"The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber, built by the German Arado company in the closing stages of World War II. Produced in very limited numbers, it was used almost entirely in the reconnaissance role, but in its few uses as a bomber it proved to be nearly impossible to intercept. It was the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over England during the war, in April 1945."
The Arado Ar.234 was designed as a twin-engine jet bomber. Although it entered service in July 1944, numbers were limited and the plane did not participate in combat operations until January 1945. This example is on display at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center.
With a maximum speed of 735 kilometers (459 miles) per hour, the Blitz easily eluded Allied piston-engine fighters. While less famous than the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters, the Ar 234s that reached Luftwaffe units provided excellent service, especially as reconnaissance aircraft.