Heinkel HE 162A-1 'Volksjager'

  Base model:He 162
  Designation:HE 162
  Basic role:Fighter (Germany)

  Length: 29' 6" 9.0 m
  Height:8' 6' 2.6 m
  Wingspan: 23' 7" 7.2 m
  Wingarea: 120.6 sq ft 11.2 sq m
  Empty Weight: 3,667 lb 1,663 kg
  Gross Weight: 5,490 lb 2,490 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: BMW 003E-1
  Thrust (each): 1,764 lb 800 kg

  Max Speed: 519 mph 835 km/h 451 kt
  Climb: 4,200 ft/min 1,280 m/min
  Ceiling: 39,440 ft 12,020 m

Examples of this type may be found at
The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"ChinoCalifornia

HE 162A-1 on display

The Air Museum "Planes of Fame"


Recent comments by our visitors
 miami, FL

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04/09/2012 @ 00:35 [ref: 55367]
 Seattle economic prisoner, WA
The Heinkel 162 must be measured by the pilot reports. All of which I know of do praise the Heinkel 162. In addition, many models of the Heinkel 162 have been produced, including turbine models, and they all fly very well. It remains a popular RC model which says more about the aircraft design as a sound aircraft.

Structural failures: One, a highly dubious if not altogether insane scheme involving slave laborers, most of whom expected death as a certain outcome, and, two, the employment of ersatz, literally meaning substitute or replacement, glue in the wooden componets of the Heinkel 162.

The Glues: Originally the Heinkel was to employ Tego film which was developed in Germany in the 1930's. Tego film was similar to Aerolite, a casein adhesive, as used by the British Mosquito. However, the Mosquito's struck first and in one of the early pathfinder raids using Oboe equipped bombers the factory at Wuppertal was destroyed that produced the casein based Tego glue needed for Heinkel 162.

Thus, the "Ersatz Glue" was sought out. This glue was produced by Dynamit AG, of Leverkusen, and was a cold resin glue, whereas the conventional casein based Tego adhesive employed in plywood production for waterproofing was placed on the wood and then heated while the sheets were in a press. Thus impregnating the wood and curing the glue.

The Fatal Glue: The Heinkel 162 wasn't the only victim of the "Ersatz" glue. Focke-Wulf Ta 12 Mosquito also used bonded plywood for the wings, and in July 1944 two proto types broke up in flight due to delamination of the plywood on their wings as well. The so called "Ersatz Glue" was the glue that caused these fatal accidents. It left an acidic residue after curing and which essentially ate at the wood itself it was supposed to be bonding too!

Epilogue: The glue which failed was really the ethics of National Socialism itself, or fascism if you like, which itself fed off the people it was supposedly invented to help. Not unlike the ersatz glue did to the wood it supposedly was employed to hold together. The Heinkel 162 was an extrodinary aircraft and a marvel of simplicity and functionality. A superior machine all around for the epoch of violence it was born in to.

02/23/2012 @ 19:06 [ref: 53341]
 Richard Edkins
 , OTH
The RAF tested the He162 and said that it would have been hard to spot and hit through being so small and would have run rings round the Gloster Meteor.

Galland wanted more Me262 fighters and frankly it was not in his interest to encourage diversion of resources from the Swallow to the Sparrow.

In view of the fact that the Spatz\'s one kill was an RAF fighter, I would hesitate to write it off as a rear-view catastrophe. The Warthog was nearly as bad to look at but its combat record has been remarkable. Bear in mind that the high speed of the Spatz would have let it outrun all but a very few Allied piston-engined fighters on its tail. I for one am very glad it was \'too little, too late\'.

There is a lesson here, incidentally. Swarms of cheap and basic \'monkey version\' fighters like a modern Spatz might be a better defence and attack system than handfuls of highly-expensive super-aircraft. Regard the fighter as a platform and let a swarm of missiles do the dogfighting with a super-aircraft. You only have to be lucky once, whilst the pilot of the super-aircraft has to be lucky all of the time.
08/07/2007 @ 02:43 [ref: 17496]
 , WA
Say, Jim W. The P-51A was not a \"mediocre\" aircraft. At altitudes below 20,000\' it was a hot ship hitting 400mph in 1941.
The XB-17 crash was caused by pilot error. He took off with the flight control locks in place!

The He162A-1 was simply not a very good aircraft. Even if the glue issue was resolved...

The engine had a life of 10 hours or less.

Engine placement blocked all rearward visibility. A huge problem for a combat airctaft.

Production of the 162 used much needed resources that were better used on the outstanding Me-262A.

Structually, the aircraft was weak. Pilots loved aircraft like the P-47 and F-6F because they dould absorb combat damage and get them home. A couple of hits on the 162 and it\'s all over! At least the pilot had an ejecton seat...

No less an expert than Luftwaffe General Galland thought the Heinkel should have been canceled.

