Jets and rocket-propelled aircraft

Arado Ar 234

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 thereconnaissance 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 Ar 234 was commonly known as Blitz ("lightning"), although this name refers only to the B-2 bomber variant,[citation needed] and it is not clear whether it derived from the informal term Blitz-Bomber (roughly, "very fast bomber") or was ever formally applied.[citation needed] The alternate name Hecht ("pike") is derived from one of the units equipped with this aircraft, Sonderkommando Hecht

In autumn 1940, the Reich Air Ministry (German: Reichsluftfahrtministerium, abbreviated RLM) offered a tender for a jet-powered high-speed reconnaissance aircraft with a range of 2,156 km (1,340 mi). Arado was the only company to respond, offering their E.370 project, led by Professor Walter Blume. This was a high-wing conventional-looking design with a Junkers Jumo 004 engine under each wing.

The projected weight for the aircraft was approximately 8 tonnes (7.9 long tons; 8.8 short tons). In order to reduce the weight of the aircraft and maximize the internal fuel, Arado did not use the typical retractable landing gear; instead, the aircraft was to take off from a jettisonable three-wheeled, nosegear-style trolley[2] and land on three retractable skids, one under the central section of the fuselage, and one under each engine nacelle.

Arado estimated a maximum speed of 780 km/h (480 mph) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft), an operating altitude of 11,000 m (36,000 ft) and a range of 1,995 km (1,240 mi). The range was short of the RLM request, but they liked the design and ordered two prototypes as the Ar 234. These were largely complete before the end of 1941, but the Jumo 004 engines were not ready, and would not be ready until February 1943. When they did arrive they were considered unreliable by Junkers for in-flight use and were only cleared for static and taxi tests. Flight-qualified engines were finally delivered that spring, and the Ar 234 V1 made its first flight on 15 June 1943 at Rheine Airfield.

By September, four prototypes were flying. The second prototype, Arado Ar 234 V2, crashed 2 October 1943 at Rheine near Münsterafter suffering a fire in its port wing, failure of both engines and various instrumentation failures, the aircraft diving into the ground from 4,000 ft (1,200 m), killing pilot Flugkapitän Selle.[3] The eight prototype aircraft were fitted with the original arrangement of trolley-and-skid landing gear, intended for the planned operational, but never-produced Ar 234A version.

The sixth and eighth of the series were powered with four BMW 003 jet engines instead of two Jumo 004s, the sixth having four engines housed in individual nacelles,[4] and the eighth flown with two pairs of BMW 003s installed within "twinned" nacelles underneath either wing. These were the first four-engine jet aircraft to fly. The Ar 234 V7 prototype made history on 2 August 1944 as the first jet aircraft ever to fly a reconnaissance mission, flown by Erich Sommer.

Ar 234B
The RLM had already seen the promise of the design and in July had asked Arado to supply two prototypes of a Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") version as the Ar 234B. Since the aircraft was very slender and entirely filled with fuel tanks, there was no room for an internal bomb bayand the bombload had to be carried on external racks.

Since the cockpit was directly in front of the fuselage, the pilot had no direct view to the rear, so the guns were aimed through a periscope, derived from the type used on German World War II tanks, mounted on the cockpit roof. The defensive fixed rear gun system was generally considered useless and it was omitted in production examples of the Ar 234B, while still retaining the periscope for rearwards vision. The external bombload, and the presence of inactive aircraft littering the landing field after their missions were completed (as with the similarly dolly/skid-geared Messerschmitt Me 163) made the skid-landing system impractical, so the B version was modified to have fully retractable tricycle landing gear, with the mid-fuselage very slightly widened to accommodate the retracted main gear units. The ninth prototype, marked with Stammkennzeichen (radio code letters) PH+SQ, was the prototype Ar 234B, and flew on 10 March 1944.

Production B-series aircraft (like the Ar 234 V9) were slightly wider at mid-fuselage to house the main landing gear, with a fuel tankpresent in the mid-fuselage location on the eight earlier trolley/skid equipped prototype aircraft having to be deleted for the retracted main gear's accommodation, and with full bombload, the aircraft could only reach 668 km/h (415 mph) at altitude. This was still better than any bomber the Luftwaffe had at the time, and made it the only bomber with any hope of surviving the massive Allied air forces. The normal bombload consisted of two 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs suspended from the engines or one large 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bomb semi-recessed in the underside of the fuselage with maximum bombload being 1,500 kg (3,310 lb). If the war had continued it is possible that the aircraft would have been converted to use examples of the FuG 203 Kehl MCLOS radio guidance system to deploy and control theFritz X guided bombs or Henschel Hs 293 air-to-surface missiles.

Production lines were already being set up, and 20 B-0 pre-production aircraft were delivered by the end of June. Later production was slow, however, as the Arado plants were given the task of producing aircraft from other bombed-out factories hit during the USAAF's Big Week, and the ongoing license-building and nascent phasing-out of the Heinkel heavy He 177A bomber, even as the Arado firm was intended to be the sole subcontractor for the He 177B-series aircraft, meant to start construction at Arado as early as October 1944.[6]Meanwhile, several of the Ar 234 prototypes - including a few of the surviving eight "trolley-and-skids" Ar 234A-series prototypes - were sent forward in the reconnaissance role. In most cases, it appears they were never even detected, cruising at about 740 km/h (460 mph) at over 9,100 m (29,900 ft), with the seventh prototype achieving the first-ever wartime reconnaissance mission over the United Kingdom by a Luftwaffe-used jet aircraft.

The few 234Bs entered service in the autumn and impressed their pilots. They were fairly fast and completely aerobatic. The long takeoff runs led to several accidents; a search for a solution led to improved training as well as the use of rocket-assisted takeoff. The engines were always the real problem; they suffered constant flameouts and required overhaul or replacement after about 10 hours of operation.

The most notable use of the Ar 234 in the bomber role was the attempt to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen.[7] Between 7 March, when it was captured by the Allies, and 17 March, when it finally collapsed, the bridge was continually attacked by Ar 234s of III/KG 76 carrying 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombs. The aircraft continued to fight in a scattered fashion until Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945. Some were shot down in air combat, destroyed by flak, or "bounced" by Allied fighters during takeoff or on the landing approach, as was already happening to Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters. Most simply sat on the airfields awaiting fuel that never arrived.

Overall from the summer of 1944 until the end of the war a total of 210 aircraft were built. In February 1945, production was switched to the C variant. It was hoped that by November 1945 production would reach 500 per month.

In addition, it was intended to modify upwards of 30 Ar 234B-2 airframes for the night-fighting role, from a proposal dated September 12, 1944 between Arado director Walter Blume and Goering's top aviation technologist, Siegfried Knemeyer.[8] These so-called Nachtigall(Nightingale) aircraft were fitted with FuG 218 "Neptun" VHF-band radar and carried a pair of forward-firing MG 151/20 autocannon within a Magirusbombe conformal gun pod on the ventral fuselage hardpoint. A second crewmember, who operated the radar systems, was accommodated in a very cramped compartment in the rear fuselage. Two of these jury-rigged night fighters served with Kommando Bonow, an experimental test unit attached to Luftflotte Reich. Operations commenced with the pair of 234s in March 1945, but Bonow's team soon found the aircraft to be unsuited for night fighting and no kills were recorded during the unit's very brief life.

Arado E.555

The Arado E.555 was a bomber proposed by the German Arado company in response to the Amerika Bomber project.
This was an initiative of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Germany Air Ministry), RLM, to obtain a long-range bomber for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the continental United States from Germany. Requests for designs were made to the major German aircraft manufacturers early in World War II, long before the US had entered the war.

There were a several different configurations of the design considered, the most striking being the E.555-1. This was a six-jet, angularflying wing design, with remotely-operated turrets, and capable of carrying a large payload. All of these projects were deemed too expensive and ambitious and were abandoned in late 1944.Arado E.555 ISix engineArado E.555 IIFour-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 IIITwo-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 IVThree-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 V[1]Arado E.555 VIThree-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 VIIThree-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 VIIIThree-engine flying bomberArado E.555 IXThree-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 XThree-engine flying wing bomberArado E.555 XIFour-engine bomber

Crew: 2-3
Payload: 8,816-13,224 lbs of bombs ()
Length: 28 ft 10.5 in-82 ft 8 in ()
Wingspan: 69 ft 6.5 in-103 ft 4 in ()
Height: 11 ft 11.5 in-13 ft 5.5 in ()

Bachem Ba 349

The Bachem Ba 349 Natter (English: Viper, Adder) was a World War IIGerman point-defence rocket powered interceptor, which was to be used in a very similar way to a manned surface-to-air missile. After vertical take-off, which eliminated the need for airfields, the majority of the flight to the Allied bombers was to be controlled by an autopilot. The primary mission of the relatively untrained pilot, perhaps better called a gunner, was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets. The pilot and the fuselage containing the rocket motor would then land under separate parachutes, while the nose section was disposable. The only manned vertical take-off flight on 1 March 1945 ended in the death of the test pilot Lothar Sieber.

In 1943 with Luftwaffe air superiority being challenged by the Allies even over the Reich, radical innovations were required to overcome the crisis. Surface-to-air missiles appeared to be a promising approach to counter the Allied strategic bombing offensive and a variety of projects started, but invariably problems with the guidance and homing systems prevented any of these from attaining operational status. Providing the missile with a pilot, who could operate a weapon during the brief terminal approach phase, offered a solution. Submissions for a simple target defence interceptor were requested by theLuftwaffe in early 1944 under the umbrella of the "Emergency Fighter Program". A number of simple designs were proposed including theHeinkel P.1077 Julia, in which the pilot had a prone accommodation (lying on his stomach) to reduce the frontal area. The Julia was the front-runner for the contract. The initial plan was to launch the aircraft vertically, but later this concept was changed to a conventional horizontal take-off from a tricycle-wheeled trolley, similar to that used by the first eight prototypes of the Arado Ar 234 jet reconnaissance bomber.
Erich Bachem's BP-20 (Natter) was a development from a design he had worked on at Fieseler, the Fi 166 concept, but considerably more radical than the other submissions.It was built using glued and nailed wooden parts with an armour plate bulkhead and bulletproof glass windshield at the front of the cockpit. The initial plan was to power the machine with a Walter HWK 109-509 A2 rocket motor, however, only the 109-509 A1 unit was available as used in the Me 163 rocket aircraft. It had a sea level thrust of 1,700 kg. Four Schmidding SG34 solid fuel rocket boosters were also used at launch to provide an additional thrust of 1,200 × 4 = 4,800 kg for 10 seconds before they were jettisoned. The experimental prototypes slid up a 20 m high vertical steel launch tower for a maximum sliding length of 17 m in three guideways, one for each wing tip and one for the lower tip of the ventral tail fin. By the time they left the tower it was hoped that the aircraft would have achieved sufficient speed to allow their aerodynamic surfaces to provide stable flight.

