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The Henschel company was a factory for trucks and railroad engines in Kassel. Anticipating a demand of aircraft for the new Luftwaffe they founded an airplane division in Berlin Schönefeld. The buildings of this factory still exist today on the ex-GDR passenger airport Schönefeld and house offices and aviation engineering  operations.

After building a few small aircraft they constructed a dive-fighter and low-level attack plane in 1933, designed with an open cockpit. The aircraft engine was supposed to be an air-cooled 9-cyl. BMW 132Dc with 648 kW/880 hp.

The idea behind the design of a dive-fighter was to hit the target precisely without much effort, just the opposite of carpet bombing.

On several trips to the USA Ernst Udet, a famous WW I fighter pilot and stunt pilot, had seen Navy dive bombers. He bought two of these planes, Curtiss-Hawk biplanes and brought them to Germany, where he demonstrated this technique in air shows.

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Series production began in 1936 and several planes were put to a test in the Spanish Civil War, flying for the „Legion Condor“. In the fall of 1936 the first Luftwaffe units were supplied with these aircraft. Although this equipment was already dated when the war started it rendered good service, especially at the eastern front. Not a single plane survived.

Technical data:

upper wing span 10.50 m; lower wing span 8,00 m; length 8.33 m; height 3.20 m;

wing area 24.85 m; weight empty 1500 kg; take off weight 2215 kg;

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Maximum speed 340 km / h, speed of march 315 km / h in 2000 m, service peak 9000 m, range 855 km; engine: 1 x BMW 132