POWER PLANT: One Heinkel/Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp
PERFORMANCE: 609 mph
COMMENT: As part of the “Emergency Fighter Program” (”Jägernotprogramm”), at the beginning of 1945 a program was launched by the OKL (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, High Command of the Luftwaffe) for a new generation of fighter/interceptor aircraft in order to replace the winner of the “Volksjäger” fighter design competition, the Heinkel He 162A “Spatz” (“Sparrow”) . The new aircraft was intended to have superior performance in order to deal with high altitude threats such as the the Boeing B-29 “Superfortress”, but only had a 30-minute endurance figure.
Heinkel produced three different designs of the project (He P. 1078A, B, and C) which were submitted in February 1945. The high-altitude fighter designs brought forward by other German aircraft makers were the Messerschmitt Me P. 1110, Focke-Wulf Ta 183 “Huckebein”, Blohm & Voss Bv P.212 and Junkers EF 128, the official winner of the competition. After being subject to severe criticism, the project was cancelled by Heinkel at the end of February 1945. Other reports state that these Heinkel projects have never been submitted to the OKL. In fact, members of the Heinkel construction bureau were working on these designs under U.S. supervision after WW II during the summer of 1945 (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: One Aichi Ha-70 (twin-coupled Aichi “Atsuta 30s”) twenty-four cylinder liquid-cooled engine, rated at 3,400 hp
PERFORMANCE: 447 mph at 32,810 ft
COMMENT: In 1942 the Japanese Navy initiated the development of a new class of aircraft to fulfil the role as long-range high-speed land-based reconnaissance aircraft. The first projected aircraft was planned around the new 2,500 hp twenty-four cylinder, liquid-cooled engine then under development by Mitsubishi. But in 1943, inspired by evaluation of the Heinkel He 119 V4 acquired from Germany that was powered by two coupled engines buried in the fuselage behind the cockpit the design was changed again. Now the Aichi Ha-70 twin-coupled “Atsuta “30 was installed in the fuselage driving a single six-bladed tractor propeller via an extension shaft. Completed in April 1945 the prototype made its first flight on 8 May 1945. Unfortunately, this flight had to be cut short because of an abnormal rise in oil temperature, while a few days later an engine fire on the ground necessitated a complete engine change. Before this could be done, the R2Y1 was destroyed by American bombs. At the end of the war a second R2Y1 prototype was under construction and the design of a turbojet engine-powered fast attack bomber R2Y2 had almost been completed (Ref. 1).
POWER PLANT: Two Wright XR-1820-40/41 “Cyclone” radial engines, rated at 1,200 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 380 mph at 16,500 ft
COMMENT: In 1938 Grumman presented a proposal to the U. S. Navy for a twin engine carrier based aircraft, unlike any other fighter aircraft that had ever been considered. The design was for a light weight fighter powered by two 1,200 hp Wright R-1820 engines, with propellers geared to rotate in opposite directions to cancel out the effects of each engine’s torque, promising high-speed, and an outstanding rate of climb. Designated XF5F-1 “Skyrocket” it was a low wing monoplane with a short fuselage that began aft of the wing’s leading edge with a twin tail assembly that featured a pronounced dihedral to the horizontal stabilizer. The main landing gear and tail wheel were fully retractable. The aircraft flew for the first time on 1 April 1940. Engine cooling problems arose in the initial flights, resulting in modification to the oil cooling ducts. Further modifications were made to the prototype including reduction in the height of the cockpit canopy, redesign of the engine nacelles, and extending the fuselage forward of the wing. Flight tests indicated good flying qualities for the XF5F-1. The counter-rotating props were a nice feature, virtually eliminating the torque effect on take-off the single-engine performance was good, rudder forces tended to be high in single engine configuration. Nevertheless, additional changes were needed after further flight tests that were not completed until 15 January 1942. In the meantime, Grumman began work on a more advanced twin-engine shipboard fighter, the XF7F-1 “Tigercat”, and further testing with the XF5F-1 supported the development of the newer design. The prototype continued to be used in various tests, although plagued by various landing gear problems, until it was struck from the list of active aircraft after it made a belly landing on 11 December 1944.
