Heinkel 162 - (scan - donated)

Materials problems caused one He 162 to break up in flight, but once there problems were fixed the He 162 made a good account of itself. A few He 162s were delivered to operational units, but they met with limited success because of the poor conditions at that late stage of the war.

RAF test pilot Commander William Benson, reports on its handling characteristics:

"I explored...performance range as follows: at low speed, very tricky; lateral and longitudinal stability were poor, mainly because of the high mounted turbojet. Control movements were always smooth and careful, no sudden movement. Maximum altitude reached was 41,200 ft, maximum speed level 562 mph at 18,400'. In a dive at around 585 mph at 25,000 ft encountered aileron snatch and buffet on the rudders started to get severe and I would throttle back and ease very carefully level. High angles of attack resulted in a near fatal spin (still don't know how I quite got out of that one) so the message was "don't stall" (at least not below 35,000 ft). Treated very properly, the 162 was very good and speed was its weapon rather than a dog fight. There was no way you would haul that plane around like a Spitfire or FW 190. It needed a touch of a well-trained pilot, say at least 2,500 hours to be really safe...the 16-year-old boys...would never have stood a chance."

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