Aviation of World War II
Attack anti tank aircraft
The Hs 129A-0 from 4./SchG 101, Paris, France, 1941.
The Henschel Hs-129 was the only WWII aircraft designed specifically to combat tanks. The first serial machines Hs 129A-1 were equipped with engines "Argus" As-410A-1, which develops 465 hp at 3100 rpm.
However, the flight data of the Hs 129 also did not inspire optimism. The climb rate was low, and the takeoff and run - on the contrary - were unnecessarily long. Another unpleasant surprise was that the Henschel was unable to dive, even at relatively small angles. If the angle of descent exceeded 30 °, the efforts became excessive, exceeding the physical capabilities of the person. This information was paid for by the life of one of the pilots, who crashed on January 5, 1940 on the second prototype of the car. The pilot simply did not have enough strength to take the attack aircraft out of its dive.
As already mentioned, the aircraft was made with two engines in order to increase survivability; so that if one engine fails, it can return on another. But during the tests it turned out that the Henschel could not fly on one engine! Thus, the whole concept of the aircraft was falling apart.
Nevertheless, the Hs 129 was put into series production. In February, the firm received an order for 12 pre-production Hs 129A-0s. They were to be followed by 16 vehicles of the first series Hs129A-1. However, the production of the A-1 series did not begin, and instead, the company was required to significantly improve the flight performance of the aircraft and radically improve the working conditions of the pilot.