The Heinkel He162 was a single-seat jet-powered fighter flown by the Luftwaffe in WWII. Known as the Volksjäger (People’s Fighter), the He162 was fast owing to the fact it was made primarily of wood. The concept behind the He162 was to create a cheap, mass-produced “throwaway fighter” to counter the superiority of Allied fighters and bombers that were wreaking havoc on Germany. A requirement for such a fighter was issued in September 1944, and within 90 days of the Heinkel design being selected, the company had a prototype in the air on 6 December 1944. Deliveries of the first He162 aircraft to an operational unit, I./JG 1, occurred in February 1945, with the first combat taking place in mid-April. It was an effective aircraft, but it suffered from production teething issues and a lack of experienced pilots.
Orange Box has issued a 1/48 scale kit of an He162A-2 Volksjäger fighter. Based on an existing tooling of this innovative German fighter, the kit comes with bonus parts. One of these is pre-formed photo-etched parts for the cowling cover hinges. These parts enable the cover to be movable, and permit more details to be seen when the He162 engine cowling is open. Other elements of the aircraft are made precisely to scale as plastic-injected parts. As well as the aforementioned photo-etched parts, there is also a complete set of photo-etched components for items such as a cockpit instrument panel and seatbelt for the pilot. This 1/48 aircraft model possesses all the value that the Orange Box label represents, and it will surely take pride of place in any model aircraft collection.