He 280 A fortunate navigation error (for the RAF) November 1942

Started by SleeperService, December 14, 2020, 06:49:01 AM

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For the British Commonwealth WW2 had been a series of highs and lows after an initial period of inactivity. The low point at Dunkirk was followed by the RAF maintaining air superiority in summer 1940. 1941 started badly with shipping losses at a crippling level, Germany attacking the USSR seemed better but the rapid Soviet defeats had brought the Germans close to Moscow and things were looking bad. October 1941 saw it get worse when Hitler and his entourage died after their Fw Kondor exploded in the air after a visit to Army Group Centre HQ. Hitler had survived the blast and ejection but had been drowned after landing. Goering had become Fuhrer, London watched, Himmler became Deputy Fuhrer and the SS under Heydrich rapidly cleared out the dead wood and the attempted coup members. By the time winter stopped operations Moscow was taken, the Far East Forces under Zukhov had been destroyed trying to retake it and rumours of a new German fighter of exceptional performance reached London. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had brought the US into war against the Japanese and the Windsor Conference in Ontario had seen the US take responsibility for the Pacific and CBI upto the Indian border. In addition military supplies for the UK were assured.

1942 was another dark year with the Germans closing up to their declared objectives in the north and centre of the USSR. In the Mediterranean the UK Commonwealth finally destroyed the Italian forces and their German support units and started their campaign west. Then the German jets had appeared in the West and proved to be more than a match for anything the RAF had in service. The Battle of Britain was being refought and it looked as if the German's may win. As numbers of jets increased Gloster's adapted the 'Squirt' to take it's originally planned armament and engine production was addressed. Finally came two stokes of luck. In August the British Embassy in Ankara received a message offering 'a very valuable equipment of intelligence' for an undisclosed sum. This turned out to be the German enigma machine already being attacked in the UK and a set of code books. The money was gladly paid to the Swiss pending confirmation of authenticity which soon arrived. The second in late November was more immediate and tactical. Following a bombing raid on Luton a He280 pilot lost contact with his squadron and ended up approaching RAF Manston where he soon landed. A very quick thinking Groundcrew member remembered some German and was able to overpower the pilot before he realised his mistake. It was only much later that the fact that British spoofers had jammed the normal frequencies, established contact on an alternative and convinced the pilot he was over Belgium was revealed. Rapidly evaluated the captured aircraft was taken around units who were shown it's weaknesses while Hawker's Typhoon was rapidly brought up to service standard.

I'll be starting with this

and making it my quick (relatively) 2020 close out build.     


Decals my @r$e!


A totally believable idea. I wait with eager anticipation to see how the He280 turns out.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet

The Rat

The most valuable part of that grab would obviously be the developed axial flow engine. The metallurgy and such was not advanced enough at the time to make them tough and reliable, but perhaps the British had better materials. So instead of a lifetime of a few hours, raise it to the triple digits fairly quickly, and even higher as more research was done.
"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles

Pineapple is a great pizza topping. Fight me.


Quote from: The Rat on December 14, 2020, 08:12:04 PM
The most valuable part of that grab would obviously be the developed axial flow engine. The metallurgy and such was not advanced enough at the time to make them tough and reliable, but perhaps the British had better materials. So instead of a lifetime of a few hours, raise it to the triple digits fairly quickly, and even higher as more research was done.

An He-280 in service by late-1942 would most probably have a production HeS-8 engine with its
problems worked out. The HeS-8 was a von Ohain centrifugal flow design, the BMW 003 and the
Jumo 004 most likely wouldn't be available at that time and the Jumo was already earmarked for
the Me-262.

At any rate there would be little to learn from the 003 or 004 as British axial-flow development was
already quite advanced at Metropolitan-Vickers using RAE research that started back in the '30s. The
F.2 engine was the first UK turbojet to fly.
"Conspiracy theory's got to be simple.
Sense doesn't come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated crap
actually is than they ever are about
whatever's supposed to be behind the
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014


I have not been idle on this project and it'll miss the deadline but I think the result will be worth it. We've had a useful discussion on the Secret Projects Forum https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/heinkel-gas-turbines-and-applications-what-if.36398/#post-436109
and I may have to tweak the story slightly but it should be worth it.

