Henschel Hs 129 B-1
|Maiden flight||25 May 1939|
Hungarian Air Force
Romanian Air Force
|Produced||June 1940 - September 1944|
The Henschel Hs 129 was a World War II ground attack aircraft fielded by the German Luftwaffe. An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing building testing selling and maintaining Aircraft, Aircraft parts Henschel & Son (Henschel & Sohn is a German company situated in Kassel, best known during the 20th century as a maker of transportation equipment including The maiden flight of an Aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord Events 1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo Spain back from the Moors. This is a list of Aviation -related events from 1939: Events January January 12 - the RAF Auxiliary Air Force Reserve This is a list of Aviation -related events from 1942: Events January January 30 - Canadian Pacific Air Lines This is a list of Aviation -related events from 1945: Events January January 1 - the Luftwaffe begins targeting ( German 'luftvafe is a generic German term for an Air force. The Hungarian Air Force is the Air force branch of the Hungarian Army. The Romanian Air Force (Forţele Aeriene Române is the Air force branch of the Romanian Armed Forces It has an air force headquarters an operational command This is a list of Aviation -related events from 1940: Events January January 6 - During the Winter War between This is a list of Aviation -related events from 1944: Events January January 11 - in one of their largest air raids to World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Ground-attack aircraft are military aircraft designed to attack targets on the ground and are often deployed as Close air support for and in proximity to their own ground forces Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. ( German 'luftvafe is a generic German term for an Air force. Its nickname, the Panzerknacker (tank cracker), is a deliberate pun - in German, it also means "safe cracker". Although likely to be a good anti-tank weapon, it never really had a chance to prove itself in any real way - the plane was produced in only small numbers and deployed during a time when the Luftwaffe was unable to protect them from attack.
By the middle of the 1930s the idea of using aircraft against ground targets had been "well understood" to be of little use other than hurting enemy morale. Experiences during World War I had demonstrated that attacking the combatants was generally much more dangerous to the aircraft than the troops on the ground, a problem that was only becoming more acute with the introduction of newer weapons. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All For much of the 1920s and 1930s the use of aircraft was seen primarily in the strategic and interdiction roles, where their targets were less likely to be able to fight back with any level of coordination. Strategic bombing is a Military strategy used in a Total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability to wage war rather The purpose of interdiction is to delay disrupt or destroy enemy forces or supplies en route to the battle area For high-value point targets, the dive bomber was the preferred solution. A dive bomber is a Bomber aircraft that Dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy and limit the exposure to and effectiveness of
The German Condor Legion experience during the Spanish Civil War turned this idea on its head. The Condor Legion (Legion Condor was a unit composed of "volunteers" from the German Air Force ( Luftwaffe) which served with the Nationalist The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted Coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of Although armed with generally unsuitable aircraft such as the Henschel Hs 123 and cannon-armed versions of the Heinkel He 112, their powerful armament and fearless pilots proved that the aircraft was a very effective weapon even without bombs. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout This led to some support within the Luftwaffe for the creation of an aircraft dedicated to this role, and eventually a contract was tendered for a new "attack aircraft".
Since the main source of damage would be from rifle and machine gun fire from the ground, the plane had to be heavily armored around the cockpit and engines. A rifle is a Firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves ("rifling" cut into the barrel walls For other uses of the phrase see Machine Gun (disambiguation. For body armour see Armour, for armoured forces see Armoured warfare, for other uses see Armour (disambiguation. A cockpit is the area usually near the front of an Aircraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft They also required the same protection in the windscreen, which required 75 mm thick armored glass. The windshield or windscreen of an Aircraft, Automobile, Bus, Motorcycle, or Tram is the front Window Bulletproof glass is a colloquial term for Glass that is particularly resistant to being penetrated when struck by Bullets Since manufacturing glass of usable Since the aircraft was expected to be attacking its targets directly in low level strafing runs, the cockpit had to be located as close as possible to the nose in order to see the ground. Strafing is the practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft One last requirement, a non-technical one, ended up dooming the designs; the RLM demanded that the aircraft be powered by "unimportant" engines of low power that were not being used in other designs, so the plane's production would not interfere with that of other types deemed more essential to the war effort. A reciprocating engine, also often known as a piston engine, is a Heat engine that uses one or more reciprocating Pistons to convert
Four companies were asked to respond, and only two of the resulting three entries were considered worthy of consideration; Focke-Wulf's conversion of their earlier Fw 189 reconnaissance plane, and Henschel's all-new Hs 129. Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG was a German manufacturer of civil and military aircraft during World War II. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Reconnaissance (also scouting) is a military and medical term denoting exploration conducted to gain information
The Hs 129 was designed around a single large "bathtub" of steel sheeting that made up the entire nose area of the plane, completely enclosing the pilot up to head level. Even the canopy was steel, with only tiny windows on the side to see out of and two angled blocks of glass for the windscreen. In order to improve the armor's ability to stop bullets, the fuselage sides were angled in forming a triangular shape, resulting in almost no room to move at shoulder level. The fuselage (from the French fuselé "spindle-shaped" is an Aircraft 's main body section that holds crew and passengers or Cargo There was so little room in the cockpit that the instrument panel ended up under the nose below the windscreen where it was almost invisible, some of the engine instruments were moved outside onto the engine nacelles, and the gunsight was mounted outside on the nose.
