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Hs 124 ✙
Multipurpose attack aircraft

Hs 124 V1

Back in 1933, a new tactic was developed for the use of aviation, according to which the concept of a "hunter" was born - a twin-engine multipurpose aircraft with armament in turrets, capable of performing the tasks of a high-speed bomber, escort fighter, interceptor, reconnaissance aircraft and attack aircraft. In reality, the requirements for the "hunter" appeared only in the fall of 1934. At the same time, three prototypes each were ordered for the Bayerisch Flyugzeugwerk (Bf 110), Focke-Wolf (FW 57) and Henschel (Hs.124).

The Hs.124-V2 was an all-metal low-wing aircraft with retractable landing gear. Considering the low power of the Jumo-210C, it received air-cooled engines BMW-132Dc (licensed version of the Hornet), which significantly improved the aircraft's flight characteristics.

Even before the first flight of the Hs.124, the Air Force headquarters revised the concept of the "hunter", demanding the creation of more specialized aircraft. As a result, in the spring of 1935, the RLM technical department prepared new specifications for the "hunter" and for the high-speed bomber. As a result, the third Hs.124-VЗ with a "blind" bow, two cannons and two machine guns was never tested ...

Hs 124 V-3

Hs 124 V-3

August 27, 1936, 15 weeks after the start of testing Bf 110 at Hounstetten airfield, Colonel Udet, appointed fighter inspector aviation, got acquainted with the new "hunter", which was demonstrated by Hermann Würster. Udet was surprised by the maneuverability of the large twin-engined aircraft and proposed a training battle. Wurster took off in a Bf 110V1, and Udet himself in a pre-production Bf 109B. The fight took place over the airfield at an altitude of 1000 m. Udet could not keep the enemy in sight for a long time, which guaranteed defeat. He also had difficulty repeating combat turns after the heavier fighter. After that, Udet gave warm support to the "hunter" Messerschmitt.

As a result of official tests, the decision was made to launch the aircraft into series. Competitors - "Focke-Wulf" FW 57 and "Henschel" Hs 124, although they were closer to the concept of Zerstorer, turned out to be unacceptable for use either as a "high-speed bomber" or as a "hunter". It is enough to compare the tactical and technical characteristics of all three competitors:

Aircraft Bf 110 FW 57 Hs 124
The first flight May 1936 March 1935 November 1934
Wing span, m 16.8 25 18.2
Length, m 12.6 16.4 14.5
Wing area, m² 39 73.5 54.5
Weight, kg
Takeoff weight, kg 5,700 8,300 7,200
Wing loading, kg/m² 146 113 133
Engines Jumo 210 DB 600 Jumo 210
Power, h.p. 675 910 675
Power load, kg/h.p. 4.2 4.6 5.3

It can be seen that, in an effort to fulfill the requirements of the task, the designers of the Focke-Wulf and Henschel went to create rather large and labor-intensive aircraft, inferior to the lighter Bf 110, which was designed with only one goal - to achieve the maximum possible speed. This was, of course, not what the Air Ministry wanted, but better than one might expect.

Even more optimism was added by the tests of the third prototype Bf 110V3 powered by the Daimler-Benz engine. Already at the beginning of tests with a take-off weight of 5000 kg at an altitude of 3300 m, a speed of 503 km / h was reached. The tests, however, were constantly interrupted due to the unreliable operation of the DB 600 motors.

Goering demanded to start production of the Zerstorer without delay, and Messerschmitt's Bf 110 was the only one that, to some extent, was suitable for the role of a long-range heavy fighter, which was playing an increasing role in the plans of the Luftwaffe headquarters, already ready to form "heavy" fighter groups ...

Hs 124 V-2
Crew 3
Length, m 14.50
Height, m 3.75
Wing span, m 18.20
Wing area, m² 54.60
Weight, kg
Emtty weight 4,245
Loaded weight 7,220
Engines 2 × PE ВМW-132Dc
Takeoff power, h.p. 2 × 880
Maximum speed, km/h 432
Service range, km 1175
Service ceiling, m 6000
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 345

Armament: two 20-mm Mauser cannons on a movable installation in the nose and one 7.9-mm MG-15 machine gun back; 6×100 kg or 12×50 kg bombs

Photo Description
Drawing  Hs.124 V-2

Drawing Hs.124 V-2

Henschel  Hs.124 V-2

Henschel Hs.124 V-2 с двумя двигателями воздушного охлаждения ВМW-132Dc


  • Combat aircraft of the Luftwaffe /Edited by David Donald/
  • Aviation of Luftwaffe /Viktor Shunkov/
  • Encyclopedia of military engineering /Aerospace Publising/