Hs 124 ✙
Multipurpose attack aircraft
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
August 27, 1936, 15 weeks after the start of testing 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: