“ANGELS” IN THE SKY OF SPAIN

Dive bomber, the Hs-123. After the First world war power aviation enterprises in Germany decreased significantly. The restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, in fact, deprived the country of military aviation. However, already in the twenties of Germany gradually started the construction of its air force — the future of the Luftwaffe.

 
It was during this period in many of the leading aviation powers began to gain popularity, the concept of a high-speed dive bomber. A great supporter and promoter of the techniques high-speed dive was ACE of the First world war, E. Udet. During his stay in USA he got acquainted with the aircraft Curtiss Hawk-2, and even did a few flights. The machine produced a big impression on him, and at the personal insistence of E. Udet the Germans acquired two of these aircraft. During flight tests, which were attended by Udet himself had laid down the main requirements for the aircraft of a new class — easy dive-bombers.
 
The main task of these aircraft was considered the destruction of targets in the vicinity of the front line, and support armored and mechanized units during the onslaught. The assignment stipulated that the aircraft should be all-metal and able to carry bombs from a steep dive. Small-aircraft armament of two 7.92 mm.
 
MG17 machine gun with an ammunition load of 500 rounds per gun. On the bomb racks provided for the suspension of one 250-kg bombs and eight 50 kg bombs or one 500-kg or four 50-kg bombs.
 
To create competition and choice the most successful design the task to design a new aircraft instructed two different firms Fisler and Henschel.
 
Firm Fisler presented classic biplane Fi-98 rather conservative design with 9-cylinder air-cooled engine BMW 132A-3. But already the first test flight, it became clear that the plane is obsolete and run it in series it is impossible.
 
The aircraft submitted for the competition, the firm Henschel, was more interesting. The engineers at F. Niklaus, and E. Koch managed to create an entirely new car advanced for its time design.
 
Building experimental image Hs-123V-l finished in early 1935, and on 8 may, the aircraft made its first flight. On the second prototype aircraft Hs-123V-2 established the American engine is air-cooled Wright Cyclone, closing a smooth circular cone.
 
The plane was a single-strut biplane with no braces, h braces. Design it completely duralumin. On the Hs-123V-2 installed a nine-cylinder air-cooled BMW 132A with a power of 725 HP at 2050 Rev/min, closed quick detachable ring cowl-fairing. The necessary rigidity of the wing box was provided by only one of the profiled strut. The upper wing was attached to the fuselage by two N-shaped struts. On the right wing strut mounted Pitot tube. Landing gear was attached to the lower wing.
 
Hs-123V-3 differed from his two predecessors installing two-bladed three-bladed VISH instead of type Standard. Missile armament consisted of two 7,92-Milli-meter machine guns MG.
 
The initial phase of testing the three prototypes ended in disaster: two cars were destroyed due to the deformation of the upper wing overload at the conclusion of a dive; pilots died. To exclude such cases, experimental Hs-123V-4 was reinforced in the middle part of the wing and stabilizer, and instead of supporting his bottom braces installed reinforced struts.
 
The tests confirmed the feasibility of design changes. Hs-123V-4 confidently dived with angles greater than 80 degrees, and the conclusion of a dive did not cause the pilot any difficulties.
 
Supply serial Hs-123A-1 in combat units of the Luftwaffe began in the summer of 1936. Production machines differed from the experienced Hs-123V-4 engine BMW-132D takeoff power 880 HP
 
The launch of a series of aircraft has not prevented the company to continue to experiment with prototypes. In the autumn of 1936, was built by an experienced Hs-123V-5 with a 910 HP BMW 132J. The following the experienced Hs-123V-6 like the option of V-5, but had a closed cockpit with sliding the lamp back and was supposed to be a pre-production sample of a new modification of HS-123C.
 
The latest prototype of the Hs-123 — option V-7 was released in early 1937 with the new motor BMW 132K.
 
The first pre-production aircraft A-0 built in June 1936, and in August came off the Assembly line And the serial-2. The production of these aircraft continued until the end of 1938. During this time the building stood 270 machines.
 
The first division of dive bombers as part of the Luftwaffe became the experimental group Fliegergruppe Schwerin, the official date of which is October 1, 1935. On the basis of this part and began forming Stukagruppe “Immelmann” and the arms of her first HS-123A.
 
The unfolding civil war in Spain gave the command of the Luftwaffe a great opportunity to test in combat new samples of aviation equipment. Colonel V. Richthofen, was appointed chief of staff of the Legion Kondor, demanded its formation among other models of aircraft and dive bombers HS-123A. In December 1936, five HS-123A was taken to Seville, where they became part of the squadron VJ/88.
 
Baptism of these aircraft took place in the sky over Malaga. Relationship with the land was absent, ground unit in whose interests acted the aircraft was not able to specify the target for the attack. In the advanced parts fit a white cloth, pointing to the location of the enemy. But such a “relationship” couldn’t work efficiently, and to a greater extent aircraft used the tactic of free hunting.
 
Later, the Germans took into account the experience of Spain, and in the battles of world war II advanced parts of the Wehrmacht had the air controllers whose task was a challenge and guidance for the purpose of attack aircraft and bombers.
 
Dive bomber Hs-123
 
Dive bomber Hs-123
 
Dive bomber, the Hs-123:
 
1 — removable hood; 2 — louver air intake for cooling of the machine gun; 3 — the output channel of the cooling air; 4 — door compartment of the radio station; 5 — antenna: 6,76 — ANO; 7 — rudder; 8 — struts stabilizer; 9 — tail wheel fairing; 10 — tail wheel; 11 — lifting pipe; 12 — foot pegs; 13 — fairing landing gear; 14 — wheel chassis; 15 — removable side panels of the engine; 16 — air intake of the carburettor; 17 — yuzov-rivers open cockpit; 18 — the flip side of the cab; 19 windmill generator; 20,61 — exhaust pipes; 21 — visor closed cockpit; 22 — sliding canopy; 23 — gargrot; 24 — Kok sleeve screw; 25 — section of the cooling jacket of the engine; 26 — two-bladed VISH; 27 — tube channel line of fire of a machine gun; 28 — oil tank; 29 — fuel tank; 30 — reception antenna; 31 — gun MO 17; 32 — cover tape gun; 33 — instrument panel; 34 — control knob; 35 — the shield of the radio station; 36 — first aid kit; 37 — radio FuG VII; 38 — the power set of the fuselage; 39 — power set keel; 40— rib of the rudder; 41 — trimmer of the rudder; 42 — front tail wheel; 43 — cable rudder: 44 — ropes of the Elevator; 45 — cable trimmer of the rudder; 46 — a can of compressed air; a 47 — foot controls; 48 — cartridge box; 49 — battery; 50 — struts landing gear; 51 — front chassis; 52 — power frame; 53 — motor; 54 — rod trimmer rudder; 55 Kil; 56 — headrest; 57 Luc-gun compartment; 58 — brace the upper wing; 59 — Pitot tube; 60 — crack release of the cooling air; 62 — reinforced wing strut; 63 — external fuel tank; 64 — 50-kg bombs SC50; 65 — flap access to the cartridge box; 66 — the fabric covering of the wing; 67 — chair; 68 — stabilizer; 69 — the steering wheel height; 70 — trimmer of the Elevator; 71 — pull trimmer rudder; 72 — hinge Aileron; 73 — trimmer Aileron; 74 — Aileron; 75 — flaps; 77 — operational step; 78 — fork landing gear, the 79 — node of attachment of the strut landing gear, the 80 — unit rack mount chassis; 81 — fork brace

 
In the battles over Spain played an important role tactics of the use of the aircraft. Hs-123A, as a rule, acted independently, singly or in pairs, suddenly appearing over the target. From the first time they dropped bombs and repeatedly attacked only in the absence of opposition from the ground.
 
The efficacy of Hs-123A was the cause of the order Franco 16 planes delivered to Spain in the summer of 1938 for the formation of the 24th aviation group. This group participated in the battles at Teruel and córdoba. The Spaniards called Hs-123A “Angelitos” (angel).
 
Since 1937, Hs-123A were gradually withdrawn from combat units in the support and training units. The command of the Luftwaffe had already made their choice in favor of more modern monoplane firm Junkers Ju-87.
 
The beginning of the war with Poland Hs-123A was armed with only two units. In April 1940, before the German attack on Belgium and France, Hs-123 And was still considered combat ready and participated in the air strikes. Used dive bombers-biplanes in the Balkan campaign. On the Eastern front, when not proved to be serious opposition from fighter aircraft, Hs-123A involved in the attacks on the retreating units of the red Army. The last machine Hs-123 was lost in the fighting in 1944.
 
Design description
 
Not-123A was a single dive bomber biplane of mixed construction scheme, equipped with a nine-cooled engine.
 
The fuselage was of all-metal truss and dural lining. Transverse power set consisted of ten major and five additional frames. The frames no 1 and 2 performed the role of fire partitions, separating from the cockpit engine fuel and oil tanks. In addition, the power frame No. 1 is attached to a motor mount of the engine. Between the frames No. 1 and 2 installed tested the fuel tank. These frames were also attached to the struts of the upper wing. Between frames No. 2 and 3 in the upper part of the fuselage were two MG17 machine gun with ammunition boxes.
 
The cockpit was located between the frames No. 5A and 6. In the frame № 5A is attached to the dashboard, and the frame № 6 — pilot’s seat. The pilot seat had a back and adjustable height.
 
Main navigation equipment is located on the Central dashboard. In turn, the dashboard consisted of a main and additional (lower) panels. On the left side of the cockpit mounted lever engine control and wheel control of trim tabs of the Elevator and rotation. On the starboard side of the cockpit fixed to the control unit station, and the switchboard. For access to the cockpit on the fuselage used foot pegs and handrails.
 
The top wing was two-spar construction and technologically divided into three parts — a center section and two consoles. Power set of the wing all-metal construction. Sheathing combined. At the toe of the wing trimmed with aluminum, and for the first (or second) longitudinal — blade. The ailerons occupied the half span of the wing panels and had a plate trimmers that are regulated on earth.
 
The lower wing is single-spar all-metal scheme with power set and fabric covering. Each of the consoles lower wing consisted of fourteen ribs. Ribs No. 6 and 7 are reinforced, they installed bomb racks.
 
Strut main landing gear also attached to the lower wing. At its rear edge, half scale, was located flaps. The covering flap plain. The upper and lower wings were connected between themselves with only two profiled reinforced struts. To the fuselage, the upper wing was attached to two additional N-06разными braces.
 
Tail standard, freely-supporting structure. Power set metal. The covering of the keel and stabilizer dural, rudders and height and fabric.
 
The stabilizer of the aircraft had a variable angle from — 2° to +2°. The angle of the stabilizer was changed by the knob on the left side of the cockpit. On the rudders and height — controlled trimmers. All control surfaces were horn compensation. The rudder was located white air navigation fire.
 
Tricycle landing gear with tail wheel svobodnoradikal lightweight duralumin fairing. Depreciation strut tail wheel hydraulic. Stand the main chassis mounted on the spar of the lower wing and reinforced rib No. 3. For rigidity were reinforced strut brace. Brakes — drum type, driven by pedals of foot control. Wheels and stand closed and large fairings.
 
The aircraft was equipped with nine radial carbureted air-cooled engine BMW 132A. Installed engine on Motorama welded from steel pipe and mounted on the first power of the frames, and closed dural bonnet on the quick-release screws. At the top of the hood — two channels (pipes) the firing of machine guns. All production aircraft had a steel two-bladed propellers with a diameter of 3100 mm with a variable on earth pitch propeller.
 
The plane was completed with the fuselage aktirovanii fuel tank with a capacity of 270 HP In the cockpit of psuta housed the crane emergency drain fuel and shutoff valve, which reduced the probability of fire damage to the aircraft in combat. On the Central fuselage pylon you can hang external fuel tank capacity 130 L.
 
 
In the engine oil system included oil tank capacity of 48,7 litres, mounted behind the engine on the bulkhead No. 1 and the oil pump.
 
The radio equipment included a shortwave radio station FuG VII of the company Teletunken in the fuselage outside the compartment. Cable antenna stretched between the bar on the upper wing and the keel.
 
Armament — two synchronized 7.92 mm MG17 machine gun in the upper fuselage. Machine guns fired between the cylinders of the engine. The ammunition of each machine gun — 500 cartridges. The ammunition was Packed in cartridge boxes in niches right and left sides of the aircraft, which was closed quick-release hatches.
 
Bomber armament consisted of four 50-kg high-explosive bombs SC50 underwing holders. In addition they could be used anti-tank 50-kg bombs SD50 or SD70, or containers with 2 kg SD2 fragmentation bombs (each of the two containers had a capacity for 92 bombs). Under the wing were also suspended and two 20 mm MGFF cannons. The Central ventral node can keep and bombs weighing up to 250 kg.
 
Flight performance Hs-123A
 
The scope of the upper wing, mm…. 10 500
The scope of the lower wing, mm……. 8000
Length, mm…………………………….. 8660
Height, mm…………………………… 3760
Empty weight, kg………………….. 1420
Take-off weight, kg:
normal…………………………2175
maximum…………………….. 2350
Maximum speed, km/h …. 290
Practical ceiling, m ……… 9000
The rate of climb, m/s…………….. 15
Maximum range, km…..815
Engine type…………….BMW-132A
Maximum power, HP…..730

 
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, Kharkov

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