Under operational conditions once the Natter had left the launcher it would be guided to the proximity of the Allied bombers by an autopilot with the possibility of added beam guidance similar to that used in some V-2 rocket launches. Only then would the pilot take control, aim and fire the armament, which was originally proposed to be a salvo of 19 R4M rockets.[9] Later, 28 R4Ms were suggested,[10] with another source stating that the similar Henschel Hs 297 Föhn unguided rocket was meant to be used in the nose-mounted launch tubes. The Natter was intended to fly up and over the bombers, by which time its Walter motor would probably be out of propellants. The pilot would dive his Natter, now effectively a glider, to an altitude of around 3,000 m, flatten out, release the nose of the Natter and a small braking parachute from the rear fuselage. The fuselage would decelerate and the pilot would be ejected forwards by his own inertia and land by a personal parachute.

In an early proposal in August 1944, the Natter design had a concrete nose and it was suggested that the machine might ram a bomber, but this proposal was subsequently withdrawn in later Project Natter outlines. Bachem stated clearly in the initial proposal that the Natter was not a suicide weapon and much effort went into designing safety features for the pilot.[9] However, owing to the potential dangers for the pilot inherent in the operation of this precarious aircraft, the Natter is sometimes listed as a suicide craft.[11] The design had one decisive advantage over its competitors – it eliminated the necessity to land an unpowered gliding machine at an airbase, which, as the history of the Me 163 rocket aircraft had clearly demonstrated, made an aircraft extremely vulnerable to attack by Allied fighters.

Bachem's design caught the eye of Heinrich Himmler. The Reichsführer-SS granted Bachem an interview and fully supported the project. In the middle of September 1944 the Technical Office of the Waffen-SS made an order for Bachem to develop and manufacture the Natter at his Waldsee factory.[12] In December 1944 the project came largely under the control of the SS and Hans Kammler.[13]This decision is said to have been the only time the SS significantly interfered with aircraft design and air fighting strategy.[14] Early in the project the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) undertook an engineering assessment of the Natter, which it reported on 28 October 1944.[15] Various stringent economies were imposed on an already frugal design.

The Natter had no landing gear, which saved weight, expense and construction time. Consequently one of the most unusual features of the machine was the escape of the pilot and recovery of the machine. The proposed sequence of these events was as follows: After the attack, the Natter dives to a lower altitude and flattens out into level flight. The pilot then proceeds with a well-practised escape sequence. He opens the cockpit canopy latch; the canopy flicks backwards on its hinge in the airstream; he undoes his seat belt and removes his feet from the rudder pedal stirrups. By squeezing a lever mounted on the control column, he releases a lock at the base of the column, which allows him to tilt the column forwards where it engages in and undoes a safety latch for the nose release mechanism. He then leans a little further forward and pulls a lever hinged near the floor at the front of the cockpit. This action frees the nose section, which flies off as a result of the reduced aerodynamic pressure at the front of the fuselage. As the nose section separates, it pulls briefly on two cables that release a small ribbon parachute stored on the starboard side of the rear fuselage. The parachute opens and decelerates the Natter. The pilot is ejected from the cockpit by his own inertia and as soon as he is clear of the fuselage, he opens his personal parachute and descends to the ground.[16]

Although it was originally planned to recover the Walter liquid propulsion unit, which was probably the most expensive single component of the machine, using two salvage parachutes, associated problems were still not fully resolved prior to the war's end.

Professor Wilhelm Fuchs reportedly calculated the Natter's aerodynamics at the Technische Hochschule, Aachen using a large analog computer.[citation needed] Wind tunnel testing on a wooden model, scaled at 40% of full size, was performed at the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), the Institute for Aerodynamics at Berlin-Adlershof in September 1944 at speeds up to 504 km/h. Results from these tests were reported in January 1945 to the Bachem-Werk.[17] Further model tests were carried out at Luftfahrtforchungsanstalt Hermann Göring (LFA), Braunschweig at speeds close to Mach 1.[18] In March the Bachem-Werk simply received a statement that satisfactory flying qualities should be expected with speeds up to 1,100 km/h.[19]

Construction of the first experimental prototype Natter, Versuchsmuster 1, was completed on 4 October 1944. V1 was subsequently referred to as Baumuster1 (BM1) and later still the "B" was dropped and the machine became known as M1. Most subsequent prototypes were known by ‘M’ codes, as the later prototypes of the Heinkel He 162 were. Manned glider flights began on 3 November 1944. The first glider M1 was towed to around 3,000 m by a Heinkel He 111 bomber with a cable (Tragschlepp mode) at Neuburg an der Donau. The pilot was Erich Klöckner, who made all four documented Tragschlepp flights. After carrying out the test programme of M1, he bailed out and the machine crashed into the ground.[20] Unfortunately it was found that the towing cable, and in the case of M3 the undercarriage, interfered with the flight characteristics of the gliders and consequently the results were difficult to interpret.[7] To clear any lingering doubts about the Natter in the glider mode, Hans Zübert made a daring free flight in M8 on the 14 February, and showed that the Natter was indeed a very good flying machine.[21]

The vertical take-off (VTO) trials were conducted on high ground called the Ochsenkopf at the Truppenübungsplatz (military training area) Heuberg near Stetten am kalten Markt, Würtemberg. The first successful unmanned vertical take-off from the experimental launch tower occurred on 22 December 1944. The distance between the Bachem factory at Waldsee and the Heuberg test site was approximately 60 km. The test machine M16 was powered by four solid boosters only, without the Walter motor, as were all the early VTO trials. Up to and including 1 March 1945, 16 prototypes had been used, eight in glider trials and eight in VTO trials.

By January 1945 Bachem was under pressure from the authorities in Berlin to carry out a manned VTO flight by the end of February.[23]On 25 February M22 was in the experimental launch tower. It was as complete an operational machine as possible with the Walter HWK 109-509 A1 motor installed for the first time. A dummy pilot was in the cockpit. The lift off from the tower was perfect. The engineers and ground crew watched spellbound as M22 ascended under the combined power of the four Schmidding boosters and the Walter motor, an estimated total thrust of 6,500 kg (64 kN or 14,330 lbs). The nose separated as programmed and the dummy pilot descended "safely" under its personal parachute. The remainder of the fuselage came to ground under its two large salvage parachutes but when it hit the ground the residual propellants exploded and the machine was destroyed.[24] Despite Bachem’s concerns that the test programme had been cut short significantly, on 1 March a young volunteer Luftwaffe test pilot, Lothar Sieber, climbed into the cockpit of the fully fuelled M23. The aircraft was equipped with an FM transmitter for the purpose of transmitting flight data from various monitoring sensors in the machine.[25]

A hard wire intercom appears to have been provided between Sieber and the engineers in the launch bunker using a system similar to that used in the manned glider flights. Around 1100 am M23 was ready for take-off. Low stratus clouds lay over the Ocksenkopf. The Walter motor built up to full thrust and Sieber pushed the button to ignite the four solid boosters. With a roar, the M23 rose out of a cloud of steam and rocket smoke straight up displaying its camouflage paintwork. At an altitude of about 100 to 150 m (330 to 490 ft), the Natter suddenly pitched backwards into an inverted curved flight. Initially it climbed at about 30° to the vertical. At about 500 m (1,600 ft) the cockpit canopy was seen to fly off. The Natter continued to climb now at high speed at an angle of 15° from the horizontal and disappeared into the clouds. The Walter motor stalled at this time, about 15 seconds after take-off. It is estimated that the Natter reached 1,500 m (4,900 ft) at which point it nose dived and hit the ground with great force about 32 seconds later some kilometers from the launch site.[26] Unknown at the time, one of the Schmidding boosters failed to jettison and its remains were dug up at the crash site in 1998.[27]

Bachem surmised that Sieber had involuntarily pulled back on the control column under the effect of the 3 G acceleration. Examination of the canopy, which fell near the launch site, showed that the tip of the latch was bent suggesting that it may not have been in the fully closed position at launch.[28] The pilot’s headrest had been attached to the underside of the canopy and as the canopy flew off the pilot’s head would have snapped back suddenly about 25 cm (9.8 in) hitting the solid wooden rear upper cockpit bulkhead, and either knocking Sieber unconscious or breaking his neck.[29]

This tragedy reinforced Bachem's long held belief that the take-off and flight to the vicinity of the target bombers should be fully automated. The canopy latch was strengthened and the headrest was attached to the backboard of the cockpit. Before the introduction of the autopilot in the test programme, the control column would have a temporary locking device on it, which would allow the machine to ascend vertically to at least 1,000 m and then be removed by the pilot.[30] The Walter motor probably ceased operation because the Natter was virtually upside-down and air may have entered the intake pipes in the propellant tanks starving the motor.[31] Sieber had become the first man to take off vertically from the ground under pure rocket power, years before the flights of Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard; if one should discount the ancient legend of the equally ill-fated flight of Wan Hu.

Much debate has surrounded the number of Natters built at the Bachem-Werk and their disposition. According to Bachem 36 Natters were produced at the Bachem-Werk in Waldsee by the end of the war. Up to April 1945, 17 aircraft had been used in unmanned trials comprising five gliders, all slung under an He 111 in the Mistelschlepp configuration prior to launch, and 12 VTO examples. Five aircraft were prepared for manned trials, four gliders and one VTO version. M3 was flown twice, and then rebuilt at which time it was given the new code BM3a but was never flown. The total number of launches to early April 1945 was 22 as was the total number of Natters constructed to that time.[26] Bachem reported further that there were 14 more finished or almost finished aircraft in April 1945. Four of these were prototype A1 operational Natters built for test launching from a wooden pole launcher, which had been designed for field deployment.[32] This new launcher was also constructed on the Heuberg not far from the experimental steel tower. There is documentary evidence for two pole launches in April but not three as claimed by Bachem in his post-war presentation.[26] The documentation for this third flight may have been destroyed by the SS at war’s end. Ten A1 operational Natters, called K-Maschinen, were constructed for the Krokus-Einsatz ("Operation Crocus").[7]

The fate of these 14 A1 Natters was as follows: Three were fired from the pole launcher according to Bachem, four were burnt at Waldsee, two were burnt at Lager Schlatt, Oetztal, Austria, four were captured by U.S. troops at Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal, Austria[19]and one, which had been sent as a sample model to a new factory in Thuringia, was captured by the Red Army.[26] Consequently, the total of 36 test and operational aircraft constructed at the Bachem-Werk can be accounted for. However, Natter carcases were used for a variety of ground based purposes, for example, static booster rocket, armament and strength testing and pilot seat position tests. Some fuselages were reused after flight testing, for example, the M5, 6 and 7.[33]

Of the four Natters captured at Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal, two went to the United States.[34] Only one original Natter built in Germany in the Second World War survives in storage at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland, Marylandunder the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. The final disposition of the other Natter brought to the US is unknown. There is no documentary evidence that a Natter was ever flown from Muroc Field. The tail section of one of the Natters at Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal was broken off while it still rested on its trailer.[35] The remaining machine was possibly destroyed when the CIOS Field Team left the area. Despite being promised one of these Natters, there is no evidence that a machine ever reached UK shores.

