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Henschel Hs 126
Role Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Henschel
First flight August 1936
Introduced 1937
Retired 1942
Primary users Luftwaffe
Bulgaria
Greece
Croatia
Spain
Produced 1937 – 1942
Variants Hs 126A-0, Hs 126A-1, Hs 126B-1

The Henschel Hs 126 was a German two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft of World War II that was derived from the Henschel Hs 122. The pilot was seated in a protected cockpit under the parasol wing and the gunner in an open rear cockpit. The prototype aircraft frame was that of a Hs 122A fitted with a Junkers engine. The Hs 126 was well received for its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics which were needed at the time. It was put into service for a few years, but was soon superseded by the general-purpose, STOL Fieseler Fi 156 Storch and the medium-range Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "flying eye".

Contents

Development

The first prototype was not entirely up to Luftwaffe standards; it was followed by two more development planes equipped with different engines. Following the third prototype, ten pre-production planes were built in 1937. The Hs 126 entered service in 1938 after operational evaluation with the Legion Kondor contingent to the Spanish Civil War.

Operational history

By the time the Hs 126A-1 joined the Luftwaffe, the re-equipping of reconnaissance formations was already well advanced, and by the start of World War II in September 1939, Germany already had several good short range observation and long range recon aircraft. Late in the war, it was used in glider tug and night ground attack roles, but production of the Hs 126 ended in 1941 and the type was retired from the front line in 1942.

Specifications (Hs 126B-1)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two (pilot and observer/gunner)
  • Length: 10.9 m (35 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 3.8 m (12 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 31.6 m² (340 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,030 kg (4,480 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 6,820 lb (3,090 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bramo 323 9-cylinder radial engine, 634 kW (850 hp)

Performance

Armament

See also

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

References

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Notes

Bibliography

  • Green, William. Warplanes of the Third Reich. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1970 (fourth impression 1979). ISBN 0-356-02382-6.
  • Luranc, Zbigniew. Henschel Hs 126 - Skrzydła w Miniaturze (in Polish). Gdańsk, Poland: Wydawnictwo Avia-Press, 1995. ISBN 83-902964-0-3.
  • Nowarra, Heinz J. Nahaufklärer, 1910-1945: Die Augen des Heeres (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag, 1981. ISBN 3-87943-808-0.
  • Pęczkowski, Robert and Panek, Robert. Henschel Hs 126. Sandomierz, Poland/Redbourn, UK: Mushroom Model Publications, 2008. ISBN 83-89450-40-1.
  • Smith, J.Richard and Kay, Anthony. German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1972 (third impression 1978). ISBN 0-370-00024-2.
  • Wood, Tony and Gunston, Bill. Hitler's Luftwaffe: A pictorial history and technical encyclopedia of Hitler's air power in World War II. London: Salamander Books Ltd., 1977. ISBN 0-86101-005-1.

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