The Heinkel He 162 was a German single engine, jet powered fighter aircraft that entered World War II very late into the conflict. Designed and built very quickly, it was constructed primarily of wood as all available metal was being used in the manufacture of other German warplanes. Its name Salamander emanates from the construction code name and it proved to be the fastest of all the first jet powered aircraft of the time. Just over 300 were built and its Luftwaffe service was all of six months from January to May 1945. The single seat aircraft featured an ejector seat for the pilot; it was capable of a maximum speed of 562 mph with a range of 606 miles and a fuel capacity of 695 litres restricting its operational flight time to just 30 minutes. Armaments comprised 2 x 20mm auto cannons or on later models 2 x 30 mm guns.
This example is based on a Salamander handed over to the RAF by the Luftwaffe after their surrender in May 1945, Nr. 120072. As with all such aircraft, they were evaluated by Allied pilots, in this case Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown who announced that it was had the lightest and most effective aerodynamically balanced controls that he had ever experienced. However, there was a persistent flaw with the He 162 Salamander in the potential weakness of the rudder. He passed on this information to RAF pilot Flt Lt R A Marks. However, the warning went unheeded and on 9th November 1945, during a demonstration flight at RAE Farnborough, part of the rudder and tail fin broke off and the plane crashed killing both the pilot and a soldier on the ground.
Our replica is a reminder of that fatal day and is decorated in two tone dark green to the upper wings with a blue grey underside and an off-white nose cone. The RAF Number 120072 is printed on the tail fin and the aircraft features the RAF roundel on the upper and lower wings and along the rear section of the fuselage. With a dark grey interior, the model is rounded off with a transparent cockpit hatch.
There are still several He 162 Salamanders in existence, displayed at aircraft museums across the world, including the UK.
Oxford Diecast "Oxford Aviation" diecast airplanes features
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