The Ar-234 Blitz was the first operational jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It's first combat mission, a reccie over the Allied beachhead in Normandy, took place on 2nd August, 1944. Although less famous than the Me-262, the Ar-234s that reached Luftwaffe units provided excellent service. On display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, this is the sole surviving Ar 234 B-2 and served with bomber unit KG76 from Dec. 1944 to May 1945 when British forces captured it in Norway.
A week-long Air Forces Fair held at Wright Field in October 1945 attracted more than 500,000 visitors. This is one of many aircraft seized by the Americans and brought to the USA. Several were on display at the Fair.
This exceptional exhibit is the only remaining example of the world's first operational jet-powered bomber. Although some 210 were built in the late stages of WWII, few entered service; those that did proved almost impossible to intercept. Behind is the similarly extraordinary Dornier 335