The He 219 was
a remarkable aircraft, featuring high tech electronics and avionics (wing
de-icing and bleed-air system for ailerons). It was also the first operational
fighter aircraft to feature ejector seats.
|The He 219 started as a private venture, called Project
1060. It featured pressurized cabin, remotely controlled gun barbettes
and nose-wheel undercarriage. All this technology was too much for the
RLM in 1940 and they were not interested in further development.
In the mean time, the General der Nagtjagd (General of night fighters), Generalmajor Kammhuber, who was prevented from getting new night fighters by the RLM, got powers from the Führer to overrule the RLM. He then asked Heinkel to develop Project 1060 into a night fighter.
The He 219 V1 made its first flight on November 15, 1942.
On the night of June 11-12, 1943, the first production model He 219 A-0 was operationally
tested by Major Strieb. During the sortie, Major Strieb shot down 5 RAF bombers
within 30 minutes.
The aircraft was armed with one 20mm MG 151 cannon in each wing root and two 30mm MK 103 cannon in the ventral tray. Both crew members were equipped with ejector seats. The pilot was protected by a 335 lb frontal armor shell and an armored glass screen.
The aircraft was fitted with Lichtenstein C7 radar for its night fighting capabilities, and powered by two DB 603 inverted V12, liquid-cooled engines.
Further models was also equipped with "ShrageMusik", two 30mm MK 108 cannon fitted in the center fuselage and firing up-wards at an angle of 65°. They also featured FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 search radar, new FuG 218 Neptun radar, FuG 10P HF and FuG 16zy radios, FuG 25a IFF, FuG 110 radio altimeter and FuG 12F airfield blind approach receiver.
|Type||Two-seat Night Fighter|
|Power Plants||Two Daimler-Benz DB 603G 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines, each rated at 1,900 hp for take-off and 1,560 hp at 24,200 ft.|
|Armament||Two 20mm MG 151 cannon with 300 r.p.g
Two 30mm MK 103 cannon with 100 r.p.g in the ventral tray.
Two 30mm MK 108 cannon with 100 r.p.g in rear fuselage, firing obliquely upward.
|Performance||Maximum speed : 416 mph at 22,965 ft
Maximum cruising speed : 391 mph
Economical cruising speed : 335 mph
Range at maximum cruising speed : 960 mls
Range at economical cruising speed : 1,243 mls
Initial climb rate : 1,810 ft/min
Time to 19,685 ft : 11.5 min
Time to 32,810 ft : 18.8 min
Maximum ceiling : 41,660 ft
|Weight||Empty equipped : 24,692 lb
Normal loaded : 33,730 lb
|Dimensions||Span : 60 ft 8 1/3 in
Length 50 ft 11 3/4 in
Height : 13 ft 5 1/2 in
Wing area : 478.994 sq. ft