Many aviation concerns of pre-World War 2 Germany competed to have their submission selected by the rearming Luftwaffe (which still remained largely a secret branch in the early 1930s). From a 1933-1934 requirement calling for a "Kampfzerstorer" ("Battle Destroyer") heavy fighter came several designs of note from Messerschmitt, Focke-Wulf and Henschel. For the latter, the submission arrived in the form of the Henschel Hs.124, a twin-engined, multiple crew platform which impressed but was not pursued into a serial production form - that honor instead falling to the iconic Messerschmitt Bf 110.
Henschel engineers delivered a mid-wing monoplane arrangement in which each wing carried an engine nacelle along its leading edge and freed the centralized fuselage to contain the cockpit, crew positions, avionics, and fuel stores. Additionally, lacking an engine fitting in the nose meant that any gun battery installed here was given unobstructed views of a target / target area. All-metal construction was featured for a most modern approach and the fuselage given a deep frontal profile. Each engine would drive a three-bladed propeller. The tail unit formed a twin-fin arrangement which sat a central plane straddled on either side by vertical planes (similar to that as seen in the Bf 110). A "tail-dragger" undercarriage was used for ground running and the basic crew would include a pilot and radioman/machine gunner.
From this early design work came three distinct forms designated rather simply as "V1", "V2" and "V3". V1 fitted 2 x Junkers Jumo 210C 12-cylinder inverted Vee liquid-cooled inline engines of 640 horsepower each and intended to carry a nose-mounted, power-assisted turret outfitted with 1 x20mm Rhienmetall-Borsig autocannon. First flight was had in early 1936 but the nose turret was only in a mocked-up state as troubles with its development mounted.
Prototype V2 carried2 x BMW 132D 9-cylinder air-cooled engines of 850 horsepower each, a German copy of the American-made Pratt & Whitney "Hornet" radial. The nose-mounted turret was bypassed in this prototype with the nose reworked to an all-glazed shape featuring heavy framing - producing a "stepped" appearance in profile - and offering better visibility for a third crewman. This position was intended to mount 2 x 20mm cannons along gimbals and a single 7.92mm MG 15 machine gun was to round out the armament suite.
V3 intended to carry 2 x BMW 601A engines and had its crew reduced to two. Nose armament was the most impressive of the trio through 2 x 20mm cannons and 2 x 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns. However, availability of the intended 601A engines meant that the type was forced to rely on the 2 x BMW 132Dc radials of the V2 prototype instead, these outputting at 870 horsepower each.
During the flight testing phase, the aircraft responded with good agility for its size and it was an overall promising design on the eve of World War. However, with the Luftwaffe move away from the original Kampfzerstorer concept, the basic "Zerstorer" requirement was fulfilled by the Messerschmitt Bf 110 which went on to have a stellar wartime career. This shift left the Hs.124 to be cancelled with only the three prototypes completed.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
47.6 ft (14.50 m)
59.7 ft (18.20 m)
12.3 ft (3.75 m)
9,370 lb (4,250 kg)
15,939 lb (7,230 kg)
+6,570 lb (+2,980 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Henschel Hs 124 V2 production variant)
2 x BMW 132Dc (Pratt & Whitney Hornet) 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 850 horsepower each.
2 x 20mm cannons in nose
1 x 7.92mm machine gun
2 x 20mm cannons in nose
2 x 7.92mm machine guns
6 x 220lb conventional drop bombs held in an internal bomb bay.
12 x 110lb bombs held at external hardpoints.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 12
Hs 124 - Base Series Deisgnation
Hs 124 V1 - Initial prototype; 2 x Junkers Jumo 210C 12-cylinder inline engines fitted; 20mm cannon in powered nose turret.
Hs 124 V2 - Second prototype; revised, glazed-over nose section; 2 x 20mm cannons in nose; 1 x 7.92mm machine gun fitted; BMW 132 Dc radial piston engines of 850 horsepower fitted.
Hs 124 V3 - Third and final prototype; 2 x 20mm cannons in nose; 2 x 7.92mm machine guns fitted; BMW 132Dc engines of 870 horsepower.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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 GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.