Heinkel He P.1079 (Zerstorer) Bomber Destroyer / Night-Fighter / Interceptor Proposal
No examples of the Heinkel P.1079 Zerstorer were built before the end of World War 2 but some wind tunnel testing was attempted.
Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
One of the greatest threats to The Reich in the latter stages of World War 2 (1939-1945) was the bombing campaign being waged on German war-making capabilities by British and American bombers. The campaign was relentless, arriving during the day and continuing throughout the night, laying waste to factories, bridges, supply depots and the like. Ultimately, the German Air Ministry was forced to entertain all concepts involving interceptors, fighters, and "bomber destroyers" to help turn the tide of the air campaign some.
In Germany, the bomber "destroyer" took on the name of "Zerstorer" and this was used to describe several designs initiated for the role. The classic early-war example for the Luftwaffe became its twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 (detailed elsewhere on this site) and other types followed though with less success. As effective as the Messerschmitt design was, it reached the pinnacle of its usefulness early on and remained on stage long enough to become cannon fodder for more advanced Allied fighters in time.
The arrival of a viable turbojet engine in Germany rewrote its approach to military aircraft design. While not wholly reliable and typically fuel-thirsty, the new propulsion method offered inherent speed and performance increases that would surely provide German pilots with the upper hand. This sort of power, it was thought, could be effectively unleashed on Allied bomber formations as they made their way to the target, jet interceptors picking apart the groups through cannon fire. The chief challenge for aeronautical engineers now lay in devising airframes suitable for turbojet propulsion - the speeds at play required particular aerodynamics.
Heinkel became a prominent aircraft-designer and -maker for Germany and submitted such classics as the prop-powered He 111 Medium Bomber. It also pushed the He 178 and He 280 jet-powered developments to fruition and, beyond these projects, there arrived a slew of offerings of which few found little success. That aside, the turbojet inspired Heinkel engineers to think "beyond the box" and this resulted in several very unique initiatives by the company - the He 162 "People's Fighter" - or "Volksjager" - became one of the more iconic jets to see combat service before the end of the war.
Siegfried Gunther led a design team that fleshed out a new Zerstorer platform to serve in the interception, fighter and night-fighter roles. To ensure destruction of a given target, no fewer than 6 x 30mm Mk 108 series were installed in the airframe, four to fire forwards and two aiming aft. The aircraft could, therefore, engage a target in front or behind it (including trailing enemy interceptors). Power would come from 2 x Heinkel HeS 011 series turbojets laid in a side-by-side arrangement, straddling the fuselage at the wing roots, and producing 5,732lb of thrust combined. The engines would exhaust before the tail section.