Walkaround #370

Heinkel He-162-1a Volksjager Salamander

Reference photos by Tracy & Jeni Saulino

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This Heinkel He-162-1a is at Planes of Fame in Chino, California.  A very worthy stop if you are in the area.  Also be sure to visit Yanks Air Museum on the same airfield.  These photos were taken March 18, 2002 on our vacation which included stops at 6 different air museums. This is an authentic Salamander.  From the sign, in case it is hard to read, "This aircraft was captured by the British at Leck, Germany in 1945.  It is in the markings it flew in with Jadgesschwader (fighter group) One (Jg-1)."  We also know from the book, "He 162a Volksjager" by Steve Muth, one of the Peregrine Photo Essay books, that this particular plane can further be identified as He 162a-2 W.Nr.120077 red 1 of JG 1.  After capturing it as 1 of  7 Salamanders at Leck, the RAF gave this plane to the USAAF and it ended up at Edwards AFB (then Muroc Dry Lake) in July of 1946 for flight tests. Flown once by Bob Hoover, the landing speed was determined to be too high, possibly due to improper rigging, and it was apparently not flown again. The markings are original markings, and the word on the side "Nirvenklau" was the nickname of its pilot, Lt. Gerhard Hanf.  Cockpit and landing gear have been refurbished and are in original condition.  All USAAF equipment was removed.

Text added after this walkaround went on ARC.... "We received several explanations of the name "Nervenklau" and thank you to all!  One of the explanations is below:  "The name 'Nervenklau' translates literally into 'nerve stealer'; the He 162 was pretty to look at, but a handful to fly, even for an experienced pilot. All the more so because a lot of the skills learned on piston-engined fighters (such as use of the throttle) could not be applied to early jets. Eric Brown, in his book 'Wings of the Luftwaffe' gives a detailed account of the potential traps for the unwary pilot."

Tracy & Jeni Saulino

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Photos and text by Tracy & Jeni Saulino