1/72 Heinkel He-162W

Gallery Article by Borg R3-MC0 on Jan 6 2011

Silly Week 2011


The story is simple: after the successful invasion of England Germany tries to invade the USA.  They need aircraft to do that but they have only got a few carriers (the Graf Zeppelin and some captured British carriers).   To free the decks of the carriers for bombers they convert the He-162 to a waterplane. 

This He-162W is a very capable aircraft compared to the piston engined aircraft the US operates.  However it has its drawbacks. The guns on the He-162W are very capable but to slow firing for fighter to fighter combat.  The He-162W where therefore used for ground attack and bomber interception whist the carrier born Ta-152T and Me-262T take on the fighters.

Furthermore, these early jet engines where too fragile for saltwater operations.  More He-162W where lost to engine troubles then to enemy fire.  The He-162W were therefore quickly relegated to second line duties, such as training.  They preferably operated from shore at fresh water lakes. 

The He-162W (white 8) pictured here is from an unknown training squadron operating from the occupied French part of lake Geneva.

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Heinkel had experience with waterplanes and jets, so they are the natural candidate to make the world first water based jet aircraft.  Using the He-162 as a base they developed the He-162W (W for Wasser = water).  

First thing was creating a stable waterplane a floating hull was developed with outboard floats on the wing tips.  The cannons had to be moved from their low position. Out on the wings the water spray was a problem for the guns but inward was worse because of the gun gasses.

This "what if" has been made with an old Revell/Frog (reissue?) 1/72 He-162. The hull has been cut of and a Matchbox Fairey Seafox float has been made to fit (With lot's of puttying and sanding) Guns are from a Italeri Caprioni, beaching gear is a modified bombtrolley, outer floats are fuel tanks from a Hasegawa J7. 

The base is made from an old wooden box, the tarmac is sandpaper, rails are Evergreen styreen profiles. The water was made with EZ water, a plastic the you can melt and pour.

Borg R3-MC0

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Photos and text by Borg R3-MC0