Book Review: “X-Planes of the Third Reich: Heinkel He 162”

Designed, built, and relegated to history within the short span of a few months, Heinkel’s He 162 was one of the few Luftwaffe last-ditch wonder planes to actually enter service, although the type only became operational in late April 1945, far too late to make any type of impact. The program was driven by the urgent need to field a jet interceptor to deal with massive Allied bomber raids; the Me 262 was available, and many called for concentrating production on this type, but the -262 required strategic materials and experienced pilots – what was needed was a cheap, essentially throwaway fighter  suitable for inexperienced crews. This volume by David Myhra is a must for anyone building a scale, RC or flight simulator model of the “Volksjager” – there are close-up photos of the engine and cockpit, as well as cutaway drawings of the nacelle, forward fuselage, wing structure, tail, and gear assemblies.

Although many He 162s were destroyed to avoid capture, others fell into the hands of the Allies, and there are a good selection of images depicting captured aircraft under evaluation. I had not seen the photos of He 162 in Soviet custody before, including a shot of one example in a Russian wind tunnel. As might be expected, there were numerous plans for advanced He 162, and the book has side-view drawings of the He 162B-1 with the HeS 011A engine, the Jumo 004D powered He 162 V11/V12, the He 162B with a pair of pulse-jet engines, and illustrations of single pulse-jet models. There are also 3-view drawings of the He 162C with swept-back wings, and the He 162D with swept-*forward* wings. The He-162 was not the only contender for the Volksjager role, and there are 3-views of the Arado E.580 and Bv P.211 competitors.

Other He 162 references:

  • Photo: He 162s under construction in an underground factory   Flying  December 1945  p.49
  • Chris Clifford  Scale Aviation Modeller  December 1999  Review of the 1/72 He 162A and He 162B kits from Planet Models
  • Richard Franks “Big Scale Salamander”   Scale Aviation Modeller International December 2004  building the Revell 1/32 He 162A-2 as an aircraft captured by the British
  • Workbench Review: 1/32 scale He 162A-2 Salamander from Revell Germany  FineScale Modeler  May 2005  p.60-62
  • Geoff Coughlin “Jet Propelled Sparrow”  Model Airplane International August 2006  Building the 1/48 He 162A-2 from Tamiya
  • Tony Gloster  “Volksjäger!”   Scale Aviation Modeller International  06-2007  building the Revell 1/32 kit – extensive photos
  • Review of the Tamiya He 162A-2 1/48 kit   Skymodel 11/07 p.66
  • Preview: Eaglecals 1/32 He 162 decals   Skymodel 21/09  p.47
  • Yefim Gordon, Sergey Komissarov, Dmitry Komissarov   German Aircraft in the Soviet Union and Russia p.205-211: Drawings of swept and forward-swept He 162 variants, a cutaway drawing, and diagrams of the nose and main landing gear.
  • Paul Eden, Soph Moeing   Aircraft Anatomy of World War II: Technical Drawing of Key Aircraft 1939-1945   p.142-143: He 162 cutaway drawing
  • Gerry Manning  1000 Preserved Military Aircraft  photo p.57 He 162 120227 at Hendon
  • Dieter Herwig  Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Ground Attack & Special Purpose Aircraft  ISBN 1857801504  p.230 artist’s depiction of a He 162 Mistel with a Ju 268 missile lower portion
  • Phil Butler   War Prizes: The Album  p.38-39: several photos of captured He 162 in French, UK, and American hands
  • Flugzeug Profile No.35: Heinkel He 162  Includes side view drawings of pulse and ramjet-powered versions and swept-wing variants; He 162A-2 plans with cross sections.

Book Review: “German Aircraft in the Soviet Union and Russia”

Luftwaffe Secret Project Profiles: A Review