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Heinkel 162

Static Restoration (to be displayed in the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace)

Although an " utopia " of the third Reich, the Volksjäger was in fact a unique and extraordinary airplane:

  • First single engine jet fighter,

  • First single engine jet fighter equiped with an ejection seat,

  • One of the few tricycle gear fighter,

  • The only one built in such a short period of time (3 months) from the drawing board to the prototype.

 

Nearly 200 were supplied by three assembly factories:

  • Heinkel- Rostock in Maienehe as early as January 45, bearing the werk nummer 120 000 to 120, airplanes of the A-2 version with 20mm guns.

  • Heinkel-Hinterbrühl, end of January 45, 220 000 serie for the pre production planes.

  • Junkers-Bernburg, end of February 45, 310 000 serie for nearly 30 airplanes of the A.1 version, armed with 30 mm guns.

  • A fourth plant (the sinister mittelwerke near the Dora concentration camp) was supposed to produce airplanes of 300 000 serie, but production switched to V1 and V2 retaliation weapons.

 

Powered by a BMW 003E-1 jet engine (800 kg thrust), the fuselage is metalic while wing, rudders, ailerons, flaps, fuselage doors, and the nose are made of wood. All this woodwork was performed by numerous small workshops spread around the assembly plants. The jet engine is positioned above the fuselage and blows between the two rudders. The fuel tanks are located in the fuselage and in the wing, the latest built as integral fuel tank, by resin impregnation of the wood structure. In case of emergency, an ejection seat was supposed to send the pilot clear of the jet intake.

 

A sole Group became operational, equiped with about 30 He 162, the I./JG1 was based in Leck near the Danish border during the closing days of the war, from April 16 to May 8 1945.

 

The airplanes belonging to the Group were involved in some fights such as the loss of Feldwebel Kirchner flying "yellow 2". Another loss happened on April 26 1945, Unteroffizier Rechenbach was shot down above Keck during a fight against a Spitfire. Moreover, a victory claim was made by 2nd Lt Guy F. Cary of the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th PRG 9th Airforce on a He 162, 3 km north east of Bernberg, probably an airplane on a ferry or a test flight, from the Jünkers factory. A probable victory by an He 162 (never clearely confirmed) on a Typhoon or Tempest by Lt. Rudolf Schmitt above Rostock flying the "white 1".

Ancre 1

The Heinkel 162 n°120015

The Memorial Flight Association has been asked to restore the He 162 nr 120015 on behalf of the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace. This airplane being one of the last survivors and one the few almost complete.

 

When the British Forces occupied Leck on May 15 1945, they found 27 He 162 on the airfield. Five were turned over to the French in Feb 1946 ; two A-1 version wnr. 310012 "red 7 " and wnr. 310003 "yellow 5" ; three A-2 version, wnr. 120093 "white 2" , wnr. 120223 "yellow 1" and wnr. 120015. We now know that there wer at least seven aircrafts in France (two more than the official list).

 

The A-2's were flown with french markings from April 1947 to July 1948. Wnr. 120015 was painted in a single colour of grey/beige and bore the nr. 2. It was flown for most of the tests totalling nearly 14 hours on a total amount of 18 hours of flight tests ; each flight lasting approximately 20 to 30 mn ; this enabled about 30 French Air Force pilots to get a glimpse of jet flying, pending the arrival of British Vampires in 1949.

 

Grounded after the death of Capt. Schienger on the nr 1, the 120015 was sent to the Rochefort-Sur-Mer Air Force mechanics school. It was then repainted "bordeaux-red" and set to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace in 1952 ; its colour changed again to dark green until 1975 when it was given an approximate camouflage paint posing as wnr. 120223.

The Restoration

Restoration Details

Video: Landing gear test

After 60 years, the landing gear is alive again.

Photoscope

The FUG24 radio and the FUG25a IFF (cockpit).