Heinkel He P.1077 (Julia) Rocket-Powered Interceptor Aircraft
The Heinkel He P.1077 rocket-powered interceptor was approved by German authorities but evolved too slowly and never saw a prototype completed before the end of the war.
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1944 proved a critical year for Germany and its fabled Luftwaffe. Once a master of the skies, advanced products fielded by the Allies in number soon began to remove the German initiative. The Allied reach had expanded to unacceptable lengths, able to target all German-held territories and even German soil itself - no part of the Reich in Europe was safe now. This brought into question the levels of defense for Germany and, in particular, what was being done to counter the threat of American heavy bombers during the day and British heavy bombers during the night. As such, various programs were enacted - primarily through the "Emergency Fighter Program" born on July 3rd, 1944 - to find viable defensive-minded interceptors capable of reacting swiftly to incoming enemy flight groups and engaging bombers with appropriate armament.
Ernst Heinkel headed the Heinkel AG concern which was best known for its He 111 Medium bomber of Battle of Britain fame. The German Air Ministry (RLM) charged any interested German aviation firm with submitting a proposal for an inexpensive single-seat, turbojet-powered interceptor. Four companies responded with varying designs including Heinkel, Messerschmitt, Bachem and Junkers. The Heinkel submission - P.1077 - was selected ahead of the others. However, the Bachem P.20 went on to be evolved into the operational Ba 349A "Natter" ("Viper") along another avenue. Design of the P.1077 originated with Wilhelm Benz and was given the program name of "Julia".