Lost Aircraft, Part 2

by Jim "Twitch" Tittle

Article Type: Military History
Article Date: November 28, 2002

Back to Lost Aircraft, Part 1


Fiesler Höhenjäger I Fi-166
A flashback to Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe this concept came from Feisler who brought us the FGZ 76 or V-1. This affair was to fulfill the Air Ministry’s requirement in late 1944 for a VTO interceptor. Using a modified EMW rocket motor from the A-4 (V-2), the fighter rode along in the boost stage like the space shuttle. At 45,000 feet it was to detach and go about its business as the re-usable rocket parachuted to earth.


Combined, the launch vehicles weighed 22,000 lbs. The F1-166 Höhenjäger (high altitude) had two Jumo 004s for power after detachment and weighed 12,634 lbs. loaded with fuel. Dimensions are unspecified but the fighter had to be a bit smaller than the He 280 it resembles, which had a 40-foot wing span and was 34-feet long. Armament would have been a pair of 30 mm MK 108 cannon. The fighter could have stayed aloft for 45-minutes under power.

He 118
This is the plane that lost in the competition for Luftwaffe dive bomber to the Ju 87 Stuka though the He 118 was a much cleaner design. It was designed in 1935 with the V1’s first flight in February 1936 using a Rolls Royce Buzzard V-12 engine. Although the He 118 proved to be a more capable aircraft, Junkers was awarded the contract. Thirteen aircraft were made with two being sold to Japan—the V4 and V5. The Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” is a remarkable look-alike.

He 118V1

V2 and forward all used a Daimler-Benz 600C V-12 for power in its 38.7-foot fuselage and had broad wings spanning 49.2 feet. The ship weighed 9,064 lbs. loaded and 5,940 lbs. empty. Speed was on par with the Ju 87 at 245 MPH and it had a ceiling of 27,887 feet. Range was 652 miles and it could be configured for a crew of two with a rear gunner or just the pilot. 1,100 lbs. was the bomb load.

BMW Flugelrad V-1
Yet another flying disc was conceived by BMW engineers led by a Dr. Miethe near Prague. A BMW 003 with 4 deflection blades was to be the power source but most other details are unknown. That engine would hang underneath the disc and provide thrust and deflection blades would give directional stability as they spun. Diameter was penciled out at 19.6 feet with a height of 7.2 feet. Weight was foreseen at around 6,600 lbs. A single pilot position drawn in at the center of the disc. No armament was stated.

BMW Flugelrad

The Flugelrad V-1 was built in 1943 and made its first flight sometime in the Fall of that year at the Prague/Kbely airfield. The idea behind this odd looking aircraft, was the use of deflection of the exhaust gases from a BMW 003 turbojet upwards to make a 12 bladed disc spin at up to 1,800 RPM. At the same time the exhaust was redirected backwards changing the pitch of the discs blades so it would take off VTO-style and then fly like an autogyro. Only blueprints and drawings are left.


M.K.Tikhonravov 302
M.K.Tikhonravov designed the 302 as a conventional aircraft except for its engines. A rocket in the tail gave the bird flying speed and once in flight at 149 MPH the two ramjets pods with rectangular variable exhausts hung under the wings would light off. In 1943 after delays with both engines it was decided to test the 302 as a glider. Though several flights and wind tunnel tests the aircraft were made the 302 never took to the air under its own power. It was armed with four 20 mm cannon but no further details on the craft are available.

302 never flew under power

M.I.Gudkov Gu-VRD
This early design carried over to post-war Soviet layouts in Yak, MiGs, and LaGGs featuring the turbojet slung below the pilot making a fat front fuselage section and slim taper to the tail. Gudov was a principle in the design of the LaGG-3. The 1943 prototype design implementing the forthcoming 1,540 lb. thrust Lyulka jet engine, the RTD-1/VDR-2, was the USSR's first serious attempt at a jet-powered fighter with no influence from the later-captured German data. In fact save for the jet engine placement, the rest of the plane borrowed heavily from the LaGG-3.

Since the jet engine was not expected for two more years work was halted on the ambitious design which was never concluded.

Looks like post-war Sov jets

The non-swept wings were to span 31.1 feet and the rotund fuselage would have been 29.5 feet long. Stated weight of 4,950 lbs. was empty with about 6,500 lbs. loaded. A maximum speed of 559 MPH was estimated but seems optimistic as the post-war La-150 that bore out this design did only 500 MPH. Range was calculated at 435 miles. A 20 mm cannon and a 12.7 mm machine gun was the conceived armament.

Borovkov-Florov Izdeliye D
There were more Russian aircraft designers than the well-known ones. The "D" was designed by A.A.Borovkov and I.F. Florov in 1940-41. It was a radical layout for the time and was to use a piston engine and ramjet power combination.

D2- very clean design

The D’s 48.5 foot wings were swept 20-degrees. A 2,000 HP Turmansky M-71 V-12 turned a pusher prop while the two Merkulov DM-12 ramjets provided thrust from their positions in the tail booms. Length was 38.3 feet and the plane featured a pneumatic powered ejection seat for the pilot.

Estimated top speed was figured at 520 MPH though ceiling, climb and range projections are unknown. Armament was heavy with two ShVAK 20mm cannon and two NS-37 37 mm cannon. This would have made it a potent ground attacker too.

Because of the German attacks on Russia in 1941 all work stopped on the project as the production facility was in the extreme western USSR. When factory complexes were moved east of the Ural mountains the “D” was not resurrected.


Kawasaki KI 91
By 1943 it was realized that the bombers in active service were not adequate for the way the war was going. Like the Germans, the Japanese relied on twin engine bombers early on but they’d now reached their maximum of technology and performance. A scant few bombers were able to cope with the speeds of American fighters and could take damage. A true long-range heavy bomber was needed that could fly fast.