In early February 1945 the positions of the centre of gravity for the A1 operational machine during its flight profile were giving the RLM and the SS cause for concern. They wanted these figures to be decided upon for the upcoming construction of the A1 aircraft for Krokus-Einsatz (Operation Crocus), the field deployment of the Natter.[36] The position of the centre of gravity is expressed as a percentage of the chord (distance between the leading and trailing edges) of the main wing. Thus 0% is the leading edge and 100% is the trailing edge. In the manned glider trials the centre of gravity had been varied between 20 and 34%. At a meeting of engineers held on 8 February, the variations in the centre of gravity expected in the A1 Krokus machine were discussed. At take-off with the weight of the four solid boosters the centre of gravity would be brought back to 65%, but after releasing these rockets it would move forwards to 22%. The free flight by Zübert on 14 February had showed unequivocally that the little Natter had excellent flying characteristics as a glider. The centre of gravity problem was solved initially by the addition of one metre square auxiliary tailfins that were released simultaneously with the jettisoning of the boosters.[18] The Krokus aircraft had vanes that would direct the Walter rocket exhaust gases so as to assist vehicle stabilisation at low speed similar to those used in the V-2 rocket.

Crew: 1
Length: 6 m (19 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 4 m (13 ft 1 in)
Height: 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in) height without fins
Wing area: 4.7 m2 (51 sq ft)
Empty weight: 880 kg (1,940 lb) fuel expended
Gross weight: 2,232 kg (4,921 lb)

Gross weight boosters jettisoned: 1,769 kg (3,900 lb)
Fuel capacity: 650 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Walter HWK 109-509C-1 bi-fuel rocket motor, 11.2 kN (2,500 lbf) thrust main chamber
2.9 kN (652 lbf) auxiliary chamber
Powerplant: 4 × Schmidding SG 34 solid fuel booster rockets, 4.9 kN (1,100 lbf) thrust each
or 2 x 9.8 kN (2,203 lbf) solid fuel booster rockets

Maximum speed: 1,000 km/h (621 mph; 540 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)
Cruising speed: 800 km/h (497 mph; 432 kn)
Range: 60 km (37 mi; 32 nmi) after climb at 3,000 m (9,843 ft)
55 km (34 mi)after climb at 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
42 km (26 mi)after climb at 9,000 m (29,528 ft)
40 km (25 mi)after climb at 10,000 m (32,808 ft)
Endurance: 4.36 minutes at 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
3.15 minutes at 9,000 m (29,528 ft)
Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
Rate of climb: 190 m/s (37,000 ft/min)
Time to altitude: 62 seconds to 12 km (7.5 mi)


24 x 73 mm (2.874 in) Henschel Hs 297 Föhn rocket shells
or 33 x 55 mm (2.165 in) R4M rocket shells
or 2 x 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon with 30 rpg (proposed)

DFS 194

The DFS 194 was a rocket-powered aircraft designed by Alexander Lippisch at the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS - "German Institute for Sailplane Flight").

The DFS 194 was based on Alexander Lippisch Delta series of tail-less designs. As originally conceived, it would have been a tail-less aircraft similar to his DFS 40, powered by a conventional piston engine driving a pusher propeller. The airframe was completed in this configuration in March 1938.

Lippisch's designs had attracted the attention of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM - Reich Aviation Ministry) who believed that tail-less aircraft were the best basis for a rocket-powered fighter. On January 2, 1939, Lippisch and his team were transferred to the Messerschmittcompany to begin work on such an aircraft, under what was known as Project X. The DFS-194 was modified to accept a Walter R I-203rocket engine designed by Hellmuth Walter, and by October, the aircraft was undergoing engine tests at Peenemünde.

These were followed by glide tests in early 1940 leading to the first powered flight in August with Heini Dittmar at the controls. The flight went well, the DFS 194 reaching 343 mph (550 km/h), bettering the speed of the earlier (20 July 1939), Walter rocket powered Heinkel He 176.

The aircraft proved to have excellent flying characteristics and proved safe to fly at nearly twice the anticipated speed. These results paved the way for the next stage of the project, which now received priority status from the RLM. The following year the Messerschmitt Me 163, a considerably refined design along the same basic lines, flew.

Crew: one, pilot
Length: 6.4 m (20 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 10.4 m (34 ft 1 in)
Height: 2.13 m (7 ft)
Wing area: 18 m² (193 ft²)
Loaded weight: 2,100 kg (4,620 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Walter R I-203 rocket, 3.9 kN (882 lbf) 3.9 kN

Maximum speed: 550 km/h (343 mph)
Rate of climb: 1,615 m/min (5,297 ft/min)

Focke-Wulf Triebflügel

The Focke-Wulf Triebflügel (Triebfluegel if the ü-umlaut is not used), or Triebflügeljäger, literally meaning "thrust-wing fighter", was aGerman concept for an aircraft designed in 1944, during the final phase of World War II as a defence against the ever-increasing Alliedbombing raids on central Germany. It was a Vertical Take-Off and Landing tailsitter interceptor design for local defense of important factories or areas which had small or no airfields.

The Triebflügel had only reached wind-tunnel testing when the Allied forces reached the production facilities. No complete prototype was ever built.

The design was particularly unusual. It had no wings, and all lift and thrust were provided by a rotor/propeller assembly in the middle of the craft (roughly halfway between cockpit and tailplane). When the plane was sitting on its tail in the vertical position, the rotors would have functioned similarly to a helicopter. When flying horizontally, they would function more like a giant propeller.

The three rotor blades were mounted on a ring assembly supported by bearings, allowing free rotation around the fuselage. At the end of each was a ramjet. To start the rotors spinning, simple rockets would have been used. As the speed increased, the flow of air would be sufficient for the ramjets to work and the rockets would expire. The pitch of the blades could be varied with the effect of changing the speed and the lift produced. There was no reaction torque to cause a counter rotation of the fuselage since the rotor blades were driven at their tips by the ramjets. Fuel was carried in the fuselage tanks, and was piped through the centre support ring and along the rotors to the jets.[2]

A cruciform empennage at the rear of the fuselage comprised four tailplanes, fitted with moving ailerons that would also have functioned as combined rudders and elevators. The tailplane would have provided a means for the pilot to control a tendency of the fuselage to rotate in the same direction as the rotor caused by the friction of the rotor ring, as well as controlling flight in pitch, roll and yaw.

A single large and sprung wheel in the extreme end of the fuselage provided the main undercarriage. Four small castoring wheels on extensible struts were placed at the end of each tailplane to steady the aircraft on the ground and allow it to be moved. The main and outrigger wheels were covered by streamlined clamshell doors when in flight.

When taking off, the rotors would be angled to give lift as with a helicopter or, more accurately, a gyrodyne. Once the aircraft had attained sufficient altitude it could be angled into level flight. This required a slight nose-up pitch to provide some downward thrust as well as primarily forward thrust. Consequently, the four cannons in the forward fuselage would have been angled slightly downward in relation to the centre line of the fuselage. The rotors provided the only significant lift in horizontal flight.

To land, the craft had to slow its speed and pitch the fuselage until the craft was vertical. Power could then be reduced and it would descend until the landing gear rested on the ground. This would have been a tricky and probably dangerous maneuver given that the pilot would be seated facing upward and the ground would be behind his head at this stage. Unlike some other tailsitter aircraft, the pilot's seat was fixed in the direction for forward flight. The spinning rotor would also obscure rear vision.

This design was unique among 20th-century VTOL craft, and other German concept craft. However, some early design studies for the Rotary Rocket Roton spacecraft in the 1990s showed a free-spinning rotor with tip-driven rotors providing lift.

In the 1950s, the USA built prototype tailsitter aircraft (the Lockheed XFV, and Convair XFY Pogo), but these were powered by conventional turboprops, with nose-mounted contra-rotating propellers to counter torque. They also used conventional wings for lift, though their cruciform tails with integral landing gear were broadly comparable to the Triebflügel.

General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Wingspan: 38 ft (12 m)
Gross weight: 5,200 lb (2,359 kg)
Powerplant: 3 × Pabst ramjets, 2,000 lbf (8.9 kN) thrust each
Powerplant: 3 × Walter liquid fuel rockets
Powerplant: 2 × standard German Walter 109-501 RATO units , 3,306 lbf (14.71 kN) thrust each

Maximum speed: 621 mph (999 km/h; 540 kn)
Never exceed speed: 1,730 mph (1,503 kn; 2,784 km/h)
Minimum control speed: 150 mph (130 kn; 241 km/h)
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
Rate of climb: 160 ft/min (0.81 m/s)


Guns: 2 × 30 mm MK-103 each with 100 rounds + 2 × 20 mm MG-151 each with 250 rounds

Focke-Wulf Ta 183

The Focke-Wulf Ta 183 Huckebein was a design for a jet-powered fighter aircraft intended as the successor to the Messerschmitt Me 262 and other day fighters in Luftwaffe service during World War II. It was developed only to the extent of wind tunnel models when the war ended, but the basic design was further developed post-war in Argentina as the FMA Pulqui II. The name Huckebein is a reference to a trouble-making raven (Hans Huckebein der Unglücksrabe) from an illustrated story by Wilhelm Busch.

In early 1945, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) became aware of Allied jet developments, and were particularly concerned that they might have to face the Gloster Meteor over the continent. In response, they instituted the Emergency Fighter Program, ending production of most bomber and multi-role aircraft in favor of fighters, especially jet fighters. Additionally, they accelerated the development of experimental designs that would guarantee a performance edge over the Allied designs, designs that would replace the first German jet fighters, the Messerschmitt Me 262 and Heinkel He 162.

