Henschel Hs 132

The Henschel Hs 132 was an striving German jet-powered designs in the closing years of the Second World War which couldn’t be used in the way it was intended as only one complete prototype was made available by the end of the war. It had a unique design which featured a top-mounted jet engine. The crew had a strange prone position. It was believed that it would act as a help for combat aircraft to reduce g-forces during maneuvering. The Soviet Army occupied the factory just as the Hs 132 V1 was nearing flight testing, the V2 and V3 being 80% and 75% completed.

The Hs 132 was designed as a jet-powered alternative to the piston-engine design. This amazing new design would never proceed past the prototype stage, as the Soviets Armies had other plans. They destroyed the development facilities and only one full prototype was completed. All the three aircraft which were still under the construction stage were captured by the Soviet forces.

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Henschel had submitted a design for RLM approval in April/May 1944, which was approved later as the Hs 132. Its fuselage was of a circular cross-section which was made of metal. A single BMW 003 jet engine was mounted on the aircraft’s top. Due to the complex position of the engine, it was decided to fit the tail with a twin fin and rudder configuration so that exhaust unit didn’t interfere. A tricycle landing gear was used. The cockpit design also helped steep dive during the bomb run. The pilot’s controls featured a spring-operated power rudder.

The basic model was armed with one 500 kg bomb and didn’t carry any other armament. After reaching a speed of 910 km/h (565 mph), if in range, the pilot would release the bomb at the target using a pretty ordinary computerized sight. The aircraft was stressed to face 12 G force. Several other versions of the basic airframe were proposed as well.

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Crew: 1
Length: 8.90 m (29 ft 2,5 in)
Wingspan: 7.20 m (23 ft 7½ in)
Height: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 14.80 m² (159.30 ft²)
Loaded weight: 3,400 kg (7,496 lb)
Engine: 1x BMW 003A turbojet, 7.8 kN (1,760 lb at 9,500 rpm)
Maximum speed: (780 km/h at 6,000 m (700 km/h with bomb)) (485 mph at 19,685 ft (435 mph with bomb))
Range: (with bomb) 1,120 km (696 miles)
Service ceiling: (with bomb) 10,000 m (32,810 ft)
Armament: up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) of disposable stores on external rack