Aviation of World War II

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He-162 "Salamander"

Jet Fighter-Interceptor


Heinkel He 162A-2 'Red 02', Ramenskoye, near Moskow, spring 1946

Heinkel He 162A-2 'Red 02', Letno-Islyedovatel'skiy Institut, Ramenskoye, near Moskow, spring 1946

The He 162 at the Soviet Flight Research Institute. Soviet engineers were also studying the He 162 jet fighter. Two of the A-2 variants armed with two 20mm cannon came to our country. Using a stock of components and aggregates, German workers monitored by Soviet specialists had assembled them soon after the war at a plant in Rostock. Large volumes of technical and design documentation reached the USSR later on. One Heinkel underwent testing in the spring of 1946 at the Flight Research Institute.

From the captured documents it became known that Heinkel was developing jet fighters back in 1944. The designers chose the simplest solution from among 20 designs of single-seat aircraft with different engines and layouts. This was a jet airplane with BMW 003 engine placed on the "spine" of the aircraft. The He 162 was quickly put into series production in early 1945 despite a number of significant handling defects.

Soviet specialists treated the aircraft cautiously and, before its first sortie, a technical commission established several speed, overload, and flight weight restrictions. On 8 May, G. M. Shiyanov took to the air in the Heinkel with red stars on the fuselage and tail. The test pilot flew two more He 162 sorties, which demonstrated that the German designers had not succeeded in eliminating the main handling shortcomings. The Flight Research Institute report contained this notation: "According to the pilot, the aircraft has a low longitudinal stability margin; lateral stability is close to neutral. The aircraft is unpleasant to fly thanks to negative stability and the extra efficiency of the rudders. The long takeoff roll of 1350 meters (with a flight weight 9.6 percent below normal) indicates a very low takeoff lift coefficient. <…>. Further tests have ceased, because the takeoff roll is too long".

After that, one He 162A-2 was transferred to TsAGI for testing in wind tunnel T-101 and the second was dismantled at the TsAGI New Equipment Bureau.

Crew 1
Wing span, m 7.02
Wing area, m² 11.1
Length, m 9.03
Height, m 2.60
TJE BMV 109-003E-1/2, thrust, kg 800
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 1664
Loaded weight 2600
Maximum takeoff weight 2800
Maximum speed at sea level, km/h 885
at altitude, km/h 900
Rate of climb, m/min 1404
Service ceiling, m 12000
Service range, km 970
2 × 20-мм cannon with 2×20 cartridges  
Photo Description
Drawing He 162A-2
He 162A-2 He 162A-2
He 162 VI W.Nr. 200 001 He 162 VI W.Nr. 200 001 in its bare metal finish. The aircraft was completed and ready for take-off at Heidfeld on 1 December 1944, in less than 70 days following the authorization of the Volksjäger programme.
He 162 Plant Some thirty or so He 162 fuselages line one of the wain 'assembly halls' at the Junkers facility housed in a former salt mine at Tarthun, near Egeln in mid-1945. The Tarthun facility served as a production outstation of the Bernburg plant 30 kilometres to the east. All the fuselages have had their canopies fitted, but await delivery of tail sections from a subcontractor.
He 162 of 3./JG 1 Ground crew almost dwarf the diminutive fuselage of an He 162 of 3./JG 1 under the spring sunshine at Ludwigslust in April 1945. The aircraft is adorned with the twin red arrows on either side of the nose and the blаск/white/red nose tip associated with such aircraft of JG 1 at this time.
The solitary figure of Hauptmann Heinz Künnecke walks past the right-hand row of He 162s at Leek having lust taken photographs of his unit's aircraft. May 1945.
The view looking from the eastern end of the left-hand row of He 162s at Leck with an unidentified Luftwaffe serviceman standing between an Opel Kadett and a camouflaged military Adler Trumpf 2.0-litre cabriolet staff car. The aircraft closest to the Adler Trumpf is W.Nr. 120 067 'White 4'.
The He 162A-2 undergoing testing at the Flight Research Institute in the spring of 1946.


  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "The German Imprint on the History of Russian Aviation " /D.A. Sobolev, D.B. Khazanov/
  • "Heinkel He 162" /Robert Forsyth and Eddie J. Creek/