Heinkel P.1078 B by Planet Models
Decals: One version – Luftwaffe WWII
Comments: Cast resin with vacuform canopy
The Heinkel P.1078 B was a tail-less asymmetric jet-powered interceptor with inverted gull wings swept back to 40 degrees and a short, twin boom fuselage which featured an air intake in between the booms. The cockpit was located on the port side fuselage, while the starboard fuselage contained the nose gear and cannon armament. It was a variant of a single fuselage interceptor developed for the Luftwaffe by Heinkel under the Emergency Fighter Program during the last year of the Third Reich. As part of the Emergency Fighter Program (Jägernotprogramm, in German), at the beginning of 1945 a program was launched by the OKL (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe’s High Command) for a new generation of fighter/interceptor intended to replace the winner of the Volksjäger fighter design competition, the Heinkel He 162. The new aircraft was intended to have superior performance in order to deal with future anticipated high altitude threats such as the B-29 Superfortress, but unfortunately the P.1078 B only had a 30-minute endurance time.
The powerplant was an HeS 011 series turbojet, and the armament was to be two 30mm MK 108 cannon. Onboard radar would have allowed the P.1078B to function as a night fighter. Projected performance included a maximum speed of 1,025 kmh — equivalent to 637 mph, over 70 mph faster than the Messerschmitt Me 262.
Heinkel produced three different designs of the project which were submitted in February 1945. The high-altitude fighter designs brought forward by other German aircraft makers were the Messerschmitt P.1110, the Focke-Wulf Ta 183 Huckebein, the Blohm & Voss P 212 and the Junkers EF 128, the official winner of the competition. The P.1078 B never made it off the drawing board; Heinkel cancelled the project in the face of severe criticism at the end of February 1945. One complaint was that the twin fuselage arrangement would significantly limit the pilot’s visibility to the right side of the aircraft, resulting in a large “blind spot” that could be fatal under combat conditions.
The Heinkel P.1078 B consists of 30 parts, 29 resin and one clear vacuform canopy. One spare canopy is provided. All parts come in a single, compartmentalized clear plastic bag. The largest part is a single cast resin piece forming the wings and twin boom fuselage. This part is unusually smooth and appears to have been either buffed to a high sheen or coated with a clear lacquer — ideal for the immediate application of decals, but not for the painting which must come first. A small amount of flash is present, which will require clean-up. There are wheel wells which feature good internal detail.
The cockpit assembly involves a bottomless tub which is cemented onto the port fuselage boom, and which also forms the forward part of the fuselage except for the tip of the nose. Cockpit components include separate rudder pedals, a control yoke, a seat, and a main instrument panel. There is a central intake between the two fuselage booms, and parts for an intake fan and a cover. As the P.1078 B was to be jet powered, there is a large jet exhaust at the aft end of the fuselage.
The landing gear are well detailed, but there is only one nose wheel, which is fitted into an open wheel well in the starboard fuselage boom. The nose gear cants inward at an angle so that in a head-on view, the nose wheel rests at a point between the fuselage booms but does not quite reach dead center; had the P,1078 B become operational, this feature may have made for some tricky landings. The vacuform canopies have rather weak lines for the framing. The decals are by Aviprint for a single Luft ’46 aircraft, Heinkel P.1078 B “Red 5,”and appear to be of very high quality.