The new Messerschmitt 210 (shown in the accompanying sketches) was first
believed to be an improved model of the Me-110, but subsequent developments
have shown it to be an entirely new long-range fighter and dive-bomber.
The pilot and a radio operator, who also acts as a rear gunner, comprise the crew.
Except for size, the Me-210 bears little resemblance to the Me-110 fighter-bomber. It
is a twin-engined, low-wing, all-metal monoplane with a single fin and rudder. The
noticeable deep fuselage tapers to a very slim section near the tail. The wings
have a straight taper with rounded detachable tips. As the drawings indicate, the
cabin enclosure is very humped and ends approximately at the trailing edges of
the wings. The bomb compartment, which has a normal capacity of 4,400 pounds, is in
and under the cabin forward of the leading edge of the wing. The single-strut
undercarriage and the tail wheel are retractable.
Slots are fitted to the leading edges of the wings, and the slotted ailerons
are equipped with trimming tabs. Strips are also fitted to the trailing edges
of the ailerons for trim adjustment on the ground. The wing flaps are of the
The venetian-blind-type dive brakes are located outboard of the engines, immediately
forward of the coolant radiators, and are fitted to both upper and lower
surfaces of the wings.
The comparatively large-span horizontal stabilizer is not adjustable, and
the elevators are fitted with trimming tabs.
The Me-210 has comprehensive armor protection and is believed to be
one of the best-armored planes of its kind.
The airplane is armed with five or six guns.
The fixed forward armament is mounted in the nose and is believed to
consist of two 20-mm cannon flanked on each side by one 7.9-mm machine gun.
The rear or lateral armament comprises two 13-mm machine guns 131, one
mounted on either side of a barbette which joins the two sides of the fuselage
amidships. The guns fire through blisters on the sides of the fuselage aft of
the trailing edges of the wings. The entire barbette, including guns and
fairings, rotates in elevation, both guns moving in unison. For horizontal
movement, one gun traverses the field of fire while the other
gun is locked nearly parallel with the fuselage. However, both
guns can fire together when in a nearly parallel position.
The rear gunner aims through a heavy bulletproof glass screen and controls
the barbette through a handle which moves in elevation and in traverse. The
motion of the handle is torque-amplified by an electrically driven mechanism
which drives the barbette through direct gearing. The blisters attached outside
of the fuselage turn with the barbette. They have slots in which the guns move
Two standard reflector-type sights are used, one on either side of the
fuselage. Corrections are made to the line of sight by a mechanical
vector device, the plane's speed being set manually.
This whole arrangement of the blister gun-mountings is of considerable
interest as the first known enemy attempt to produce a power-controlled
armament suitable for small and fast aircraft.