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Heinkel He 176

Heinkel He 176

He 176 V1
Originální název:
Original Name:
He 176 V1
experimentální letoun
DD.MM.1939-DD.MM.1939 Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke AG , Rostock-Marienehe /
Období výroby:
Production Period:
DD.MM.1939-DD.MM.1939 (sériová výroba nezahájena / serial production not started)
Vyrobeno kusů:
Number of Produced:
1 prototyp / 1 prototype
První vzlet:
Maiden Flight:
Základní charakteristika:
Basic Characteristics:
Vzlet a přistání:
Take-off and Landing:
CTOL - konvenční vzlet a přistání
Uspořádání křídla:
Arrangement of Wing:
Uspořádání letounu:
Aircraft Concept:
Přistávací zařízení:
Landing Gear:
Technické údaje:
Technical Data:
Hmotnost prázdného letounu:
Empty Weight:
780 kg
Vzletová hmotnost:
Take-off Weight:
? kg
Maximální vzletová hmotnost:
Maximum Take-off Weight:
1620 kg
5,00 m
6,40 m
1,44 m
Plocha křídla:
Wing Area:
5,40 m2
Plošné zatížení:
Wing Loading:
300 kg/m2
Počet motorů:
Number of Engines:
Walter HWK R I
- statický tah: ~5,88 kN
Objem palivových nádrží:
Fuel Tank Capacity:
Maximální rychlost:
Maximum Speed:
7501) km/h v 4000 m
Cestovní rychlost:
Cruise Speed:
? km/h v ? m
Rychlost stoupání:
Climb Rate:
? m/s
Čas výstupu na výšku:
Time to Climb to:
1,1 min do 4000 m
Operační dostup:
Service Ceiling:
90001) m
? km
Maximální dolet:
Maximum Range:
1101) km
Uživatelské státy:
User States:
1) teoreticky

maximální dosažená rychlost: 345 km/h
vytrvalost (dosažená): 50 s
Němeček, Václav: Heinkel He 176, L+K 14/1994
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Heinkel He 176

In 1935, the first idea for an interceptor fighter was conceived, powered by a liquid-fuel rocket engine that would be capable of destroying high-flying enemy bombers. Based on this idea, work began at Heinkel in late 1936 on a rocket-powered aircraft, designated the He 176, which, although experimental, was to lead directly to a practical fighter.

The work was undertaken by a special group, designated Sonderentwicklung I, which was based in Rostock-Marienehe under the leadership of Walter Künzel. A second group, Sonderentwicklung II, under the leadership of Hans Pabst von Ohain, was in charge of developing an engine for the machine (but in the end the Walter engine was used).

The design was completed by the end of July 1937, when work on the prototype also began. The He 176 had a narrow fuselage with a circular cross-section, the wings were elliptical with a straight leading edge, and were to be welded from hydronalia to form an integral tank, but for technological reasons this solution was not used.

For the safety of the pilot on future fighters, the cabin was designed from the beginning as a detachable unit, the pilot was then to leave it on a parachute. A mock-up of this cockpit was therefore also tested in practice, being dropped from a He 111 with a dummy instead of the pilot.

Fuel tanks were placed behind the cockpit. A Walter HWK R I liquid-fuel rocket engine was used. The landing gear was a spur gear, but for taxi tests at Peenemeünde an auxiliary landing gear leg was placed under the nose. The pilot was seated in the nose with a technologically complex glass cigar-shaped cabin in front of him, providing an excellent view forward.

In July 1938, the finished airframe was tested in the wind tunnel at the Aerodynamic Experimental Institute (AVA) in Göttingen. It was then briefly tested in a lift near Peenemünde. The first short airborne jump took place in March 1939, albeit with rocket propulsion, but with an odd amount of fuel.

The Heinkel He 176 V1 made its first official flight on 20 June 1939 with Flugkapitäne pilot Erich Warsitz. However, this date is disputed. A day later it was demonstrated to RLM representatives, Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch. Instead of support, they banned further attempts to take off as too dangerous.

