Almost from the earliest moments of its service trials the Bf 110 had been found to lack one essential characteristic of a fighter - good manoeuvrability. The Me 210 (which originated in 1937) was designed as a superior twin-engined multi-purpose aircraft to replace the Bf 110. The outcome was similar to that of several other projects in aviation history: the Bf 110 long outlived the aircraft intended to replace it.
Somewhat similar in appearance to the Bf 110 in original prototype form, when first flown on 2 September 1939 it was found to be so unstable that the twin fin/rudder tail unit (borrowed from its predecessor) was replaced by a more conventional large single fin and rudder. Despite this and other modifications, stability was still very marginal. Although introduced into operational service in Me 210A, B and C versions from early 1941, most were being replaced within two years.
What a dog! This plane failed comprehensively in all areas. The Luftwaffe took 90 German built Me 210 A and a further 108 Hungarian built Me 210 Ca-1. The Royal Hungarian Air Force took 179 Hungarian built Me 210 Ca-1. The Imperial Japanese Army took delivery of one Me 210 A, delivered by U Boat, for the testing unit of the First Tachikawa Air Army Arsenal.
Me 210 early model
Power 2 x 1,322 h.p. Daimler Benz 601F inverted V12 liquid cooled engines.
Crew 2 Span 53'7" Length 36'10" Height 12'2" Wing area 390 sq ft Empty weight 15,586 lb Max take off weight 21,938 lb
Max speed 350 mph at 17,800 ft Range 1,130 miles Service ceiling 29,200 ft
Armament 2 x 20 mm MG 151 /20 cannons. 2 (later 4) x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns one each firing out of FDSL 131 /1B remotely operated turret 2 x 1,100 lb, or 2 x 550 lb, or 8 x 110 lb bombs carried internally.