The result was a series of advanced designs, some using swept wings for improved transonic performance, others instead using the tailless design to lower drag to the same end. Since German aircraft engineers were aware that tailless designs might encounter serious stability problems in the transonic,Development of the Ta 183 started as early as 1942 as Project VI, when the engineer Hans Multhopp assembled a team to design a new fighter, based on his understanding that previous Focke-Wulf design studies for jet fighters had no chance of reaching fruition because none had the potential fortransonic speeds. The aircraft was intended to use the advanced Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet, although the first prototypes were to be powered by theJunkers Jumo 004B. Early studies also included an optional 1,000 kgf (10 kN) thrust rocket engine for takeoff and combat boost, much as the special "003R" version of the BMW 003 jet engine was meant to use, with fuel and oxidiser for up to 200 seconds of burn time stored in drop tanks under the wings.

The wings were swept back at 40° and were mounted in the mid-fuselage position. The wings appear to be mounted very far forward compared with most designs, a side-effect of attempting to keep the center of pressure (CoP) of the wing as a whole as close to the middle of the fuselage as possible. Reflecting the dilemma of a shortage of strategic materials, the first option of using aluminum in the construction of the main spar consisting of two tapered I-beams attached together on the top and bottom with thin steel sheeting, led to a reappraisal. Multhopp chose to use wood instead of metal throughout the wing structure with wooden ribs were attached to the front and back of the I-beams to give the wing its overall shape, and then covered with plywood. The box-like structure contained six fuel cells, giving the aircraft a total fuel load of 1,565 l (413 US gal).[4]

The original design used a T-tail, with a notably long vertical stabilizer and a seemingly undersized horizontal stabilizer. The vertical tail was swept back at 60°, and the horizontal tail was V-shaped and dihedralled. The horizontal surface was used only for trimming, the main pitching force being provided by the ailerons, which were well behind the center of gravity and thus could provide both pitch and roll control, functioning as elevon control surfaces, as Messerschmittt's Me 163 Komet rocket fighter already did. Many problems beset the project, including the chance of a Dutch roll. Work therefore concentrated on the much less problematical Focke-Wulf Project VII. However, when the RLM eventually rejected that design, Huckebein was again brought to the fore.

The Ta 183 had a short fuselage with the air intake passing under the cockpit and proceeding to the rear where the single engine was located. The pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit with a bubble canopy which provided excellent vision. The primary armament of the aircraft consisted of four 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons arranged around the air intake.

It was also possible to carry a bomb load of 500 kg (1,100 lb), consisting of one SD or SC 500 bomb, one BT 200 bomb, five SD or SC bombs or a Rb 20/30 reconnaissance camera. The weapons load would be carried in the equipment space in the bottom of the fuselage and thus partially protrude about halfway from the fuselage, possibly allowing for other armament packages such as the Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided missile.

Multhopp's team also seriously explored a second version of the basic design, known as Design III, a modified Design II (it is unknown what Design I referred to). The first of these had only minor modifications, with slightly differently shaped wingtips and repositioning of the undercarriage. The second version had a reduced sweepback to 32°, allowing the wing and cockpit to be moved rearward. The tail was also redesigned, using a short horizontal boom to mount the control surfaces just above the line of the rear fuselage. This version looks considerably more "conventional" to the modern eye, although somewhat stubby due to the short overall length of the HeS 011.

The second of these two schemes was entered in the official competition ordered by the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe at the end of 1944. On 28 February 1945, the Luftwaffe High Command examined the various Emergency Fighter proposals and selected the Junkers EF128 to be developed and produced; the Focke-Wulf team gained second place. However, in the last few weeks of the war, it was decided that the Huckebein was really the best design and, at a meeting in Bad Eilsen, Tank was told to arrange mock-ups and to plan for full production. It had a planned speed of about 1,000 km/h (620 mph) at 7,000 m (22,970 ft) and it was estimated that 300 aircraft per month would be delivered when production got into its stride, each aircraft being produced in 2,500 man hours.

A total of 16 prototypes was to be built, allowing the tail unit to be interchanged between the Design II and III variations. Of the Versuchs (experimental test series) aircraft, the Ta 183 V1-V3 were to be powered by the Jumo 004B turbojet with somewhat lengthened rear fuselages to accommodate them, pending delivery of the HeS 011 jet engine. The Ta 183 V4-V14 were intended to be A-0 series pre-production aircraft and V15-V16 were to be static test aircraft. The first flight of the aircraft was projected for May 1945, but none was completed by 8 April 1945, when British troops captured the Focke-Wulf facilities.a variety of stabilization methods such as brakes on the wings were considered for such aircraft or simply adding conventional tail surfaces. Kurt Tank's design team led by Hans Multhopp designed in 1945 a fighter known as "Huckebein" (a cartoon raven that traditionally makes trouble for others), also known as Project V (Project VI in some references) or Design II at Focke-Wulf.

Crew: one
Length: 9.20 m (30 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 10.00 m (32 ft 10 in)
Height: ()
Wing area: 22.5 m² (242 ft²)
Empty weight: 2,380 kg (5,247 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,300 kg (9,480 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet, 13 kN (2,700 lbf)

Maximum speed: 955 km/h (593 mph)
Service ceiling: 14,000 m (45,932 ft)
Rate of climb: 20.4 m/s (4,020 ft/min)
Wing loading: 196 kg/m² (41 lb/ft²)


4 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons
4 × Ruhrstahl X-4 Wire Guided AAMs or 500 kg (1,102 lb) of bombs

Focke-Wulf Ta 283

The Focke-Wulf Ta 283 was a German low-wing jet interceptor designed during World War II. The project was developed at the same time as the Focke-Wulf Super Lorin and remained unbuilt before the Surrender of Nazi Germany.
Power was to be provided by a Walter HWK rocket engine for take-off and two Pabst ramjets. The ramjets were located on the tips of the sharply swept tailplanes and would be used for cruising. The wings were swept at 45°. Armament was to be two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons.

Heinkel He 162

The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger (German, "People's Fighter"), the name of the project of the Emergency Fighter Program design competition, was a German single-engine, jet-powered fighter aircraft fielded by the Luftwaffe in World War II. Designed and built quickly, and made primarily of wood as metals were in very short supply and prioritised for other aircraft, the He 162 was nevertheless the fastest of the first generation of Axis and Allied jets. Volksjäger was the Reich Air Ministry's official name for the government design program competition that the He 162 design won. Other names given to the plane include Salamander, which was the codename of its construction program, and Spatz ("Sparrow"), which was the name given to the plane by Heinkel.

When the U.S. 8th Air Force re-opened its bombing campaign on Germany in early 1944 with the Big Week offensive, the bombers returned to the skies with the long-range P-51 Mustang in escort, and now performing air supremacy offensive "fighter sweeps" well ahead of the 8th Air Force's combat boxmassed bomber formations, intended to clear the skies well ahead of the bombers of any Luftwaffe opposition. This changed the nature of the war in the air. Earlier in the war, German fighter units could freely attack Allied bombers, and over the previous year, the Luftwaffe had been modifying their fleet to improve their capabilities against them. The addition of heavy cannons like the 30mm calibre MK 108, and even heavier Bordkanone autoloading weapons in 37mm and 50mm calibres on their Zerstörer heavy fighters through to the time of their obsolence. The extra armour added to the Zerstörer'ssingle-engined replacements, the specially-equipped Fw 190As performing the bomber destroyer role they took over from the Zerstörer heavy fighters, had the side effect of likewise reducing their performance. When the U.S. fighters arrived, the Luftwaffe's air defense force found itself hopelessly outclassed as both the Zerstörer twin-engined fighters and 30mm cannon-armed Fw 190A Sturmböcke, each in their turn, were driven from the skies over Germany by the USAAF in the first half of 1944 with the Mustangs' arrival.

By the end of April, the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (fighter force) had been broken, with many of its leading aces killed in combat. Replacements were slow to arrive, leaving the Luftwaffe unable to put up much of a fight through the summer of 1944. With few planes coming up to fight, the U.S. fighters were let loose on the German airbases, railways and truck traffic. Logistics soon became a serious problem for the Luftwaffe, maintaining aircraft in fighting condition almost impossible, and having enough fuel for a complete mission profile was even more difficult, partly from the devastating effects of the Oil Campaign of World War II against Nazi petroleum industry targets.

This posed a considerable problem for the Luftwaffe. Two camps quickly developed, both demanding the immediate introduction of large numbers of jet fighter aircraft. One group, led by General der Jäger ("General of Fighters") Adolf Galland, reasoned that superior numbers had to be countered with superior technology, and demanded that all possible effort be put into increasing the production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 in its A-1a fighter version, even if that meant reducing production of other aircraft in the meantime.

The second group pointed out that this would likely do little to address the problem; the Me 262 had notoriously unreliable powerplants and landing gear, and the existing logistics problems would mean there would merely be more of them on the ground waiting for parts that would never arrive, or for fuel that was not available. Instead, they suggested that a new design be built - one so inexpensive that if a machine was damaged or worn out, it could simply be discarded and replaced with a fresh plane straight off the assembly line. Thus was born the concept of the "throwaway fighter".

Galland and other Luftwaffe senior officers expressed vehement opposition to the light fighter idea, while Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and Armaments Minister Albert Speer fully supported the idea. Göring and Speer got their way, and a contract tender for a single-engine jet fighter that was suited for cheap and rapid mass production was established under the name Volksjäger("People's Fighter"). 

The official RLM Volksjäger design competition parameters specified a single-seat fighter, powered by a single BMW 003, a slightly lower-thrust engine not in demand for the Me 262A nor the Ar 234B front-line aircraft already in service. The main structure of the Volksjäger competing airframe designs would use cheap and unsophisticated parts made of wood and other non-strategic materials and, more importantly, could be assembled by semi- and non-skilled labor. Specifications included a weight of no more than 2,000 kg (4,410 lb), when most fighters of the era were twice that. Maximum speed was specified as 750 km/h (470 mph) at sea level, operational endurance at least a half hour, and the takeoff run no more than 500 m (1,640 ft). Armament was specified as either two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons with 100 rpg, or two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons with 50 rpg. The Volksjäger needed to be easy to fly. Some suggested that even glider or student pilots should be able to fly the jet effectively in combat, and indeed had the Volksjägerprogramm aircraft design competition and its winning design got into full swing, that is precisely what would have happened. After the war, Ernst Heinkel would say "[The] unrealistic notion that this plane [The He 162] should be a 'people's fighter,' in which the Hitler Youth, after a short training, could fly for the defense of Germany, displayed the unbalanced fanaticism of those days."[1]

The requirement was issued 10 September 1944, with basic designs to be returned within 10 days and to start large scale production by 1 January 1945. Because the winner of the new lightweight fighter design competiton would be building huge numbers of the planes, nearly every German aircraft manufacturer expressed interest in the project, such as Blohm + Voss, andFocke-Wulf, whose Volksflugzeug design contender bore a resemblance to their slightly later Ta 183 jet fighter design. However, Heinkel had already been working on a series of "paper projects" for light single-engine fighters over the last year under the designation P.1073, with most design work being completed by Professor Benz, and had gone so far as to build and test several models and conduct some wind tunnel testing. Although some of the competing designs were technically superior (in particular Blohm + Voss's P.211 submission[2]), with Heinkel's head start the outcome was largely a foregone conclusion. The results of the competition were announced in October 1944, only three weeks after being announced, and to no one's surprise, the Heinkel entry was selected for production. In order to confuse Allied intelligence, the RLM chose to reuse the 8-162 designation (formerly that of a Messerschmitt fast bomber) rather than the other considered designation He 500.