In the end the plane came in 12% overweight and the engines 8% underpowered, and it understandably flew poorly. The controls proved to be almost inoperable as speed increased, and in testing one plane flew into the ground from a short dive because the stick forces were too high for the pilot to pull out. Aircraft flight control systems consist of Flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls connecting linkages and the necessary operating mechanisms to control A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling The Fw design proved to be no better. Both planes were underpowered with their Argus As 410 engines, and very difficult to fly. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout
The RLM nevertheless felt they should continue with the basic concept. In the end the only real deciding factor between the two was that the Henschel was smaller and cheaper. The Focke-Wulf was put on low priority as a backup, and testing continued with the Hs 129 A-0. A series of improvements resulted in the Hs 129 A-1 series, armed with two 20 mm MG 151/20s and two 7. The MG 151 (MG 151/15 was a 15 mm Autocannon produced by Waffenfabrik Mauser starting in 1940 92 mm MG 17s, along with the ability to carry four 50 kg bombs under the fuselage midline. The MG 17 was a 792 mm Machine gun produced by Rheinmetall-Borsig for use at fixed mountings in many World War II Luftwaffe aircraft
Even before the A-1s were delivered the plane was redesigned with the Gnome-Rhône 14M radial engine, which were captured in some number when France fell. The Gnome-Rhône 14M was a small 14-cylinder two-row air-cooled Radial engine that was used on several French and German aircraft of World War II. The radial engine is a reciprocating type internal combustion Engine configuration in which the cylinders point outward from a central In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries This engine supplied 700 hp (522 kW) for takeoff compared to the Argus at 465 hp (347 kW). The Gnome-Rhone radials were also made in versions with opposite rotation for the propeller, and were installed on the Hs 129 with the port engine rotating clockwise, and the starboard rotating counterclockwise, as seen from nose-on, exactly as the Allison inline V-12 engines in the USA's P-38 Lightning twin-engined fighter were set up, thus eliminating engine torque problems. The A-1 planes were converted into Hs 129 B-0's for testing (although some claim that some As were sold to Romania) and the pilots were reportedly much happier. Romania ( dated: Rumania, Roumania Their main complaint was the view from the canopy, so a single larger windscreen and a new canopy with much better vision were added, resulting in the production model Hs 129 B-1.
B-1s started rolling off the lines in December 1941, but they were delivered at a trickle. In preparation for the new plane, I. /Sch. G 1 had been formed up in January with Bf 109 E/B's (fighter-bomber version of Bf 109 E) and Hs 123's, and they were delivered B-0s and every B-1 that was completed. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Still, it wasn't until April that 12 B-1s were delivered and its 4th staffel (squadron) was ready for action. They moved to the eastern front in the middle of May, and in June they received a new weapon, the 30 mm MK 101 cannon with armor-piercing ammunition in a midline pod. MK 101 is the designation of a 30 mm Cannon used in German combat aircraft during World War II.
By May of 1942 after only 50 of the planes had been delivered, they started to deliver the new Hs 129 B-2 model side-by-side with the B-1. The only difference between the two were changes to the fuel system – a host of other minor changes could be found almost at random on either model. As time went on these changes were accumulated into the B-2 production line until you could finally tell them apart at a glance, the main differences being the removal of the mast for the radio antenna, the addition of a direction-finding radio antenna loop, and shorter exhaust stacks on the engines.
In the field the differences seemed to be more pronounced. The R-kits were renumbered and some were dropped, and in general the B-2 planes received the upgraded cannon pack using a MK 103 instead of the earlier MK 101. The Rheinmetall-Borsig MK 103 was a German 30 mm caliber Autocannon that was mounted in German combat aircraft during World War II These guns both fired the same ammunition, but the 103 did so about almost twice the rate.
Even by late 1942 complaints started about the MK 103 against newer versions of the Soviet T-34 tanks. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1941 to 1958 It is widely regarded as having been the world's best Tank when the Soviet Union One obvious solution would be to use the larger 37 mm gun, adapted from an anti-tank gun that had recently been abandoned by the army. These guns had already been converted into pod-mounted weapons for the Ju 87 and found to be a fearsome weapon. When mounted on the Hs 129 the empty area behind the cockpit could be used for ammunition storage, which would address the only problem with the Ju 87's mounting, limited ammunition.
But for some reason the Luftwaffe decided to skip over this gun for the Hs 129, and install a gigantic 75 mm gun from the Panzer IV. The Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfw IV commonly known as the Panzer IV, was a Medium tank developed in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and used extensively A huge hydraulic system was used to damp the recoil of the gun, and an auto-loader system with twelve rounds was fitted in the large empty space behind the cockpit. For the mechanical technology see Hydraulic machinery and Hydraulic cylinder Hydraulics is a topic of science and Engineering An auto-loader or autoloader is a mechanical aid or replacement for the personnel that load ordnance into Crew-served weapons such as Tanks The resulting system was able to knock out any tank in the world, but the weight slowed the already poor performance of the plane to barely flyable in this new Hs 129 B-3 version.
B-3s finally started arriving in June 1944, and only 25 were delivered by the time the lines were shut down in September. A small number were also converted from older B-2 models. In the field they proved deadly weapons, but with only 25 of them they had no effect on the war effort.
In order to address the poor performance of the aircraft, plans had been underway for some time to fit the plane with newer versions of the Italian Isotta-Fraschini Delta engine that delivered 850 hp (634 kW). Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The Delta was a 12-cylinder inverted-V Aircraft engine built by Isotta-Fraschini prior to and during World War II. However the engine ran into a number of delays, and was still not ready for production when the plant was overrun by the Allies in 1945.