German mystery fighter?

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Mar 6, 2007
Hi all,

I'am completely new here. My name is Tom, and I build and fly model airplanes. I registered because, on the rcgroup forums were I mostely hang out, we have a little problem. There is a tread in the scale section called mystery aircraft, and recently a new plane was posted that no one knows. It looks like a german prototype fighterplane, mid engined with some sort of coupled engine when you look at the exhausts.
It doesn't look like anything I know of, nor the people over there know it. Maybe someone overhere knows. Here are some pictures. They come from a japanese site where they had the same problem of not knowing what it is.

here is the rcgroups link Mystery Aircraft? - Page 156 - RC Groups
it starts atpost 2333




  • pic1.jpg
    29.9 KB · Views: 427
  • pic2.jpg
    21 KB · Views: 426
My first guess is that this is an experimental testbed for the Heinkel He-280 jet plane. Several of them were unpowered (haven´t heard about an engine mounted on them:shock: ). However, the example of the Me-262V1 clearly shows that a centerline piston engine could be mounted.
The tricycle engine, the splitted tail, the wing configuration and fuselage all show strong similarities with the He-280.
Two of the He-280 prototypes went to DFS Ainring late in ww2 for aerodynamic tests. To accomplish these tests, the two wing mounted jet engines have been removed. A centerline piston engine is unknown for them.
I am not that confident with this approach, just a guess.
is it fake?
and how fake is fake? On rcgroups it was suggested that it may be something for a movie or so...

do you have a link to this site erich?

Dag Tom

there was a killer long discussion about this on the Luftwaffe Experten board. I read through the entire thread, it was about 15 pages long IIRC, and all very technical stuff by the biggest Luftwaffe experts around. They went in depth on the issue, I read some incredible stuff there!!

Erich's conclusion is a bit simplistic. In fact, nobody really found out what the story was about this aircraft. But he was right that this was the most plausible conclusion though it remained an open question.

I could give you some more details on the arguments used but nobody can tell you which aircraft this is. :(
Kris pretty much wrapped this is up and the axis forums also had the photos posted. Sorry i was not more thorough in my response as I had a heavy glass vase in my hands balanced precariously, typing like a fool and it fell busted in a zillion pieces ........... I will hear more about this later tonight ....
So actually it isn't solved yet, it is just the most plausible thing that is is a fake...

hmm, can you link me to the other tread kris? I'd like to read it through.

@ erich, succes with the vase thing ;)

Well Tom, if it was on the Luftwaffe Experten board as I remember it ... it may be gone! The forum has been offline for a quite a while now, and I have a feeling it's not coming back. Moderator Peter has had his share of problems with the site before and I had a feeling this was his last go at it. Let's hope I'm wrong.

The debate was mind-dazzling!! I still remember parts of it but don't know how to locate it again. I'll try to see if google cash turns up anything later tonight.

Oh, this might interest you: the engine would be the obscure Daimler Benz DB 604 X-engine.

And wrong I was. LEMB is back online. I could easily edit my previous post but what the heck... I'm so delighted it's back!! :)

So anyway, about the discussions. If anyone likes to spend an evening reading through it. You'll have to register and login to see it though.
An alternative is to look at it through the google cache. Try this:
"mystery plane" "DB 604" - Google Search

Btw Soren, good call on the He 280. The resemblance was extensively discussed in that thread.

The link thing doesn't work, but no problem, then I'll register.

yeah, the db 604 is possible. I looked at some prototype drawings of other planes, and proposals with jumo 222, 223 and 224 engines, and the argus 413 had a similar exhaust lay out, so these are also possible.

A heinkel 280 is possible. Very possible
the v form in the wings, the tricycle undercarrige, the twin fin.

What if the Germans did the same with the He-280 as the Americans did with the first bell jet?

Heinkels engines weren't available yet. So he couldn't mount them on the plane. Except for that, the first prototypes were ready. Maybe they rolled it out, put some scrap on it to disguise it as some sort of otto fighter prototype and left it waiting for engines, test flight, whatever...
Glue some wood on the nose, bring a fake canopy forward, put on an prop and it looks completely different.

I'am just speculating, maybe the undercarrige isn't the same, or are the fins different or so.

I don't know what the previous thread said about the pictures but I made a few measurement estimates. If the healthy German standing beside the aircraft is about 5'10", then the wingspan is about 28' and the propeller diameter is about 10'8". Then, since the man comes up to the thrust line of aircraft, I used this as a reference in other picture. That gives a length of about 36' (but I couldn't see the tail end of the plane and the picture is a bit skewed). Also I noted that the aircraft has low wing installation. The following is a comparison to the He-280:

The aircraft in the picture is smaller than the He-280, which has a wingspan of 39'4", and a length of 34'1.5" (close here). Also, the aircraft sit higher than the He-280 on longer gear (this would be expected of a propeller aircraft). There certainly is some error possibility in measurements. A more telling configuration is that the He-280 is a low mid-wing installation whereas the aircraft shown is not. The tail design is very similar and the wing design with with no dihedral for the inner most portion but with a slight dihedral outboard is very similar. Overall, I do not think this is a He-280 aircraft or one that is modifed, mainly due to the wing installation although the dimensions are also important.

A couple of confusion issues here is, first, the aircraft length is greater than the wingspan, an unsusal configuration for a WWII aircraft, certainly a propeller driven plane (the He-162 did have this design). Second, in order to harness the increased power, the propeller diameter of Allied aircraft with engines of similar HP as the Db 604 (2500+hp), had much larger propeller diameters (as much a 14'). I know German propeller were very efficient, but I doubt that they were that much more efficient.

So, I guess the question goes on.

Users who are viewing this thread