Category Archives: Fighter

Fighter

Messerschmitt Me 262 HG III (Frank Airmodell, Resin)

TYPE: High-speed experimental aircraft. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Two Junkers Jumo 004D-1 turbojet engines, rated at 930 kp thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 683 mph at 19.685 ft

COMMENT: The final layout of the Messerschmitt Me 262 “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”) did not come up to all expectations of perfectionist Willy Messerschmitt. He argued that at least the concept of the new revolutionary aircraft is a result of many compromise and need to be improved. One goal is the high speed that can be reached by a turbojet driven aircraft.
Already in 1939 when the first design studies began what later became the Messerschmitt Me 262 Willy Messerschmitt proposed the installation of the turbojet engines into the wing roots in order to reduce drag and save weight. But at that time the plan failed due to the rapid changing dimensions of the first “Sondertriebwerke” (“Exceptional power plants”) as the new turbojet engines are called..
Yet another possibility to reduce drag in high-speed flight was the introduction of swept-back wings. In 1935 Prof. Busemann, an aeronautical research scientist at the aerodynamic institute of the University of Göttingen, discovered the benefits of the swept wing for aircraft at high speeds. He presented a paper on the topic at the Volta Conference at Rome in 1935. The paper concerned supersonic flow only. At the time of his proposal, flight much beyond 300 miles per hour had not been achieved and it was considered an academic curiosity. Nevertheless, he continued working with the concept, and by the end of the year had demonstrated similar benefits in the transonic region as well.
By early 1940 the first precise research findings on swept back wings were available to the German aircraft industry and Messerschmitt proposed in April 1941 to fit up the piston engine driven Messerschmitt Me 262 V1 with a 35 degree swept back wing. Nevertheless, at that time priority was given to the mass-production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”). But with the introduction of this phenomenal aircraft the influence of critical Mach-number (“compressibility”) on subsonic speed became noticeable. In early 1944 research work on development of a high-speed variant of the Messerschmitt Me 262 was done again in three steps as so called “Hoch-Geschwindigkeitsjäger” , suffix “HG” (“High-speed fighter”):

Messerschmitt Me 262 HG I
The leading edge of the inner wing as well as of the vertical tail was increased to 45 degree, the leading edge of the horizontal tail was swept back to 40 degree, a shallow, low-drag cockpit canopy was installed, and the muzzles were faired over.

Messerschmitt Me 262 HG II
A new wing with 35 degree sweep was installed, the engine nacelle was improved, a shallow, low-drag canopy and a butterfly tail-plane was provided.

Messerschmitt Me 262 HG III
Improvements were a new 45 degree swept-back wing, installation of turbojet engines in wing-root, low-drag canopy and swept-back tail-plane.
The last variant was intensively discussed and tested especially the installation of more powerful turbojet engines (Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011). The end of WWII stopped all further work on the Messerschmitt Me 262 HG III (Ref.: 20, 24).

Focke-Wulf Projekt VII “Flitzer” (“Streaker“ or „Dasher)” (Revell)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011A turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp thrust plus one Walter HWK 509A-2 liquid-fuel rocket engine, rated between 300 and 1,500 kp thrust

PERFORMANCE: 593 mph (estimated)

COMMENT: In March 1943 the Focke-Wulf design team in Bremen initiated a series of studies for single-seat, single turbo jet powered fighters. “Entwurf 6”, also known as “Projekt VI”, was approved for mock-up construction in February 1944. The designation was later changed to “Projekt VII” and was given the code name “Flitzer (“Streaker” or “Dasher”). The design had mid-fuselage mounted wings with moderate sweepback (32 degrees), air inlets in the wing roots, twin booms, a high mounted tail plane and a tricycle landing gear. For high speed interception the single He S 011A turbojet was to be supplemented with a Walter HWK 509 A-2 bi-fuel rocket mounted below the turbojet engine. This arrangement was later revised and the rocket engine was eliminated. Projected armament consisted of two MK 103 30mm cannon or two MK 108 30mm cannon in the lower nose and two MG 151/20 20mm cannon in the wings. The Focke-Wulf Flitzer” was well advanced in development, a full-size mock-up and some prototype sub-assemblies being completed. The project was eventually abandoned in favor of the Focke-Wulf Ta 183 “Huckebein”. In the meantime this design was in an advanced stage for series production.

