Heinkel “Lerche II” (“Lark II”) (Fruitbat, Resin)

TYPE: Target defense interceptor. Project.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only, in prone position

POWER PLANT: Two Daimler-Benz DB 603E inline engines, rated at 2.400 hp each, driving contra-rotating propellers


COMMENT: This Heinkel Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) fighter/interceptor project was based on an earlier design, the Heinkel “Wespe” (Wasp). Work on the design started at the Heinkel Company in Vienna on February 25, 1945 and was completed on March 8, 1945. The “Lerche” (Lark) employed a ducted wing planform with contra-rotating propellers, powered by two Daimler-Benz DB 605E engines. This arrangement increased the effectiveness of the airscrews dramatically. During flight the pilot lied in a prone position in the extreme nose, while standing upright during take-off and landing. Projected armament was two MK 108 30mm cannon. The end of the war brought any realization to a termination. After the war this idea of a tail sitter was developed further by the US Navy, e. g. Convair XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon (Ref.: 16).