Potentially one of the Luftwaffe's most effective night-fighters, the Heinkel He 219 Uhu (owl) was another aircraft which suffered from misjudgements by senior members of the government and Luftwaffe high command. It derived from Heinkel's private-venture P.1060 fighter-bomber proposal, which received little encouragement until 1941 when it was seen to have promise as a night-fighter. An all-metal shoulder-wing monoplane, the He 219 seated the pilot and navigator back-to-back, was the first operational aircraft in the world to introduce ejection seats, and was also the Luftwaffe's first operational aircraft with tricycle landing gear.
The first prototype was flown on 15 November 1942, powered by two 1305kW Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines; the second prototype, flown in December, had a different armament installation. Following evaluation of one of the prototypes in mock combat against a Dornier Do 217N and a Junkers Ju 88S, an 'off the drawing board' order for 100 aircraft was increased to 300; further prototypes were used in the aircraft's development programme. From April 1943 a small number of He 219A-0 pre-production aircraft flew with 1.NJG 1 at Venlo in the Netherlands, and on the night of 11 June 1943 Major Werner Streib shot down five Avro Lancasters in a single sortie. The first six operational sorties flown by
the unit resulted in claims for 20 RAF aircraft, including six de Havilland Mosquitoes. Despite cancellation of the programme in May 1944, production deliveries of a number of versions were made, principally to 1./NJG 1 and NJGr 10.
| ENGINE||2 x Deimler-Benz DB 603G, 1417kW|
| Take-off weight||15300 kg||33731 lb|
| Empty weight||11200 kg||24692 lb|
| Wingspan||18.5 m||61 ft 8 in|
| Length||15.54 m||51 ft 0 in|
| Height||4.1 m||13 ft 5 in|
| Wing area||44.5 m2||478.99 sq ft|
| Max. speed||670 km/h||416 mph|
| Cruise speed||630 km/h||391 mph|
| Ceiling||12200 m||40050 ft|
| Range||2000 km||1243 miles|
| ARMAMENT||6 x 30mm + 2 x 20mm cannons|
|A three-view drawing (1625 x 1115)|
|Dave, e-mail, 11.11.2013 15:12|
The best colour for a night fighter was gloss black, as seen on the American P-61 Black Widow. Later, some Canberra jet bombers were also painted gloss black.
|Klaatu83, e-mail, 11.10.2013 02:39|
Yet another example of a highly-sophisticated German aircraft that took far too long to develop, and eventually proved to be too little and too late.
|Barry, 31.01.2013 19:23|
The comments about being painted in black are quite interesting. The Beaufighter I night fighter and the Mosquito NFII were both painted overall in matt black and so were the undersides of all RAF bomber command heavy bonbers from Whitley to Lincoln. However, a more unsuitable colour one could not find as the silouhette of the plane stood out far more than if it had been painted in some other colour including white! The Germans mastery of camouflage left the British standing. It was not until much later in the war that the R.A.F. began to understand the vageries of camouflage for example the soft pink used on reconnaissance Spitfires after D-Day. As for the USAAF some of their aircraft were painted in Olive Drab but so many were left in natural aluminium and just to make sure they could be seen were finished off with bright yellow /red /blue on the nose, tail, and wing tips. What ever rocks your boat.
|Naga, 14.07.2012 01:24|
No, most aircraft operating at night were not painted overall black, including the Uhu. Perhaps on the undersides, but when looked at from directly above, black would be visible against the backdrop of even a darkened countryside. That's why most night aircraft (with the exception of some P-61 Black Widows) only had black undersurfaces. If you look at some of the illustrations on this website about British aircraft, you'll notice the same thing.
|John, e-mail, 02.05.2012 00:10|
I am courious, since it was a night fighter, was the plane also painted overall black?
|Klaus Schneider, e-mail, 13.08.2011 01:33|
Hello excuse me, here one very interesting Cokpit
paneel on Ebay.Germany He 219 UHU original. The Ebay Name is - ggart146 the item number: 330 600 649 487 The article unfortunately does not appear on Ebay because it is not Paypal. A very rare and beautiful part.
Greetings from Germany
|nana, 20.06.2011 13:53|
What a night fighter, the first aircraft to have an ejection seat! Was a stellar night fighter that could hold it's own, too bad the high command didn't see the promise in this
|OttoBufonto, e-mail, 18.06.2010 21:17|
Folks, please write Daimler-Benz. The typo really hurts.
|Dave, e-mail, 03.07.2009 00:12|
Yet another example of German design brilliance coupled with blinding arrogance /stupidity by the politicians
|stephenlangks, e-mail, 24.01.2009 01:15|
herman goring & the luftwaffes bias on messerschimitt messed them all up
|G Davis, e-mail, 12.09.2007 05:31|
What a night fighter, the first aircraft to have an ejection seat! Was a stellar night fighter that could hold it's own, too bad the high command didn't see the promise in this awsome design that could of helped the reich! Isn't it amaizing how many Geman aircraft in WW-2 used equipment that are now mainstays in modern fighters?
Do you have any comments?
All the World's Rotorcraft