LUFTWAFFE’S FORGOTTEN JET FIGHTER

Chris Goss details a revolutionary jet fi ghter which arrived on the front line just weeks before the end of the war.

He 162 A-2, Wk Nr 120230 White 23 of 1./JG 1 fitted with the tail unit of 120222. The aircraft was captured at Leck and is in the possession of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum but not currently on display. All photos Chris Goss Collection

By September 1944, Germany was on the back foot in the war and looking for wonder weapons to turn the tide. On September 10, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM-Air Ministry) issued a requirement for an emergency lightweight fighter to be powered by the new BMW 003 turbojet. This engine had yet to be tried on other jet aircraft.

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