04/30/2008. The Messcherschmitt Projekt 1061 for a four-engined long-range aircraft was started in 1936, with on-and-off development until late 1940, when the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) issued a requirement for an intercontinental bomber. This turned the project into the Me 264 when six prototypes were ordered in early 1941. The order for six aircraft was reduced to three by Feldmarschal Erhard Milch in early 1942, with eventually only one completed and flown. The twenty-two minute first flight took place at Augsburg on December 23, 1942, with Messcherschmitt test pilot Karl Bauer at the controls.
The aircraft was damaged after the port landing gear leg failed during a landing at Lechfeld, on March 23, 1943. While being repaired the aircraft received four new engines and a new tailplane and the aircraft was flown again on May 21, 1943. At that time the interest in the Me 264 as an intercontinental bomber was fading and the Me 264 was to be used for maritime tasks.
On August 11, 1943 the aircraft was taken out of service and the original four 1,425 hp Junkers Jumo 211J-1 (Nico Braas Collection) twelve-cylinder, liquid-cooled inverted-V engines were replaced by four 1,700 hp BMW 801G-2 fourteen-cylinder, twin-row, air-cooled radials; it was flown again on March 18, 1944. On July 18, 1944 the Me 264 V1 and most of the production facilities were destroyed in an air raid and on October 18, 1944 the production of the Me 264 was officially cancelled.