Heinkel He 343A-1 (Planet Models, Resin)

TYPE: Medium bomber. Project.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and observer

POWER PLANT: Four Heinkel/Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1,300 kp each


COMMENT: The Heinkel He 343 was a four-engine jet bomber project by Heinkel Aircraft Company in the last years of WW II. In 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 enlarged Arado Ar 234 “Blitz” (“Lightning”). For a choice of engines, the Junkers Jumo 004 and the Heinkel HeS 011 were planned. The DFS (Deutsche Forschungsinstitut für Segelflug), (German Research Institute for Gliding Flight) was involved in the project and created the project known as P.1068. By the end of 1944, work was nearly finished by the Heinkel engineers, with parts for the He 343 prototype aircraft either under construction or in a finished state, when the order was cancelled due to the “Jägernotprogramm (Emergency Fighter Program). Four versions were planned: the He 343A-1 bomber, the He 343A-2 reconnaissance aircraft, and the He 343A-3 and He 343B-1 “Zerstörer” (“Destroyer”) heavy fighters.
The Heinkel He 343A-1 was to be the bomber version. Depending on the engines used, the bomb load ranged between 2000 kg to 3000 kg, with 2000 kg to be carried internally, and 1000 kg to be carried externally. Trials were to be held with the Fritz X radio controlled bomb, which would have also added a third crew member. Defensive armament consisted of two fixed rear firing MG 151 20 mm cannon with 200 rounds each, which were mounted in the rear fuselage. None aircraft was completed. However, after WW II 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. The results of the tests were used in development of the Ilyushin Il-28 (Ref: 24).

Kogiken Plan I Type A Heavy fighter (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor, fighter. Project


POWER PLANT: One Kawasaki Ha 40 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,100 hp

PERFORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: In the summer of 1941, Rikugun Kokugijutsu Kenkyujo (Japanese Army Aerotechnical Research Institute, short named “Kogiken”) formed a design group under the leadership of Ando Sheigo. The task was to study Japanese aviation technology in terms of what was possible at present and in the near future. Additionally, some effort was to be spent on reviewing the aircraft technology of other countries. From the results the group was to assemble and draft proposals for aircraft to fill various pre-determined roles: heavy fighter, light bomber, heavy bomber and reconnaissance. For a bigger idea pool, Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) main aircraft providers, Kawasaki and Tachikawa, were invited to join the group, too. In that period projects such as Kogiken Plan III Revised light bomber and Kogiken Plan V Revised light bomber were designed and proposed to the IJA.
Among fighter designs the Kogiken Plan I Type A was a single seat heavy fighter and a Japanese adaption of the Bell P-39 “Airacobra” mid-fuselage engine concept. The aircraft was designed end 1941 and should be powered by a single Kawasaki Ha 40 liquid-cooled in-line engine, derived from the German Daimler-Benz DB 601A. The engine was installed immediately aft the cockpit driving a four-bladed puller propeller via an extension shaft. A tricycle landing gear was provided similar to the Bell P-39. Armament consisted of 37 mm Ho-203 or 20 mm Ho-5 canon firing through the propeller hub and two wing-mounted 12.5 mm Ho-103 guns. No further details are known, the project never left the drawing board (Ref.: Parts from Unicraft).

Hawker “Typhoon” Mk. IB, 143th SQN (Airfix)

TYPE: Interceptor, fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: One Napier “Sabre” IIC liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2,180 hp

PERFORMANCE: 412 mph at 19,000 ft

COMMENT: The Hawker “Typhoon” (“Tiffy” in RAF slang), was a British single-seat fighter bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. It was intended to be a medium–high altitude interceptor, as a replacement for the Hawker “Hurricane” but several design problems were encountered and it never completely satisfied this requirement.
The “Typhoon” was originally designed to mount twelve Browning Machine guns and be powered by the latest 2000 hp engines. Its service introduction in mid-1941 was plagued with problems and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future. When the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941, the “Typhoon” was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes; as a result it secured a new role as a low-altitude interceptor.
By contemporary standards, the new design’s wing was very “thick”, similar to the “Hurricane” before it. Although the “Typhoon” was expected to achieve over 400 mph in level flight at 20,000 ft, the thick wings created a large drag rise and prevented higher speeds than the 410 mph at 20,000 feet achieved in tests. The climb rate and performance above that level was also considered disappointing. When the “Typhoon” was dived at speeds of over 500 mph, the drag rise caused buffeting and trim changes. These compressibility problems led to Hawker designing the “Typhoon II”, later known as the “Tempest”, which used much thinner wings with a laminar flow airfoil.
By 1943, the RAF needed a ground-attack fighter more than a “pure” fighter and the “Typhoon” was suited to the role and less-suited to the pure fighter role than competing aircraft such as the Supermarine “Spitfire” Mk IX. The powerful engine allowed the aircraft to carry a load of up to two 454 kg bombs, equal to the light bombers of only a few years earlier. The bomb-equipped aircraft were nicknamed “Bombphoons” and entered service with No. 181 Squadron, formed in September 1942
Starting in January 1943, a “Typhoon” was used to test a new, clear, one piece sliding “bubble” canopy and its associated new windscreen structure which had slimmer frames which, together with the “cut-down” rear dorsal fairing, provided a far superior all-around field of view to the car-door type. From November 1943 all production aircraft were to be so fitted. However, the complex modifications required to the fuselage and a long lead time for new components to reach the production line meant that it took some time before the new canopy became standard. Production of the “Typhoon”, which was entirely the responsibility of Gloster Aircraft, totaled 3,330 machines (Ref.: 24)