30.03.

1939: Heinkel He 100 Aircraft Set a World Speed Record in Hitler’s Germany

1939: Heinkel He 100 Aircraft Set a World Speed Record in Hitler’s Germany
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 30 March 1939
  • It was powered by a Daimler-Benz engine of up to 2700 hp. The engine was a V12 with liquid cooling, radial compressor and direct fuel injection.

On this day in Hitler’s Germany a pilot Hans Dieterle set an absolute world speed record for aircraft. He was able to reach a speed of 746,606 km/h in a Heinkel He-100 fighter aircraft. 

It was a great success for the company Heinkel, which was at that time competing with Messerschmidt in developing aircraft technology. The record was set at the town of Oranienburg, north of Berlin.

The Heinkel He 100 aircraft was still in the stage of development. This model was propelled by a Daimler-Benz DB 601M engine with an output of about 1,175 hp.

It had a V12 engine with liquid cooling, radial compressor and direct fuel injection. However, a special version of the engine was used for achieving the record, which could reach even 2,700 hp, but had a lifespan of only 30 minutes.

Despite setting the world record, the Heinkel He 100 never went into serial production. The reason for this remains rather mysterious to this day. The official explanation was that Heinkel must concentrate on the bombers and Messerschmitt on fighter aircraft.

But it is difficult to say what the real reason was. It is well known that the powerful Hermann Goering led the Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) – which was responsible for that sector – at his sole discretion.

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