Friday, May 25, 2012

Flashback Friday: Heinkel He 219 Uhu

     This week we take a look at one the world's first and best night-fighters, the Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Eagle-Owl). Among other innovations, the Eagle-Owl was equipped with an ejection seat, and a VHF intercept radar.
      Less than 300 Eagle-Owls were built during World War II, but for such a small production run it had a great effect on the RAF's night bombing campaign. During the Eagle-Owl's combat debut, a single Eagle-Owl shot down 5 RAF fighters. The Eagle-Owl was also one of the only German aircraft that could fight a British Mosquito on even terms, due it's peed, maneuverability, and firepower.
    However, due to the fact that all of Germany's resources were being poured into the "Emergency Fighter Program", only ~300 He 219s were built. As of 2012 2 He 219s survive, one in National Air & Space Museum, and one in Denmark. The He 219 was such a promising design, one has to wonder how it would have affect the RAF's night-bombing campaign if more resources had been invested in it.

Photo Credit: LuftwaffePhotos

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