He-162 Salamander

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Soren, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The He-162A-2 Salamander whilst being an excellent design and one of the best fighters of the war, is often over-looked incorrectly referred to as flimsy and hard to fly. The He-162 is infact an engineering marvel of its time, with excellent aerodynamic properties weight distribution. The problems plaguing the final A-2 production model were engine unreliability, scarce supply of the right materials forcing use of substitute ones which in turn caused defects, and bombing of production facilities. The Allied bombing of factories forced a few production lines to move underground, and it was from there the few excellent condition He-162’s delivered came from.

    [​IMG]

    From an aerodynamic engineering point of view the He-162 is an 100% excellent sound design with a very good layout. The low weight, high performance engine and small size of the a/c coupled with the perfectly sized wings and aerodynamically clean design meant a very high top speed, climb rate, excellent turn rate and roll rate. The good layout also meant it was a delight to fly, being very agile in all aspects of flight and featuring good control responsiveness. The only thing to take care of was applying too much rudder, as the aircraft was unusually responsive here and applying to much rudder at high speed could cause a structural failure of the tail.

    All of the above coupled with a few new advanced features (Ejection seat) made the He-162A-2 a truly excellent fighter aircraft and one of the best designs to see service during the war.

    Eric Brown called the He-162 a first class fighter aircraft, and often flew it for fun after the war.

    [​IMG]

    After the war a good number of He-162’s were restored and used as solo trainers for Jet fighter pilots, a role in which it served beautifully.

    He-162 A-2 specifications:

    Length: 9.05 m
    Wing span: 7.2 m
    Wing area: 14.5 m^2
    Weight empty: 1,660 kg
    Weight fully loaded: 2,800 kg

    Climb rate: 23.4 m/s (4,615 ft/min)
    Service ceiling: 12 km (39,400 ft)
    Take Off Roll: 500m (Very short for an early jet fighter!)
    Range: 975 km (606 miles)

    Armament: 2 x 20mm MG151/20 cannons

    [​IMG]
     
  2. eddie_brunette

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    I also think its a beautifull plane.
     
  3. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    It was certainly a fine looking aircraft.

    Some pictures of an amazingly detailed 1/48 scale model of the He-162 A-2 "Red 1".

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  4. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Eric Brown also said that one of his highly experienced comrades was killed because the rudders fell off. How can an aircraft be good if it suffers from structual failures...

    Didn't know they flew them post war except for testing...
     
  5. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Soren, are you referring to the French experience? (A-2 airframes) They described it thus;

    "In all, this aircraft was pleasant in 'recreational' use, but could become terribly vicious in manoeuvres relatively common for a classic fighter".

    "The next incident led to subsequent flights being cancelled, as, during the sixth go-around on landing, an undercarriage door was found half torn away. On debriefing, the pilots came to the conclusion that the aircraft was potentially dangerous because of its unexpected reactions, and tricky on landing".

    [​IMG]

    From the April 2006 edition of 'Aeroplane Monthly'.
     
  6. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Basket,

    I already mentioned you had to be careful with the rudders as they were too responsive, thus overstressing the tail structure at high speed was a hazard. The pilot you're refering to crashed during his first ever flight in the a/c. Eric Brown mentions this as-well, and he UNLIKE the other British pilot you're refering to was warned about the responsiveness of the rudders before his first flight. And as long as you kept the responsiveness of the rudder in mind the He-162 was a fantastic a/c according to Brown, a very nice a/c to fly to the limit. And this opinion is mirrored by a couple of German aces who flew the a/c as-well.

    As for the French, well again inexperience, you needed to be darn careful with the rudders. Eric Brown made it quite clear that it wasn't an a/c for rookies.
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    So I guess most aircraft must not be very good by your criteria because almost all aircraft can suffer from structural failures.
     
