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. 2017-11-20

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INTRODUCTION

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USN: VP53 NA ASW 00 PBM5A Mariner 1948 1949

                                       
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         

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Heinkel He 219 Uhu


Background

There have been countless occasions when superior combat aircraft have been created because the engineering team was able to get on with the job and do it in the best and most efficient way. Obvious examples are the de Havilland Mosquito, General Dynamics F-16 and another was the Heinkel He 219. Designed as a versatile multi-role aircraft, it was finally developed purely for night-fighting and then criticised because it was so specialised.



Ernst Heinkel AG was one of the largest aircraft firms in Hitler's Germany, and it was certainly the most experienced in producing combat aircraft. In mid-1940 the Rostock-Marienehe head office had surplus design capacity, and this was put to use in creating a number of projects, one of which was Projekt 1064. This was a Kampf-Zerstörer, literally a war-destroyer but meaning a multi-role fighter, attack, reconnaissance and even torpedo aircraft. It incorporated many new features, including a tandem-seat pressurised cockpit in a rather serpent-like nose, a shoulder-high wing, giant underslung engine nacelles housing twin-wheel main units of a tricycle landing gear, twin tail fins and remotely-controlled defensive gun barbettes.


A Heinkel He 219A-7/R-4 1st Staffel Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 - Munster Germany 1944

The design was just what the Luftwaffe really needed, but long term planning at the Ob.d.L. (Luftwaffe high command) was conspicuously absent. Instead, Projekt 1064 was looked at unfavourably because it used so many radical innovations. The 'American' idea of nosewheel gear was scorned, and Heinkel even had the temerity to pick the Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine, a big and powerful unit that, like the Heinkel project, had never been requested officially, and thus was itself under a cloud. Projekt 1064 was filed away and forgotten.

Fighting a lone battle to build up the Luftwaffe's vital night fighter force was the harassed General der Nachtjägd, Josef Kammhuber. He consistently failed in his efforts to get a truly advanced night-fighter designed for the job, but eventually he managed to gain an interview with Hitler. He left the room with 'special powers' enabling him to overrule his opponents, and as a result in October 1941 Projekt 1064 became the He 219, with a development contract. Kammhuber had been impressed by the potential of this design on a visit to Rostock, and considered it could be the night-fighter he was seeking. At the same time, Focke-Wulf received a contract for a night-fighter which became the Ta 154, dubbed 'Moskito' because of its wooden construction but it never entered widespread service.


A group of Heinkel He 219 Uhu "Owls" at Fliegerhorst Grove (Karup Airfield) in Denmark in May 1945 shortly after the German surrender. The tail rudders were removed to make the aircraft unflyable.

Few changes were made to the Heinkel design, which retained its twin 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 barbettes above and below the rear fuselage and also the 4,409 lbs (2000 kg) bomb load. Forward firing armament was to comprise two 15 mm MG 151/15 cannon in the wingroots and a ventral installation of two 20 mm MG 151/20s or a large 30 mm MK 103 cannon. The basic aircraft was a clean and efficient stressed-skin design, with powerful slotted flaps (often described incorrectly as Fowler-type). The engines had circular radiators giving the appearance of radials, and a retractable ladder was provided for access to the lofty cockpit, where pilot and radar observer sat back-to-back with amn excellent all round view. A 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 was provided for rear defence. In the centre fuselage were three tanks housing 2600 litres (572 Imperial gallons).

The He 219 V1 (first prototype) made its maiden flight on 15 November 1942, and demonstrated outstanding handling and performance. The only real problem was poor yaw/roll stability, rectified in the third aircraft by enlarging the tail and extending the rear fuselage. There then began a process of development and tinkering with the armament and equipment that became so complex that today it is impossible to unravel. Even during the war, the RLM (air ministry) asked whether the profusion of types and designations could be simplified. The prototypes flew with a recorded 29 different variations of armament, while the plans for a manufacturing programme were thrown into disarray by repeated air raids on Rostock in March and April 1942, which twice destroyed virtually all the He 219 drawings. These attacks prompted Heinkel to plan for production at Vienna-Schwechat, fuselages being supplied from Mielec in Poland; continued bitter opposition, led by Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch, repeatedly delayed any production of what any impartial observer must have concluded was an outstanding aircraft.

Back in August 1942, Kammhuber had urged Heinkel to think in terms of a complete operational Gruppe (wing) by 1 April 1943, but at that date the sum total of He 219s was five prototypes. In the fIrst week of 1943 the third prototype He 219 was flown in mock combat against a Junkers Ju 188 (a type favoured as a night-fighter by Milch), leading to a highly biased RLM report which put in all the He 219's faults and omitted the enthusiastic comments of test pilots. It even suggested the Messerschmitt Bf 110 as an alternative to the new fighter. Nevertheless, later in that month Heinkel did receive the first production contract, for 127 aircraft.

On 25 March 1943 came a more detailed fly-off between an He 219 (probably the V4, with FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar), flown by the Gruppenkommandeur of I/NJG 1, Major Werner Streib, and a Ju 88S and a Dornier Do 217N. The Dornier soon withdrew, but the Junkers was flown by a pilot as famous as Streib, Oberst Wiktor von Lossberg of the technical staff. Brilliant as von Lossberg was, he had to concede defeat to the He 219, which by this time was becoming known as the Uhu (owl). The initial pre-series He 219A-O was delivered from late May 1943 in He 219A-0/Rl and R2 sub-types, respectively with the belly tray housing four MK 108s or four MK 103s. Both guns were of 30-mm calibre, but the MK 108 was a compact low-velocity weapon weighing 130 lbs (59 kg), while the MK 103 was a massive gun weighing 320 lbs (145 kg) and having tremendous power. Wing guns usually remained MG 151/20s. The pilot had a two-pronged control column, partly to ease the choice of either hand and partly to carry more switches and triggers. Guns were fired by the right hand, the top button firing the fuselage guns and the front trigger those in the wings. A further addition in at least one He 219A-0 was a compressed-air ejection seat for both occupants, the first in service in the world. There was an MF radio wire from the cockpit mast to each fin, but these were no real problem in emergency escape, and Heinkel was in fact looking ahead to the time when the He 219 would be jet-propelled. This also explained his original choice of nosewheel-type landing gear.

