The "Volksflugzeug" ("People's Aircraft") was proposed by the German aero-concern of Focke-Wulf during the latter-half of World War 2 (1939-1945) as a simple, lightweight, single-seat/single-engine fighter solution for the defense of the crumbling Reich. The aircraft appeared in September of 1944 and was proposed in concert with other submissions to fulfill the "Volksjager" ("People's Fighter") requirement, the emergency effort to defend Germany from the onslaught of Allied day and night bombers. Like other entries in the series, the Volksflugzeug did not see the light of day - though the company did proposed both a swept and unswept wing version of their nimble aircraft. Their own technical director, Kurt Tank, held little faith in the Volksjager project as a whole, believing whatever design that was selected would become quickly outclassed by Allied developments by the middle-end of 1945.
The Volksflugzeug took shape in a mere 10 days from the formal issuance of the requirement given on September 7th/8th. Engineers drew up plans for the single-seat solution incorporating its turbojet in the belly and the wing mainplanes fitted at shoulder height. The tail unit would include high-mounted, swept-back horizontal planes along a tapering stem/boom running over the jet exhaust port at the rear. The nose was to contain the air intake for aspirating the turbojet as well as all-cannon armament. The intake duct could run unobstructed under the floor of the cockpit and the engine's position at the middle of the fuselage would ensure a short run of duct would only be needed. A retractable tricycle undercarriage would be featured for ground-running.
In the swept mainplane version, the shoulder-mounted wings were given sweep along both the leading and trailing edges so as to play up the aerodynamic high-speed aspects of the design. The straight-winged version limited performance at high speeds but offered a more conventional, lower risk solution.
Power was to come from the BMW 003A-1 series turbojet engine and proposed armament became 2 x 30mm MK 108 automatic cannons, both fixed and firing forwards from under the cockpit floor.
As drawn up, the fighter has a length of 28.8 feet, a span of 26.6 feet, and a height of 9.3 feet. Loaded weight equaled 6,725lb. Estimated maximum speed was 510 miles-per-hour.
In the end, the Heinkel 162 was selected ahead of a promising design put forth by competitor Blohm and Voss (it entered its P.210, P.211.01, and P.211.02 ideas into the running). The Volksflugzeug project was therefore dropped from any more serious work while the He 162 made it into production and limited service in the war's waning weeks.
(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.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
PILOT / CREW EJECTION SYSTEM
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
28.9 ft (8.80 m)
24.6 ft (7.50 m)
9.4 ft (2.85 m)
5,401 lb (2,450 kg)
6,724 lb (3,050 kg)
+1,323 lb (+600 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksflugzeug production variant)
monoplane / shoulder-mounted / swept-back
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Focke-Wulf Volksflugzeug production variant)
1 x BMW 003A-1 turbojet engine developing 1,768lb of thrust.
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