The German Heinkel aircraft designer designed in 1944 rapidly a single engined jet fighter as a countermeasure against Allied fighters flying over Germany like the P-51. The He 168 changed the nature of the air combat. It was an aircraft that was to be flown by pilots with limited training, and the "Salamander" so it was called the "Volksjäger". It got a single BMW 003 jet engine, a unique type of engine at the time. Many airframe parts were made of wood and other "non-strategic" materials and was easily assembled. It weighed less than 2000 kg and was capable of reaching normally 750 km/h speeds and even faster. Its armament was quite heavy with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons or even two 30 mm MK 108 cannons. Some aircraft actually were used in combat in the first months of 1945 over Germany in the Berlin/Rostock area.
Heinkel He 162
This aircraft is a Heinkel He 162 A-2 (No. 120077) and was captured by the British at Leck, Germany in 1945 flying with JG 1. After capturing it as one of seven Salamander aircraft at Leck, the RAF gave this plane to the USAAF and it ended up at Edwards AFB (then Muroc Dry Lake) in July of 1946 for flight tests. Flown once by Bob Hoover, the landing speed was determined to be too high, possibly due to improper rigging, and it was apparently not flown again. The markings are restored as original and cockpit and landing gear have been refurbished and are in original condition. All USAAF test equipment was thus removed.
Seen at the Plane of Fames museum, Chino (California).
Photographed January 2013 by Cees Hendriks, (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland
and additional photo's as seen in 2016 again at Chino:
This aircraft was restored and had WerkeNr 120015. It is on display at the Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace at Le Bourget airport, Paris.
Photographed 2016 by Meindert de Vreeze, (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland
Several plastic aircraft models are available of the He-162. In 1/72 of Planet, Hobbyboss, Dragon, RV. In larger scale 1/32 by MPM. In 1/48 Tamiya and Dragon have a nice model.