Initial deliveries went to I/NJG 1 at Venlo, on the Dutch frontier, where Streib determined to show what the type could do. It had C-1 radar, the intermediate set that followed FuG 202, and used the same group of small dipole aerials tuned to the 490 MHz frequency, but with two displays showing a direct view and a plan. The first combat mission was flown by Streib himself with backseater Pischer on the night of 11/12 June 1943 in He 219A-0 G9+FB. The mission was an epic, for the Uhu shot down five RAF heavy bombers. On returning, however, Streib totally misjudged the approach because of a misted windscreen. Seeing the dim runway lights at the last moment he selected full flap at too high a speed; the circuits shorted and the flaps blew back under the air load. The aircraft hit the ground so hard it broke up, but both men walked away without a scratch.

On hearing this, Milch said, "Yes, but perhaps Streib would have shot down just as many had he been flying another type of aircraft." But over the next 10 days these immature machines, in just six more sorties, destroyed another 20 RAF bombers, including six Mosquitoes. No Mosquito had ever before been intercepted at night, and not even Milch could ignore this achievement. The main trouble was that, despite having an assembly line at Schwechat, another about to start deliveries at Marienehe and a third being set up at the vast plant at Oranienburg (on tapering off of He 111 production), Heinkel's huge network of plants simply could not deliver He 219s. This was partly because of the fantastic profusion of sub-variants, many of them launched to meet official criticisms. It was also because of shortages of critical parts, notably engines. Whereas the basic plan was for 100 aircraft to be delivered monthly, actual acceptances hardly ever exceeded 12 per month.

Subsequent He 219 sub-types are listed separately. Few of these attained production status, although features that did become standard included longer nacelles housing extra fuel, removal of the rear gun (except on the three-seat He 219A-5/R4), installation of the powerful FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar with huge Hirschgeweih (stag's antlers) dipole aerial array, FuG 220 tail-warning radar, the ejection seat and, not least, the schräge Musik (literally 'slanting music', or jazz) armament. This scheme dated from 1941, having been proposed by armament engineers at Tarnewitz and tested by an NJG Experte, Oberleutnant Rudolf Schoenert. The idea was that oblique upward firing guns could be brought to bear accurately in a no-deflection shot by formating below and slightly behind the enemy bomber, using, a special upward looking sight. The scheme was made possible by the amazing fact that British heavy bombers not only had not one gun firing downwards but also not one window from which a formatting night-fighter could be seen. The usual schräge Musik installation in the He 219 comprised two MK 108s each with 100 rounds, fixed aft of the fuselage tanks at an angle of 65°.

By mid-1944, the RLM officials who had time to think about the matter realised that the campaign against the Uhu had been misguided. Milch himself had gone, production being henceforth a series of massive dictates by civilian Albert Speer. One of these, the Notprogramm (emergency programme) of 1 November 1944, virtually halted all aircraft manufacture except that of jets and single-engined fighters. Thus, the He 219 never did become the massive programme that should have been possible. The He 219 never equipped any unit except I/NJG 1 (ones and twos reached II/NJG 1, NJGr 10, Erg./JG 2 and NJSt 'Finnland' and 'Norwegen', but the numbers were trivial). By June 1944, I/NJG 1 had 20 Uhus, almost all of the current production He 219A-2 and He 219A-5 types. By this time RAF Mosquitoes were making themselves felt not only as pathfinders and bombers but also as intruders, and the number of He 219s that failed to return from night sorties climbed significantly. Previous attrition had been very low, although I/NJG 1 lost three Kommandeure in succession in 1944, two of them having been killed in mid-air collisions.

In January 1945, I/NJG 1's establishment was up to 64 aircraft, and total deliveries of all versions reached 268, plus about 20 development aircraft modified to acceptable operational standard by field units and a further six (not on any official documents) which were assembled and put into action by I/NJG 1 from replacement components and spares. So, how does one assess this controversial aircraft? There is no doubt it was a 1940 design of exceptional merit which could in a more ordered society have been developed for many roles with telling effect, as was the UK's Mosquito. The mass of sub-types merely diluted the main production effort, and the consistent failure of Daimler-Benz and Junkers to deliver the hoped for engines killed the advanced versions that would have kept the He 219 in front. As for the aircraft itself opinions are divided.

According to Gebhard Aders (author of Geschichte der deutschen Nachtjägd), the He 219 "never achieved the values given in its manual. With almost full tanks and full armament, the He 219 could not get above 26,247 ft (8000 m). With Lichtenstein and flame dampers, the maximum speed fell to about 311 mph (500 km/h) at this height." On the other hand, he states "The 219 was the only German night-fighter that could still climb on one engine, and even go round again for another landing attempt," a belief echoed by many former Uhu pilots. Yet that greatest of test pilots, Captain E. M. 'Winkle' Brown, who flew several captured He 219s, wrote in Air International that the type was "somewhat overrated... It suffered from what is perhaps the nastiest characteristic that any twin-engined aircraft can have, that being it was underpowered. This defect makes take-off a critical manoeuvre in the event of an engine failing, and a landing with one engine out can be equally critical. There certainly could be no overshooting with the He 219 in that condition."

This marginal performance is the more remarkable when it is remembered that the DB 603 was the largest of the inverted V-12 engines used by the Luftwaffe, with a cubic capacity 65 per cent greater than that of the Merlin. The problem lay squarely in the growth of systems and equipment with which the Uhu was packed, so that a typical He 219A-7 version weighed more empty than any Ju 88 night-fighter, and more than a fully-loaded Mosquito.

Variants

He 219 V1/V2

The first prototype equipped with 1,750 hp (1305 kW) DB 603A engines; originally unarmed, but later two 20 mm MG 151/20 and pivoted 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131; provision for two rear barbettes. He 219 V2 was the second prototype.