As I write the fuselage is taped up, I have both wings attached and sanded smooth. The modified engine nacelles Version 3.2 are in the airing cupboard while the latest filler application hardens. I'll take a photo before the fuselage is subjected to some serious mutilation in the name of model-making therapy. The bonus is that I'll have an extra 16.5mm to add weight to keep it upright.

For now I need a coffee and to give the radio a listening to. 


Thank You for the feedback which I have found very valuable. I've also had a lot of help on the Secret Projects forum but that's to come.
For now here we are:

The He280 is a re-release of Eduard's 1999(?) kit minus the nose weight and resin. The nose weight was very helpful in the old edition and may be missed by many. The mouldings are pretty good and the transparency is superbly clear. The etched fret will be very visible. There is a slight mismatch with the wings and the surface needs some attention. I removed the wheel well roof and the vertical inner wall and added basic rib detail. The wing surfaces needed a little filler and the trailing edge needs thinning a lot. Once done the wings were assembled and, when hard, attached to the fuselage by the top surfaces only. On my previous build the dihedral differed and this allowed adjustment.

Using plastic card I shimmed the lower wing to fuselage join until the inner wings were flat and the tips the same height with the fuselage square. With the fuselage taped it was jigged up, MEK'd, and left to harden. I assembled the tail plane so I could check that too and set about the engines. Using the HeS.8 parts I cutaway about 1.5mm below the horizontal engraved line then used Maquet tube in 10,12, and 14mm diameter to build up the fairing and intake. I got it right on the third go. The exhaust will be 12mm aluminium tube.

After consideration I'll be lengthening the fuselage behind the cockpit, moving the cockpit further forward, mounting the cannon alongside the cockpit as on the Meteor, and adding integral wing tanks. Speed brakes will appear too.

Under the firm guidance of Heydrich and those he appointed I believe the HeS.30 engine would have been ready much earlier than the first run in October 1942. There is a deal of evidence that Milch acted to delay development in favour of Messerschmitt's preferring the BMW engine. With the change in management in October 1941, openly backed by serious men in black and silver I believe that late summer/autumn for introduction in the west is possible even with the changes planned for the B-1 included. The Cologne raid on 30/31 May 1942 would certainly have focused minds. Assuming the originally contracted prototypes were built to speed development and reveal design issues a trial unit could have been operational in early June. The HeS.30 would be the production engine and was very advanced compared to others, it would be a valuable intelligence item indeed. The first USAAF raid in August 1942 would add further urgency.

Now I need to get some serious marking and saw savagery done....


Sometimes when I look at the He 280 I think Heinkel got the wings the wrong way round, only occasionally mind you and it might coincide with the opening of a bottle of claret  :angel:

Interested to see what you do with this
Decals my @r$e!


Sorry that it's all gone quiet on this. Two(three) reasons/excuses;

I 'lost' the engines and nose. The nose turned up a week ago under the sofa (Sushi the Supercat may be involved). The engines? Hopefully soon.

The fuselage extension is on about version 6 but seems to be going well. After two days it's still aligned and if it's still good after the weekend I'll be moving it on.

Please bear with me on this 


No problem.

If you'd like me to move the thread to the "current and finished projects" section of the site let me know

Decals my @r$e!


Quote from: NARSES2 on April 01, 2021, 06:38:53 AM
No problem.

If you'd like me to move the thread to the "current and finished projects" section of the site let me know


I think that may be a very good thing Thank You.

Back to the model.

As you may have guessed things didn't go well so this was put aside and very nearly tossed but recently it came to the front again and I've restarted it.

The front end had twisted again and the plastic started to crumble as I cleaned up the mess hence the hiatus. V8.0 started with careful measuring for the rear bulkhead then making a plug for the new section. V8.01 added the infill to the lower section with some steel bar to ensure the nose stayed down. The starboard fuselage needed cutting back to a solid edge but the port one was left as it showed little sign of improving further, hence the fill in on the plug.

The same material issue affected both wings especially at the trailing edge, I've still got a couple of sections to do but cutting back and using plastic strips to rebuild the edges seems to have worked.

As another kit brought and built at the same time has no such issues I assume that the machine injected this one slightly under pressure.

In process is rebuilding the nose sides which will then let me match the canopy profile to the fuselage.


Decals my @r$e!


Sorry to bring up a dead topic, but this is such a cool idea! I hope it gets finished, or I might just have to take a crack at the idea myself!  ;D


It's a Land Rover, NOT a Jeep . Like a Jeep, but for gentlemen.