Noteworthy is the fact that the Focke-Wulf “Flitzer” project had great similarity with the contemporary British de Havilland DH 100 “Vampire” (Ref.: 17, 24).

Focke-Wulf Fw P.011- 44 (Fw 250), (Unicraft, Resin) with Henschel „Zitterrochen“ („Crampfish“), (R + V Models,, Resin)

TYPE: Long-range fighter, fighter bomber. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Two Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1.300 kp thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 663 mph at 26,250 ft (estimated)

COMMENT: This Focke-Wulf project was submitted by Professor Kurt Tank and his team in late 1944 for a twin-jet fighter which could be used as a fighter, fighter/bomber or long-range fighter, and was to be constructed in contrast to Tanks wooden Focke-Wulf Ta 154 entirely of metal. The RLM number of 250 was assigned to this project, which had previously been held by the land version of the huge Blohm & Voss Bv 238 flying boat.
The fuselage was wide, to accommodate the nose air intake for the twin Heinkel-Hirth He S 011 jet engines that were buried in the rear fuselage. The wings were swept back at 40 degrees, with the main landing gear retracting inboard into the wing. Mounted on a “boom”, the tail unit was set high in order keep it free from jet exhaust. A single pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit located near the nose. Armament consisted of four MK 108 30mm cannon or four MG 213 20mm cannon. Also, a droppable supplemental fuel container of 1000 kg could be carried by the long-ranged fighter variant as well as guided missiles.
Further testing and work would doubtless have been needed on this project, for example, the long air intake would have resulted in a loss of power, but this could have been overcome by using leading edge or wing root air intakes instead. Even though it would have been superior in climb and turning ability than the similar Messerschmitt “Hochgeschwindigkeitsjäger” (“High-speed fighter”) Me262 HG III, but the Focke-Wulf project would have been slower and would have a longer design-to-prototype time than the Me 262 HG III. All design work was ceased in order to concentrate on Focke-Wulf’s Ta 183 “Huckebein” single jet fighter. The information learned during this project’s design was later used in the Focke-Wulf Fw P.011-45 and Fw P.011-47 jet powered night and all-weather fighter projects.
The aircraft shown here is armed with two Henschel “Zitterrochen” (“Crampfish”) radio-controlled anti-ship missiles (Ref.: 17).

Messerschmitt Me 262 V1 (Frank-Airmodel, Vacuformed)

TYPE: Prototype of Me 262

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Two BMW P.3302 (BMW 003) turbojet engines, rated at 550 kp thrust each, plus one Junkers Jumo 210G liquid-cooled engine, rated at 720 hp