He 219 V3/V4/V5/V6

The He 219 V3 was the first aircraft with a longer fuselage and larger tail to correct poor yaw/roll stability. The He 219 V4/V5 incorporated FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar. The He 219 V6 was armed with six 15 mm MG 151/15 machine guns and the barbettes were eliminated.

He 219A-0

Pre-production series, most with DB 603A engines, 14 armament schemes and at least one with ejection seats.

He 219A-1

Planned production aircraft with 1,800 hp (1342 kW) DB 603E engines. Only one aircraft was produced.

He 219A-2

First production version, a two-seater with 1,750 hp (1303 kW) DB 603A engines. Basic armament of two MK 108 and four MG 151/20, but following Rustsätze kits offered variations: R1 six MG 151/20; R2 four MK 103 and two MG 151/20; R3 four MK 108 and two MG 151/20; R4 four MG 151/20 and two MK 108 oblique.

He 219A-3

Proposed fighter-bomber with three crew and 1,900 hp (1415 kW) DB 603G engines but not built.

He 219A-4

Long-span reconnaissance bomber with Junkers Jumo 222 engines. Never built.

He 219A-5

Major production version equipped initially with DB 603A engines, but most with 1,800 hp (1342 kW) DB 603E engines. Usual armament consisted of six MG 151/20 and two MK 108 oblique but many R-kits and other variations. He 219A-5/R4 adding third cockpit with raised canopy and pivoted MG 131.

He 219A-6

Lightweight 'anti-Mosquito' version, 26,345 lbs (11950 kg) loaded, with Daimler-Benz DB 603L two-stage engines with MW-50 water/methanol and GM-1 Nitrous Oxide boost. Speed of 404 mph (650 km/h) at up to 39,370 ft (12000 m).

He 219A-7

Similar to the He 219A-5 but with improved supercharger intakes for its DB 603G engines; in addition to the standard schrage Musik installation, the He 219A-7/R1 had two wing root-mounted MK 108s, and two MG 151s and two 30 mm MK 103s in the ventral tray; the He 219A-7/R2 had MK 108s in place of the ventral MK 103s, and the He 219A-7/R3 had the wing root MK 108s replaced by MG 151s and the ventral tray of the He 219A-7/R2; the He 219A-7/R4 had tail warning radar and just four MG 151s; six He 219A-71R5 night fighters were effectively He 219A-7/R3s with 1417 kW (1,900 hp) Junkers Jumo 213E engines and a water-methanol injection system; the single He 219A-7/R6 had two 1864 kW (2,500 hp) Jumo 222A/B engines.

He 219B

Series of developed long-span machines with extended fuselage. Most aircraft had the Daimler-Benz DB 603A engine, although original plans called for the Junkers Jumo 222 engine.

He 219C/C-1/C-2

Long-span wing of He 219B combined with totally new longer fuselage with four-seat pressure cabin at front and gunner in HDL 131 V tail turret (four MG 131). He 219C-1 night-fighter with two MK 108 cannon under cockpit, two oblique behind cockpit and two 20 mm MG 151/20 in the wings. He 219C-2 fighter-bomber with two forward 30 mm MK 103 and three SC 500 1,102 lbs (500 kg) bombs under fuselage.

He 319

An unbuilt multi-role derivative.

He 419

Various derived projects culminating in He 419B-1/R1, six of which were flown; He 319 tail, very long-span wing of 59 square metres (635 sq ft), two 20 mm MG 151/20 in the wings and four 30 mm MK 108 in ventral housing. Speed of 422 mph (679 km/h to 44,619 ft (13600 m) .

Hü 211

A high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft designed by Dr Ing Hutter with the He 219 fuselage and tail married to an 80 ft 6 in (24.54 m) wooden wing with tremendous range, speed and height. Single aircraft was destroyed before being completed.

Specifications (Heinkel He 219A-7/R2 Uhu "Owl")

Type: Two Seat Heavy Night Fighter

Design: Ernst Heinkel Design Team

Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel AG

Powerplant: (A-7) Two 1,900 hp (1417 kW) Daimler-Benz DB 603G 12-cylinder piston engines but due to shortages of these engines, the 1,800 hp (1342 kW) DB 603E 12-cylinder piston engine was also used. The He 219 prototypes, and the pre-production He 219A-0 and production He 219A-2, were powered by the 1,750 hp (1303 kW) liquid-cooled, inverted V-12 DB 603A. It had been intended to replace this in production aircraft with the 1,900 hp (1417 kW) DB 603G (with increased compression ratio and a higher speed supercharger), but unavailability led to proposals to fit the DB 603E (which had a large supercharger and GM-1 nitrous oxide injection) as a stop-gap. This was no more available than the DB 603G and the production He 219A-2 had to revert to the DB 603A. The DB 603G was finally incorporated in the He 219A-7, which proved the most widely produced variant, while the stripped-down anti-Mosquito He 219A-6 used the 2,100 hp (1565 kW) DB 6703L which was essentially a DB 603E with both MW-50 and GM-1 and a two-stage supercharger.

Performance: (DB 603E engine) Maximum speed 286 mph (460 km/h) at sea level, 363 mph (585 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6000 m); service ceiling 32,150 ft (9800 m); initial climb rate 1,804 ft (550 m) per minute.

Range: (A-5) 1,243 miles (2000 km); (A-7) at maximum cruise 1,150 miles (1850 km) .

Weight: Empty clean 18,398 lbs (8345 kg; Empty equipped 24,692 lbs (11200 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 33,289 lbs (15100 kg).

