Military Factory
flag of Nazi Germany

Heinkel He 162 Volksjager (Peoples Fighter) Fighter Aircraft (1945)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 7/2/2014

The He 162 was of an advanced design, appearing in small active numbers towards the end of World War 2.

Tweet
The He 162 Volksjager (the "People's Fighter") was developed as a quick solution to stem the tide of the major Allied advances witnessed by German forces in the latter years of the war. The plan was to produce these inexpensive jet fighters in mass production quantities and train Hitler Youth to take them into battle. This formula would go on to show any reader of history the desperate lows that the Reich was willing to steep to help win the war for Germany.

The He 162 was a single-seat fighter of unique design, most identifiable for having the powerplant sitting atop the fuselage, negating the need for any complex internal intake and exhaust systems running the length of the fuselage. The tail was ingeniously split in a "T" format and the wings were mounted high on the fuselage body with edges folded down at aerodynamic degrees. A powered tricycle landing gear, a large glass canopy and even an ejection seat rounded out the list of notable features.

Initial plans for the He 162 came out just 38 days before the first prototype flew, making for an astounding development timeframe. The fuselage was developed from metal allows and plywood for the most inexpensive combination available. Mounting the engine atop the fuselage in no way hampered performance of the aircraft as a whole, though it did provide some instability issues in terms of handling capabilities that pilots should be made aware of, especially considering the nature of the dogfight.

With an intended production goal of about 4,000 a month, the He 162 was to overwhelm the Allied forces through sheer numbers. This became more idealistic than truth, as the supplies and trained aircrews were running thin for the Reich by this time. With that said, training for Hitler Youth ensued but in towed gliders, minimal zing the true learning curve apparent in an advanced aircraft such as the He 162 was to be. Final training was to conclude with Hitler Youth in actual combat.

The dream of the inexpensive lightweight jetfighter piloted by masses of young Hitler Youth men was never to be realized. In the end, British forces took over the airfield housing the only operational Volksjager air group, eventually taking eleven samples back to Britain for further testing and review. Of the 800 initial batch Volksjagers produced, only about 200 would ever actually make it out of the factory gates, the rest remaining in their place in underground factories found throughout Germany.

Incidentally, the He 162 Volksjager is sometimes incorrectly given the name of "Salamander" when, in fact, Salamander is the name given to the entire project of producing the lightweight jet fighter. Volksjager remains the recognized designation and the Heinkel firm applied the name of "Spatz" ("Sparrow") to their creation.

Text ©2003-2014 www.MilitaryFactory.com. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Email corrections/comments to MilitaryFactory at Gmail dot com.

Specifications for the
Heinkel He 162 Volksjager (Peoples Fighter)
Fighter Aircraft


Focus Model: Heinkel He 162 Volksjager (Peoples Fighter)
Country of Origin: Nazi Germany
Manufacturer: Heinkel - Germany
Initial Year of Service: 1945
Production: 275


Crew: 1


Length: 29.69ft (9.05m)
Width: 23.62ft (7.20m)
Height: 8.37ft (2.55m)
Weight (Empty): 4,519lbs (2,050kg)
Weight (MTOW): 5,941lbs (2,695kg)


Powerplant: 1 x BMW 0030A-1 turbojet engine generating 1,764lbs of thrust.


Maximum Speed: 522mph (840kmh; 454kts)
Maximum Range: 432miles (695km)
Service Ceiling: 39,501ft (12,040m; 7.5miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 4,200 feet per minute (1,280m/min)


Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:
2 x 20mm MG 151 cannons OR 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons


Variants:
He 162 - Base Model Designation


He 162 A-0 - Preproduction Aircraft totaling 10 examples.

He 162 A-1 - Fitted with 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons.

He 162 A-2 - Fitted with 2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons; increased ammunition space.

He 162 A-3 - Proposed model with redesigned nose fitted with 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons.

He 162 A-8 - Fitted with Jumo 004D-4 engine

He 162 B-1 - Proposed model; to be fitted with Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011A turbojet engine; elongated fuselage and additional wingspan; improved range and fuel space; 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons.

He 162C - Proposed Model; based on He 162 B-1 model; Vee-tail; fitted with 2 x MK 108 cannons.

He 162D - Proposed Model; designed with forward-swept wing assembly.

He 162E - Based on the He 162A model; fitted with BMW 003R powerplant featuring liquid-fuel rocket booster; single prototype example.

He 162S - Engine-less Two-Seat Trainer Conversion to be used operated as a glider.


Operators:
Nazi Germany