Heinkel He 343

          In January 1944, Heinkel was persuaded by Oberstleutnant Knemeyer to begin work on a four-engined jet bomber, that could be ready in the quickest possible time frame. Although Heinkel had been working on a similar project (P.1068), it was decided to take a proven design (Arado Ar 234) and enlarge the dimensions. The He 343 (this designation was  submitted to the RLM on March 14, 1944) was to have a 1.55:1 larger wing than the Ar 234, and the linear dimensions were to be increased by 1.25:1. The He 343 was also know unofficially as the Strabo 16 (Strabo was an abbreviation for Strahlbomber (Jet Bomber), and the takeoff weight was to be 16 tons), before the 343 number was issued.
          The enlarged fuselage had space for an internal bomb bay and for the newly designed main gear, which were double-braked. The wings were mounted mid-fuselage and were unswept. Four jet engines were to be mounted singly beneath the wings. The flexibility of the He 343 design really came into play here, as virtually any turbojet could be used. At first, the Jumo 004B was to be used, but it was hoped that the Jumo 004C would be ready by the time the He 343 prototype was finished. Also, the BMW 003 or the He S 011 jet engines could be fitted. On the planned production aircraft, the engines needed to be moved forwards a bit to clear the planned single,  trailing edge flap. The nose and cockpit was newly designed, and a crew of two was to sit in the pressurized cockpit. The nose gear was also completely new, and was offset 100 mm (4 inches) to the port side from the centerline of the aircraft.
          There were four main versions of the He 343 planned, these were:

         Although the RLM sanctioned 20 total He 343 aircraft (including prototype and pre-production examples), they were never very enthusiastic about Heinkel's four jet bomber. Plus, the He 343 was in a battle for a contract with Junkers' forward swept wing 287, also a four jet bomber. Professor Heinkel went so far as to write a very opinionated letter to the RLM, touting the 343's quicker development time, lower material cost and basic simplicity, but it was to no avail. The He 343 program was stopped in late 1944*, and all finished components and construction jigs were either put into storage, or scrapped, due to the worsening war situation, in which all aircraft construction was to be concentrated on fighter aircraft.

*Some sources state that a prototype He 343 was completed, but was either destroyed in a bombing raid or was scrapped before the first test flight.

     View Heinkel He 343 model photos                   View Josha Hildwine's He 343 Luft Art images

Heinkel He 343 Dimensions**
  Span     Length    Height    Wing Area  
18 m 
59' 1"
16.5 m 
54' 2"
5.35 m 
17' 7"
42.25 m² 
454.78 ft²
Heinkel He 343 Weights
Empty Fuel Equipment Crew Bomb Load Takeoff
9068 kg 
19991 lbs
5490 kg 
12103 lbs
1187 kg 
2617 lbs
200 kg 
441 lbs
2000 kg 
4409 lbs
17945 kg 
39562 lbs
Heinkel He 343 Performances
Max. Speed Rate of Climb Ceiling Max. Range Takeoff Run Landing Speed
@ sea level 825 km/h 
513 mph
@ 6000 m 
835 km/h 
519 mph
@ 10000 m 
770 km/h 
478 mph
@ sea level 15.3 m/sec 
50.2 ft/sec
@ 6000 m 
7.4 m/sec 
24.3 ft/sec
10000 m 
1620 km 
1007 miles
1425 m 
168 km/h 
104 mph
**Dimensions, weights and performance data are for the Jumo 004C equipped, single vertical fin version
Heinkel He 343 Models
Manufacturer Scale Material Notes
Airmodel   AM0107 1/72 Vacuform & Resin Includes single and twin tail parts
Planet   #042 1/72 Resin & Decals  

               Heinkel He 343A-1 Bomber

                Heinkel He 343A-2 Reconnaissance

                  Heinkel He 343B-1 Zerstörer

Weapon arrangement of 4 MK 103 in the 
fuselage for use as a Zerstörer (Destroyer)
Heinkel He 343 V testing
V1     Work Number 850061 
Basic prototype without bomb dropping equipment. Design documents  
up to April 15, 1944 are supplied.
V2     Work Number 850062 
Basic airframe for flight and engine testing. Will be reconstructed for diving tests 
after the first flights. Constructed according to the plans delivered on the 19th of 
April. The delivered catapult assemblies will be installed later.Two catapults units 
will be built.
V3     Work Number 850063 
Version supplied for weapons, radio and navigation testing. An example with 
the new Destroyer cockpit featuring armoured glass is provided to contrast 
against retrofitting of double glazing. Simplified undercarriage with a reduced 
track width. Design documents are supplied up to June 30, 1944. Documents are 
supplied that relate to armouring and double glazing up to July 30, 1944.
V4     Work Number 850064 
Version for released weapons test, including the Fritz-X radio controlled bomb.  
Similar to the V3, except the bomber conversion is to be added, along with a  
third seat. Design documents covering the period up to 15th August are supplied. 
Six bomber conversion kits have been constructed to date.
V5    Work Number 850065 
Version for high altitude flight testing. All rivets to be flush riveted for  
range extension testing.
V6     Work Number 850066 
Version for material substitution. Sample supplied as per destroyer version,  
with wood surfaces, steel cross beams and plastic control units.
V7     Work Number 850067 
All versions to be similar to V3 example.
Original Heinkel nose wheel drawings in 1:5 scale, dated April 4, 1944



Images, top row: Luftwaffe 1946 - Wydawnictwo Military #12,  Jet Planes of the Third Reich - Monogram Aviation Publishing
        bottom row: Geheimprojekte der Luftwaffe Band II: Strategische Bomber 1935-1945 - Motorbuch Verlag