Dimensions: Span 60 ft 8 1/4 in (18.50 m); length 50 ft 11 3/4 in (15.54 m), 53 ft 7 1/4 in (16.34 m) including antennas; height 13 ft 5 1/2 in (4.10 m); wing area 479.01 sq ft (44.50 sq m)

Armament: Typical armament usually consisted of four 30 mm MK 108 cannon and two 20 mm MG 151/20 and two 30 mm MK 103 cannon. Some aircraft had and additional two 30 mm MK 108 cannon in a schrage Musik (Jazz Music) with 100 rounds per gun. The He 219A-2 abandoned the rearward facing MG 131. which was not fitted again, except to the He 219A-5/R4 which had a stretched forward fuselage and a new three-man cockpit. All He 219s had a pair of 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wingroots, and provision for two 30 mm MK 108s in an upward-firing schräge Musik installation. Contents of the ventral tray varied, with two MG 151s, two Mk 103s or two Mk 108s in the A-2, two Mk 108s in the A-5 and a choice in the He 219A-7 of two Mk 103s and two MG 151s (A-7/R1), two Mk 103s and two Mk 108s (A-7/R2), two Mk 108s and two MG 151s (A-7/R3) or two MG 151s (A-7/R4).

Variants: He 219 V1/V2, He 219 V3-V6 (longer fuselage and different tail), He 219A-0, He 219A-1, He 219A-2 (first production version), He 219A-3, He 219A-4, He 219A-5 (major production version), He 219A-6 (anit-mosquito version, He 219A-7 (final production version), He 219B, He 219C/C-1/C-2, He 319, He 419, Hü 211 (high altitude recon).

Avionics: The first production aircraft (the first 12 He 219A-2/R1s) were fitted simply with FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 with four small antenna arrays on the nose. On subsequent A-2s, aircraft had a single antenna for the C-1, with four large Hirschgeweih antennas for the new FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2. Some A-5s omitted C-1 radar. and often had the SN-2 antennas canted to reduce interference. The A-7 added the newer FuG 218 Neptun radar to Litchenstein SN-2.

History: First flight (219V-1) 15 November 1942; service delivery (prototypes) May 1943; (production 219A-1) November 1943.

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Heinkel He 219 Owl
The Heinkel He 219 Uhu ("Eagle-Owl") was a night fighter serving with the German Luftwaffe in the later stages of World War II. A relatively sophisticated aircraft, the He 219 possessed a variety of innovations, including an advanced intercept radar. It was also the first operational military aircraft in the world to be equipped with ejection seats, and the first German aircraft with tricycle landing gear. Had the Uhu been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect upon the strategic bomber offensive of the Royal Air Force, but only 268 were built before the end of the War and they saw only limited service.

Design and development

Due to political rivalries between Josef Kammhuber, commander of the German night fighter forces, Ernst Heinkel, the constructor, and Erhard Milch, responsible for aircraft construction in the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM — the German Aviation Ministry), the development and production of the aircraft was tortuous. The aircraft was also complicated and expensive to construct, a factor that further limited the number of aircraft produced.

When Robert Lusser returned to Heinkel from Messerschmitt, he began work on a new high-speed bomber project called P.1055. This was an advanced design with a pressurized cockpit, twin ejection seats (the first to be planned for use in any combat aircraft), tricycle landing gear featuring a nosegear that rotated its main strut through 90º during retraction, to fit flat within the forward fuselage, and remotely-controlled defensive gun turrets similar to those used by the Messerschmitt Me 210. Power was to be provided by two DB 610 "coupled" engines producing (2,200 kW/2,950 hp) each, delivering excellent performance with a top speed of approximately 750 km/h (470 mph) and a 4,000 km (2,500 mi) range with a 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) bomb load.

The RLM rejected the design in August 1940 as too complex and risky. Lusser quickly offered four versions of the fighter with various wingspans and engines in order to balance the performance and risk. At the same time, he offered the P.1056 dedicated night fighter with four 20 mm cannons in the wings and fuselage. The RLM rejected all of these on the same grounds in 1941. Heinkel was furious and fired Lusser on the spot.

About the same time as Lusser was designing the P.1055, Kammhuber had started looking for a dedicated aircraft for his rapidly-growing night fighter force. Heinkel quickly re-designed P.1055 for this role as the P.1060. This design was similar in layout but somewhat smaller and powered by the smaller and simpler liquid-cooled DB 603 inverted V12 engine, using annular radiators similar to the ones on the Jumo 211-powered Junkers Ju 88A, but considerably more streamlined in appearance. This engine was not known for its altitude performance, which was a problem for this design with its short wings, but Daimler offered a new "G" version that addressed that issue. Heinkel was sure he had a winner and sent the design off to the RLM in January 1942 while he funded the first prototype himself. Nevertheless, the RLM again rejected the He 219 in favour of new Ju 88- and Me 210-based designs.

Construction of the prototype started in February but suffered a serious setback in March, when Daimler said that the DB 603G would not be ready in time. Instead, they would deliver a 603A with a new gear ratio to the props, with the new designation 603C. Even these took until August to arrive, and the prototype did not fly until 6 November 1942.[2] When Kammhuber saw the prototype on the 19th, he was so impressed he immediately ordered it into production over Milch's objections. Milch — who had rejected the He 219 in January — was enraged.

Stability problems were noted, but Heinkel overcame the problem by offering a cash prize to engineers who could fix the problem. Further changes were made to the armament; the dorsal rear defensive guns - mounted atop the fuselage, and firing from a fixed, internal-mount rear facing dorsal "step" position at a point just aft of the wings' trailing edge - were removed due to their ineffectiveness. The forward-firing armament was increased to two 20 mm cannons in the wing roots and four more guns or cannons mounted in the ventral tray.The A-0 model also featured a bulletproof shield that could be raised in the front interior cockpit, hiding the entire bottom portion of windscreen, providing temporary pilot protection, leaving a slot by which the gunsight could be aimed at a bomber and fired. Production prototypes were then ordered as the He 219 A-0 (production prototype aircraft) and quickly progressed to the point where V7, V8 and V9 were handed over to operational units in June 1943 for testing.

