Heinkel he 162 Salamander. Scale PSS model.
Quote: "Try this 59in span Power Scale Soarer with a difference. PSS Salamander, by Neil McHardy.
The Heinkel HE 162 Salamander was an aircraft with a remarkable genesis; from drawing board to flying prototype was only a matter of months and with production estimates that would amaze most car manufacturers. The machine on paper would seem to be the ideal cheap, light fighter, but history proves that the reality of all this industriousness was not that the aircraft would be the 'defence of the Reich' fighter, but an aeroplane that was a perfect terror to fly for the inexperienced. Being of very steeply forward swept trailing edges and high wing loading, the tendency to side slip and tip stall was so bad that the huge anhedral tips and root stall strips were necessary to control these tendencies.
The wings were made entirely of wood due to the lack of prime materials and the fuselage was a composite of alloy and wood.
The prototype lost a wing flap on its acceptance flight, low level at over 500mph. The outcome of this was the death of the test pilot, but the decision to go ahead with the ambitious production run was agreed, and all this in late 1944. It is thought that around 300 were made but very few ever reached operational status mainly due to lack of trained pilots and lack of fuel, which was diesel oil.
After the war British test pilots flew these machines and found them to be surprisingly well sorted aircraft, providing important rules were never transgressed, mainly to do with landing speeds and rudder operation at high speed.
When I first saw the Volksjaeger (people's fighter) I was attracted to the beautiful fuselage shape, even though it had a hump on its back, but this made it to me an ideal candidate for a semi scale model, and I was rewarded with an unusual and, after a few early difficulties, eventually a wonderful flying machine. The final accolade for me was the winning of a PSS competition at Rivington Pike in 1989 with this model, something which still gives me a great sense of achievement.
Fuselage construction: If you have built a model boat before then this job should be an absolute doddle! I prefer not to build onto the drawing so all the formers were marked on to a centre line drawn onto the building board. Now with all your formers carefully cut out and the horizontal and vertical centre lines marked boldly on them cut them all in half across the horizontal line. Take the lower keel piece and slot it into the formers - it should have all the former positions marked on it. Now, with it all assembled, dry pin it down to the centre line marked on the building board and square everything up. When it's all secure to the board, glue all the keel/former joints with pva, wriggling them to get the glue in.
Plank the structure with medium soft 1/8 balsa working up from the building board on either side. Don't forget to transfer the holding down pins to the outside. Use plenty of pins to secure the planks which will have to be spliced at either end to make up the length; you can use cyano for this. Don't be tempted into using cyano for the planking though, as the resulting hard ridges are impossible to sand off afterwards. Use aliphatic resin (yellow pva) or Loctite wood bond rapid, as these are very easy to sand..."
Salamander, Radio Modeller, December 1993.
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Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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