Heinkel had designed a relatively small, 'sporty'-looking aircraft, with a sleek, streamlined fuselage. Overall, the look of the plane was extremely modernistic for its' time, appearing quite contemporary in terms of layout and angular arrangement even to today's eyes. The BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet was mounted in a pod nacelle uniquely situated atop the fuselage directly aft of the cockpit. Twin vertical tailfins were mounted at the ends of highly dihedralled horizontal tailplanes to clear the jet exhaust, a high-mounted straight wing with a forward-swept trailing edge and shallow dihedral, anejection seat was provided for the pilot, and tricycle landing gear that retracted into the fuselage. The prototype flew within an astoundingly short period of time: the design was chosen on 25 September and first flew on 6 December, less than 90 days later. This was despite the fact that the factory inWuppertal making Tego film plywood glue — used in a substantial number of late-war German aviation designs whose airframes were meant to be constructed mostly from wood — had been bombed by the Royal Air Force and a replacement had to be quickly substituted, without realizing that the replacement adhesive would turn out to be highly corrosive to the wooden parts it was intended to be fastening.

The first flight of the He 162 V1, by Flugkapitän Gotthard Peter, was fairly successful, but during a high-speed run at 840 km/h (520 mph), the highly acidic replacement glue attaching the nose gear strut door failed and the pilot was forced to land. Other problems were noted as well, notably a pitch instability and problems with sideslip due to the rudder design. Neither was considered important enough to hold up the production schedule for even a day. On a second flight on 10 December, again with Peter at the controls, in front of various Nazi officials, the glue again caused a structural failure. This allowed the aileron to separate from the wing, causing the plane to roll over and crash, killing Peter.

An investigation into the failure revealed that the wing structure had to be strengthened and some redesign was needed, as the glue bonding required for the wood parts was in many cases defective. However, the schedule was so tight that testing was forced to continue with the current design. Speeds were limited to 500 km/h (310 mph) when the second prototype flew on 22 December. This time, the stability problems proved to be more serious, and were found to be related to Dutch roll, which could be solved by reducing the dihedral. However, with the plane supposed to enter production within weeks, there was no time to change the design. A number of small changes were made instead, including adding lead ballast to the nose to move the centre of gravity more to the front of the plane, slightly increasing the size of the tail surfaces.

The third and fourth prototypes, which now used an "M" for "Muster" (model) number instead of the older "V" for "Versuchs" (experimental) number, as the He 162 M3 and M4, after being fitted with the strengthened wings, flew in mid-January 1945. These versions also included small aluminium wingtip "droops", reportedly designed by Alexander Lippisch and known in German asLippisch-Ohren ("Lippisch Ears"), in an attempt to cure the stability problems via decreased dihedral. Both were equipped with two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons in the He 162 A-1 anti-bomber variant; in testing, the recoil from these guns proved to be too much for the lightweight fuselage to handle, and plans for production turned to the A-2 fighter with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons instead while a redesign for added strength started as the A-3. The shift to 20 mm guns was also undertaken because the smaller-calibre weapons would allow a much greater amount of ammunition to be carried.

The He 162 was originally built with the intention of being flown by the Hitler Youth, as the Luftwaffe was fast running out of pilots. However, the aircraft was far too complicated for any but a highly experienced pilot. An unpowered two-seat glider version, designated the He 162S (Schulen), was developed for training purposes. Only a small number were built, and even fewer delivered to the sole He 162 Hitler Youth training unit to be activated (in March 1945) at an airbase at Sagan. The unit was in the process of formation when the war ended, did not begin any training, and it is doubtful that more than one or two He 162S gliders ever took to the air.

He 162 construction facilities were at Salzburg, the Hinterbrühl, and the Mittelwerk.Various changes had raised the weight over the original 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) limit, but even at 2,800 kg (6,170 lb), the aircraft was still among the fastest aircraft in the air with a maximum airspeed of 790 km/h (491 mph) at sea level and 839 km/h at 6000 meters (521 mph @ 19,680 ft), but could reach 890 km/h (550 mph) at sea level and 905 km/h (562 mph) at 6,000 m (19,690 ft) using short burst extra thrust. The short flight duration of barely 30 minutes - only somewhat better than the even shorter 7.5 minute flight duration of the faster-flying Me 163B rocket fighter - was due to only having a single 695 litre (183 US gallon) capacity flexible-bladder fuel tank in the fuselage directly under the engine's intake.

In January 1945, the Luftwaffe formed an Erprobungskommando 162 ("Test Unit 162") evaluation group to which the first 46 aircraft were delivered. The group was based at the Luftwaffe main test center, or Erprobungsstelle at Rechlin and it is frequently stated[by whom?] that this unit was under the command of Heinz Bär. Bär, an experienced combat pilot credited with more than 200 kills, gained 16 of his victories with a Me 262 as commander of operational training unit III./Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader 2 (EJG 2). However, Bär's personal documents do not confirm his presence atErprobungskommando 162 or if he ever flew He 162s.[citation needed]

February saw deliveries of the He 162 to its first operational unit, I./JG 1 (1st Group of Jagdgeschwader 1 Oesau — "1st Fighter Wing"), which had previously flown the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A. I./JG 1 was transferred to Parchim, which, at the time, was also a base for the Me 262-equipped Jagdgeschwader 7, some 80 km south-southwest of the Heinkel factory at "Marienehe" (today known as Rostock-Schmarl, northwest of the Rostock city centre), where the pilots could pick up their new jets and start intensive training beginning in March, all while the transportation network, aircraft production facilities and fuel supply of the Third Reich was collapsing under the pressure of Allied air attacks. On 7 April, the USAAF bombed the field at Parchim with 134 B-17 Flying Fortresses, inflicting serious losses and damage to the infrastructure. Two days later, I./JG 1 moved to an airfield at nearby Ludwigslust and, less than a week later, moved again to an airfield at Leck, near the Danish border. On 8 April, II./JG 1 moved to Marienehe and started converting from Fw 190As to He 162s. III./JG 1 was also scheduled to convert to the He 162, but the Gruppe disbanded on 24 April and its personnel were used to fill in the vacancies in other units.

The He 162 finally saw combat in mid-April. On 19 April, a captured Royal Air Force fighter pilot informed his German interrogators that he had been shot down by a jet fighter matching the description of the He 162. The Heinkel and its pilot were lost as well, shot down by an RAF Hawker Tempest while on approach. Though still in training, I./JG 1 had scored a number of kills beginning in mid-April, but had also lost 13 He 162s and 10 pilots. 10 of the aircraft were operational losses, caused by flameouts and sporadic structural failures. Only two of the 13 aircraft were actually shot down. The He 162's 30-minute fuel capacity also caused problems, as at least two of JG 1's pilots were killed attempting emergency landings after exhausting their fuel.

The Mistel series of fighter/powered bomb composite ground-attack aircraft pre-dated the He 162 by over two years, and the Mistel 5 project study in early 1945 proposed the mating of an He 162A-2 to the Arado E.377A flying bomb. The fighter would sit atop the bomb, which would itself be equipped with two wing-mounted BMW 003 turbojets. This ungainly combination would take off on a sprung trolley, derived from that used on the first eight Arado Ar 234 prototypes, with all three jets running. Immediately after take-off, the trolley would be jettisoned, and the Mistel would then fly to within strike range of the designated target. Upon reaching this point, the bomb would be aimed squarely at the target and then released, with the jet turning back for home. The Mistel 5 remained a "paper project", as the Arado bomb never progressed beyond the blueprint stage.
The difficulties experienced by the He 162 were caused mainly by its rush into production, not by any inherent design flaws.[5] One experiencedLuftwaffe pilot who flew it called it a "first-class combat aircraft." This opinion was mirrored by Eric "Winkle" Brown of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), who flew it not only during post-war evaluations, but went on to fly it for fun after testing had completed. He considered it delightful to fly, although the very light controls made it suitable only for experienced pilots. He wrote about his He 162A flights in Wings of the Luftwaffe, a description that has been reprinted in many media over the years.[6] Brown had been warned to treat the rudder with suspicion due to a number of in-flight failures. This warning was passed on by Brown to RAF pilot, Flt Lt R A Marks, but was apparently not heeded. On 9 November 1945 during a demonstration flight from RAE Farnborugh one of the fin and rudder assemblies broke off at the start of a low-level roll causing the aircraft to crash into Oudenarde Barracks, Aldershot killing Marks and a soldier on the ground.In the last days of April, as the Soviet troops approached, II./JG 1 evacuated from Marienehe and on 2 May joined the I./JG 1 at Leck. On 3 May, all of JG 1's surviving He 162s were restructured into two groups, I. Einsatz ("Combat") and II. Sammel ("Collection"). All JG 1's aircraft were grounded on 5 May, when General Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg signed the surrender of all German armed forces in the Netherlands, Northwest Germany and Denmark. On 6 May, when the British reached their airfields, JG 1 turned their He 162s over to the Allies, and examples were shipped to the U.S., Britain, France, and the Soviet Union for further evaluation. Erprobungskommando 162 fighters, which had been passed on to JV 44, an elite jet unit under Adolf Galland a few weeks earlier, were all destroyed by their crews to keep them from falling into Allied hands. By the time of the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945, 120 He 162s had been delivered; a further 200 had been completed and were awaiting collection or flight-testing; and about 600 more were in various stages of production.