Operational history

Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1972-004-32, Heinkel He 219 als Nachtjäger.jpg

The He 219 had an auspicious combat debut. On the night of 11–12 June 1943, Werner Streib flew the V9 and shot down five bombers between 01:05 and 02:22 hours, before crashing on landing.[4] A claim consistently made is that, "In the next 10 days the three Heinkel He 219A-0 pre-production aircraft would shoot down a total of 20 RAF aircraft, including six of the previously "untouchable" de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers. Greatly encouraged, Kammhuber continued to press for immediate production." No record of corresponding Mosquito losses or any documentary evidence exists, however, to suggest that He 219 pilots actually made claims for six Mosquitos during this time.

Production finally got underway with the He 219 A-2 model which included a longer engine nacelle containing an extra fuel tank and typically included the Rüstsatz R1 kit with two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons installed as an offensive Schräge Musik upward-firing system, installed completely within the fuselage. Production problems due to Allied bombing in March[10] meant the A-2/R1 did not reach Luftwaffe units until October 1943. The first 10-15 aircraft were delivered with the 490 MHz UHF-band FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar sets, complete with their 32-dipole element Matratze antenna array.

Milch repeatedly tried to have the program killed and in the process, Kammhuber was removed from office. Production ceased for a time but was restarted because the new Junkers Ju 388s were taking too long to get into service. Only 206 He 219s had been produced in the previous 15 months. Soon the A-5 began production and was the first major production variant He 219 to enter production. The A-5 featured an updated, 90 MHz VHF-band Telefunken FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar system, complete with their larger, draggy Hirschgeweih aerials. It had less range than the C-1, but improved accuracy and resolution and was less vulnerable to chaff jamming.

The He 219 was a capable fighter aircraft, allowing the pilots a large degree of autonomy. Ground control simply got them into the right area and then the pilots took over and hunted down the bombers on their own; the SN-2 radar's 4 km (3 mi) range was greater than the distance between the bombers. While the performance of the A-5 was not extraordinary — approximately 580 km/h (360 mph) speed — it was enough of an advance over the Messerschmitt Bf 110s and Junkers Ju 88Gs to allow the aircraft to chase several bombers in one sortie.

In order to combat the Mosquito, the He 219 had all excess weight removed. With some weapon and radio systems deleted the aircraft was able to attain a speed of 650 km/h (400 mph). This version was given the designation A-6.

The last major production version was the A-7 with improved DB603E engines. The A-7 could be outfitted with two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108s in the wing roots, two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 103 cannons and two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in a ventral tray and two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108s in a Schräge Musik installation mid-way down the fuselage, fully contained within it. The relatively long-barreled MK 103s, however were not usually fitted due to weight considerations.

The follow-on series was to be the He 219B fitted with the new, but very troublesome, 1,864 kW (2,500 hp) Junkers Jumo 222A/B 24-cylinder engines, which would have allowed the He 219 to reach 700 km/h (440 mph). They were also to have had increased wing spans of 22.06 m (72.38 ft) for better high-altitude performance. The Jumo 222s did not reach production status however, and only a test machine or two were ever fitted for the engines; some additional airframes with the enlarged wing were slated to fly with high-altitude versions of the DB 603. But again, only one or two test machines ever flew in that configuration.

A further adaptation would have been the He 219C, also intended to use the big wing and Jumo 222 powerplants as well as an all-new fuselage of 17.15 m (56.27 ft) and a complete three-man Ju 388J cockpit section forward and a manned power tail turret aft. Day bomber and night fighter versions were proposed and metal was cut on the project, but without the Jumo engines, they never flew.

Paper projects include the very-high-altitude He 219E with a vastly increased wingspan of 28.5 m (93.5 ft) and DB 614 engines, which were apparently an uprated DB 603G capable of 1,491 kW (2,000 hp).

A more reasonable project was the Hütter Hü 211, a design created by Wolfgang Hütter, that took a standard He 219 fuselage and tail and added a long-span, high aspect ratio wing of 24.55 m (80.54 ft) to create a fast, high-altitude interceptor. Since this design was to be powered by the Jumo 222, it was fated to never fly, although work continued on two sets of wings until they were destroyed by Allied bombing.

The He 219 was the only piston-engined night fighter capable of facing the British Mosquito on equal terms, given its speed, manoeuvrability and fire power, but it never played a significant role in the war because the industry failed to make it available in sufficient numbers

Variants

He 219 A-0
initially used for pre-production aircraft but became first major production version with 104 built, 1,750 PS DB 603A engines
He 219 A-1
Proposed reconnaissance-bomber aircraft. The project was abandoned.
He 219 A-2
similar to A-0 but extended engine nacelles with additional fuel tanks, 1,670 PS DB 603AA engines, 85 built
He 219 A-2/R1
Two-seat night fighter version, armed with two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons in a ventral tray, two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in the wing roots, plus 30 mm (1.18 in) two MK 108s just behind the cockpit.
He 219 A-5
planned three-seat night fighter, only some prototypes built from A-2 airframes known
He 219 A-6
planned Mosquito-hunter, stripped-down version of the He 219 A-2, armed with four 20 mm MG 151/20s
He 219 A-7
Improved night-fighter version, powered by two 1,800 PS DB 603E engines, 210 ordered as of 31 November 1944
He 319
An unbuilt multi-role aircraft project entirely unrelated to the He 219, only having the number sequence in common.
He 419
Various derived projects culminating in He 419B-1/R1, six of which were flown; use of the He 319 tail, very long-span wing of 59 square metres (635 sq ft), two 20 mm MG 151/20 in the wings and four 30 mm MK 108 in ventral housing. Speed of 422 mph (679 km/h to 44,619 ft (13600 m)) .