KI 91 wind tunnel model

The Navy was committed to the G8M Renzan (Mountain Range ) but was hampered by air raids. The Army liked the Kawasaki design for their bomber. Therein lay part of the problem. Here was a country under assault day and night by air and they stubbornly chose to stay divided as rival service factions each demanded their own planes. Had they combined and concentrated their efforts it would have been realized that only one big bomber was needed.

A crew of eight or nine would have been housed in a pressurized fuselage 108.25 feet long. Four Mitsubishi Ha-214 Ru engines of 2,500HP each would have driven the plane to a maximum speed of 360 MPH. A wingspan of 157.5 feet was larger than the B-29’s as was weight calculated at 127,868 lbs. loaded. 8,818 lbs. of bombs could be delivered on a 2,796-mile mission and a maximum range of 6,214 was estimated with lighter ordnance loads.

The KI 91 was to have five power turrets—one in the nose, one on the top of the fuselage, and two beneath the fuselage along with the tail position. All would be equipped with pairs of 20 mm cannon except the tail position which would have four 20 mms!

By early 1945 the prototype was progressing in assembly but a February air raid destroyed all the tooling and jigs for the production facility rendering the project futile that late in the war.

Kayaba Katsoudori
We know that there was collaboration between Germany and Japan in aerial weapons such as the Me 262 and Me 163. Directly mimicked clones of these were built in Japan. But another design, the Heinkel P.1078C, seemingly was seen by the Japanese as well due to the similarity to the Katsoudori. But the Katsoudori was a 1943 project that pre-dated the Heinkel of 1945 so we will never know the truth.

The interest for a rocket-powered interceptor seen in the Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui was taken another step with the conceived use of ramjets in this diminutive fighter. The tailless plane would use four 3,600 lb. thrust solid rocket boosters to accelerate to the required 149 MPH airflow to light up a ramjet. In this case a Kayaba Model 1 or later, ramjet producing 661lbs. of thrust was employed. After taking off using a wheeled dolly like the Me 163 did, the rocket boosters were jettisoned after the ramjet fired up. A belly skid, also like the Me 163’s, was to be used for an un-powered landing at 62 MPH.

Katsoudori looked like P.1078C

In a way the concept was better suited to propulsion as the dangerously volatile fuel used by the German rocket was not present. And with a total tankage of 3,306 lbs. the Katsoudori had a 30-minute flight duration. The Katsoudori was shelved and not resurrected in late 1944 when the Me 163-based rocket-powered designs were born, probably due to the fact that the 163 was already a proven design and the Katsoudori was not. There was no time to do lots of flight testing.

The Katsoudori’s Kayaba ramjet produced 661 lbs. thrust initially and increased to 1,653 lbs. as airflow from speed increased so a projected 559 MPH top speed was envisioned. Climb to 32,808 feet would have taken 3-minutes. This was slower than the Me 163 but a range of 248 miles was expected during the 30-minutes of powered flight. A ceiling of 49,212 feet could have intercepted any plane in 1945.

The wing span was exactly that of the P.1078C but the sweep was 35.5-degrees compared to 40-degrees for the Heinkel. The 14.7-foot length was shorter by five feet also. The Katsoudori was much lighter at 1,873 lbs. empty and 6,613 lbs. loaded. Armament consisted of two 30 mm Type 5 cannon with 45 RPG.

Mitsubishi Type 0
This design was inspired by the Dutch Fokker DXIII of the late 1930s but never progressed to a prototype stage. One Mitsubishi Kinsei radial of 1,000 HP was to pull while another pushed. US intelligence code-named the plane “Harry.” It would probably have had about a 38-foot span and 33-foot length in its twin-boom form weighing some 6,500 lbs loaded and capable of 360 MPH or more.

Type 0

Suzukaze 20
The Suzukaze (cool breeze) was first seen in 1941 though the designer is unknown. It appears that it was a Japanese-published design concept only and no known dedicated work took place. The shape, though a bit radical, was borne out by the French Payen Pa 22 and other designs by Alexander M. Lippisch of Germany.

Pa- 22

The Suzukaze

Two radial engines were coupled to drive one shaft with contra-rotating props for a suggested speed of 400 MPH. In later years improved engine potency would have precluded the need for two engines. Two 7.7 mm machine guns were wing-mounted with a 20 mm cannon featured in the prop hub. Though it is unknown if the Suzukaze 20 was explored by any manufacturer, the Americans gave it the code name “Omar.”

United States

Lockheed L133
Before the famous P-80 Shooting Star came this radical design from Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and Hall J Hibbard at Lockheed in 1939. By 1940 Lockheed was working on a axial-flow turbojet of their own design, the L-1000, which was intended to power the project fighter designated Model L-133-02-01. It was a single-seat, canard design powered by two L-1000 engines. Think of the Curtiss XP-55 on steroids.


At that time the Air Force showed no interest in the project and lost the opportunity to, perhaps, have the world’s first jet in service. So without Air Force support in the form of money, the L-1000 and L-133 research ended. Two years later in 1942 after hearing about German and British advances in jets the Air Force wanted in and called on the Lockheed jet guys. This culminated in the development and deployment of the P-80.

There are no known estimates of power, dimensions or performance for the L-133 other than a proposed four .50 caliber armament.


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    Jet Aircraft of the World
    Macdonald & Co., GB 1955

  • Green, Wm.
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  • Green, Wm.
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    Doubleday, NY 1962

  • Gunston, Bill
    The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft
    Osprey Publishing, UK 1996

  • Myra, David
    Secret Aircraft Designs of the 3rd Reich
    Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Atglen, PA 1998

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