Secret Projects of the Luftwaffe

Heinkel HE 162

Dan Sharp

Date Published :
February 2021
Publisher :
Mortons Books
Illustration :
80 drawings and photos, 15 color illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781911658245
Pages : 172
Dimensions : 9.65 X 7.3 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Heinkel’s single-jet He 162 fighter arrived in Luftwaffe service at the very end of the Second World War - but its development can be traced back to the beginning of July 1944. A contest had been set in motion to design a powerful and aerodynamically advanced replacement for Messerschmitt’s twin-jet Me 262 and Heinkel believed it could win.

As the competition progressed and Germany’s resources dwindled, it became clear that an advanced jet fighter was not what the Luftwaffe needed. A new concept was formulated: a cheap, basic fighter equipped with a single readily-available turbojet. The advanced fighter contest was temporarily shelved and Volksjäger was born.

Swept metal wings, V-tail and HeS 011 engine swapped for straight wooden wings, conventional tail and BMW 003 engine, Heinkel’s fighter design was rushed through a brief selection process before Adolf Hitler himself placed an order for 1,000 a month. A massive effort saw the He 162 go from blueprints to flying prototype in less than two months. But was it a triumph of engineering prowess or a costly white elephant which hastened the end of the war? Using contemporary documents, author Dan Sharp explains and explores the development history of this fascinating and controversial late-war ‘secret project’.

About The Author

Dan Sharp studied history at the University of Liverpool before beginning a career in journalism. Having spent several years as the news editor of a regional daily newspaper, he switched to motorcycle magazines. His previously published works on aviation have covered subjects ranging from German Second World War projects to Concorde. He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.


"Sharp methodically traces the whole phenomenal process – including Heinkel’s design competitors. And as endnotes confirm, text leans heavily on primary sources."

- Cybermodeler

"For the modeler and gamers with a taste for jet fighters, 19 color profiles offer up various camouflage schemes."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"As a modeling reference, there are some good resources in this volume. The author has included copies of production drawings as well as black and white photos of the prototype under construction."


"​Highly Recommended."

- AMPS Indianapolis

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