The Hs 129 was designed solely for ground attack and first went into service on the Russian Front in 1942. The original Hs 129A was fitted with two Argus As 410A 12-cylinder inverted-Vee air-cooled engines driving Argus automatic controllable-pitch propellers. This was later superseded by the Hs 129B series with two French-built 492kW Gnome-Rhone 14M 04/05 radial engines driving Ratier propellers.
The Hs 129B-1 and B-2 were the major production variants, the latter fitted to carry a drop-tank. Some were equipped experimentally with the SG 113A recoilless gun installation: a battery of six 75mm smooth-bore tubes, each 1.6m long, mounted in the fuselage at an angle slightly beyond the vertical to fire downwards and rearwards. The weapon was intended for use against tanks and was triggered automatically when the aircraft flew over a tank at low altitude. A total of more than 800 Hs 129 were built.
Henschel Hs 129 on YOUTUBE
2 x Gnome Rhone 14M 4/5, 522kW
47 ft 7 in
32 ft 0 in
11 ft 8 in
312.15 sq ft
2 x 20mm cannons, 1 x 30mm cannon, 2 x 7.92mm machine-guns
A three-view drawing (1000 x 750)
Oldgysgt, e-mail, 11.01.2016 03:32
There is no doubt that the Henschel Hs 129 and the A10 Thunderbolt II were both designed with the same "mission solution" in mind. I have read that the Hs129B suffered from poor engine reliability. I have often wondered if this was the result of French sabotage at the Gnome-Rhone factory. I have been told that a small shim of wood placed under a rod bearing will swell when exposed to hot oil over time, causing the oil clearance to close, and causing to bearing fail. It is an intriguing thought.
The armored cockpit gave rise to serious consideration given to developing a self-contained "pod" equipped with a parachute that could be jetisoned in an emergency. However, since most operations occurred at relatively low altitudes, and the retrofit would be so costly, the project was dropped.
I have read where the fuselage of this plane was in the shape of an inverted triangle, and the cockpit was so cramped that pilots were not given nearly enough room to properly manouver the aircraft. It took an exceptionally strong pilot to work the control stick. The cockpit was so cramped that some of the instruments were mounted outside the canopy. ER