The German Focke-Wulf Volksjager II rocket-powered interceptor was born of desperation in the final year of World War 2.
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Focke-Wulf of Germany contributed several advanced aircraft designs of note to the Luftwaffe Emergency Fighter Program (EFP) of mid-1944 / early-1945 though few of them were furthered before the end. The EFP was enacted in July of 1944 in response to the Allied bombing campaign which was wreaking considerable havoc on the German war machine and hampering its ability on the ground to push back at the Allied advance in the West. Its primary goal was to find an economically-minded product of advanced design to serve as a counter for the massed formations of enemy bombers arriving from Britain and elsewhere.
One of the Focke-Wulf concepts became the "Volksjager" ("People's Fighter") featuring a single pilot and powerplant within an aerodynamically refined design intended for high-speed, high-performance flight. The fuselage was of an elongated egg shape containing the sole crew member near the nose and under a lightly-framed canopy offering potentially good vision (save for the rear). The wing mainplanes were seated at the sides of the fuselage in typical fashion but were noticeably swept back for high-speed flight. The tail unit consisted of what was essentially a long vertical fin with the horizontal planes seated at its absolute top (T-style arrangement). The powerplant was buried in the aft section of the fuselage and exhausted under the tail unit.
Two distinct forms of the FW Volksjager were presented, "Volksjager 1" and "Volksjager II". The Volksjager I was to rely on the BMW 003 A1 series turbojet engine which required a nose-mounted intake for aspiration. Its wingspan measured 26.6 feet and the aircraft had an overall length of 28.8 feet and a height of 9.3 feet. Armament was 2 x 30mm MK 108 automatic cannons mounted in the frontal area of the fuselage which was more than enough to bring down an Allied bomber. Loaded weight was estimated at 6,725 lb and proposed maximum speed was near 510 miles per hour.
Volksjager II was drawn up as a rocket-powered interceptor and given more of a compact form. Its wingspan measured just 15.9 feet and the aircraft featured an overall length of 17.4 feet and a height of 8.9 feet. Empty weight was 400 lb. Instead of the turbojet powerplant to be featured in the Volksjager I, this revised aircraft was to be outfitted with the Walter HWK 109-509 A-2 rocket motor. While this provided considerable speed gains this limited in-air endurance and direct fight times (about 15 minutes of power / flight was all that could be had). Since no intake was needed, the nose section could be faired over. Construction would be largely of wood, where possible, and metal used at the key components and sections. No undercarriage would be fitted and this served well to increase per-unit production times while, in turn, limiting procurement costs. The lack of an undercarriage meant that the pilot was expected to land his interceptor on its belly by the provided skid assembly (launching / take-off would be by way of a dolly under the aircraft's own rocket power). Armament remained 2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons.
The Volksjager had a projected top speed of 620 miles per hour.
The Volksjager I competed unsuccessfully with the Heinkel He 162 (detailed elsewhere on this site) which was adopted for service and produced in the hundreds before the end of the war (but had a limited impact on its outcome). The Volksjager II design was undergoing tests at the end of the war in Europe in May 1945 and its road formally ended with the conclusion of the conflict.
[ 0 Units ] : Focke-Wulf - Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany (cancelled)
- X-Plane / Developmental
28.77 ft (8.77 m)
26.57 ft (8.1 m)
9.28 ft (2.83 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksjager I production model)
6,724 lb (3,050 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksjager I production model)
Volksjager I: 1 x BMW 003 A1 turbojet engine of unknown thrust output; Volksjager II: 1 x Walter HWK 109-509 A-2 rocket motor of unknown thrust output.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Focke-Wulf Volksjager I production model)
510 mph (820 kph; 443 kts)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksjager I production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
PROPOSED (Both Versions):
2 x 30mm MK 108 automatic cannons installed at the fuselage.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksjager I production model)
Volksjager - Base Series Name
Volksjager I - Turbojet-powered interceptor / fighter; proposal lost out to He 162 design.
Volksjager II - Compact, rocket-powered interceptor; testing begun by war's end.
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