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Henschel Hs 129


Close-Support / Anti-Tank Ground Attack Aircraft


Nazi Germany | 1942



"The Henschel Hs 129 fulfilled the all-important role of close-support strike aircraft for the German Luftwaffe during World War 2."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/26/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
The Henschel Hs 129 fighter-bomber was built to a 1937 German specification for a twin-engine close-support aircraft with considerable armor protection for pilot and crew and the ability to field twin 20mm cannons at least. The resulting competition left a Focke-Wulf design (the Fw 189C) and the Henschel Hs 129 design as finalists with the nod going to the Henschel firm.

The Hs 129 was by far a perfect aircraft for close-support duty. It was relatively underpowered - even with the twin Gnome-Rhone radial engines - and the cockpit small enough to cram just one person. Visibility was reported to be far from superior though something about the overall design likened the Reichsluftahrtministerium to it. Armament consisted of two nose-mounted MG FF 20mm cannons and two MG 17 7.92mm machine guns. The Hs 129V-1 prototypes gave birth to ten Hs 129B-0 developmental models which, in turn, produced the initial Hs 129B-1 production series. The Hs 129 was immediately fielded to the Eastern Front to take on the divisions of Russian armor in force.

By 1942, the Hs 129B-2 came about as a need to "up-gun" the existing Hs 129B-1 production models. The B-2 became a series that varied in armament provisions that would include the R1, which was fielded with 2 x 20mm cannons and 2 x 13mm machine guns, and the R3 which removed the machine guns in favor of a larger caliber 37mm gun along with the standard twin 20mm cannons. The B-3 model series would produce 25 or so with the larger 75mm gun system and would become the final production Hs 129 systems in service.

The Hs 129 was fielded in the East against the might of the Soviet Union by design, though later they were consequently fielded throughout North Africa and Europe (post D-Day) by necessity. By all accounts, performance results of the system proved sublime, with the Hs 129 accounting for the destruction of hundreds of Soviet tanks, particularly at the Battle of Kursk in 1943. The Hs 129 proved to be a viable asset in the close-support role, capable of engaging even the most stubborn of Allied armor with an array of cannons, machine guns and bombs.

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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 Henschel Hs 129B-1/R2 Close-Support / Anti-Tank Ground Attack Aircraft.
2 x Gnome-Rhone 14M-4/5 14-cylinder radial engines developing 700 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units.
Propulsion
253 mph
407 kph | 220 kts
Max Speed
29,528 ft
9,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
429 miles
690 km | 373 nm
Operational Range
1,595 ft/min
486 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Henschel Hs 129B-1/R2 Close-Support / Anti-Tank Ground Attack Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
32.0 ft
9.75 m
O/A Length
46.6 ft
(14.20 m)
O/A Width
10.7 ft
(3.25 m)
O/A Height
8,400 lb
(3,810 kg)
Empty Weight
11,266 lb
(5,110 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Henschel Hs 129 Close-Support / Anti-Tank Ground Attack Aircraft .
STANDARD:
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons
2 x 13mm MG 131 machine guns

OPTIONAL:
Up to 900lb of conventional drop ordnance OR 1 x 30mm MK 191 gun pod.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Henschel Hs 129 family line.
Hs 129V-1 - Prototype Model
Hs 129B-0 - Developmental Model; fitted with 2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons and 2 x 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns; ten such models produced.
Hs 192B-1 - Initial Production Model
Hs 129B-2
Hs 129B-2/R1 - Fitted with 2 x 20mm cannons and 2 x 13mm machine guns.
Hs 129B-2/R3 - Fitted with 2 x 20mm cannons amd 1 x 37mm BK 3.7 cannon.
Hs 129B-3 - Final Production Variant Model; 25 such models produced; fitted with electro-pneumatic 75mm BK cannon.
Hs 129C - Proposed improved form; never completed nor produced.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Henschel Hs 129. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 865 Units

Contractor(s): Henschel - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Romania

[ Hungary; Nazi Germany; Romania ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (253mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
865
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
CLOSE-AIR SUPPORT
Recognition
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 Henschel Hs 129 Close-Support / Anti-Tank Ground Attack Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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