The Henschel Hs 129 should actually be the most dangerous tank Buster of world war II and some of the language first. Important for the attack on ground targets, the protection of the aircraft against fire from light Flak and machine guns. The machine had, unlike the Ju-87 Stuka or the Russian IL-2 Sturmovik, two motors, so you would be able to fly after the failure of one engine. The Russian model has taken the concept to put the crew in a kind of metal tray made of armor plates, so that the soldiers could not be hurt by the barrage.

And, moreover, the Hs 129 had the most powerful cannon, which was built in the Second world war in a plane. The German Stuka were a maximum equipped with two machine guns in the calibre of 38 mm. So you could not hit the front armor of a T-34. The Pilot had to dip in the approach, the nose had aircraft equal to or in a dive attack, so that the projectiles hit the vulnerable roof.

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Ilyushin IL-2 over Berlin in 1945.

©Commons, The Second world war and the dream of a flying tank

The Hs 129 was equipped with a variety of armaments, but for the first time, you dreamed of a flying tank with a proper gun. In a so-called kit is a variant of the combat car was built in cannon 40. You missed shells in caliber of 75 mm. 26 grenades led to the machine, they were brought by an Autoloader in a pipe. With their Fire rate of fire of 40 rounds per Minute, three to four grenades could be a hint fired. In principle, the KwK 40 would have the front armor of a T-34 at 1000 meters shoot through, if the Pilot can meet would be at this distance to be objective. Because he could not be fired from the position of rest, that had to happen in flight.

in Spite of the powerful weapon, experience with the Hs 129 were rather disappointing. It is not a 1000 pieces of the aircraft were built. This was mainly due to the poor flight characteristics, the engines were simply too weak for the overweight bird.


Hs 129 in 1943, in the attack of flight in the vicinity of the kasserin pass, Tunisia

©91050/United_Archives/TopFoto Picture-Alliance

The Hs-129 only has a top speed of 400 km/h reached, unlike the Ju-87 or the Sturmovik, the Hs 129 had no rear gunner for defense from enemy fighters or attack aircraft. Without fighter protection, the lumbering aircraft could not be used.

The 75-Millimeter-thick armored glass of the aircraft disabled, the view of the pilot. Also, the French Gnôme-Rhône 14M were the engines of the Hs 129 extremely sensitive to dust. The engines to be set quickly during the flight. In Africa, a squadron lost more machines due to the engines than by enemy action.

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Also, the idea of the Pak 40L, proved to be a bust The design of the weapon is a car charger proved to be masterful, but it was not possible to compensate for the heavy recoil of the powerful gun. As the United States built the Erdkamp aircraft A-10 Fairchild-Republic – called the Warthog, was the engineers aware of the fact that the whole airframe had to be constructed so that they could return to withstand shock and vibration of the powerful 30-mm Gatling cannon GAU-8/A Avenger. The Germans mounted just a tub with the tank cannon under the plane. The sheer weight of cannon and Minution brought the machine to its limit.

In case of fire, the return was a shock so strong that the plane was uncontrollably thrown from the train. In a final sequence was mostly to think.

the pilots of the Hs 129 was still popular, because the machine was different than the German Ju-87 is very resistant against enemy fire. Known Pilot Rudolf-Heinz Ruffe. Him 80 downed tank can be attributed. Despite the strong armor he was shot down. His machine suffered in 1944 a direct hit on the Soviet anti-aircraft – it exploded immediately, Ruffe was killed.

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graphic artist Jim Laurier is a painter of the dramatic scenes of the air battles of the Second world war . He shows these old aircraft, as it can be historical photos in color and in use.