| Henschel 132
Huma - 1/72 - Injection Moulded Plastic
My example was purchased in the older style of packaging, a
plastic bag. Subsequent production kits are boxed. It is a
model and benefits from a little extra detailing and refining. There
are 29 injection moulded parts in white plastic and a canopy. The
instructions include a history, 'exploded' diagram and paint
At this time I did not have the use of an airbrush. I hand painted the wings and horizontal tail surfaces in a splinter of two greens, RLM71 and RLM73. The fuselage and undersurfaces are grey, RLM63 and mottled in a darker grey, RLM75. I cut the bristles off a paint brush until it was approx 1/8th inch long, dipped it in the RLM75, wiped it almost dry and then used it to 'stipple' on the mottle finish. I lined the canopy edges in Humbrol 'copper' – like on the USAF F-15's! Tyres are matt black and the whole thing was 'drybrushed' in both matt black and matt white. I added wingtip lights with a touch of red and a touch of green. Both were 'glazed' over with Kristal Kleer. Finally, aerials were added from heat stretched sprue. I did not use the supplied bomb for no reason other than I didn't want to.
In conclusion, this is a pleasing model to build and the finished product can look nice in anyone's collection. The price is ok and it can be easily completed over a couple of evenings.
Here is the completed Hs 132
|Further info from Andres Valdre - I know of seven kits ever released (Arba 1/48, Eduard 1/48, Skala 1/72, Airframe 1/72, Airmodel 1/72, Frank-Modellbau 1/72 and Huma 1/72 -- please correct me if I'm wrong), all of which are based on the drawings made after the famous airbrush image of Hs 132 V1 by G. Heumann ("only known photo"). My question is: does someone make an accurate kit which is based on the actual drawings of the type? AFAIK, the actual drawings and photos of the incomplete V3 were discovered in 1996. The main difference between the real thing and the earlier known shape was that the cross section of the fuselage was rather egg-shaped than circular, and there were armoured glass panels inside the windscreen, and perhaps there was a downward-view window as well.|
THE JET DIVE BOMBER WHICH NEVER BECAME OPERATIONAL
About the development of the Henschel Hs 132 in the Soviet Union by Helmut F. Walther (Original text (in German) appeared in "Jet & Prop" 3/1996, pp. 43-46.)
At last, after fifty years, can the true history and actual appearance of the first jet dive bomber, Henschel Hs 132, be presented with this article, thanks to the opening of the Russian archives.
Until now, the only published images about the Hs 132 were a wind channel photo, some false 3-views and an airbrush picture by Gert Heumann which was again and again mistakenly called a genuine photo.
This "photo" has certainly one error - the Hs 132 was never completed. A prototype with almost completed fuselage with tailplane fitted (without vertical tail plates) was captured by the Soviet troops in April 1945. The prototype was most carefully studied by the experts at the Bureau of New Technology of the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Research Institute (BNT TsAGI). The result of this study was the technical report from which originate also the photos and drawings of this article. The very detailed technical drawings are, with high probability, exact copies of the originals by Henschel.
The Hs 132 which was captured at the Berlin-Schönefeld airport was, as the Soviet sources suppose, the 75% complete third prototype.
The almost complete 1st prototype and the 80% complete 2nd prototype were destroyed either by the escaping Henschel personnel or by the attacking Soviet troops.
The captured aircraft was the Hs 132 V3 with almost complete fuselage, tailplane and engine. The experts of the BNT TsAGI captured also the almost complete technical documentation of the aircraft. Which was not found were the wooden wings, vertical tailplates and tricycle undercarriage.
Also the Soviet war prize team, like the similar American, British and French teams, studied and classified the discovered German aircraft almost for the whole 1945. Of primary interest were flyable jet- and rocket-powered aircraft. Among others, aircraft like Me 262, He 162, Ar 234 and Me 163 were transported to the East to be flight-tested and studied by the TsAGI. Transport of incomplete aircraft like DFS 346 and Hs 132 was of secondary importance. The aircraft completed till 1946 under Soviet supervision like Junkers EF 131 and EF 126 were also transported to the Soviet Union for flight testing.
The Hs 132 reached the aircraft halls of BNT TsAGI late in 1945. As the completion of the aircraft was considered to be too costly due to the missing wings and undercarriage, experience for new Soviet aircraft had to be gathered only from detailed technical study.
Among others, also Me 262 and Me 163 were thoroughly studied by BNT TsAGI. The Bureau of New Technology of TsAGI existed until the 1950's. The aircraft halls, which are located next to the Zhukovski Flight Museum in Moscow, are still used by TsAGI. Unfortunately, the German war prize aircraft were scrapped already in the 1950's, and only few technical exhibits were included in the collection of the Moscow Institute of Aviation (MAI), like the landing skid of Me 163 or the nosewheel retraction mechanism of He 280.
The Henschel aircraft building company, which had already gathered experience in dive bombers with Hs 123, wanted to introduce their hs132/hs132 as a new dive bomber which did not suffer any more from the main drawback of its predecessors - namely, low speed. To achieve higher cruise, diving and pull-out speeds, many technical innovations had to be used in Hs 132.
The higher speed was attainable only with jet engine. As the dimensions of the aircraft did not allow to place the engine in the fuselage, a solution similar to the He 162 was chosen and the engine was situated on top of it. Also the servicing of the engine was made much easier with this.
