Henschel Hs 128

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The Henschel Hs 128 was a dedicated high-altitude and supercharger research aircraft that made its maiden flight just before the start of the Second World War. The aircraft was developed by Henschel and the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt. It was a twin engined low-wing monoplane, of stressed skin construction, and with a fixed undercarriage. The pressurized cabin was developed as a separate unit, and was attached to the fuselage by a ring of spurs mounted around its centre. The wings were 85ft 4 ½in long.

The V1 was powered by two 1,000hp Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines. The TK 9 exhaust-driver superchargers weren't available for its maiden flight, which came during 1939.

The V2 made its maiden flight later in the same year. It was powered by two Junkers Jumo 210 engines, with TK 16 mechanically driven superchargers. The V2 reached a maximum altitude of 39,372ft.

The two Hs 128s were used as test beds for a series of superchargers. They also attracted the attention of Theodor Rowehl, commander of the Luftwaffe' High Command's reconnaissance unit - AufklGr Ob.d.L. He saw the potential advantages of having a very high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, and convinced the RLM (German Air Ministry) to order Henschel to develop a military version of their experimental aircraft, as the Hs 130.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 December 2009), Henschel Hs 128 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_henschel_hs_128.html

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