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Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager)

Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Concept

Nazi Germany | 1945

"The resulting Heinkel He 162 Volksjager jet fighter of Nazi Germany was born from a series of studies derived from the P.1073 concept."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/06/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
In an effort to head-off any possible single-seat jet fighter developments by the Allies in World War 2 to compete with its vaunted Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe" single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter, German authorities were already on the lookout for a high-performance successor taking advantage of a thin, sharply-swept wing mainplane, advanced aerodynamics, and a twin-turbojet propulsion scheme. For Heinkel engineers in July 1944, this gave rise to the "P.1073" project - a form which would eventually influence the soon-to-be He 162 "Volksjager" design - the "People's Fighter" - detailed elsewhere on this site.

The P.1073 mimicked some of the form-and-function to be finalized in the He 162: the single-crew cockpit was seated at the extreme front-end of the well-contoured fuselage with excellent vision over the nose. The fuselage's shape tapered towards the rear to which a "V-style" tailplane arrangement was to be featured - negating the use of horizontal tailplanes altogether. The mainplanes, of slim chord, were well-swept towards the rear, noticeably lengthy, and positioned ahead of midships. These members were further mid-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.

The propulsion scheme was rather unique as World War 2 jet fighters went: one turbojet was to be fitted in an integrated housing over the fuselage at midships and a second unit would be positioned under the cockpit floor - this done to protect the pilot in the event of a bailout, improve pilot vision out-of-the-cockpit, and reduce the drag encountered with underslung wing engines (as in the Me 262). As a tricycle undercarriage was planned for ground-running, a nose leg would be set under the cockpit as well - this necessitated the underslung turbojet be fitted slightly offset to starboard for clearance of the nose leg (which itself would be slightly favoring the port side). The main legs would recess under each wing member.

Proposed power would come from 2 x Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet engines offering 3,305lb of thrust each. Because these engines had yet to reach serial production, 2 x Junkers Jumo 004 turbojets would be fitted for the interim, these offering a lower-rated output of 2,237lb of thrust.

As drawn up, the airframe carried a length of 33.9 feet, a wingspan of 39.2 feet, and a height of 11 feet. Empty weight was 9,722lb against an MTOW of 13,500lb. Estimated performance included a maximum speed of 630 miles-per-hour, a maximum operational range of 620 miles, and a service ceiling up to 46,000 feet )all assuming the HeS 011 turbojets being installed, otherwise figures were considerably reduced with the Junkers types).

There was an option for the aircraft to carry a pair of integrated underwing fuel tanks to help increase operational ranges.

For armament, the fighter was to sport a battery of 3 x 20mm MG151/20 automatic cannons in the nose, one mounted to port side and the remaining two to starboard. Alternately, the armament suite was also detailed as 2 x 30mm MK108 automatic cannons (all in the nose).

The original P.1073 design was the "P.1073.01.4" detailed above and a further evolution of the design became the "P.1073.01.8" which was projected as a high-altitude reconnaissance platform. An upswept wing of higher aspect ratio was planned in this offering. The third, and final notable, iteration of the design became "P.1073.02" which differed mainly in its use of a forward-swept wing mainplane arrangement. It is said that at least twenty offshoots of the P.1073 existed at some point.

In the end, none of these forms found favor with the RLM (German Air Ministry) but the P.1073 idea was pushed to become the He 162 in October of 1944. The aircraft had changed to become a single-engine design (dorsal-mounted turbojet) with a twin-rudder tail unit and unswept wing mainplanes - the aircraft made as simple to operate and maintain as possible due to the losing German war effort heading into 1945. Three-hundred twenty (320) examples were eventually completed of this compact fighter with a first-flight undertaken on December 6th of 1944. Service introduction began as soon as January of 1945 but the design held little sway in the ultimate outcome of the war - in May of 1945, Germany was defeated.

Has the P.1073 project, in its original form, been pursued beyond the concept stage, there no doubt would have arisen issues regarding its unorthodox arrangement - which would have been noticed by RLM authorities - sure to cause Center-of-Gravity (CoG) issues during testing. There was also the danger of a pilot ejection just ahead of the dorsal intake opening - which would have presented problems all its own, particularly at high speeds.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Heinkel He P.1073 Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Concept.
PLANNED: 2 x Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet engines developing 3,305lb of thrust each; INTERIM: 2 x Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines developing 2,235lb of thrust each.
628 mph
1,010 kph | 545 kts
Max Speed
45,932 ft
14,000 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
3,600 ft/min
1,097 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Heinkel He P.1073 Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Concept.
33.9 ft
10.32 m
O/A Length
39.4 ft
(12.00 m)
O/A Width
11.2 ft
(3.40 m)
O/A Height
9,722 lb
(4,410 kg)
Empty Weight
13,448 lb
(6,100 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager) Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Concept .
3 x 20mm MG151/20 automatic cannons OR 2 x 30mm MK108 automatic cannons in the nose assembly.
Notable series variants as part of the Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager) family line.
P.1073 - Base Project Designation.
P.1073.01.4 - Original design arrangement with highly-swept-back wing mainplanes and V-tail formation.
P.1073.01.8 - Proposed model for the high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance role; revised high aspect ratio wing mainplanes (unswept) considered.
P.1073.02 - Proposed model with forward-swept wing mainplanes.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Heinkel - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany

[ Nazi Germany (abandoned) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (628mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Heinkel P.1073 (Strahljager) Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Concept appears in the following collections:
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