12/31/2006 @ 00:54 [ref: 15048]
 Jim W
 Waynesboro, VA
He 162a is quite an interesting aircraft, proposed tested and produced in about 3 months it is a lesson in management techniques. The plane which was tested by some of England's top test pilots after the war received good reviews. It was rated a stable gun platform and with an "experienced pilot" would have been formidible. The glue that bound it was initially to acidic and caused the wooden features of the aircraft to decay and fail. The Germans recognized this and allegedly fixed the problem. One thing people must remember is many truely great airplanes had significant teething problems. The famous P51 was mediocre until mated to a British Merlin engine. One of the initial B17 prototypes crashed during testing. If these aircraft had been reviewed soon after their conception many would have shaken their heads and said don't waste the dollars building these failures.
12/30/2006 @ 11:30 [ref: 15044]
 , WA
"The Heinkel 162 - so-called "Volksjager"- was only one jet engine on top of the fuselage, behind the cockpit. This was a mistake of the same magnitude as the mistake to use the 262 as a fighter-bomber."
Adolf Galland

"Pratically, the 162 had serious combats, uh, I would say a maximum of 10 times. It wasn't ready to go. There was an average time of 12 hours between engine changes."
Adolf Galland

If JSL thinks the 162 was a great design he should consider what Adolf Galland, the man in charge of the Luftwaffe fighter forces thought of it.

10/12/2006 @ 21:38 [ref: 14438]
 Sydney, WA
I have always loved interesting German WWII aircraft, and the He 162 is a favourite. Eric Brown wrote a wonderful piece on flying this thing years ago, and actually loved it (although I think his choice german jet was the Ar 234). The 162 was apparantly delightful to fly with a phenomonal rate of roll. He spent hours flying it for fun after his offical evaluation was completed just doing aero's. The nasty habits everyone talks about were primarily related to its extremely light control forces - which also made it such fun to fly. The German test pilots who briefed him warned him about the rudder pedals and to treat them with caution, as inflight breakages had occured at high speed. It was of course made of wood, and just looking at those tail booms one thinks they could not be all that strong! Aside from being careful with the rudders Eric raved about how good it was, and had no other handling flaws - remarkable for a high speed early jet fighter. He was careful however to say that it would NOT have suited semi ab initio pilots experiencing combat for the first time. The whole problem with the German war effort is it was over engineered when simpler items in volume would have probably worked better. If this aircraft (or ones like it) had been developed earlier (and they could have been) the Luftwaffe may well have stopped daylight raids in their tracks. Would any of the stormbird.com guys want to build one? I'd love to fly it!
03/20/2006 @ 07:50 [ref: 12865]
 caxias do Sul, OTH
VocÍs possuem o projeto do Heinkel HE 162A-1 pois gostaria de construir um prototipo.

Obrigado !

02/03/2006 @ 06:38 [ref: 12401]
 George Fruhling Jr.
 , WA
Proably the most famous moment in the brief history of this aircraft was a high speed flyby of the prototype in front of nazi bigwigs. The aircraft came apart due to structural (glue) failure. German pilots had enough to worry about as it was!
Even without structural problems I doubt this aircraft would have been sucesful. First off, the engine location blocks visibility to the rear. In a fighter aircraft this is a major flaw. (Check six!)
At a time when jet engine technology was in its infancy, a single engine was probably not a very good idea as well. They were not very reliable. The Jumo 004, for example, had a lifespan between overhauls of as low as 10 hours. Throttle response was EXTREMELY SLOW as well as well. Anyone who has operated a turbo-jet with the fuel control in the "manual" setting will know what I'm talking about. Rapid throttle movement results in a compressor stall, an overtemp, or both.
Yet another flaw was a lack of speedbrakes. With a clean airframe and no propeller, this aircraft would take some time to slow down for landing. This meant a long landing approach. With the slow engine spool up the aircraft was VERY vulnerable. Throw in the limited rearward visibility and you have a sitting duck!
No less an authority than Adolf Galland thought the He-126 was a waste of resources better spent on the Me-262.
As a final thought, it seems unlikely that having Hitler Youth fly in combat was ever SERIOUSLY considered!

06/12/2005 @ 18:33 [ref: 10457]
 Mick, the P-51 Pilot
 Chicago, IL
The idea of a "volksjager" makes sense. Happily for the Allies, however, a few items were missing. The idea was to duplicate the success of the Volkswagen with a plane. Alas, kids had no flight sim expierence (unlike now)so it was too difficult to train kids to fly it. Also, there was no cohort of Domino's Drivers with a need for speed.

To make matters better for the Allies, the plane was cheap, but NOT easy to fly, which was a design goal. The goal was to try to make a cheap and easy to fly plane. Lacking modern avionics, the task proved impossible, much to the delight of the Allies. Also, it was sluggish on takeoff, allowing Allies pilots to shoot them down just as they leave the runway. Think of how sluggish a Concorde is in Flight Sim on takeoff before you build up speed.

During the war, the Germans were pretty innovative, ahead of their time. With cruise missiles (the V-1 buzz bomb) and V-2 ballistic missile, they lacked the nukes. If they won the race to build a nuke, we would likely all be speaking German. As it stands now, we Yanks could easally become the Fourth Reich, with ALL the ingredients to make a successful Volksjager, plus we have the nuke-tipped buzzbombs and missiles. All we need is a fuerher - and we have Bush for that!
02/06/2005 @ 14:10 [ref: 9378]


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