The secret weapons of the German Luftwaffe of World War 2 is a fascinating study of exotic aircraft design. German engineers undertook a myriad of paper projects to generate a war-winner and, while many of these failed to see the light of day, some marked several "firsts" in the field of aviation. Blohm & Voss was one of the German firms competing for various projects sponsored by the Air Ministry and the P.213 was just one of their many creations to appear in the latter stages of the war - in concert with the "Emergency Fighter Program" pushed by the Luftwaffe from the middle of 1944 onward, the service desperately in search of a fighter/interceptor breed to turn the tide of the air war.
In November of 1944, the Air Ministry released a new requirement related to the program calling for a production-friendly, low-cost point defense fighter-interceptor driven by jet power and requiring a crew of one. The aircraft would be a low-risk, direct complement to the Heinkel He 162 which required more production time than desired. As the He 162 was known as the "Volksjager" ("People's Fighter"), the new aircraft would become the "Miniatur-Jager" and be of smaller dimensions.
To go with the intended lightweight airframe it was decided that power was to come from an Argus As 014 pulse jet engine of 610 lb thrust output. This jet had its roots as the powerplant for the Fieseler Fi 103R "Reichenberg", a manned, expendable suicidal missile-aircraft version of the classic V-1 "Buzz Bomb / Doodlebug" (unlike the disposable-minded Fi 103R, the new interceptor would be reusable). All non-critical mission equipment would be kept from the design to keep operating weights in check and armament centered on a simple installation consisting of a single x 30mm MK 108 series automatic cannon. The ammunition store would number 135 projectiles.
The air ministry sought a very simple aircraft where the chief restriction would be in construction material and production time. Performance and armament were to be fitted as needed but it was in getting the new aircraft into the sky in number as quickly as possible. The Miniatur-Jagers would be released against incoming Allied bomber formations in large numbers, swarming the target area and getting off as many shots as possible in bringing the large targets down. Engagement ranges would be close to both target and forward operating bases.
Blohm & Voss joined competitors Heinkel and Junkers in attempting to fulfill the requirement and developed their P.213 against it. The result was a compact design of 6.2 meter overall length with a wingspan measuring 6 meters. The crewman sat forward in the deep fuselage that featured a cut-off nose for aspiration of the of the pulse jet engine. The engine was partially buried in the lower section of the fuselage and its exposed jet pipe extended out under a slim tail stem. The tail stem held a pair of downward-turned planes (inverted butterfly) for control and the wing mainplanes themselves were shoulder-mounted and fitted immediately aft of the cockpit. The mainplanes exhibited straight leading edge lines and forward-swept trailing edge lines. The canopy was of a three-piece design and offered presumably excellent vision out over the nose and to the sides of the aircraft. A tricycle undercarriage (wholly retractable, compressed air-operated) was part of this futuristic-looking fighter design. The MK 108 cannon was buried in the nose near the feet of the pilot - whose position was protected by armor. Overall weight of the aircraft was judged to be around 3,435 pounds (Take-Off).
To counter potentially lethal buffeting of the pulse jet engine within the fuselage (as experienced in the Messerschmitt Me 328 "parasite fighter" program), the engine was held in place by brackets offering the needed flexibility during high-speed flight. A section of flexible tubing was to be used for the intake section leading from the nose to the face of the pulse jet engine. The engine was expected to provide speeds of up to 435 miles per hour with a range out to 775 miles but, because pulse jets required assistance to reach a minimum operating speed, rocket boosters would most likely be added for take-off actions (and jettisoned post-launch).
The P.213 joined the many other Luftwaffe-bound projects that were not selected for further development before the end of the war. Indeed, the Miniatur-Jager concept was all but abandoned even before the end of 1944 so no physical aircraft from anyone manufacturer were completed. The closest adoption became the Bachem Ba 349 "Viper" which first-flew in March of 1945 (and killed its test pilot) and was followed by 36 production-quality units. The rather optimistic Viper program was not a success.
(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.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
20.3 ft (6.20 m)
19.7 ft (6.00 m)
8.2 ft (2.50 m)
2,205 lb (1,000 kg)
3,439 lb (1,560 kg)
+1,235 lb (+560 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Blohm and Voss Bv P.213 production variant)
1 x Argus As 014 pulse jet engine developing 660lb of thrust; rocket-assisted take-off assumed.
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