Survivors

Starting on 16 June 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force Intelligence Service as part of "Operation Lusty" (Luftwaffe Secret TechnologY) took control of three He 219s at Grove in Jutland, Denmark, base of the 1st Night Fighter Wing (Nachtjagdgeschwader 1) when the war ended. These aircraft were made flight-worthy by "Watson's Whizzers" and flown to Cherbourg, France. He 219 A-2 Werknummer 290202, was shipped to the United States with 21 other captured German aircraft on board the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper and were reassembled at Ford Field, Newark, New Jersey. Werknummer 290202 was given the foreign equipment number FE-614 and later T2-614. It was flown to Freeman Field, Indiana for flight testing along with a second of the three He 219s; a He 219 A-5 prototype, Werknummer 290060 and given the foreign equipment number FE-612. The fate of Werknummer 290060 is unknown. Following testing the He 219 A-2 Werknummer 290202 was then moved in 1946 to Orchard Place Airport in Park Ridge, Illinois. It was stored in a vacant aircraft factory and then transferred to the Smithsonian's National Air Museum on 3 January 1949. Finally the He 219 was crated and shipped to the Smithsonian's Silver Hill, Maryland storage facility in early 1955. He 219 A-2 Werknummer 290202 is undergoing restoration in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., USA. Recently the fuselage has been put on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center by Dulles Airport, however the wings are still being restored at the Paul Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Today the fuselage can be seen displayed near the museum's Dornier Do 335 and Arado Ar 234, aircraft that accompanied it across the Atlantic over 60 years ago.

Drawing: 0-He-219A-7-3-way-drawing-of-Heinkel-He-219A-7-R1-0A
Specifications (He 219 A-7) 3-way drawing of Heinkel He 219A-7/R1

Data from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II

General characteristics

* Crew: 2
* Length: 15.5 m (51 ft 0 in)
* Wingspan: 18.5 m (60 ft 8 in)
* Height: 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
* Wing area: 44.4 m² (478 ft²)
* Max takeoff weight: 13,580 kg (29,900 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Daimler-Benz DB 603E liquid-cooled inverted V12 engine, 1,800 PS (1,324 kW) each
* Propellers: VDM three blade constant speed airscrew

Performance

* Maximum speed: 616 km/h (333 kn, 385 mph)
* Range: 1,540 km (831 nmi, 960 mi)
* Ferry range: 2,148 km (1,160 nmi, 1,335 mi)
* Service ceiling: 9,300 m (30,500 ft)

Armament

* Guns:
o up to 4 × 20 mm MG 151 cannons in a detachable fairing under the fuselage, 300 rpg
o 2 × 20 mm MG 151s in wing roots, 300 rpg
o 2 × 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons, Schräge Musik (oriented 65° above horizontal), 100 rpg

Bibliography

* Boyne, Walter J. Clash of Wings. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-684-83915-6.
* Bridgeman, Leonard (editor). “Heinkel He 219.” Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
* Chorley, W.R. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 5 1944 - amendments and additions, Volume 6 1945 - amendments and additions. London: Ian Allen Publishing, 1997. ISBN 978-0904597912.
* Chorley, W.R. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 6 1945 - amendments and additions. London: Ian Allen Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0904597929.
* Franks, Norman L.R. Royal Air Force Fighter Command Losses of the Second World War: Volume 3. Operational Losses: Aircraft and Crews 1944-1945 (Incorporating Air Defence Great Britain and 2nd TAF): 1944-1945. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Midland Publishing, 2000. ISBN 978-1857800937.
* Green, William. Warplanes of the Third Reich. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1970 (fourth Impression 1979). ISBN 0-356-02382-6.
* Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "Heinkel's Nocturnal Predator... The He 219". Air Enthusiast. Issue Forty, September–December 1989. Bromley, Kent:Tri-Service Press. pp. 8–19, 70–72.
* Greenhous, Brereton. The Crucible of War: 1939-1945. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994. ISBN 0-80200-574-8.
* Kay, Anthony and John Richard Smith. German Aircraft of the Second World War: Including Helicopters and Missiles (Putnam's History of Aircraft). London: Putnam, 2002. ISBN 0-85177-920-4.
* Nowarra, Heinz J. Heinkel He 219 "Uhu". Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Inc., 1989. ISBN 0-8874-0188-0.
* Remp, Roland. Heinkel He 219: An Illustrated History Of Germany's Premier Nightfighter. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Inc., 2007. ISBN 0-7643-1229-4.
* Smith, J.R. and Antony L. Kay. German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam, 1972. ISBN 1-85177-836-4.

Web References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_219

Additional Web references:

Specification (A-7/R1)

Type: two-seat night fighter;
Powerplant: 2 x 1,900hp Daimler-Benz DB 603G 12-cyclinder inverted-vee engines;
Performance: 416mph / 670kph (maximum speed), 391mph / 630kph (cruising speed), 40,025 ft / 12,200m (service ceiling), 1,243 miles / 2,000 km (maximum range),
Weight: 24,692lbs / 11,200kg (empty), 33,730lbs / 15,300kg (maximum take-off);
Dimensions: 60ft 8.25in / 18.5m (wing span), 50ft 11.75in / 15.54m (length), 13ft 5.5in / 4.10m (height), 479.01sq.ft / 44.5m.sq (wing area);
Armament: 4 x 30mm MK108 cannon, 2 x 20mm MG151/20 cannon & 2 x 30mm MK103 cannon;
Used: Germany.

History

The Heinkel He219 Uhu (Owl) was potentially one of the Luftwaffe's best and most effective night-fighters but suffered from the misjudgements of senior members of the government and the Luftwaffe (most notably Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch, Inspector General of the Luftwaffe, who took over from Ernst Udet when the latter committed suicide in November 1941) as did many other programmes, such as the Me262. Despite the aircraft being fast, manoeuvrable and having devastating firepower, proving itself the equal of Allied fighter-bombers such as the de Havilland Mosquito, Milch succeeded in having the programme abandoned in favour of the Junkers Ju388J and the Focke-Wulf Ta154. However, a number of aircraft were produced even after the secession of formal interest and production totalled around 288 aircraft, including prototypes. The Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) had been lukewarm about the project from the very beginning. It stemmed from a private venture by Ernst Heinkel AG, designated the P.1060 fighter-bomber and was proposed as a multi-purpose aircraft. The programme languished however until 1941, when night raids by the RAF were becoming such a problem that the RLM asked for it to be redesigned as a night-fighter. The all-metal shoulder-wing cantilever monoplane with a tailplane having considerable dihedral and ending in twin rudders and fins incorporated a number of novel features. The pilot and navigator who were seated back-to-back enjoyed excellent visibility from a cockpit that was placed at the very front end of the fuselage at the nose, well forward of the guns so that their flashes did not affect their eyesight. The crew were also equipped with ejector seats, the He219 being the world's first operational aircraft to carry such equipment and it was also the first aircraft that had tricycle landing gear (with a steerable nosewheel) to achieve operational status with the Luftwaffe.

