The Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwalbe in mid-flight.
The first operational turbojet fighter aircraft in the world, the Me-262 Schwalbe, built by Germany's Messerschmitt Company was introduced in April 1944. It was a very fast plane that could intercept bombers and evade their fighter escorts. However, it came far too late in the war and in too little numbers to make a significant impact on the course of war. The Me-262 was not a very reliable plane with frequent engine failures, no doubt as the jet engine was a very new engine concept that was still in its primitive ages. However, the Me-262 still had a great influence on post-war Allied jet designs.