Monday, December 06, 2010

Heinkel 162 Volksjager

The amazing and remarkable Heinkel 162 Volksjager, the world’s first fighter jet, had its first test flight on this date in 1944 near Vienna.

Happily for the Allies, the aircraft came too late in the war to make an impact.

Two important and comprehensive scholarly studies of the development of this historic aircraft have been published within the last eighteen months, one originating in the U.S. and the other in Switzerland (the book published in Zurich was simultaneously released in two languages, English and German).

Although both books were well-received in specialist quarters, neither received attention in the mainstream press. The book published in 2009 has already gone out of print and the book published earlier this year no doubt will soon suffer the same fate.

I have seen many times, most recently in 2007, the Heinkel 162 Volksjager that hangs from the ceiling of the vast entrance lobby at London’s magnificent Imperial War Museum.

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