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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

Hs 127

Hs 127
  • Hight Speed Bomber
  • First flight: 1937
  • Henschel

At the beginning of 1935, it was decided to stop work on the "hunter" project and start creating more specialized aircraft. The rejection of the Hs.124 was a serious blow to Nikolaus. Nevertheless, the experience gained in working on this project allowed the Henschel Flygzeugwerke to take part, along with the Focke-Wulf, Junkers and Messerschmitt, in the competition for the so-called "high-speed bomber".

The requirements of the Technical Department specified a three-seat aircraft with defensive armament from one machine gun with 500 rounds, carrying a bomb load of 500-800 kg. The maximum speed - 500 km / h had to be maintained for 30 minutes. Cruising speed was determined at not less than 450 km / h, and the climb time of 7000 m was 25 minutes. The take-off distance with normal weight up to a height of 20 m was set at 750 m, the landing distance with half the load - at 400 m.

Focke-Wulf withdrew from participation in the competition, and Henschel, Junkers and Messerschmitt received an order for three prototype aircraft each - Hs.127, Ju.88 and Bf.162. All three aircraft were to use the latest liquid-cooled Daimler-Benz DB-600 engines. Interestingly, the Henschel and Junkers layouts were very similar. The Hs.127 was a low-wing monocoque fuselage with an oval cross-section and countersunk riveted skin. The wing was two-spar with working skin. The entire trailing edge of the wing was occupied by ailerons and flaps. Oil-damped chassis were produced electrically.

All three crew members were located in the nose. The pilot sat on the left, the radio operator behind and below, and the navigator-scorer in front in the glazed bow. Daimler-Benz DB-600D engines produced 850 hp on takeoff. and worked on three-bladed VDM propellers with variable pitch. Two bomb bays could hold up to 1500 kg of bombs. There were no defensive weapons on the first prototype Hs.127-V1. The first flight took place at the end of 1937. The aircraft was noticeably smaller and lighter than its competitor Ju.88. Henschel demonstrated excellent flight performance and reached a speed of 565 km / h, but the Technical Department had already chosen the Junkers aircraft for mass production, and Messerschmitt was recommended to focus on the development of fighters. Shortly after the first flight of the second experimental Hs.127-V2 at the end of spring 1938, the contract with the company was terminated, and the third aircraft was never completed.

Henschel Hs.127v-2 Specification
Wing span, m 17.40
Wing area, m² 38.60
Height, m 1.85
Length, m 10.97
2 × PE Daimler-Benz DB 600D, power, hp 2 × 850
Weights, kg
Empty weight 6,700
Loaded weight 8,800
Maximum speed, km/h 565
Cruise speed, km/h 478
Service ceiling, m 9,200
Service range, km 1,400
planned, but not installed, bombs up to, kg 1500
Photo Description
Drawing Hs 127

Drawing Hs 127


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