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BMW Strahljager I (P.I)

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Proposal [ 1946 ]

The Strahljager Projekt I was used by the BMW concern to interest the German Luftwaffe in the potential of its turbojet technology.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/26/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

German engine-maker looked to the future when it placed significant investment in turbojet engine technology. To promote their up-and-coming technological marvels, the company put forth several aircraft designs to showcase the possibilities of the emerging powerplant and two significant proposals became the "Strahlbomber" ("Jet Bomber") and "Strahljager" ("Jet Fighter") types which ultimately encompassed eight total forms (detailed generically as "Projekts"). While none were furthered beyond paper concepts, they stand as particularly interesting additions to the "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" during World War II (1939-1945).

BMW was responsible for the famous BMW 003 series turbojet and, later, the more powerful BMW 018 that fell incomplete by war's end. As such, the BMW 003 turbojet engine would be the centerpiece of a fighter design series.

The BMW Strahljager "Projekt I" began the series of four related turbojet-powered designs. This offering was of single-seat, single-engine configuration intended as a high-speed fighter / interceptor to better contend with the waves of Allied bombers wreaking havoc on German war-making capabilities. While the Luftwaffe ultimately settled on such late-war types as the Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet", Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe", Dornier Do 335 "Pfiel", and Heinkel He 162 "Volksjager", there were many proposals put forth from well-known and lesser-known industry players of the period.

The arrangement of the first BMW fighter was relatively conventional if somewhat unorthodox: the single-seat cockpit was positioned at the extreme nose-end of the aircraft with a commanding view of the action ahead. A two-piece canopy would be used offering unfettered vision for the pilot. Aft of this would be the turbojet installation embedded in a shallow housing at center-mass, providing balance and the propulsion power necessary for high-speed flight. The engine was to intake at the cut-off nose and exhaust over the tail stem, ductwork running under the cockpit floor. The tail comprised a single boom assembly terminating some distance aft of the body of the aircraft and capped by individual horizontal planes, each mounting vertical control surfaces. A slight inward canting of the vertical tailplanes were noted in the available drawings.

The wing mainplanes were to be positioned low along the sides of the fuselage and taper from root to tip. No sweep was apparent save for the leading edges. Control surfaces would be affixed to the trailing edges.

A powered, wheeled, and retractable tricycle undercarriage would provide for the needed support during ground-running actions. Once retracted, the aircraft maintained its aerodynamic efficiency. The main legs sat under the mainplanes with nose leg at the "chin" position, folding rearwards under the cockpit floor.

Proposed armament was relatively simple and in concert with typical late-war German fighter jets: 2 x 30mm MK 108 internal automatic cannons. The positions of these guns is unknown though they could have been embedded near the nose or at the wing roots.

Like all the other Strahljager designs, the Strahljager Projekt I fell to naught.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Bayerische Motoren Werke / Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) - Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany (cancelled)
Operators National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany
Service Year
Nazi Germany
National Origin
Project Status

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.
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

29.9 ft
(9.10 meters)
24.6 ft
(7.50 meters)
8.5 ft
(2.60 meters)
3,307 lb
(1,500 kilograms)
Empty Weight
6,173 lb
(2,800 kilograms)
Maximum Take-Off Weight
+2,866 lb
(+1,300 kg)
Weight Difference
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Mainplane Arrangement
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.

1 x BMW 003 turbojet engine developing between 1,345lb and 1,750lb of thrust.
562 mph
(905 kph | 489 knots)
Max Speed
491 mph
(790 kph | 427 knots)
Cruise Speed
+71 mph
(+115 kph | 62 knots)
Speed Difference
39,370 ft
(12,000 m | 7 miles)
621 miles
(1,000 km | 540 nm)
4,500 ft/min
(1,372 m/min)

MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

2 x 30mm MK 108 internal automatic cannons.


Strahljager P.1 - Base Project Designation.
Strahljager P.2 - Second form with underslung engine placement, prone cockpit position; conventional tail unit; high-mounted mainplanes..
Strahljager P.3 - Third iteration; twin-boom (unconnected) layout with inward-canted tailplanes.
Strahljager P.4 - Dimensionally larger and heavier offering; ventral engine placement; conventional tail unit; swept-back mainplanes seated ahead of midships.

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