  8. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Well the germans did good jobs with theire planes. Right so there were some minor problems with the rutter but If you look at the whole picture it seems to be a good plane.
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff, guys. Good or bad, she's beautiful aircraft.
    If ya's ever get the chance, go to Hinterbruhl near Mödling in Austria (Just south of Vienna). This was the 'Langusta' ('Lobster') Heinkel plant set up in the local mine. They have a number of original components in a fairly crude display, including 2 instrument panels, nose wheel and gear, etc. Interesting to see where they were made, and in what conditions.
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    I've always liked this plane and am tempted to get the new tamiya kit thats come out. Includes the engine to build and display!

    I also think that the RAF roundals dont look that bad on it either :)
     
  11. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    True, Heinzy! Was thinking the same thing.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I think it has to be understood that there is a tendency to fly fighter type aircraft aggressively. With that said the Salamander was coming from an era where aircraft were flown with a lot of rudder. In jets there is little use of the rudder, just enough to coordinate a turn or correcting for crosswind on landing. Based on the Salamander's construction and configuration, had the aircraft been built in substantial numbers or have been built in the post war period I don't see this as an operational handicap.

    I agree - the Salamander was a good aircraft and it had a lot of growth potential had the war not ended.
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It isn't often Soren and I are in total agreement but we are in this case. Eric Brown was probably unique at this time as he had flown all the jets then flying, German, American and British and this was the one he liked the most.

    Re the rudder being overly sensitive, no doubt if the German designers had a little more time, this would have been resolved in the normal process of moving an aircraft from prototype to production. Its what test flying is designed to do.
     
  14. Konigstiger205

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    Well the He-162 was an interesting design but it had like all aircraft problems and the fact that there was a shortage of...well everything didn't help.It was however a design ahead of its time.Makes one wonder how would things would have looked if it wasn't a war...
     
  15. Evil_Merlin

    Evil_Merlin Member

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    I'd take the 162 over the 262 any day.
     
  16. Velius

    Velius Member

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    I think it was amazing that it was made mostly of plywood. The sleek design of it made it look like an aircraft from another era (and as many people have already said "it was ahead of it's time"). The things the Germans were doing with aircraft design at the end of the war never ceases to fascinate me- kinda makes me wonder how the war would've turned out if it lasted another year...

    This may or may not be already on this site somewhere, but I'd like to put it into this thread for the sake of relevancy


    He-162 Prototype number 6.
     
  17. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I collect old photos of WW 2 French aircraft, and one thing i've noticed about the colors of French vs. Brit planes, is that B&W photos play illusions when it comes to colors and shades, especially blue and red. These two colors literally "reverse" themselves in shades on a B&W photo, so blue hues will appear as red hues, and vice versa. Hence the common confusion of identifying British or French operated aircraft.
     
  18. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    As for the He.162 aircraft itself, I think it would have been really neat to modify it for aircraft carrier use. It would really neat! small plane, short wingspan, powerful engine, easy to adapt an arrestor hook, and nose landing gear. Could it have been possible?
     
  19. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Arsenal,

    >As for the He.162 aircraft itself, I think it would have been really neat to modify it for aircraft carrier use. It would really neat! small plane, short wingspan, powerful engine, easy to adapt an arrestor hook, and nose landing gear. Could it have been possible?

    Funny that you should mention ... being a fan of the flight simulator X-Plane, I once built a model of the Heinkel He 162 for that simulator, added the arrestor hook and made some attempts to land on a carrier. It turned out to be very difficult, and I had to add a modern-style head-up display with velocity vector indication to be able to land it successfully.

    The reason was not any deficit in the aerodynamic properties of the aircraft, but simply the very slow reaction of the engine to any throttle increase.

    The long spool-up times had been mentioned in the French reports on the time, and in fact they were quite noticable when landing on land base, too. It was not a real problem there if you settled for a long, well-stabilized approach, but of course a large runway on terra firma is much easier to land on than a moving, pitching carrier deck.

    (Note that it took quite a while before jet aircraft were considered suitable for carrier operations. The slow spool-up times seem to have been one of the main reasons for this delay.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  20. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    I thought the structural failures mentioned were caused by the inferior glue, used on the aircraft. Hardly suprising IMO look at the time in which it was build, late in WWII.
    Below a picture I took of a salamander at Hendon RAF museum. It really is a beautiful a/c
     

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