Heinkel He 219: An Illustrated History of Germany's Premier Nightfighter (Schiffer Military History) (英語) ハードカバー – 2000/1/1
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The Heinkel He 219 was acknowledged by friend and foe alike as one of the most outstanding night fighters of World War II. In 1942, Heinkel received a contract to develop the twin-engined He 219. Not only was the He 219 very fast, with a maximum speed in excess of 600 km/h, but it also possessed excellent maneuverability, had a well-designed cockpit, and was equipped with airborne radar. The He 219 was the first German production aircraft to have a tricycle undercarriage and ejector seats for both crew members. The author provides many previously unpublished details in describing the development history of the He 219, the technology it employed, its testing, production, and use in combat.
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The Uhu was one of the best twin-engine fighter/interceptors in the air during its operational lifetime, and most people have never heard of it.
Full of photos, tech-accurate professional paintings, diagrams, and knowledgeable exposition. Top-notch job.
In 1940, when Heinkel issued proposals on a multi-use airplane, for recon, bombing and nightfighting- it was going to compete with contracted types. The RLM (Air Ministry), dithered: wanted bombbays, remotely controlled turrets, they worried that the twin tails would vibrate until destruction. In 1941, a slimmer, simple form appeared on drawings, and equipment for prototypes was ordered in 1942. By then, the need was for nightfighters; all they had were Junkers bomber conversions, the slower ME 110, and a few single engine fighters for defense. Ironically, during April attacks on Heinkel factories, British night bombers destroyed HE 219 drawings, just not the prototype. THEN- due to performance problems, the planned Daimler Benz engine was cancelled! Radar antennas slowed the craft. However, it introduced ejection seats, excellent cockpit view and easier-to-land tricycle gear to the nightfighter force.
Skip ahead to June 11, 1943. Night ace Werner Streib and his radar op shot five bombers out of a raid on Dusseldorf. Extraordinary performance! But this demo model malfunctions and crashes on landing! In a sudden hurry, the RLM orders more; Allied bombings interfere with aircraft production. A forced standardization program leaves out the 219. Remaining inventory achieves spotty successes and does not affect war's outcome.
Pages 29-50 are closeups of equipment and test craft; 68 & 73 have 3-views; 115-131 have a mix of equipment detail and aerial paintings.
Appendices include loss list, specs, radar equipment, production, pilot notes.
See: Night Flyer/Mosquito Pathfinder: Night Operations in World War II (Stackpole Military History Series).