World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Heinkel He 162 jet fighter
Nickname: Salamander, Volksjäger (People's Fighter)

Photos

  • Heinkel He 162 fighter
  • Heinkel He 162 Salamander
  • Heinkel He 162 Spatz Volksjager Salamander fighter

Design

Was designed by Ernst Heinkel. He called it the Swallow. Ernst Heinkel was able to design, build, and launch the Heinkel He 162 in three months, September - December 1944. The requirements were for a fighter that was simple to build and didn't use strategic materials.

The specifications were given to seven companies (Arado, Blohm und Voss, Fieseler, Focke Wulf, Heinkel, Junkers, and Messerschmitt) on September 8, 1944. On September 30 the contract was given to Heinkel.

The Heinkel He 162 was an attempt to design a mass produced Volksjäger "peoples fighter" that would battle the Allied bombers. It was hoped that pilots with little training or experience could fly the He 162. The plan was that Hitler Youth would be given elementary training in gliders. However, it suffered from aerodynamic and structural problems which caused it to be difficult to fly.

Cockpit

The pilot had one of the first ejection seats in an aircraft.

The cockpit had a one piece canopy which gave the pilot an excellent view.

Fuselage

The fuselage was built of metal.

Undercarriage

With the heavy engine mounted above the fuselage and the undercarriage being very narrow made handling on the ground difficult.

Wings

The wings were made primarily of wood with light allow flaps. It was hoped to solve the aerodynamic problems by using turned down wingtips.

Engine

The BMW engine was mounted above the fuselage. This caused the He 162 to be unstable in pitch which caused it to be hard to fly. The placement of the engine also lead to the need for the pilot to use an ejection seat as a parachute could have been caught in the turbojet.

Prototype

The first prototype of the He 162 was completed on December 1, 1944 / December 6 ,1944. The He 162 V1 prototype first flew, from Heinkel's Vienna-Schwechat field, on December 6, 1944, which was 38 days after the detailed drawings were given to the factory. It crashed four days later when the right wing broke up. The crash was the result of faulty gluing.

Production

More than 270 He 162s were produced and over 800 unfinished aircraft were captured.
150 were delivered to the Luftwaffe. 100 were awaiting flight testing. 800 were on in the production line.

It was planned to build 2,000 / 4,000 / 5,000 a month. Construction was to take place in three factories.

  • Prototypes: 4
  • Pre-Series: 31
  • Heinkel He 162: ~100
  • Heinkel He 162A-1: 275
    • Location: Parchim
  • Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel A.G.

Variants

  • Heinkel He 162 V1: Prototype.
  • Heinkel He 162A-1: 30 mm cannon.
  • Heinkel He 162A-2: 20 mm cannon. Tail plane span was increased. First production model.

Usage

On May 4, 1945 a Gruppe (1/JG1) was formed at Leck with 50 He 162 fighters. It was commanded by Oberst Herbert Ihlefeldt.

No actual reports of combat have ever been confirmed.

Specifications

  Heinkel He 162 Salamander
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: BMW 003E-1/2 turbojet, BMW 109-003E turbojet
Thrust at take-off 1,760 lb, 1,764 lb
7.9 kN, 800 kg
Dimensions  
Span 23' 7.5", 23' 7.75"
7.2 m, 7.21 m
Length 29' 8.5"
9.05 m
Height 8' 4.375", 8' 6"
2.55 m, 2.59 m
Wing area 120 sq ft
11.15 sq m
Weight  
Empty 3,858 lb, 4,796 lb
1,750 kg, 2,175 kg
Loaded 5,480 lb
2,486 kg
Maximum load 5,940 lb, 5,952 lb
2,694 kg, 2,700 kg
Performance  
Speed at 19,685' /
6,000 m
519 mph
835 kph
Climb 4,230' per minute
1,290 m per minute
Service ceiling 36,090'
11,000 m
Range 621 miles
1,000 km
Armament  
Fuselage 2: 20 mm, 20 mm MG 151
OR 2: 30 mm, 30 mm MK 108
  Heinkel He 162A Salamander
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: BMW 003 E-1 turbo jet
OR 1: BMW 003 E-2
OR 1: Junkers Jumo 004
OR 1: Heinkel-Hirth 011
Fuel Capacity 248 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 23' 7.75"
7.2 m
Length 29' 8.25"
9 m
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,480 lb
2,490 kg
Maximum load 5,940 lb
2,700 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 490 mph
784 kph
Speed at 19,680' /
6,000 m
522 mph
835 kph
Speed at 36,000' /
10,980 m
485 mph
776 kph
Climb at Sea Level 2,460' per minute
750 m per minute
Climb to 19,680' /
6,000 m
6.6 minutes
Climb to 36,000' /
10,890 m
20 minutes
Service ceiling 39,400'
12,020 m
Range 267 miles
430 km
Armament  
Fuselage 2: 30 mm MK 108
OR 2: 20 mm MG 151/20
  Heinkel He 162A-2 Salamander
Type Fighter, Jet fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) BMW 003E-1 axial flow turbojet
Thrust at take-off 1,755 lb, 1,764 lb
7.8 kN
Thrust maximum
for 30 seconds
2,030 lb
9.02 kN
Dimensions  
Span 23' 7"
7.2 m
Length 29' 8"
9.05 m
Height 8' 6"
2.6 m
Wing area 121 ft2
11.2 m2
Weight  
Empty 3,659 lb
1,663 kg
Loaded 5,940 lb, 6,171 lb
2,805 kg
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed at sea level 490 mph
602 km, 788 kph
Speed @ 19,680' 521 mph
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
522 mph
840 kph
Climb 4,230'/minute
1,289 m/minute
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
6.6 minutes
Service ceiling 39,400', 39,500'
12,010 m, 12,048 m
Endurance at sea level 20 minutes
Endurance at 36,000' /
10,973 m
57 minutes
Range 384 miles, 410 miles, 606 miles
620 km, 660 km
Armament 2: 20 mm MG 151
Fuselage 2: 20 mm MG 151

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site