Hs 132

The Hs 132 V1[1]

The Henschel Hs 132 was a jet powered dive bomber developed by Germany during the final months of World War 2.


In 1937 the DVL research into dive bombing led to the Berlin-Charlottenberg B9 being built to study the advantages of the pilot lying prone, to better resist g forces. Extensive B9 testing throughout World War ll showed how great the advantages were, and it was also clear that frontal area could be reduced. This led to the Henschel Hs 132 prone-pilot dive bomber, begun in early 1944.[2]

For the Hs 132 to have any chance of success in operation, it had to be capable of very high speeds to elude the defences and this involved high pull-out forces—a load factor of 12 being considered necessary in contrast to the usual factor of about eight for piston-engined dive bombers. To enable pilots to withstand such high g forces, it was considered essential that the pilot in the Hs 132 should occupy a prone position.

Germany’s shortage of materials and skilled labour made necessary the simplest design and one using the smallest quantity of strategic materials. As part of the plan to produce a simple structure and one that was easily maintained, the turbojet was mounted above the fuselage. This was not considered to be the ideal position for the engine because of possible decreased ram effect at the intake, increased drag at high speed resulting from interference at the fuselage/ engine fairing junctions, and the risk of other aerodynamic problems, but a similar layout was used in the Heinkel He 162s which were already flying and it was decided to adopt the layout for the Hs 132.

In layout the Hs 132 was a mid-wing monoplane with twin fins and rudders and retractable nosewheel undercarriage. The wing, mostly of wooden construction, tapered sharply in chord and thickness, had trailing-edge flaps and housed the main undercarriage units which were attached far out towards the tips and retracted inwards.

The fuselage was a metal structure of circular section, the pilot’s position being in the extreme nose (which was extensively glazed and completely faired into the fuselage profile) whilst the nosewheel retracted backwards to be housed in the lower fuselage. The turbojet was mounted on top of the fuselage immediately above the wing, with its intake immediately aft of the cockpit and its tailpipe ending in line with the wing trailing-edge roots. The tailplane had marked dihedral and supported inclined end-plate fins and rudders. All control surfaces, including the ailerons, were fitted with trim tabs but, because steep dives to the target were not envisaged, there were no dive-brakes.

Three Hs 132 prototypes were ordered, construction began in March 1945 at Henschel’s Schonefeld factory, and at the end of the War the Hs 132 V1, prototype for the A-series, was nearing completion. It was scheduled to fly in June 1945, but together with the well-advanced V2 and V3, was captured by Soviet forces and it is not known whether the type ever flew. The V3 went to the TsAGI (research institute) in Moscow for study.

Three versions of the Hs 132 had been proposed: the Hs 132A to be powered by an 800 kg (1,760 lb) static thrust BMW l09—003E-2 turbojet and capable of carrying a single 500 kg (1,100 lb) SD 500 bomb semirecessed beneath the fuselage; the Hs 132B to be powered by a 900 kg (1,980 lb) static thrust modified Junkers l09—004B and capable of carrying a 500 kg bomb load and two nose mounted MG 151 20 mm cannon for ground attack; and the Hs 132C which would have used the 1,300 kg (2,866 lb) static thrust Heinkel-Hirth 109—01lA if this had become available. The greater power of the latter would have been used to enable the aircraft to carry the normal bomb load while armed with two MG 151 20 mm and two MK 103 30 mm cannon, or a bomb of up to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) if only the 20 mm cannon were fitted. The 1,000 kg bomb load could have comprised an SC 1000 Hermann or a PC 1000 RS Pol rocket-assisted armour-piercing bomb.[3]


  • Origin: Henschel Flugzeugwerke AG
  • Models: V1, V2 and A, B, and C
  • Engine: BMW 003A-1 turbojet
  • Thrust: 1,760lb (800kg)
  • Dimensions:
    • Span: 7.20m (23 ft. 7.5 in.)
    • Length: 8.90m (29 ft. 2.5 in.)
    • Height: 3.00m (9 ft. 10 in.)
  • Weights:
    • Empty: not known
    • Loaded: 7,496lb (3400kg)
  • Performance:
    • Maximum speed: (with bomb) 435mph (700km/h), (Clean) 485mph (780km/h)
    • Range at 32,800 ft (10,000m): 696 miles (1120km)
  • Armament:
    • A Model: None
    • B Model: Two 20mm MG 151 Cannon[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Warbird Resource Group
  2. Wood, Tony and Bill Gunston. Hitler's Luftwaffe. Salamander Books. 1997. ISBN 0 86101 935 0 Page 198
  3. Kay, Anthony and J R Smith. German Aircraft of the Second World War. Putnam. 2002.