Crew: 1, pilot
Length: 9.05 m (29 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 7.2 m (23 ft 7 in)
Height: 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 11.16 m² (156 ft²)
Empty weight: 1,660 kg (3,660 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 2,800 kg (6,180 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × BMW 003E-1 or E-2 (meant for ventral attachment) axial flow turbojet, 7.85 kN (1,760 lbf)
Fuel capacity of 695 litres (183 US gallons)

Maximum speed: 790 km/h at normal thrust at sea level; 840 km/h at 6000 m; using short burst extra thrust 890 km/h at sea level and 905 km/h at 6000 m. (562 mph)
Range: 975 km (606 mi)
Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,400 ft)
Rate of climb: 1,405 m/min (4,615 ft/min)


Guns: 2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 autocannons with 120 rpg (He 162 A-2) OR 2 × 30 mm MK 108 cannons with 50 rpg (He 162 A-0, A-1)

Heinkel He 176

The Heinkel He 176 was a German rocket-powered aircraft. It was the world’s first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket, making its first powered flight on 20 June 1939 with Erich Warsitz at the controls. It was a private venture by the Heinkel company in accordance with director Ernst Heinkel's emphasis on developing technology for high-speed flight. The performance of the He 176 was not spectacular, but it did provide "proof of concept" for rocket propulsion.

During the 1920s, German daredevils had experimented with using solid-fuel rockets to propel cars, motorcycles, railway carriages, snowsleds, and, by 1929, aircraft such as Alexander Lippisch’s Ente and Fritz von Opel’s RAK.1. Solid-fuel rockets, however, have major disadvantages when used for aircraft propulsion, as their thrust cannot be regulated, and the engines cannot be shut down once fired.

In the late 1930s, Wernher von Braun's rocketry team working at Peenemünde investigated installing liquid-fuelled rockets in aircraft. Heinkel enthusiastically supported their efforts, supplying a He 72 and later two He 112s for the experiments. In early 1937, one of these latter aircraft was flown with its piston engine shut down during flight, at which time it was propelled by rocket power alone. At the same time, Hellmuth Walter's experiments into Hydrogen peroxide monopropellant-based rockets were leading towards light and simple rockets that appeared well-suited for aircraft installation.

The He 176 was built to utilise one of the new Walter engines. It was a tiny, simple aircraft, built almost entirely out of wood, but did possess an advanced, totally-enclosed cockpit, with a frameless single-piece clear nose, through which the pilot's rudder pedal mounts were visible, and a flush upper cockpit glazing which was removable for entering the aircraft, making the cockpit fit completely within the forward, bullet-like contours of the fuselage. The landing gear was a combination of conventional and tricycle gear designs, with the main gear's struts intended to retract rearwards into the fuselage, with a fixed, aerodynamically faired nose wheel and strut, and a retractable tail wheel.[1] A unique feature of the He 176 was its jettisonable nose escape system. Compressed air was used to separate the nose from the aircraft. A drogue chute was used to reduce the opening force required. After the drogue was deployed, the flush-fitting cockpit canopywas released and a conventional pilot/parachute bailout occurred.[2]

Heinkel demonstrated the aircraft to the RLM, but official lack of interest led to the abandonment of the company's rocket propulsion programme. Testing of the He 176 ended with only one aircraft being built. It was put on display at the Berlin Air Museum and was destroyed by an Allied bombing raid in 1943.[2]

Prior to the cancellation of the programme, plans had been drawn up for a more sophisticated rocket-plane, still designated He 176. This was never constructed, but because it bore the same designation as the aircraft that was actually flown, many books and websites mistakenly publish pictures of it to illustrate its earlier namesake.

Germany did eventually fly an operational rocket-propelled fighter, the Me 163 Komet, but this was made by the competing Messerschmitt firm, using an engine that was a further development of the one that powered the He 176.

Crew: One
Length: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 5.0 m (16 ft 5 in)
Height: 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 5.4 m² (58 ft²)
Empty weight: 900 kg (1,980 lb)
Loaded weight: 1,620 kg (3,570 lb)

Maximum speed: 345 km/h [750 km/h theoretical] (215 mph [470 mph theoretical])
Range: 95 km [theoretical] (60 mi)
Service ceiling: 9,000 m [theoretical] (29,500 ft)
Rate of climb: 60.6 m/s (199 ft/s)

Endurance 50 s

Heinkel He 178

The Heinkel He 178 was the world's first aircraft to fly under turbojet power, and the first practical jet aircraft. It was a private venture by the German Heinkel company in accordance with director Ernst Heinkel's emphasis on developing technology for high-speed flight and first flew on 27 August 1939, piloted by Erich Warsitz. This had been preceded by a short hop three days earlier.

In 1936, a young engineer named Hans von Ohain had taken out a patent on using the exhaust from a gas turbine as a means of propulsion.

He presented his idea to Ernst Heinkel, who agreed to help develop the concept. Von Ohain successfully demonstrated his first engine, the Heinkel HeS 1 in 1937, and plans were quickly made to test a similar engine in an aircraft. The He 178 was designed around von Ohain's third engine design, the HeS 3, which burned diesel fuel. The result was a small aircraft with a metal fuselage of conventional configuration and construction. The jet intake was in the nose, and the plane was fitted with tailwheel undercarriage. The main landing gear was retractable, but remained fixed in "down" position throughout the flight trials.

The high-mounted wooden wings had the characteristic Günter brothers elliptical trailing edge. Photos showing a "straight wing" (straight-line-taper in the wing planform, for both the leading and trailing edges) were of the second prototype He 178 V2, which never flew under power.

The aircraft made its maiden flight on August 27, 1939, only days before Germany started World War II by invading Poland.[1] The pilot was Erich Warsitz, who had flown the world's first rocket powered airplane, the Heinkel 176, on its maiden flight in June 1939, only months before.

The aircraft was a success; however, speeds were limited to 598 km/h (375 mph) at the proposed service altitude, and combat endurance was only 10 minutes.

Heinkel had developed the turbojet engine and the testbed aircraft, the Heinkel 178, in great secrecy. They were kept secret even from the German air force and the Reichsluftfahrtministerium. On 1 November 1939, after the German victory in Poland, Heinkel arranged a demonstration of the jet to officials. Herman Goering, commander in chief of the German air force, didn't even show up.Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch watched the aircraft perform, but were unimpressed.[2] Nevertheless, Heinkel was undeterred, and decided to embark on the development of a twin-engine jet fighter, the He 280 as a private venture using what had been learned from the He 178.

The He 178 was placed in the Berlin Air Museum, where it was destroyed in an air raid in 1943.

Ernst Heinkel was disappointed by the lack of official interest in his private-venture jet. In his autobiography,[4] he attributes this to the failure of the leaders of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium to understand the advantages of jet propulsion and what breakthrough the He 178 represented. Similar claims are common in literature on Heinkel, and were made on the previous version of this page. However, the reason the Reich Air Ministry was not interested, was because it was developing jets itself. Nobody at Heinkel knew anything about these secret military projects.

In 1939 BMW and Junkers were working on "official" turbojet engines for the German airforce. As these were axial-flow turbojets, not radial-flow turbojets like those being developed at Heinkel and by Frank Whittle in England, they promised much higher flight speeds.

In mid September 1939, two weeks after Germany started World War II, the German air force ordered aircraft manufacturers to reduce development work and concentrate all efforts on winning what German officialdom expected to be a short war. But the development of jet powered single-seaters was ordered to continue, to get such aircraft operational as fighters as soon as possible.[5]

In July 1944 both the German and British air forces began flying jet powered fighters operationally. The British Gloster Meteor F.I, powered by Rolls-Royce Welland radial-flow turbojets, had a maximum speed (in level flight and at optimum altitude) of 430 mph (668 km/h).[6] This was about the same as piston engined fighters being flown in combat at that time. The German Messerschmidt Me 262, powered by Junkers Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojets, had a maximum speed of 540 mph (870 km/h),[7] 100 mph faster than the best piston engined fighters. It also had superior climb performance. On the downside the engines had a service life of about 25 hours whereas the British ones could run for 180 hours. The Luftwaffe flew the Me 262 in combat as an air-superiority fighter. The RAF used the Gloster Meteor for interception of V-1 flying bombs, coastal patrols and for training, where its ability to reach speeds of over 500 mph in a dive could simulate attacks by German jets.

Crew: One
Length: 7.48 m (24 ft 6 in)
Wingspan: 7.20 m (23 ft 3 in)
Height: 2.10 m (6 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 9.1 m² (98 ft²)
Empty weight: 1,620 kg (3,572 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 1,998 kg (4,405 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × HeS 3 turbojet, 4.4 kN (992 lbf)

Maximum speed: 598 km/h (380 mph)
Range: 200 km (125 mi)

Heinkel He 280

The Heinkel He 280 was the first turbojet-powered fighter aircraft in the world. It was inspired by Ernst Heinkel's emphasis on research into high-speed flight and built on the company's experience with the He 178 jet prototype. A combination of technical and political factors led to it being passed over in favor of the Messerschmitt Me 262. Only nine were built and none reached operational status.

The Heinkel company began the He 280 project on its own initiative after the He 178 had been met with indifference from theReichsluftfahrtministerium ("RLM") (Ger. "Reich Aviation Ministry"). The head designer was Robert Lusser, who began the project under the designation He 180 in late 1939. It had a typical Heinkel fighter fuselage, elliptically-shaped wings and a dihedralled tailplane with twinfins and rudders. The landing gear was of the retractable tricycle type with very little ground clearance.[2] Internally, the He 280 was equipped with a compressed-air powered ejection seat, the first aircraft to carry one.

The first prototype was completed in the summer of 1940, but the HeS 8 intended to power it was running into difficulties. On 22 September 1940, while work on the engine continued, the first prototype started glide tests with ballast hung in place of its engines.[2] It would be another six months before Fritz Schäfer would take the second prototype into the air under its own power, on 30 March 1941. The type was then demonstrated to Ernst Udet, head of RLM's development wing, on 5 April, but like its predecessor, it apparently failed to make an impression.[citation needed]

Had Udet approved development, Heinkel would have received the extra funding which they needed. This might have led to a rectification of the problems they were having with the jet engines. This was the case across all jet engine development in Germany; government funding was lacking at the critical stage of initial development.

A contest flight in 1941 comparing an He 280 with a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 had the He 280 completing four laps of an oval course before the Fw 190 could complete three. Ernst Heinkel designed a smaller jet fighter airframe for the He 280 that was well matched to the lower-thrust jet engines available in 1941. The maximum weight of the He 280 was 4,296 kg (9,470 lb), compared to 7,130 kg (15,720 lb) for the Me 262 (which did not get an adequate thrust engine until late 1944). The He 280 could have gone into production by late 1941 and maintained the air superiority which the Fw 190 had established, and filled the gap between the Fw 190 and Me 262. Initial problems with the HeS 8 engine would have likely been ironed out as production of the fighter began.