The first prototype was flown on 15 November 1942, powered by two 1,750hp Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines, with armament trials following at Peenemünde in December. The aircraft was originally armed with two 20mm MG151 cannons in a ventral tray and a moveable 13mm (0.51in) MG131 machinegun in the rear cockpit. In February 1943, the aircraft was fitted with four 30mm MK108 cannon in place of the MG151s, but this showed a tendency to part company with the fuselage when all four were fired. The second prototype meanwhile, flown in December 1942, carried four MG151 cannon in a ventral tray and two similar weapons, one in each wing root. On 8 January 1943, the He219 V2 was flown in competition with the Ju188 but the test proved somewhat inconclusive so they were followed on 25 March 1943 by more extensive trials. The aircraft, flown by Major Werner Strieb, competed against a Junkers Ju188S flown by Oberst Viktor von Lossberg and a Dornier 217, which retired early. The He219 V2 acquitted itself well in the trials, so much so that the 'off the drawing board' order for 100 was increased to 300. Additional prototypes were constructed to run in the development programme, including a fourth which was equipped with the FuG220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar, while production got underway at Rostock, Vienna-Schwechat as well as Mielec and Buczin (both of which were in Poland). From April 1943, a small number of He219A-0 preproduction aircraft were flying with 1 / NJG1 at Venlo in Holland and on the night of 11/12 June 1943, Major Streib shot down five Avro Lancasters in a single sortie. The first six operation sorties resulted in claims of some twenty British aircraft being downed, including six Mosquitoes. In December 1943, Milch suggested that the entire He219 programme be discontinued in favour of the Ju88G. Milch's main objection was that the He219 would be disrupting production lines at a critical time and that the performance of the Junkers was sufficient to take on bombers such as the Lancaster and Halifax. The major flaw in this argument was that the British had begun to use Mosquitoes to escort their night bombers and the Junkers was incapable of combating this superb British fighter-bomber. He initially put forward three proposals that firstly, that Heinkel should abandon the He219 altogether in favour of the Junkers Ju88G and Dornier Do335; secondly that He219 production was reduced in favour of the Ju88G; and thirdly production of the He219 should go ahead as planned. Despite the third option being followed for a time, Milch eventually got his way and the programme was cancelled in May 1944, despite the aircraft being universally popular with air and ground crews alike. A number of variants were produced however and deliveries were made to several units, principally 1 / NJG1 and NJGr10. The He219A-1 reconnaissance bomber was abandoned early in the development stages, so the first variant to roll off the production line was the He219A-2/R1 night-fighter, equipped with two MK108 cannons in the ventral tray and two MG151/20 cannon in the wing roots, while a Schräge Musik installation with two MK108 cannon installed behind the cockpit firing obliquely up and forwards was fitted retrospectively.

The first major production version however, was the He219A-5 series, with the A-5/R1 being similar to the A-2/R1 except for the fitting of an eighty-six Imp gal (390-litre) fuel tank at the rear of each nacelle adding some 400 miles (645km) to the range. A variety of other sub-variants were produced however, including the He219A-5/R2 with 1,800hp DB 603Aa engines and the He219A-5/R4 that had a third crew member and a stepped cockpit with a 13mm (0.51in) MG131 machinegun in a trainable mount. The need to find a counter to the RAF's Mosquito's led to the development of the He219A-6 series, which was introduced in early 1944. This was basically a stripped down version of the He219A-2/R1 equipped with 1,750hp DB 603L engines and armed with four 20mm MG151/20 cannons, a similar aircraft but one that was armed with only two MG151/20 cannon was built under the designation He219B-2. The final production version consisted of the A-7 series, which introduced larger supercharger intakes for the DB 603G engines but were otherwise similar to the A-5 series and all carried the then-standard Schräge Musik installation. The A-7/R1 had, in addition, two MK108 cannon in the wing roots, along with two MG151/20 and Mk103 cannon in the ventral tray, while the A-7/R2 had two MK108 cannon instead of the MK103s in the ventral tray and the A-7/R3 had MG151/20 cannon in the wing roots rather than MK108s. The A-7/R4 carried tail warning radar but only four MG151/20 cannon. The six He219A-7/R5 aircraft were powered by 1,900hp Junkers Jumo 213E engines but were otherwise identical to the He219A-7/R3. A single He219A-7/R6 was produced, equipped with 2,500hp Junkers Jumo 222A/B engines, as was a single three-crew He219B-1 which was to use the same powerplant but instead used DB 603Aa engines. Finally, a He319 version was proposed as a night fighter being basically the same as the He219 but with a single fin and rudder. The design was abandoned in November 1942 in favour of the He419. The He419A-0 was basically the He219A-5 fitted with a new, enlarged wing and DB 603G engines. This aircraft was followed by six He419B-1/R1 aircraft, which had exhaust-driven turbochargers and an increased wing area of some 635sq.ft (59m.sq). The standard armament was four MK108 and two MG151/20 cannons while the B-1/R2 was projected as having four MG212 weapons and the B-1/R3 having four MK103 cannons.

Bibliography

Gunston, Bill. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Combat Aircraft of World War II, Salamander Books, London, 1978.
Kay, A L & Smith, J R. German Aircraft of the Second World War, Putnam Aeronautical Books, London, 2002.
Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II, Bounty Books, London, 2006.