PERFORMANCE: 350 mph

COMMENT: Several years before World War II, the Germans foresaw the great potential for aircraft that used the turbojet engine constructed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, engineer with the Heinkel Company, in 1936. After the successful test flights of the world’s first jet aircraft—the  Heinkel He 178, Messerschmitt and his design bureau adopted the turbojet engine for an advanced fighter aircraft. As a result, the Messerschmitt Me 262 was already under development as “Projekt 1065” (P.1065) before the start of World War II. The project originated with a request by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM, Ministry of Aviation) for a turbojet aircraft capable of one hour’s endurance and a speed of at least 530 mph. Dr. Waldemar Voigt headed the design team, with Messerschmitt’s chief of development, Robert Lusser, overseeing.
Plans were first drawn up in April 1939, and the original design was very different from the aircraft that eventually entered service, with wing root-mounted engines, under development by BMW as 003 or by Junkers as Jumo 004, rather than podded ones, when submitted in June 1939. The progression of the original design was delayed greatly by technical issues involving the new turbojet engine. Because the engines were slow to arrive, Messerschmitt moved the engines from the wing roots to underwing pods, allowing them to be changed more readily if needed; this would turn out to be important, both for availability and maintenance. Since the BMW 003 jets proved heavier than anticipated, the wing was swept slightly, by 18.5°, to accommodate a change in the center of gravity. Funding for the turbojet engine program was also initially lacking as many high-ranking officials thought the war could easily be won with conventional aircraft.
Test flights began on 18 April 1941, with the Me 262 V1 example, bearing its “Stammkennzeichen” (radio code letters) of PC+UA, but since its intended BMW 003 turbojets were not ready for fitting, a conventional Junkers Jumo 210 piston engine was mounted in the V1 prototype’s nose, driving a propeller, to test the Me 262 V1 airframe. After successful trials demonstrating good flying characteristics of the design two prototypes of the BMW P.3302 turbojet engines, forerunner of the BMW 003 turbojet engine, were installed.  The Jumo 210 piston engine was retained for safety, which proved wise – so often reported in literature – as both turbojet engines failed during the first flight and the pilot had to land using the nose-mounted engine alone. Original test-flight protocols published some years ago show reasonable doubt on that report.
In total the Messerschmitt Me 262 V1 successfully completed 74 flights but only one under turbojet power. The prototypes V2 through V4 were purely turbojet driven, but with the more powerful Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines.
The V1 through V4 prototype airframes all possessed what would become an uncharacteristic feature for most later jet aircraft designs, a fully retracting conventional landing gear setup with a retracting tailwheel. Indeed, the very first prospective German “turbojet fighter” airframe design ever flown, the Heinkel He 280, powered by a Heinkel HeS 8A turbojet engine, used a retractable tricycle landing gear from its beginnings, and flying on turbojet power alone as early as the end of March 1941. From prototype Me 262 V6 onwards all aircraft featured a fully-retractable, hydraulically-operated tricycle undercarriage. Dubbed unofficially the “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”), the first production sub-type off the new warplane, the Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a single-seat interceptor fighter entered service with the “Erprobungskommando (EKdo) 262” at Lechfeld in July 1944  (Ref.: 7, 24).

Messerschmitt Me 163A V4 (MPM Models)

TYPE: Rocket-powered interceptor test bed

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Walter R II-203b bi-fuel liquid rocket, rated between 150 to 750 kp

PERFORMANCE: 550 mph

COMMENT: In early 1941, based on the success by the DFS 194, production of a prototype series, known as the Messerschmitt Me 163, began. Secrecy was such that the RLM’S “GL/C” airframe number, 8163, was actually that of the earlier, pre-July 1938 Messerschmitt Bf 163. It was thought that intelligence services would conclude any reference to the number “163” would be for that earlier design. Five prototypes (V1 to V5) were ordered designated Messerschmitt Me 163A “Komet” (“Comet”).
In May 1941 the Messerschmitt Me 163A V4 was shipped to Peenemünde to receive the Walter HWK RII-203 engine. By 2 October 1941, the Me 163A V4, bearing the radio call sign letters, or Stammkennzeichen, “KE+SW”, set a new world speed record of 624.2 mph. Piloted by Heini Dittmar, the fully tanked up aircraft was towed to an altitude of 13,120 ft behind a Messerschmitt Me 110C. After casting-off from the tow-plane, the rocket engine was fired. At about Mach 0.84 compressibility effects resulted in a sudden loss of stability, and the Me 163A V4 went into a dive. Dittmar promptly cut the rocket motor, the aircraft decelerating rapidly and full control being restored. The aircraft was landed on skids with no apparent damage to the aircraft during the attempt.
During further flight testing, the superior gliding capability of the Me 163A proved detrimental to safe landing. As the now un-powered aircraft completed its final descent, it could rise back into the air with the slightest updraft. Since the approach was unpowered, there was no opportunity to make another landing pass. For production models, a set of landing flaps allowed somewhat more controlled landings. This issue remained a problem throughout the program. Nevertheless, the overall performance was tremendous, and plans were made to put the Messerschmitt Me 163 squadrons all over Germany in 40-kilometre rings (25 mi) around any potential target. Development of an operational version was given the highest priority.
Five prototype Me 163A V-series aircraft were built, adding to the original DFS 194 (V1), followed by eight pre-production examples designated as “Me 163 A-0”.

