Henschel Hs 132  3 view     The RLM (Reichsluftfahrt-Ministerium) issued a specification for a single-seat shipping attack aircraft on February 18, 1943, to combat the anticipated invasion of Europe. Although the specification called for a piston-engined powered aircraft, but it was soon realized that only a turbojet could hope to match the proposed performance requirements. Henschel submitted a design for RLM approval in April/May 1944 (wind tunnel testing had already started, see wind tunnel model below), which was approved as the Hs 132.  The fuselage was of a circular cross-section, and constructed entirely of metal, and the single BMW 003 jet engine was mounted on the fuselage top. The mid-fuselage mounted wings were mostly of wooden construction, and had a slight taper on the leading and trailing edges. Due to the position of the engine, a twin fin and rudder configuration was chosen, to allow the jet to exhaust without interfering with the tail unit. A tricycle landing gear was to be used, with the nose wheel revolving 90 degrees to lie under the cockpit when retracted; the main gear retracted inwards. The extensively glazed cockpit was completely faired in with the rest of the fuselage, and the pilot was in a prone position, the better to withstand the intense G-forces of the fast, steep dive during the bomb run. The pilot's controls featured a spring-operated power rudder, since a pilot in the prone position could exert less pressure on the rudder controls.
           The flight profile had the Hs 132 begin its high-speed attack at a range outside the ships' range of fire. After reaching a speed of 910 km/h (565 mph) in a shallow dive, the pilot would then climb as he released his bomb. The bomb would be "tossed" at the target using a type of primitive computerized sight, which delayed construction of the aircraft because it was not ready in time. The prone-pilot position was extensively tested on the Berlin B-9, a twin engined test aircraft built to test G-forces.
          A contract for six prototypes was approved in May 1944, and construction was begun in March 1945. There were four versions of the Hs 132 proposed (see table below), including the Hs 132D, which was to have an enlarged (9.1 m (29' 10")) wing. The Hs 132V1 was nearly complete, with the fuselage completed at Henschel's Berlin-Schönefeld facility and the wings being finished at Henschel's French subsidiary. Although the Hs 132A was scheduled to have its first flight in June 1945, the wings and fuselage were never mated, and Russian forces captured the intact fuselage in May 1945.

    Andreas Otte's Hs 132 images                     Mario Merino's Hs 132 images

         Span: 7.85 m (25' 9")                    Length: 8.8 m (28' 10.5")                 Max. Speed: 780 km/h (484 mph) 

Hs 132 artist impression

   Although some references refer to this picture as a photo of the completed Hs 132 V1, it is actually an artist's impression by Gert Heumann....


The Hs 132 V1 airframe, including the BMW 003 jet engine

A close-up of the cockpit area....
note the armored glass windshield

Another view of the cockpit, including the
two control sticks and instrumentation

Version Engine Bomb Load Armament
Hs 132A BMW 003E-2 One SC 500 or 
one SD500
Hs 132B Jumo 004B-2 One SC 500 or 
one SD 500
Two MG 151/20 
20mm cannon 
w/ 250 rounds each
Hs 132C He S 011A-1 One SC 500 or 
one SD 500 or 
one SD 1000 
(SD 1000 would use RATO)
Two MG 151/20 
20mm cannon 
w/250 rounds each and two MK 103 or 108 30mm cannon w/60 rounds each
Hs 132 D 
wing span
    N/A    N/A             N/A
The original Hs 132 wind tunnel model....