WW1 Planes
WWl PLANES
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types

The Luftwaffe


Luftwaffe
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Luftwaffe Jäger (Fighters)


Luftwaffe Jägerflugzeug ("Air force fighters planes") contracted into "Jäger" (fighters/hunters) were developed under cover as record/aerobatics and postal planes from 1933 under the will of Hitler, who wanted to break from the limitations of the Versailles treaty. Early tanks which were built in the Kuban, Soviet Russia, far from western observers, submarines in La Hague (Haegen) in the Netherlands, or in local yards, and planes in Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. A bomber can be camouflaged for some time as a passenger/postal plane and converted later, but fighters were more difficult to hide by their very agressive and high performances nature. Nevertheless, the early types were deloped as biplanes, such as the trio in place from 1934, before monoplanes were introduced. These were the Heinkel 51, Arado 68 and Henschel 123. All three tipped their wings in blood durng the Spanish civil war with the Legion Condor, bringing and amazing amount of experience and skills to German pilots. This aso allowed to test new concepts, and the Me 109 arrived just at the end of the war in 1938, ruling the skies wherever it was seen in action, which confirmed the path chosen by the RLM, despite some opposition to Willy Messerschmitt bird. In its place, the authorities would have preferred the Heinkel 112, which flew not long after the Me 109, in September 1935. After comparative tests the 109 was chosen, to the dismay of Gunther's team (Heinnkel). The failure of its successor, the He 112, at least found itself used in a nice propaganda coup which make believed the allies this was the main Luftwaffe bird.

The Me 109 was far from perfect, it was ungainly, less agile than others, its landing gear atrocious, but it was fast, easy to master, and cheap to produce. It seemed nothing could reach its level and soon Arado, Heinkel and Henschel were eclipsed as fighter makers, but a newcomer came into the fray, which prototype was chosen by the RLM as a complementary fighter-bomber to the 109. This was the amazing Focke-Wulf Fw.190, which first flew in 1939. It was supremely agile and had a radial engine, whereas all other German fighters used liquid-cooled inline engines, which made it more compact and simpler, but no less deadly and fast. Although its production never matched the Me 109, it evolved into a quasi-invincible fighter as the Ta 152. The 109 nevertheless was incrementally improved until the Type K, and non of its alternative replacements were accepted (Me 209, 309...) before the match between early jets, at first contested by Heinkel and its model 280, won by the amazing Me 262, while Arado came back with a vengeance.

There is another aspect of fighter development which was mirrored in other countries in the late 1930s, before the war. It was generally assumed that fast bombers were relativeky immune, but by safety it was decided to develop a fighter capable of escorting the bombesr to their destination and back. The only way to achieve this was by using a twin-engine plane. The Jagdzestörer, or "fighter destroyer" was such a concept. In the end, the RLM competition was won, again, by Messerschmitt and its Me 110. Great hopes were placed upon it until the campaign of France, which showed it was neither fast or agile enough for the task. Afterwards, it was quickly rebranded as a fighter bomber. So too was its successor, the failed 210 and the 410. The Junkers 88, developed as a dive bomber at first, was converted soon as a heavy fighter, and so were some sub-variants of the Dornier 17 and 217, for night fighting alongside other models like the late He 218 "Uhu" and the Dornier 335 Pfeil. The latter was the fastest piston engine fighter of the war, using a push-pull engine configuration and delta-shaped wings and cruciform tail. It was a rocket with propellers and showed an alternative path to jets, which was not taken. As Germany crumbled under the weight of the bombs dropped by thousands of allied planes in 1944-45, a new generation of "miracle weapons", a bit extreme, were developed. Such was the rocket plane Me 163, or the reusable/disposable Bachem Ba-349 Natter, or the easy to produce He 162 Salamander, or "Volksjäger", supposed to be piloted by the brainwashed Hitlerjugend. One of the most amazing was the Horten Ho 229 (see later). This brief overview don't dispense to see the many interesting prototypes that never made it to the production line over the war years. Some announced the 1950s jets.