Note: Some postwar aviation history publications stated that the Messerschmitt Me 163A V3 (CD+IL) was thought to have set the record. The 1,004 km/h record figure would not be officially approached until the postwar period by the new British and American turbojet-powered aircraft. It was not surpassed (except by the later Me 163B V18 in 1944, but seriously damaged by the attempt) until the American Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak” turbojet-powered research aircraft did so on 20 August 1947 with no damage (Ref.: 24).

Focke-Wulf Ta 183/III (Planet, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter, Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp

PERFORMANCE: 599 mph

COMMENT: On February 1945 the Tank design team proposed a second design of the Focke-Wulf/Tank Ta 183 turbojet fighter although the RLM accepted the first design for production. The new aircraft was similar to the Ta 183 design, except the wings were swept back at 35 degrees and the cockpit was set farther aft. Also, the tail unit was of more conventional design, with a curvilinear sweep of the fuselage into the vertical tail. This seemed to be necessary because it was expected that the long vertical tail of Ta 183 led to vibrations. By that the horizontal tail planes were mounted lower at the end of the fuselage. As with many other projects al work was halted with the end of the WW II two months later (Ref.: 17).

Henschel Hs P.75 (CMK, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter, fighter bomber, Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Daimler Benz DB 613 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 3,500 hp

PERFORMANCE: 491 mph

COMMENT: In early 1941 the OKL asked for a possible successor for the Messerschmitt Me 110 heavy fighter. Among others the Henschel Aircraft Company proposed a design of a futuristic and unusual configuration. This design, the Hs P.75, featured a tapered fuselage with slightly swept-back wings set back to the rear fuselage of the aircraft and a pair of slightly swept-back canards located on the nose. The widened fuselage housed a powerful engine that drove three-bladed contra-rotating pusher propellers at the rear via an extension shaft. As power unit a Daimler Benz DB 610 engine, which were two DB 605 liquid-cooled engines joined side-by-side, was proposed. These were the same engines that the Heinkel He 177 bomber used and became known for overheating and catching fire.  So it was decided to install the Daimler Benz DB 613, in fact two coupled DB 603 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 3,500 hp. A vertical tail unit was mounted beneath the fuselage additionally functioning as a tail bumper and protected the propellers from stroking the ground during take-off. A tricycle landing gear arrangement was chosen and a single pilot sat in the cockpit located about midway along the fuselage. All weapons were mounted in the nose. The advantage of the pusher propeller and the forward canard design was the excellent view of the pilot and concentration of weapons in the nose. The disadvantage would be the engine cooling and the pilot’s safely exit in case of emergency. Although good results were obtained in wind tunnel testing this design was not followed up further.
Notable is the fact that this basic design was realized in several WW II aircraft design such as Curtiss XP-55 “Ascender” and Kyushu J7W1 “Shinden” (Ref.: 17).

 

Heinkel He P.1078A (Frank Airmodel, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

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).

Henschel Hs 132A V1 (A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: Dive-bomber and interceptor

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot in prone position

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).

Messerschmitt Me 309 V1 (Huma)

TYPE: Short- and medium-range interceptor

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 603A-1 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,750 mph

PERFORMANCE: 496 mph at 26,200 ft

COMMENT: During 1941 the Messerschmitt design bureau began work on a new fighter intended to succeed the Messerschmitt Me 109. Designated Me 309, the new fighter employed a nose-wheel undercarriage. The first prototype Me 309 V1 began taxi-ing trials on June 1942 and the first test flight was not attempted until July 1942. Subsequent flight tests revealed some instability, and the prototype was grounded for several modifications.
Despite continual modifications, the characteristics of the fighter were still not entirely satisfactory. On November 1942 a flight comparison between the Me 309 V1 and a standard Me 109G revealed the fact that the older fighter could turn-out its potential successor. In the meantime three further prototypes were ready for test flights but the results showed that numerous modifications were necessary. During summer 1943, however, the complete program was abandoned owing to the superior qualities of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D and Tank Ta 152.
Prior to the termination of the program several variants of the basic design were proposed including different engines as Daimler-Benz DB 603H and Junkers Jumo 213. Another development, the Me 609, with two Me 309 fuselages joined by a constant center wing, was not proceeded with (Ref.: 11).