Some of the resistance to the He 280 would make little sense today. The tricycle landing gear was considered too frail for grass or dirt airfields which were common at the time especially in Russia and North Africa. The Me 262 was originally designed as a tail-dragger, but this configuration makes it difficult for a jet to become airborne. Test pilots had to tap on the brakes to get the Me 262 tail off the ground while trying to take off. Pioneered on its fifth prototype with fixed gear, and made retractable on the sixth prototype and afterwards, the Me 262 emerged with its redesigned tricycle landing gear.

One benefit of the He 280 which impressed the political leadership was the fact that the jet engines could burn kerosene, which requires much less expense and refining than the high-octane fuel used by piston-engine aircraft. The He 280 might have been more easily "sold" if Heinkel stressed the possibility of using it as an attack aircraft for anti-shipping. While the R4M rockets were not available until 1944, the Germans did develop the Nebelwerfer in 1941, which was a 150 mm (5.9 in) artillery rocket launcher. These tubes could have been mounted underneath the wings of a jet. German pilots complained that bombs dropped by the Me 262 had little chance of hitting their targets. A forward-firing recoilless weapon would have been much more effective.

Had the German government given support to production, the He 280s could conceivably have gone into production earlier in the war and reached the Luftwaffe earlier than was ultimately the case with the Me 262. But it was not to be, as Udet, on that April day in 1941, could not see a need for a plane without propellers, no matter what its future might be.[citation needed]

Over the next year, progress was slow due to the ongoing engine problems. A second engine design, the HeS 30 was also undergoing development, both as an interesting engine in its own right, as well as a potential replacement for the HeS 8. In the meantime, alternative powerplants were considered, including the Argus As 014 pulsejet that famously powered the V-1 flying bomb.[3](Using as many as eight was proposed.)[4]

By the end of 1943, however, the third prototype was fitted with refined versions of the HeS 8 engine and was ready for its next demonstration. On 22 December, a mock dogfight was staged for RLM officials in which the He 280 was matched against an Fw 190. Here, the jet demonstrated its vastly superior speed.[citation needed] Finally, at this point the RLM became interested and placed an order for 20 pre-production test aircraft, to be followed by 300 production machines.

Engine problems continued to plague the project. In 1942, the RLM had ordered Heinkel to abandon the HeS 8 and HeS 30 to focus all development on a follow-on engine, the HeS 011, a much more advanced (and therefore problematic) design.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the first He 280 prototype had been re-equipped with pulsejets[5] and was towed aloft to test them. Bad weather caused the aircraft to ice up, however, and before the jets could be tested, pilot Helmut Schenk became the first person to put an ejection seat to use. The seat worked perfectly, but the aircraft was lost, and never found.

With the HeS 011 not expected for some time, Heinkel was forced to accept that it would have to use a competitor's engines, and selected the BMW 003. Unfortunately, this engine was also experiencing problems and delays, and in the meantime, the second He 280 prototype was re-engined with Junkers Jumo 004s while the next three airframes were earmarked for the BMW motor (which, in the end, would never be ready before the end of the He 280 project). The Jumo engines were much larger and heavier than the HeS 8 that the plane had been designed for, and while it flew well enough (for the first time on 16 March 1943), it was immediately obvious that this engine would be unsuitable in the long term.[citation needed] The aircraft was slower and generally less efficient than the Me 262.[2]

Less than two weeks later, on 27 March, Erhard Milch cancelled the project. The Jumo 004-powered Me 262 appeared to have most of the qualities of the He 280, but was better matched to its engine. Heinkel was ordered to abandon the He 280 and focus attention on bomber development and construction, something he remained bitter about until his death.

Crew: 1, pilot
Length: 10.40 m (34 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 12.20 m (40 ft)
Height: 3.06 m (10 ft)
Wing area: 21.5 m² (233 ft²)
Empty weight: 3,215 kg (7,073 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,280 kg (9,416 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 4,300 kg (9,470 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Heinkel HeS 8 turbojet, 5.9 kN (1,320 lbf) each

Maximum speed: 820 km/h (512 mph)
Range: 370 km (230 mi)
Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 1,145 m/min (3,756 ft/min)


Heinkel He 343

The Heinkel He 343 was designed by the German Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in the beginning of 1944. A total of 20 of these aircraft were ordered. For shortening the development time and for re-use of existing parts, its general design was envisioned along the lines of an enlargedArado Ar 234. For a choice of engines, the Junkers Jumo 004 and the Heinkel HeS 011 were planned.

The DFS was involved in the project and created the project known as P1068. By the end of 1944, work was nearly finished by the Heinkel engineers, with parts for the He 343 prototype aircraft either under fabrication or in a finished state, when the order was cancelled due to theEmergency Fighter Program.

Four versions were planned: the A-1 bomber, the A-2 reconnaissance aircraft, and the A-3 and B-1 Zerstörer ("Destroyer") heavy fighters.

Postwar, the Soviet Union utilized the design as the basis for the development of the Ilyushin Il-22, changing some of the parameters such as size and crew numbers. One prototype was built and flown.[1][2] The results of the tests were used in development of the Ilyushin Il-28.

Crew: 2
Length: 16.50m (54ft 1½in)
Wingspan: 18.00m (59ft 0½in)
Height: 5.35m (17ft 6½in)
Wing area: 42.45m2 (457ft2)
Loaded weight: 19,550 kg (43,088 lb)

Maximum speed: 910 km/h (565 mph)
Range: 2,800 km (1,739 miles)


Bombs: up to 3,000 kg (6,612 lb)

Junkers EF 128

The Junkers EF 132 was a high-altitude jet fighter designed by Junkers for the Emergency Fighter Program Luftwaffe design competition during the Second World War.[1]

This fighter would be powered by a Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet and armed with four MK 108 cannons, reaching a speed of 1000 km/h at an altitude of 7000 m. The production in series was projected to start around mid 1945.

As part of the Emergency Fighter Program (German: Jägernotprogramm), at the beginning of 1945 a programme was launched by theOKL in order to replace the He 162 Volksjäger. The new aircraft was intended to have superior performance in order to deal with high altitude threats such as the B-29 Superfortress. To meet this requirement, power was to be a single Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet. The designs of the official winner of the competition, the Junkers EF 128, were submitted in February 1945. The plane designs brought forward by other German aircraft makers were the Messerschmitt P.1110,[2] Heinkel P. 1078, Focke-Wulf Ta 183 and Blohm & Voss P 212.[3]

This more advanced fighter attracted more interest than the austere Miniaturjäger among German aircraft manufacturers, but at the time of the Surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II only models had been built.[4] It had swept wings which included wood in their construction. There was a projected variant of a two-seater all-weather/night fighter with a lengthened fuselage.

Junkers EF 132

The EF 132 was a planned jet bomber, under development for the Luftwaffe during World War II. It was the last aircraft project development undertaken by Junkers during the war, and was the culmination of the Ju 287 design started in 1942.
The shoulder-mounted wings were swept back 35° and featured a small amount of anhedral. Six Junkers Jumo 012 jet engines, each of which developed 24.5 kN (5,500 lbf) of thrust, were buried in the wing roots. Wind tunnel results showed the advantages of having the engines within the wing, rather than causing drag by being mounted below the wing surfaces. Several wooden mockups were built of the wing sections, in order to find the best way to mount the engines without wasting too much space while at the same time providing maintenance accessibility. The trailing edge flaps were designed to be split flaps, and the goal was to make the gearing and operation simple. Because of the high placement of the wings to thefuselage, an unbroken bomb bay of 12 m (39 ft 4 in) could be utilized in the center fuselage. The tailplanes were also swept back and the EF 132 had a normal vertical fin and rudder. An interesting landing gear arrangement was planned, that consisted of a nose wheel, two tandem main wheels beneath the center rear fuselage, and outrigger-type wheels under each outer wing. A fully glazed, pressurized cockpit located in the extreme fuselage nose held a crew of five. Armament consisted of two twin 20 mm cannon turrets (one located aft of the cockpit, the other beneath the fuselage) and a tail turret containing another twin 20 mm cannons. All of this defensive armament was remotely-controlled from the cockpit, and a bomb load of 4,000-5,000 kg (8,820-11,020 lb) was envisioned to be carried.

A windtunnel model was tested in early 1945, and a full-scale wooden mockup was also built at the Dessau Junkers facility. The development stage had progressed far when the Red Armyreached the Dessau complex and took possession of the Junkers Ju 287, EF 131 and EF 132 designs and components. In October, 1946 the whole complex and the German engineers were transferred to GOZ No.1 (Gosoodarstvenny Opytnyy Zavod, State Experimental Plant), at Dubna in the Soviet Union, to continue development of the EF 131 and EF 132. Design work on the EF 132 continued under Dr. Brunholff Baade at OKB-1 (the design bureau attached to GOZ No.1), under order of Council of Ministers directive No.874-266, an unpowered example was constructed to gather additional data, but only slow progress was made before the project was terminated on 12 June 1948, by CoM directive 2058-805.

Crew: Five
Length: 30.80 m (101 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 32.40 m (106 ft 4 in)
Height: 8.40 m (27 ft 7 in)
Wing area: 161 m² (1,730 ft²)
Empty weight: 31,300 kg (69,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 65,000 kg (143,300 lb)
Powerplant: 6× Junkers Jumo 012 turbojets, 24.5 kN (5,500 lbf) 24.5 kN each

Maximum speed: 930 km/h (502 kn, 578 mph)
Range: 3,500 km (1,900 nmi, 2,175 mi)
Service ceiling: 10,300 m (33,792 ft)
Rate of climb: 15.5 m/s (2,834 ft/min)


Guns: 2 × 20 mm cannons each in remotely-controlled dorsal, ventral and tail turrets
Bombs: 5,000 kg (11,023 lb) of bombs

Junkers Ju 287

The Junkers Ju 287 was a German aerodynamic testbed built to develop the technology required for a multi-engine jet bomber. It was powered by four Junkers Jumo 004 engines, featured a revolutionary forward-swept wing, and apart from said wing was assembled largely from components scavenged from other aircraft.

The unfinished second and third prototypes, which far more accurately reflected the design of the eventual production bomber, were captured by the Red Army in the closing stages of World War II and the design was further developed in the Soviet Union after the end of the war.

The Ju 287 was intended to provide the Luftwaffe with a bomber that could avoid interception by outrunning enemy fighters. The swept-forward wing was suggested by the project's head designer, Dr. Hans Wocke as a way of providing extra lift at low airspeeds - necessary because of the poor responsiveness of early turbojets at the vulnerable times of take-off and landing. A further structural advantage of the forward-swept wing was that it would allow for a single massive weapons bay forward of the main wing-spar. Prior to the assembly of the first Ju 287, an He 177 A-5 (designated as a 177 prototype, V38) was modified at the Letov plant in Prague to examine the technical characteristics of this single large bomb bay design.

