Hs 129

German close support and ground attack aircraft Henschel Hs 129.
History, development, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3d model.

3D model Hs 129B-3/Wa
3D model of Heinschel Hs 129B-3/Wa.

Henschel Hs 129
Type: Close support, ground attack and anti-tank aircraft.


Even though there had been several models of professional close support and ground attack planes in World War One , this class had been almost dismissed before the Spanish Civil War demonstrated, back again, that this class is among the most crucial among all. In 1938 the RLM released a requirement for this type of plane – ­the entire intent behind the Luftwaffe being to back up the Wehrmacht in Blitzkrieg-type combats – to assist the purpose-designed Ju 87 Stuka.

Henschel’s Dipl-Ing F. Nicholaus developed a decrease plane fairly comparable to the twin-engined fighters of this time however with better armor and less-powerful motors (two 495hp Argus As 410A-1 air-cooled inverted-vee-12s). The single aviator seated within the armoured nose behind a windscreen 3in thick, with armor all around the cabin. The triangular-section fuselage stored self-sealing tanks, weapons in the sloping sides and a hard point for a bomb below.

Test pilots at Rechlin damned the A-0 pre-production planes as ridiculously under-powered, however these planes went into action on the Russian Front by the Romanian Air Force. The newly designed B-series applied the huge quantities of French 14M motors that were on hand and in manufacturing by the Vichy authorities for the Me 323. Entirely 841 B-series were produced and used with significant impact on the Eastern Front however with considerably fewer results in North Africa.

The B-1/R1 had 2 x 7,92 mm MG 17 and 2 x 20 mm MG 151/20, additionally 2 x 110lb (50 kg) or Forty-eight fragmentation bombs.
The R2 was built with a 30 mm MK 101 attached below and was the first plane ever to employ a 30 mm weapon during battle.
The R3 had a ventral box of 4x MG 17.
The R4 carried up to 551lb (250 kg) of bombs.
The R5 had a camera for vertical pictures.

The B-2 models switched the integrated MG 17s for MG 131s and other sub-types had several types of weapons for example the 37 mm BK 3.7 of the Ju 87 G. The best innovative armament made use of verses Russian tanks with outcomes that were commonly destructive, was a battery of 6 smooth-bore 75 mm tubes shooting recoilless shells down and to the rear with automatic activating as the plane flew over steel materials.
The Hs 129B outfitted also the 3 squadrons of the 8th Assault Wing of the Royal Romanian Air Corps.

However, the most remarkable gun was the enormous PAK 40 anti-tank gun of 75-mm caliber. This weapon considered 1,500 kilograms (3,306 lb) in its authentic ground-based kind and fired a 3.2-kg (7 lb) tungsten-carbide cored shell at 933 m/s (3,060 ft/sec). Even {in a|within a} range of 1,000 m (3,280 ft), the projectile could pierce 133 mm ( 5 1/2 in) of armor if it hit square-on. Changed as the PaK 40L, the cannon had a larger muzzle break to cut back recoil as well as electro-pneumatic function to provide following shells mechanically. Placed in the Hs 129B-3/Wa, the enormous weapon was supplied with twenty-six shells which could be fired at the cyclic rate of forty rounds per minute, so that 3 or 4 might be shot during one attack. Generally, just one fine hit could wipe out a tank, still from head-on. Perhaps the biggest issue was that the PaK 40L was too impressive a gun for the plane. Rather besides the extreme muzzle blast and recoil, the massive weight of the cannon made the Hs 129B-3/Wa, nearly uncontrollable, and in critical situations the aviator might cut the gun’s elements and let it drop.

At the end of September 1944, the whole production program was stopped, together with almost all other German planes aside from the ’emergency fighter program’. Overall manufacturing had amounted to merely 870, including prototypes. Due to attrition and losses, the Hs 129 wasn’t allowed to provide the ‘flying guns’ anti-tank force that would have been necessary versus Russian armor.

Users: Germany, Hungary, Romania.

l Hs 129 attacking US tank
Henschel Hs 129 attacking US tank in Tunisia, May 1943.

Animated 3D model Henschel Hs 129 B-3/Wa

Specifications Henschel Hs 129B-3/Wa


Henschel Hs 129B-3/Wa Specification
Typeanti-tank aircraft
Power planttwo 700 hp Gnome-Rhone 14M 4/5 engines
Wing span46 ft 7.1 in
Length overall31 ft 11.9 in
Height overall10 ft 8.0 in
Wing area312.15 sq.ft
Weight empty 8,863 lb
Weight maximum loaded (B-2) 11,574 lb
Max wing loading (B-2)37.08 lb/sq.ft
Max power loading (B-2)8.27 lb/hp
Max speed (B-2) 253 mph (at 12,565 ft)
Cruising speed (B-2) 196 mph at 9,845 ft
Initial climb (B-1) 1,390 ft/min
Climbing 7.0 min to height 9,845 ft (B-2)
Service ceiling (B-2) 29,525 ft
Range (B-2)429 miles
Range maximum?
Combat radius?


Henschel Hs 129B-3/Wa Specification
in nose Two fixed 13-mm MG 131 (930 rpm, velocity 2,461 ft.sec) and two 20-mm-MG 151 (720 rpm, velocity 1,290 ft.sec)
beneath fuselage One 75-mm BK 7.5 (PaK 40L) cannon (40 rpm, velocity 3,060 ft.sec) with 26 rounds.
Armour pentration if the gun at 30° 143 mm on 100 meters; 120 mm on 500 meters; 97 mm on 1,000 meters; 77 mm on 1,500 meters
instead of 75-mm BK 7.5 gun 30-mm MK 103 cannon (420 rpm, velocity 2,820 ft.sec)
or four 7,92-mm MG 17 (1,200 rpm, 2,477 ft.sec)
or four 50-kg (110 lb) bombs, or 92 2-kg (4.4 lb) anti-personnel bombs or one 250-kg (550 lb) bomb beneath fuselage
wing racks Two 50-kg (110 lb) bombs or 48 2-kg (4.4 lb) anti-personnel bombs

Service statistics:

Hs 129 figures
First flight (Hs 129V-1)early 1939
Service delivery (Hs 129A-0)early 1941
First flight (Hs 129B)October 1941
Service delivery (Hs 129B)late 1942
First flight (Hs 129B-3 with 75-mm BK 7.5)May 1944
Final deliverylate September 1944
Unit costs?
Total production figure (all) c. 870 (including prototypes, 841 B-series, 24 or 25 129B-3/Wa)
Accepted by Luftwaffe 1/39-12/44 (all versions)876
Production 1939-
Production 1940-
Production 19417
Production 1942221
Production 1943411
Production 1944302
Production 1945-
Hs 129's in First Line Units 1.9.39-
Hs 129's in First Line Units 20.9.4235
Hs 129's in First Line Units 31.12.4240
Hs 129's in First Line Units 10.1.4559

References and literature

Combat Aircraft of World War II (Bill Gunston)
Technik und Einsatz der Kampfflugzeuge vom 1. Weltkrieg bis heute (Ian Parsons)
Das große Buch der Luftkämpfe (Ian Parsons)
Luftkrieg (Piekalkiewicz)
Flugzeuge des 2. Weltkrieges (Andrew Kershaw)
German Aircraft of World War 2 in Colour (Kenneth Munson)
Warplanes of the Luftwaffe (David Donald)
The Luftwaffe Album, Bomber and Fighter Aircraft of the German Air Force 1933-1945 (Joachim Dressel, Manfred Griehl)
Luftwaffe Handbook (Dr Alfred Price)
The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II (Chris Bishop)

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