Henschel Hs 123; an airbrush illustration by Les Still - Mystic Realms

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Henschel Hs 123
Henschel Hs 123; an airbrush illustration by Les Still
Henschel Hs 123; an airbrush illustration by Les Still
 Henschel Hs 123
Origin;- Henschel Flugzeugwerke AG
Type;- Single engine dive bomber and close support.
Engine;- One 880hp BMW 1132 Dc nine cylinder radial.
Dimensions;- Span 34' 6" (10,5m), length 27' 4" (8.3m),   height 10'7" (3.2m).
Weights;- Empty 3,316lb (1504kg), loaded 4,888lb (2217kg).
Performance;- Maximum speed 214mph (345km/h), initial climb   2,950' (900m) /min, service ceiling 29,530' (9000m), range   530 miles (859km).
Armament;- Two 7.92mm Rheinmetall MG 17 machine guns ahead   of pilot, underwing racks for four 110lb (50kg) bombs, or   clusters of anti personnel bombs or two 20mm MG FF cannon.
History;- First flight spring 1935 ( public display given 8   May ), first delivery ( Spain ) December 1936; final   delivery October 1938.
Development;- Though representing a class of aircraft   generally considered obsolete by the start of World war 2,   this trim little biplane was kept hard at work until 1942,   achieving results which in retrospect seem almost   unbelievable. The prototype needed extensive modification to   produce the A-1 production version, which was tested in the   Spanish Civil war. Contrary to the staff college theories   then adhered to by the newly formed Luftwaffe, the Henschels   were able to give close support to ground troops of a most   real and immediate kind, strafing and bombing with great   accuracy despite the lack of any radio link or even an   established system of operation. Eventually the Luftwaffe   realised that the concept of a close support aircraft was   valid and a few Henschels were allowed to operate in this   role, but all the effort and money was put in to the JU87   and the Henschel was phased out of production before world   war 2. Yet in the Polish campaign these aircraft proved   unbelievably useful, having the ability to make pinpoint   attacks with guns and bombs and, by virtue of careful   setting of the propeller speed, to make a demoralising   noise. Moreover, it established an extraordinary reputation   for returning to base even after direct hits by AA shells.   As a result, though the whole force was incessantly   threatened with disbandment or replacement by later types,   the HS123 close support unit II(Schlacht) LG2 was sent   intact to the Balkans in April 1941 and thence to the USSR.   Here the old biplanes fought round the clock, proving far   better adapted to the conditions than more modern types and   continued in front line operations until, by the end of   1944, there were no more left.

from Military Aviation Library - World War 2 German   Aircraft.
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