design. Reengined 210A-0 fitted with new rear fuselage and revised wing became prototype 410; handling characteristics, although not inspiring, acceptable and production began Jan 43 of the A-1, high-performance light bomber; A-2, heavy fighter-interceptor; and A-3, photo- recce aircraft. Similar B models, with more powerful engines, built later. 410s reasonably successful against Allied bombers but were no match against escorting P-51s. All production ceased Sep 44.

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