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Many pilots of the time were the opinion that a fighter pilot in a closed cockpit was an impossible thing, because you should smell the enemy. You could smell them because of the oil they were burning.
It's unbelievable what one squadron of twelve aircraft did to tip the balance.
If we would have had the 262 at our disposal - even with all the delays - if we could have had in '44, ah, let's say three hundred operational, that day we could have stopped the American daytime bombing offensive, that's for sure.
I would like to mention that I have flown the 262 first in May '43. At this time, the aircraft was completely secret. I first knew of the existence of this aircraft only early in '42 - even in my position. This aircraft didn't have any priority in design or production.
I made a written report which is still today in existence. I have a photocopy of it, and I am saying that in production this aircraft could perhaps substitute for three propeller- driven aircraft of the best existing type. This was my impression.
I had to inspect all fighter units in Russia, Africa, Sicily, France, and Norway. I had to be everywhere.
I could not claim them because I was not supposed to be flying in combat.
And most of these pilots were lost during the first five flights.
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