The Henschel Hs 121 - the first aircraft offering by the company - failed to impress German authorities heading into the World War 2 period.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Public Domain.
Henschel Flugzeugwerke A.G. (est. 1933) of Germany had its first aircraft in the Hs 121 of 1934. This design utilized braced high-wing mainplanes as well as an open-air cockpit (seating for one) and featured a fixed undercarriage with spatted wheels. The type was developed to serve as an advanced fighter trainer for the new, and growing, German Luftwaffe but the design was not adopted by the service nor any foreign buyers. Nevertheless, the introduction of this machine gave Henschel its first aircraft ever and paved the way for more designs that followed into World War 2 (1939-1945).
The Hs 121 was a product of its time - relying on proven aircraft qualities while also making the shift to more modern characteristics such as all-metal construction. This Henschel aircraft design was, indeed, comprised largely of metal save for some surfaces being skinned in fabric. A propeller was set within the nose-mounted spinner and this was driven by way of an Argus As 10C series inverted inline pistol engine of 240 horsepower output. The pilot sat aft of the wing mainplane arrangement which, coupled with the long nose of the aircraft, restricted views.
Performance included a maximum speed of 173 miles per hour with a cruising speed nearing 155 miles per hour. The aircraft could manage a service ceiling up to 21,320 feet with a rate-of-climb of 1,640 feet per minute. In-flight endurance was around two hours.
A test article was constructed for presentation to Luftwaffe authorities and this first flew on January 4th, 1934. However, it did not have many qualities to recommend itself and the product was further doomed by poor flight characteristics for an advanced fighter trainer - leaving only a sole example built.
Henschel found more success with their Hs 126 of 1937 which ended as one of the Luftwaffe's most effective short-ranged reconnaissance-minded platforms of World War 2 during the early-going.
[ 1 Units ] : Henschel Flugzeugwerke A.G. - Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany (not adopted)
- X-Plane / Developmental
23.95 ft (7.3 m)
32.81 ft (10 m)
9.19 ft (2.8 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Henschel Hs 121 production model)
1,676 lb (760 kg)
2,116 lb (960 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Henschel Hs 121 production model)
1 x Argus As 10C 8-cylinder inverted air-cooled inline piston engine developing 240 horsepower and driving a multi-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Henschel Hs 121 production model)
173 mph (278 kph; 150 kts)
21,325 feet (6,500 m; 4.04 miles)
345 miles (556 km; 300 nm)
1,640 ft/min (500 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Henschel Hs 121 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Henschel Hs 121 production model)
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.