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Heinkel He 280

Nazi Germany (1941)
Picture of Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft Picture of Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft

The Heinkel He 280 became the first-ever turbojet-equipped aircraft designed from the outset as a military fighter.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/10/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Though never produced in any operational format, the Heinkel He 280 series was the world's first turbojet fighter aircraft designed from the start as a fighter. German scientists were on the cutting edge of turbojet development throughout the war years and the He 280 was to become the fruit of their labors. Unfortunately for The Reich, engine reliability issues, a lack of armament provision, issues with the fuel type and structural defects in the tail design all kept the system grounded, with ultimate favor being ported over to the Messerschmitt Me 262 - the aircraft that would become Germany's first jet-powered fighter. Developed as early as 1939, the He 280 saw first flight as soon as 1941 with the initial of what was to become nine total prototypes being flow. The aircraft was actually flown without engine covers on either of the two centrifugal-flow HeS 8 engines due to a critical situation with fuel gathering in the engine cowlings during flight.

The He 280 was a single-seat, twin-engine, turbojet-powered aircraft capable of speeds in excess of 550 miles per hour. Looking very much like the Me 262 that it would replace, the He 280 series mounted the twin HeS 8 turbojets under each low-mounted monoplane wing system. The tail system offered up a unique twin-fin/twin-rudder design in the tail section. The pilot sat just forward of the main wing roots with good visibility forward, above and to the sides. Standard armament was to become an array of 6 x MG 151 20mm cannons though only three such weapons ever armed one system. A powered-tricycle landing gear was one of the other notable design achievements.

A total of nine prototype examples would ever be fielded, each with varying powerplants as needed. The He 280 V1 became the first aircraft ever to feature a bail-out by ejection seat as the controls had frozen on the pilot, forcing his evacuation. The He 280 V4 saw the system fitted with 6 x pulsejets whilst the He 280 V5 and He 280 V6 would be the first aircraft in the series fitted with the 3 x 20mm cannon armament. The He 280 V7 prototype model would later become a glider for high-speed aerodynamic research and the He 280 V8 would be designed with a "V" type tail unit instead of the twin fin "T" setup.

Flying a full year and a half before the famed Gloster Meteor, the He 280 was to become a permanent fixture for the German Luftwaffe - a sort of reprisal for the continuous day and night bombing campaigns brought on by the Allies. If developmental issues had been ironed out and had the war lasted a few months longer, the He 280 perhaps might have provided the Luftwaffe with their first ever turbojet-powered bomber-hunter. Instead, the He 280 would have to see the Me 262 take to the skies in limited numbers, earning it the greater spot in the history of military aviation development.


Picture of the Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Heinkel He 280 Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (559mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Heinkel He 280 V5's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
9
9


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Nazi Germany
Year: 1941
Type: Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Heinkel - Germany
Production: 9
Global Operators:
Nazi Germany
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Heinkel He 280 V5 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
34.12 ft


Meters
10.4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
40.03 ft


Meters
12.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.04 ft


Meters
3.06 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
7,088 lb


Kilograms
3,215 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
9,502 lb


Kilograms
4,310 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x HeS 8A (109-001A) turbojet engines developing 1,643 lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
559 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
900 kph


Knots
486 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
404 mi


Kilometers
650 km


Nautical Miles
351 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
37,730 ft


Meters
11,500 m


Miles
7.15 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
3,755 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
1,145 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

ORIGINALLY PROPOSED:
6 x 20mm MG 151 cannons

FINALIZED:
3 x 20mm MG 151 cannons in nose
Variants: Series Model Variants
• He 280 V1 - Initial Prototype Form; fitted with HeS 8 (109-001) powerplants.
• He 280 V2 - Prototype; fitted with HeS 8 engines.
• He 280 V3 - Prototype; fitted with HeS 8 engines; later refitted for Jumo 109-004 turbojets.
• He 280 V4 - Prototype; fitted with BMW 109-003 engines; later fitted with 6 x Argus 109-014 pulsejets.
• He 280 V5 - Prototype; at first fitted with HeS 8 engines; later fitted with 109-003 engines; 3 x MG 151 20mm cannons.
• He 280 V6 - Prototype; fitted with 3 x 20mm cannons.
• He 280 V7 - Prototype; Fitted with 109-004 engines; later relegated to high-speed glider aerodynamic research platform.
• He 280 V8 - "V"-type tail assembly; fitted with 109-004 engines.
• He 280 V9 - Fitted with 109-003 engines.