By Rob Arndt






Messerschmitt Me P.1073A long-range bomber project with parasite fighters designed for a range of 17,950 km (11,147 miles). This was to be used for anti-shipping in the
North Atlantic and even nuisance raids against the eastern US seaboard.

It is obvious the Josef Ernst was not referring to the bomber but the Me P.1073B on-board fighter carried underneath.



This was a low-wing design that featured an oval cross-section fuselage with single fin and rudder. The wings were swept 35 degrees. On the lower sides of the fuselage ahead of the wing roots were located the air intakes and pair of MG-151/20 cannon. The single BMW 003 turbojet was located was located in the rear half of the fuselage with an exhaust port below the tail. In place of conventional wheeled gear the Me P.1073B was fitted with a nose skid and retractable main landing skid.



Engine: 1x BMW 109-003 turbojet


Span: 4.40 m

Length: 5.90 m

Height w/skids extended: 1.81 m

Width: 0.80 m

Wing Area: 6.50m squared


Loaded: 1,620 kg



From the limited information Josef Ernst gave of the atomic power plant and power vs. the max. speed and ceiling do not line up at all. Basically he is claiming an engine of 24 inches long and with a 4 inch diameter that can produce 2,000 hp (?) which would enable the wooden P.1073B to attain 1,240 mph at a height of up to 59,055 ft!!!


Like almost all late war or early postwar Intel, either the Intel guys made some serious typos or Ernst did not know what he was talking about.


When Convair tested the XB-36H “Crusader” for a nuclear a/c concept the reactors alone weighed 35,000 lbs and had to have thick protective shielding for the crew.

Convair NB-36H Crusader test bed nuclear aircraft


While the concept of atomic propulsion is not complex -running compressed air through the heated reactor and out a jet nozzle- the Me P.1073B could never carry such a power plant, even a miniature one, nor attain that kind of performance. Even the 128 ton monster Me P.1073A bomber would have had a hard time with an atomic core.


So we are left to wonder what the real story was… but wait, here comes even more news.

The 8th Army News, Triest, August 28, 1945, page three


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As you can see by the Army Paper report, the discrepancies continue - now the atomic plane has a theoretical speed of 10,000 mph!

Perhaps that is describing another design (almost certainly); nevertheless, it is at least apparent that the Nazis had considered an atomic power plant for aircraft by 1945.


Only the British and Americans know for sure how far they really got and what the correct designations are for those mystery planes.