Could the Me262 break the sound barrier

Hans Guido Mutke (* March 25, 1921 in Neisse; † April 8, 2004 in Munich) served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force during World War II, worked as a commercial pilot after the war and later worked as a doctor in aviation medicine.

Mutke claimed that on April 9, 1945 he broke the sound barrier over Innsbruck with his Messerschmitt Me 262 when he wanted to help a comrade attacked by Allied aircraft and carried out a dive to do so. Mutke always considered it possible that other pilots of the Me 262 could have succeeded in doing this before him, so he never explicitly claimed to have been the first person to break the sound barrier with an airplane.

After the war

After the war, based on findings from the war and pre-war periods, there were a number of attempts at the sound barrier. Some advanced English projects (Miles M.52, Bristol 188) were discontinued, another (De Havilland D.H.108) ended in crashes (breakage of the wing, oxygen supply). Essential elements of these projects and the German research and developments were handed over to American companies and were later found in the American X-1 and the subsequent jet fighter developments (e.g. Saber, Mig-15).

In some sources there are also rumors about a Soviet supersonic flight with the German research aircraft DFS 346. As with the Me262 flight Mutkes, however, there is no evidence here either. The history of the other first supersonic flights, for example with jet propulsion (De Havilland), at sea level, without afterburner, in straight flight, in a commercial aircraft, etc. can be found under supersonic flight.

Hans Guido Mutke died on April 8, 2004 during heart surgery. He had given his body to the corpse plastinator Gunther von Hagens.

Category: Medic (20th Century)