As the pilot had to withstand G-forces up to 10 G, the prone position was chosen. Here the experience gained with prone-conversion gliders like the 'Liegekranich' ("Prone-Kranich") or 'Liegebaby' ("Prone-Baby") was employed. In prone position the pilot was better protected from shots coming from ahead as his "frontal area" was thus smaller.
Three versions were planned:
Hs 132A - BMW 003A-1 engine, no armament, max. bomb load 1000 kg.
Hs 132B - Jumo 004 engine, armament two 20-mm MG 151/20, max. bomb load 500 kg.
Hs 132C - HeS 011 engine with Walther 109-509 boost, armament either two 20-mm MG 151/20 or two 30-mm MK 108, max. bomb load 1000 kg, low-wing layout.
As Hs 132A would have had only small range, it was also considered to tow the aircraft near the target, release there and allow only the attack to be done under own power. In such manner the max. bomb load could be increased to 1500 kg.
From the study of the original aircraft and original German documents the BNT TsAGI compiled a technical report from which the following technical description has been abridged.
WINGS: two-part, one-sparred trapezium-shaped wooden wings (middle-wing), whole trailing edge forming control surfaces; outer: ailerons with trim tabs; inner: flaps; whole wing covered with plywood; average profile thickness 15.5%.
TAIL: tailplane with sandwich construction (vertical honeycomb structure and "plastified" plywood skin). It had a pronounced dihedral and had wooden tailplates in both ends (with rudders). Skin thickness 2 mm. The elevator had trim tabs.
UNDERCARRIAGE: retractable nosewheel type. Main units with wide track consisted of two struts which were retractable in the wings towards the fuselage. The nosewheel was retractable backwards, making a 90-degree turn, so that the retracted nosewheel laid under the pilot's tray.
ENGINE: one BMW 003A-1 jet engine with 800 kg static thrust, mounted on fuselage.
FUSELAGE AND COCKPIT: full metal skin fuselage with pear-shaped cross section; in the middle of the fuselage, two fuel tanks with 575 litres capacity; two-part pilot's tray, bent upwards 15 degrees to the main axis. The forward part was fixed to chest height; the rear part (formed to pilot's knees and retracted nosewheel in places) could be lowered and served as entrance hatch for the pilot. The upper hatch was meant only as emergency exit in the case of belly landing.
The fully glazed nose was heavily armoured to withstand 20 mm ammunition. The pilot's tray was made of 8.5 mm thick armour plate. The view ahead was armoured with two armoured glass panels, a 68 mm thick upper and a 50 mm thick lower panel. Two small instrument panels were situated on the sides of the pilot (for better view ahead), five instruments left, seven right.
The engine controls were situated on the left. The rudder pedals were hanged above pilot's feet and the stick on the right of the pilot. The control surfaces were equipped with spring mechanisms to make stick handling easier.
A very important piece of equipment was the foldable chin support for the pilot. Without this it would have been impossible to look straight ahead from the prone position for longer time.
MILITARY EQUIPMENT: max. 1000 kg bomb load in standard layout.
In the end it should be commented that the cockpit layout with prone pilot like that of Hs 132, later tested in DFS 346 and also a rebuilt Po-2, did not enter serial production. For the pilot this position proved probably too tiring at longer sorties. Also the American and British came to the same conclusion with the rebuilt test aircraft ("prone P-80" and "prone Meteor").
TECHNICAL AND ESTIMATED PERFORMANCE DATA OF THE HS 132
Length: 8.8 m
Span: 7.8 m
Height: 2.95 m
Span to chord ratio: 4.13
Wing area: 4.7 sq m [here's something wrong! -AV]
Max. speed @ 6000 m: 783 km/h
Max. speed @ 4000 m w/ bombs: 635 km/h
Practical ceiling: 11,200 m
Practical ceiling w/ bombs: 7,500 m
Max. range(*) with 80% thrust and 575 l fuel: 530 km
Landing(?) run: 1250 m ['Anrollweg']
Landing speed: 154 km/h
Empty weight: 2,241 kg
Takeoff weight (w/ 500 kg bombload): 3,512 kg
(*) - meaning the action radius (one-way flight) -AV
[The photo captions were originally both in German and also in English; I've included the English originals unless otherwise noted. -AV]
- The wind-tunnel model of the Hs 132 at Braunschweig.
- Gert Heumann's artist impression of the Hs 132 which incorrectly portrayed the cockpit area.
- The complete fuselage and the BMW 003 engine of the Hs 132 captured by the Russians at Berlin-Schönefeld.
- The cockpit of the Hs 132 with clearly distinguishable forward armour. [Tr. from Germ. -AV]
- A view to the cockpit. The both oblique instrument panels and the thick armoured glass panel can be well seen. [Tr. from Germ. -AV]
- Three-view drawings of the Hs 132 as found in the Soviet TsAGI research institute. Key number 9 (side view) shows again the chin support and number 1 the gunsight. Also well shown are the fuselage tanks and the 1000 kg bomb below them.
- Plan-view showing an alternative bomb load of 6x 150 kg bombs under the fuselage.
- Front and side views of further bomb load alternatives.
- Huma's 1/72 model of the Hs 132 built by Peter Heck.[Translated by Andres Valdre, 5 Aug 1998]