A land-based development of the Grumman XF5F-1 “Skyrocket” was the Grumman XP-50 “Skyrocket”. It entered into a USAAC contest for a twin-engine heavy interceptor aircraft. A prototype was ordered on November, but the aircraft lost the competition to the Lockheed XP-49 (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT:One BMW 003A turbojet engine, rated at 800 kp
PERFORMANCE: 485 mph at 19,685 ft
COMMENT: Early in 1943, the RLM issued a specification for a single-seat attack aircraft to combat the anticipated Allied invasion in Europe. Although the specification called for a piston-engine powered dive bomber it was soon realized that only a turbojet-driven aircraft could hope to match the proposed performance requirements. The Henschel Company submitted a design which was approved as Henschel Hs 132 and placed accent of simplicity and ease to manufacture. The wing was a wooden structure with plywood skinning, and the fuselage was a circular metal monocoque. The single turbojet was mounted above the fuselage, exhausting over the rear fuselage and between the twin vertical surfaces of the tail assembly. A tricycle landing gear was to be used and the extensively glazed cockpit was completely faired with the fuselage. The pilot was in prone position better to withstand the high G-forces of the fast and steep dive during the bomb run. It was estimated that during the dive a speed of more than 570 mph could be reached and after the bomb was released the aircraft was pulled up thus inducing acceleration forces of up to 10 G. A contract for six prototypes was placed in May 1944, and construction began in March 1945. When the war in Europe ended the Henschel Hs 132 V1 was nearly complete and captured by Soviet forces
NOTICE: To ascertain the practicability of the prone position for dive bomber pilots, the DLV ordered in early 1943 a small prone-pilot research aircraft that was designed and built by the FFG Berlin (Flugtechnische Fachgruppe/Aerotechnical Group, University Berlin) and designated Berlin B9. The design was a low winged, twin-engine aircraft of standard layout. It was built of mixed construction and could accept up to 22 G. It was flown by many experienced pilots and showed the advantages of a prone position for pilots to tolerate high g-forces. (Ref.: 17).
POWER PLANT: Two Mitsubishi Ha-211-I Ru turbo-supercharged air-cooled radial engines, rated at 2,200 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 354 mph at 27,890 ft
COMMENT: The Tachikawa Ki-74 was a Japanese experimental long-range reconnaissance bomber of WW II. A twin-engine, mid-wing monoplane, it was developed for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. Though already conceived in 1939 as a long-range reconnaissance aircraft, the prototype Ki-74 (designated as A-26 by Tachikawa) only first flew as late as in March 1944. It was powered by two 2,201 hp Mitsubishi Ha-211 (Ha-43-I) radial engines. The following two prototypes were powered by the turbo-supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-21-I Ru (Ha-43-II) engines, but as these experienced teething troubles, the following thirteen pre-production machines substituted the Ha-211 Ru engine for the lower-powered, but more reliable, turbo-supercharged Mitsubishi Ha-104 Ru air-cooled engines, rated at 1,900 hp. The forth pre-production aircraft was modified in 1944 to undertake non-stop flights between Japan and Germany, but the “Third Reich” capitulated before the first of these flights could be made. In total 16 aircrafts have been built, but did not see operational service. Plans were made to use the Ki-74 in bombing attacks against the B-29 bases on Saipan, as soon as sufficient aircraft were available, but the Japanese surrender terminated the project. Nevertheless, the Allies knew of its existence and assigned the type the codename “Patsy” after it was discovered that it was a bomber, not a fighter. Previously it had the code name “Pat” in Allied Intelligence (Ref.: 1, 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Packard “Merlin” 31 or 33 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 1,460 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 408 mph at 28,000 ft
COMMENT: Until the end of WW II the de Havilland Company Canada rolled out 1,133 “Mosquito” aircraft of different subtypes. The “Mosquito” B Mk XX was the Canadian version of the “Mosquito” B Mk IV bomber aircraft of which 145 were built. From these 40 were converted into F-8 photo-reconnaissance aircraft for the USAAF and used with the 8th USAAF in the European Theatre of Action. It had the same Packard “Merlin” engines and was equipped with three overload fuel tanks, totaling 3,500 L in the bomb bay. Additionally, for range extension it could also carry two 230 L or 450 L drop tanks.
The de Havilland “Mosquito” of 25th BG(R) -802 RG(P) were painted in normal RAF P.R. Blue finish. In August 1944 the vertical tail was colored in red and in September 1944 all tail surfaces were painted red. This marking was necessitated by frequency of misidentification of “Mosquito” as enemy type. Similar marking were used on BoeingB-17G of 652 BS.
The 25th Bombardment Group (Reconnaissance) was constituted in the days after D-Day and activated in England in August 1944 to carry out photographic and mapping missions over mainland Europe as the Allied armies pushed east. The Group were designated a Bombardment Group but they did not drop bombs. Instead they flew bombers to drop ‘chaff’ screenings for other Bomb Groups. ‘Chaff’, strips of metallic paper, would interfere with the enemy’s ability to detect aircraft using radar (Ref.: 24).