The first prototype was intended to evaluate the concept, and was cobbled together from the fuselage of an He 177 A-5, the tail of a Ju 388, mainundercarriage from a Ju 352, and nosewheels taken from crashed B-24 Liberators. Two of the Jumo 004 engines were hung under the wings, with the other two mounted in nacelles added to the sides of the forward fuselage.

Flight tests began on 8 August 1944 (pilot: Siegfried Holzbaur[1]), with the aircraft displaying extremely good handling characteristics, as well as revealing some of the problems of the forward-swept wing under some flight conditions. The most notable of these drawbacks was 'wing warping', or excessive in-flight flexing of the main-spar and wing assembly. Tests suggested that the warping problem would be eliminated by concentrating greater engine mass under the wings. This technical improvement would be incorporated in the subsequent prototypes. The 287 was intended to be powered by four Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 engines, but because of the development problems experienced with that motor, the BMW 003 was selected in its place. The second and third prototypes, V2 and V3, were to have employed six of these engines, in a triple cluster under each wing. Both were to feature the all-new fuselage and tail design intended for the production bomber, the Ju 287A-1. V3 was to have served as the pre-production template, carrying defensive armament, a pressurised cockpit and full operational equipment.

Work on the Ju 287 programme, along with all other pending German bomber projects (including Junkers' other ongoing heavy bomber design, the piston-engined Ju 488) came to a halt in July 1944, but Junkers was allowed to go forward with the flight testing regime on the V1 prototype. The wing section for the V2 had been completed by that time. In March 1945, for reasons that are not entirely clear, the Ju 287 programme was restarted, with the RLM issuing a requirement for mass production of the jet bomber (100 airframes a month) as soon as possible. The V1 prototype was taken out of storage and transferred to the Luftwaffe evaluation centre at Rechlin, but was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid before it could take to the air again. Construction on the V2 and V3 prototypes was resumed at the Junkers factory near Leipzig, and intended future variant designs (meant for service in 1946) were dusted off. These included the Ju 287B-1, seeing a return to the original powerplant choice of four 2866-lb thrust HeS 011 turbojets; and the B-2, which was to have employed two 7700-lb thrust BMW 018 turbofans. While the Heinkel turbojet was in the pre-production phase at wars' end, work on BMW's radical and massively powerful turbine engine never proceeded past the blueprint stage. The final Ju 287 variant design to be mooted was a Mistel combination-plane ground attack version, comprising an unmanned explosives-packed "drone" 287 and a manned Me 262 fighter attached to the top of the bomber by a strut assembly. The cockpit of the 287 would be replaced by a massive impact-fused warhead. Take-off and flight control of the combination would be under the direction of the 262's pilot. The 262 would disengage from the 287 drone as the Mistel neared its target, the pilot of the fighter remotely steering the 287 for the terminal phase of its strike mission.

The Junkers factory building the V2 and V3 was overrun by the Red Army in late April 1945; at that time, the V2 was 80% complete, and construction of the V3 had just begun. Wocke and his staff, along with the two incomplete prototypes, were taken to the Soviet Union. There, the third prototype (returned to its original Junkers in-house designation, EF 131) was eventually finished and flown on 23 May 1947, but by that time, jet development had already overtaken the Ju 287. A final much-enlarged derivative, the EF 140, was tested in prototype form in 1949 but soon abandoned.

Crew: 2
Length: 18.30 m (60 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 20.11 m (66 ft 0 in)
Height: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 61 m2 (660 sq ft)
Empty weight: 12,500 kg (27,558 lb)
Gross weight: 20,000 kg (44,092 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojet engines, 8.825 kN (1,984 lbf) thrust each :::Ju 287 V2 and Ju 287 V3: 6 x Junkers Jumo 004B-1

Maximum speed: 558 km/h; 302 kn (347 mph) at 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
Cruise speed: 512 km/h; 276 kn (318 mph) at 7,000 m (22,966 ft)
Range: 1,570 km (976 mi; 848 nmi)
Service ceiling: 9,400 m (30,840 ft)
Rate of climb: 9.67 m/s (1,904 ft/min)

Messerschmitt Me 109TL

The Messerschmitt 109TL Turbo-Lader Strahltriebwerk ("turbocharger jet engine") was an alternative design proposed as a backup for theMe 262.

It was first proposed on 22 January 1943 at an RLM conference; at the time only three prototypes of the Me 262 had been completed. The Me 109TL would be a backup if the Me 262 did not come to production or as a second fighter to operate alongside the Me 262.

In order to reduce development time, various components from previous aircraft were to be used. The fuselage was to come from the Bf 109H/BV 155B high-altitude fighter (with a new nose and tail section), the wing was from the Me 409 project and the tricycle undercarriage came from the Me 309. The powerplant would be the same Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojet (900 kgf thrust) or BMW 003A (800 kgf).

The basic armament was to be two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons (with 120 rpg) and two MK 103 cannons mounted in the nose. An additional proposal was two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons to be installed in the wing roots. The pilot cockpit used in the prototypes was the same as utilized in the Bf 109E/G types.

The performance was estimated to be possibly better than the Me 262 due to the Me 109TL's narrower fuselage, a product of the design for a high-speed high-altitude fighter. The Me 109TL received intensive research. By March 1943, it was decided that many other modifications to components would be needed and the project was abandoned in order to concentrate on the Me 262 project.

Length: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 19.5 m2 (210 sq ft)
Gross weight: 4,750 kg (10,472 lb)
Fuel capacity: 750 l (164.98 imp gal; 198.13 US gal)
Powerplant: 2 × Junkers Jumo 109-004B-1 Axial flow turbojet, 8.83 kN (1,984 lbf) thrust each

Maximum speed: 980 km/h (609 mph; 529 kn) [2]
Wing loading: 243 kg/m² (50 lb/sq ft) maximum


2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in nose
2 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 103 cannons in nose

2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in nose
2 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 103 cannons in nose
2 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons in the wing roots

Messerschmitt P.1101

The Messerschmitt P.1101 was a single-seat, single-jet fighter project developed in response to the July 1944 Emergency Fighter Program, which sought the second generation of jet fighters for the Third Reich. A characteristic feature of the P.1101 prototype was that the sweep of the wings could be changed before flight, a feature further developed in later variable-sweep aircraft such as the Bell X-5 andGrumman XF10F Jaguar.

Within nine days of the 15 July 1944 issuance of the design specifications for the Emergency Fighter, the Messerschmitt design bureau under Woldemar Voigt had formed a preliminary paper design for the P.1101. The aircraft which was developed initially had a short and wide fuselage, tricycle landing gear, and mid-mounted wings with an inner sweep of 40 degrees near the fuselage, and a shallower 26 degree angle outboard. The single He S 011 jet engine was to be mounted internally within the fuselage, being aspirated by two rounded intakes located on either side of the cockpit. The tail was of a V configuration, and mounted on a tapered boom which extended over and past the jet exhaust, while the cockpit was forward mounted, with the canopy integrated into the fuselage and forming part of the rounded nose of the aircraft.[2]

By late August 1944, the design still in paper form had evolved into a sleeker incarnation, with the previously stout fuselage lengthened and narrowed with a conical nose section added in front of the cockpit. The double angled wing was also abandoned, with the outer wing of the Me 262 instead being adapted for the design. The design was further developed, and after the wind tunnel testing of a number of wing and fuselage profiles, the design was further modified and finalized, with the decision made to undertake the construction of a full-scale test aircraft. This finalized design and associated test data were submitted to the Construction Bureau on 10 November 1944 and the selection of production materials was begun on 4 December 1944.

On 28 February 1945, the RLM settled on a competing design, the Focke-Wulf Ta 183, as the winner of the Emergency Fighter program. This decision was based in part on the considerable design difficulties being encountered by the Messerschmitt P.1101 design team. For example, the cannon installation was proving too crowded, the mainwheel retraction and door mechanisms were too complex, the fuselage needed a great number of "strong points" to deal with loads, and the anticipated performance had fallen below the RLM specifications due to increased weight.

Since considerable work had already been done on the P.1101 design, the RLM decided to continue reduced funding in order for Messerschmitt to carry out experimental flights testing the swept back wing at anticipated speeds up to Mach 1. The worsening war situation led to the expedited, but risky approach of building a full-scale prototype in parallel with detail construction and continuing statistical calculation, while existing components such as the wings (Me262), landing gear (extended Bf109), and flight components were utilized where feasible. It was also intended for the test flights to be conducted with 35, 40, and 45 degree wing sweep. Production of the V1 prototype was begun at Messerschmitt's Bavarian Oberammergau Complex with a projected first flight in June 1945.

The P.1101 V1 prototype was of duralumin fuselage construction, retained the outer wing section of the Me 262 but with larger slats and as mentioned previously, the wing sweep could be adjusted on the ground from 30, 40, to 45 degrees, making it a forerunner of later variable-geometry designs. The tandem, fuselage mounted intakes of the preliminary designs were replaced by a single nose intake, and the canopy became a bubble design, which afforded better all-around vision than the initial integrated canopy offered. The production prototype also incorporated a more conventional swept tail design, which was constructed out of wood and remained mounted on the tapered tail boom. A T-tail was also designed. The tricycle undercarriage consisted of a steerable, rear retracting nose wheel and long rear retracting wing root mounted main gear. The prototype was fitted with an apparently inoperable Heinkel He S 011 jet engine, but given the non-availability of this engine it is presumed that a considerably weaker Jumo 004B would have been fitted for test flights. In addition, the production model was to be equipped with a pressurized cockpit and armored canopy.

Crew: one, pilot
Length: 9.1 m (29 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 8.2 m (27 ft 1 in)
Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2.5 in)
Wing area: 15.9 m² (171 ft²)
Empty weight: 2,594 kg (5,718.78 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,064 kg (8,960 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Heinkel HeS 011A turbojet, 1,300 kg (2,866 lb)
* Fuel capacity : about 370 gallons

Maximum speed: 980 km/h (Mach 0.8) at 7,000 m[citation needed][specify] (612.5 mph)
Cruise speed: 985 km/h (616 mph) at 7,000 m (22,965 ft)
Range: 1,500 km (932 miles)
Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
Rate of climb: 22.2 m/s (73 ft/s)
Wing loading: 236 kg/m² (42.87 lb/ft²)

Max wing loading : 296.5 kg/m²


None for prototype
2 or 4 × 30 mm MK 108 cannons and 4 × X-4 air-to-air missiles on production version