Arado

-Arado 68 (1933) - biplane fighter

Bachem

-Ba-349 Natter, a partly reusable rocket-powered fighter (1945), small pre-production

Blohm & Voss

This shipyard produce a variety of planes for the Luftwaffe, including its heaviest and largest Seaplanes. -BV 40 (1944): Glider fighter prototypes -BV 155: High altitude fighter prototypes

Dornier

-Do 335 Pfeil interceptor, 90 prod. 1944-45

Focke-Wulf

-Fw 187 Falke: prototype heavy fighter (1937) -Fw 190: The "Butcher bird", famous fighter-bomber, 20118 built until 1945 -Ta 152: By Kurt tank, inline engine derivative, a few built 1945. -Ta 154: By the same, wooden-built heavy fighter (1943) small production.

Heinkel

-He 51: Main biplane fighter 1932-34. -He 100: Monoplane fighter, small production 1938-39 -He 112: Monoplane fighter, small production (54) 1935-38 -He 162 Salamander: jet fighter (1945), around 300 in construction -He 219 Uhu: Heavy fighter (1942-44, 270 built) -He 280: Jet fighter, 8 prototypes (1941), after the He 178 proto (1940)

Junkers

-Ju 388 heavy fighter (1944-45, circa 100)

Messerschmitt

-Me 109: See the main article. 1935-45, +35,000 built
-Me 209, 309, 163, 262, prototypes & projects

Luftwaffe Jägdbombers (Fighter Bombers)

Arado

-Arado Ar 240 twin engine heavy fighter (1940-42), a few prototypes

Messerschmitt

Me 110 (1936)

Me 110 B-3
Me 110 B-7
Me 110 D-3
Me 110 E-1
Me 110 F
Me 110 G-4

Me 210 (1939)

Me 210 A0
Me 210 A1
Me 210 Ca1

Me 410 Hornisse (1942)

Me 410 A-1
Me 410 A-3
Me 410 B- U4
Me 410 B-2 U2R2

Luftwaffe bombenflugzeug (Bombers)

Arado

-Arado Ar 234 "Blitz", jet bomber (1944)

Junkers

-Ju 188 (1941, 1234 built) twin-engine (dive)bomber -Ju 288 (1940, 22 pre-prod and prototypes), twin engine bomber

Heinkel

Heinkel 111 (1935), 6,508 built

Heinkel 111 B1
Heinkel 111 E1
Heinkel 111 H1
Heinkel 111 H16
Heinkel 111 H20

Dornier

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Dornier 17 (1934), 2,139 built

Dornier 17E-1
Dornier 17E-1

Dornier 17F-1
Dornier 17F-1

Dornier 17K-1
Dornier 17K-1

Dornier 17M-1
Dornier 17M-1

Dornier 17P-1
Dornier 17P-1

Dornier 17Z-2
Dornier 17Z-2

Dornier 17Z-7 Kauz 1

Dornier 17Z-7 Kauz 1

Dornier 17Z-10 Kauz 2
Dornier 17Z-10 Kauz 2
Dornier 17Z-10 Kauz 2

Dornier 215 (1938), 105 built

Do-215B1
Do-215B1

Do-215B1
Do-215B1

Do-215B5 Kauz III
Do-215B5 Kauz III

Do-215B5 Kauz III
Do-215B5 Kauz III

Dornier 217 (1938), 1,925 built

Dornier 217E
Dornier 217E

Dornier 217J
Dornier 217J

Dornier 217J-1
Dornier 217J-1

Dornier 217K
Dornier 217K

Dornier 217M
Dornier 217M

Dornier 217m11
Dornier 217m11

Dornier 217N
Dornier 217N

Dornier 217N-1
Dornier 217N-1

Dornier 317 (1976), 6 prototypes




Luftwaffe Kampfflugzeug (attack planes)

Henschel

-Hs 123: Biplane dive bomber (1935-38, 250 built) -Hs 129: Heavy attack plane (twin engine, 841 built 1939-42) -Hs 132: 6 prototypes of jet-powered dive bomber

Junkers

Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka" (1935-44, 5710 built)

Ju 87A
Ju 87A

Ju 87B
Ju 87B

Ju 87D1
Ju 87D1

Ju 87G1
Ju 87G1

Ju 87G2
Ju 87G2

Ju 87R
Ju 87R

Ju 87R-2
Ju 87R-2

-Junkers Ju-88 (1936-1943, 15,000 built)

Miscellaneous planes (recce, transport, training)

Arado

Focke-Wulf

-Fw 189 uhu (1938) 846 built, twin engine boom recce.