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General Specifications

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Aircraft.ID                      
Aircraft.NAME                      
DETAILS                      
Category                      
Genre     Seaplane                
Sub-Genre     Vintage                
Carrier.Capable     YES/NO                
Launch=No.catap     YES/NO -              
Propulsion:     Piston Jet Turbine Rocket          
SPECIFICATIONS                    
Length     metre or Imp 0.00m              
Span     metre or Imp 0.00m              
Height     metre or Imp 0.00m              
Speed:rotation     knot:F15*1.0

000.kn

             
Speed:takeoff     knot:F35*1.2

000.kn

             
Speed:max     knot

000.kn

             
Speed:cruise     knot 000.kn              
Speed:stall/F00     knot 00.kn              
Speed:stall/F15     knot 00.kn              
Speed:stall/F35     knot 00.kn              
Speed:approach     knot:F35*1.4 00.kn              
Speed:landing     knot 00.kn              
Climb.rate     feet/minute 0000.ft/m              
Ceiling     feet 0000.ft              
TakeOff.Run     metre 000.m              
LandingRun Brakes   metre 000.m              
LaindingRun Reverse   metre -              
LaindingRun Chute   metre -              
EQUIPMENT                    
Avionics:Radar     ID                
Avionics:IRST     ID                
Avionics:Warning     ID                
Engine-1.ID     ID ID              
Engine-1.Nbr   Q Total 1              
Engine-1.Pwr.Max Military   hp or lbf 0.hp              
Engine-1.Pwr.Xtra Afterbrn   hp or lbf 0.hp              
Engine:Propeller Diam   metre or Imp 0.00m              
Engine:Propeller Blades   number 1              
Engine-1:SFC1 Mass   lbs/hr*hp 0.000              
Engine-1:SFC2 Volume   gal/hr*lbf 0.000              
Engine-1:SFC1 Mass   lbs/hr*hp -              
Engine-1:SFC2 Volume   gal/hr*lbf -              
Engine-1:Reverse     YES/NO                
IFR:boom Fixed   YES/NO                
IFR:boom Retract   YES/NO                
IFR:receptacle     YES/NO                
IFR:receptacle Doors   YES/NO                
Air.Brakes     YES/NO                
Flaps     YES/NO                
Landing.Gear     YES/NO                
Landing.Gear Retract   YES/NO                
Arresting.Hook     YES/NO                
Brake.Chute     YES/NO                
Powered.Wingfold     YES/NO                
Canopy.Opening InFlight   YES/NO                
Navigation.Lights     YES/NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
Fire.Extinguisers Engines   YES/NO                
Bomb/Cargo.Doors     YES/NO                
Search.Light     YES/NO                
Egress.Procedure     Eject/Bail                
INTERNAL WEAPONS                    
Recce.Pack Inbuilt   YES/NO                
Guns:fwd.firing/T1 cal Q Gun.ID                
Guns:fwd.firing/T2 cal Q Gun.ID                
Guns:fwd.firing/T3 cal Q Gun.ID                
Gun.Turret:Nose cal Q Gun.ID                
Gun.Turret:Dorsal cal Q Gun.ID                
Gun.Turret:Ventral cal Q Gun.ID                
Gun.Turret:Waist cal Q Gun.ID                
Gun.Turret:Tail cal Q Gun.ID                
FFAR ID   FFAR.ID                
FUEL:INTERNAL                    
Fuel:Internal Std   Imp.Gal                
Fuel:Internal Extra   Imp.Gal                
WEIGHTS & LOADS                    
Weight:Empty     lb                
Crew: 200 lb/@ Q lb                
Fuel:Internal 0000.gal ×7.6 lb                
Guns:fwd.firing/T1 000.rpg Q lb                
Guns:fwd.firing/T2 000.rpg Q lb                
Guns:fwd.firing/T3 000.rpg Q lb                
Gun.Turret:Nose 000.rpg Q lb                
Gun.Turret:Dorsal 000.rpg Q lb                
Gun.Turret:Ventral 000.rpg Q lb                
Gun.Turret:Waist 000.rpg Q lb                
Gun.Turret:Tail 000.rpg Q lb                
FFAR Q Q lb                
Payload:Internal     lb                
Pylon:Wing Tip port T1                
HVAR:   port R1 R3 R5 R7                
Pylon:Wing Outer port W5                
Pylon:Wing Central port W3                
Pylon:Wing Inner port W1                
Pylon:Fuselage Outer port F3                
Pylon:Fuselage Inner port F1                
Pylon:Fuselage Central   F0                
Pylon:Fuselage Inner stb F2                
Pylon:Fuselage Outer stb F4                
Pylon:Wing Inner stb W2                
Pylon:Wing Central stb W4                
Pylon:Wing Outer stb W6                
HVAR:   stb R2 R4 R6 R8                
Pylon:Wing Tip stb T2                
Bomb/Cargo.Bay Wings port B1                
Bomb/Cargo.Bay Fusel fwd BF                
Bomb/Cargo.Bay Fusel ctrl BC                
Bomb/Cargo.Bay Fusel aft BA                
Bomb/Cargo.Bay Wings stb B2                
Passengers 260 lb/@ Q lb                
Weight:Total     lb                
Weight:MTOW     lb - - - - - - - -
SPECIAL LOADS                    
Weight:Empty     lb                

XXXXX:  2253 gal fuel capacity is based on BuAer drawings showing 2702 US gal (+   786 US gal in bomb bay cells).
XXXXX:  2342 gal fuel capacity is based on BuAer drawings showing 2809 US gal (+ 1160 US gal in bomb bay cells)
SFC is then based upon these factors.  Cruise power and fuel weight ratios are AAC's standard (see: Measurements)

PBM5   : 2100hp × 2 × 66% × 0.34lb/hp/hr × [2362Nm÷130Kn=18.1669 hr] = 17122 lb ÷7.6lb/gal = 2253 gal (revised)

P5M2   : 3400hp × 2 × 66% × 0.29lb/hp/hr × [2070Nm÷151Kn=13.6755 hr] = 17799 lb ÷7.6lb/gal = 2342 gal (revised)

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