Another (already documented) launch took place when Adolf Hitler visited Rechlin on 3 August 1939, but he relied on the sufficiency of existing types, so he did not support further development. The project was put to a definitive end by the Udet memorandum of 12 September 1939, which Heinkel explicitly forbade further development of the He 176 and He 178 types.

The further fate of the first liquid rocket fuel aircraft is unknown, perhaps it was also, like He 178, destroyed in a raid on the Berlin Technical Museum in 1943.
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We can only agree that it was a classified project and thus no reliable data has survived. According to the book Aircraft of the Luftwaffe part 2, by the renowned author Mark Murawski, the tactical and technical data are different again, I will mention them here only as a point of interest:

First take-off: 30.6.1939 (flight duration 50 s !)
Produced: end of 1937 - start of design work, completed in summer 1938
Fuel tank capacity: -
Empty weight: 3 455 kg
Take-off weight: 4 400 kg
Wingspan: 4.00 m
Length: 5.00 m
Height: ?
Max. speed: 700 km/h at h= 0 m (not exceeding 700 km/h)
Flight time with maximum engine thrust: 60 s

After completion in the summer of 1938, the prototype was transported to the island of Usedom, where Flugkapitän Warsitz was to make the first solo take-off with it on 30 June 1939 (earlier the He 176 V1 had been tested in tow), this flight lasted briefly 50 s, but here we must note that the aircraft had the fuel tanks capacity for 60 s of full thrust flight.

Marek Murawski gives another date for the flight from the base in Rechlin on 3.7.1939 - the demonstration to the RLM representatives (Udet and Milch). From Roggentheim Airport, a demonstration to the Third Reich (Hitler, Göring and Keitel) without exact date ("...then").

The aircraft was judged to be too heavy with a high surface load. The end of the aircraft is consistent with Aubi's sources, i.e. Berlin Air Museum, 1943.

Marek Murawski, Luftwaffe Aircraft 1933-45, part 2, Intermodel, 1997, ISBN 80-901976-4-7
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Prototype He 176 V1 in Peenemünde.
Heinkel He 176 -

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There are very few credible illustrations of the He 176, mostly retrospective interpretations of eyewitness accounts or even pure speculation.

This is most evident in the cockpit, which has been most often interpreted as a glazing of practically the entire front and upper part of the nose, in which the pilot was half sitting, half lying. In fact, one of the few known photographs - perhaps the only one - shows a clearly divided overlay. According to some sources, the form with a continuously glazed overlay is an assumed appearance of the second, no longer built prototype.

This is a fairly common problem with aircraft that have reached at most the prototype stage, or whose development was terminated before the first flight.

Attached are a 3D reconstruction and several photos related to the fate of the aircraft.
Heinkel He 176 - Snímek z června 1939. Po 1. vzletu. E. Heinkel uprostřed obličejem k fotografovi, sedící pilot Erich Warsitz

Snímek z června 1939. Po 1. vzletu. E. Heinkel uprostřed obličejem k fotografovi, sedící pilot Erich Warsitz

Heinkel He 176 - Často citovaný obrázek - předpokládaná podoba překrytu pilotní kabiny a polohy pilota v ní

Často citovaný obrázek - předpokládaná podoba překrytu pilotní kabiny a polohy pilota v ní

Heinkel He 176 - I zde je vidět ona citovaná podoba pilotní kabiny.

I zde je vidět ona citovaná podoba pilotní kabiny.

Heinkel He 176 - pramen:

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2 more photos from The first one, undated and very poor quality, is from one of the few takeoffs of the machine, the second one is from the engine tests, where the aircraft is fixed in the test bench.
Heinkel He 176 - pramen:

Heinkel He 176 - pramen:

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One more technical detail: the installation of the Walter engine in the rear of the aircraft.
Heinkel He 176 - Instalace raketového motiru HWK Walter RI 203

Instalace raketového motiru HWK Walter RI 203

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