The Heinkel He 162
Hello and welcome to this topic !
I don’t want to be like your teachers but I really have to say that the history of aviation is very important. If you like these kind of topics I would be happy to create more of them :)
Today we will take a closer look at the Heinkel He 162.
The Heinkel He 162 “Volksjäger” (People’s fighter) was a german fighter plane. It had its first flight on Dec, 6th 1944, it was produced between 1944-1945 and about 170 were built. Now you think it was just a normal fighter plane like every other but it wasn’t. 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, including slave labor.
Additionally, the “Volksjäger” needed to be easy to fly, this is why there were only basic instruments in the cockpit. Some suggested even glider or student pilots should be able to fly the jet effectively in combat, and indeed had the “Volksjäger” gone into full production, that is precisely what would have happened. I mean we are talking about teenager who had been 16 or 17 years old. Just imagine you are a 17 year-old boy and then someone says: “Yeah, come on ! You can fly this jet.”
The He 162 was also not slow, it was able to fly 700km/h !
I’m glad that there had been only few flights because it wasn’t safe, too. As I’ve already said, slaves had to build this plane under very bad living conditions and they often made mistakes. This means that part of the tails or the wing could rip off during the flight !
Now back to the boys who should fly it. So there had been a gun in this plane, but I mean glider pilot license does NOT include a shooting training :). They were told if you cannot shoot the bomber down, just ram them. Imagine thowsands of these fighter, flown by young boys and fyling faster than any aircraft, flying against or even into Allied bombers. It would have been absolute carnage. So, in the end it’s good for all sides, that these planes arrived too late to see actual service. Strangly enough, after the war, when the most famous British test pilot Eric “Winkle” Brown flew the He 162, he actually commented that it was one of the finest aircraft he had ever flown.
I was very impressed by this story when I read it the first time. (not just WiKiPeDia)
Here you can see some pics of it:
The cockpit (there were only basic instruments):
I really, really hope it was interesing :)
- Yes, very interesting
- It was ok
- It was very boring
For more information:
I would be happy if you want to see more of these topics :)
If you have any questions, feel free to ask !