|Contributed by: Erick Royer | Published: April 2003 | Views: 38722 | Email this Article
IN THIS REVIEW
36" (914 mm)
28.7" (730 mm)
217 sq. in. (14 dm2)
12.6 oz. sq/ft.
No. of Channels:
Kavan Ducted Fan 300 size
Hitec 555 Micro Receiver
3 (ailerons, elevator, throttle)
Hitec HS-55 Micro Servos (ailerons-2,
8 Cell NiCD 600 Mah
HISTORY OF THE
HEINKEL HE-162 "SALAMANDER"
In 1944, Germany's air defense problems were
increasingly worsening; On top of that Hitler's
industrial plants were often the victim of Allied
bomber raids always straining what little
resources they had left. Germany needed a new
fighter that was less expensive and also able to
be produced faster. From this thinking the Heinkel
HE-162 was brought forward to fill the void.
Pilots were to be recruited largely from the
Hitler youth and the initial production rate at
the beginning was to be 1,000 aircraft per month,
rising quickly to 4,000 aircraft per month.
Extensive component sub-contracting as well as
underground assembly facilities were to be used to
produce the numbers desired. The specification was
issued on September 14th, 1944 and the aircraft
was to be ready for mass production by the January
1st 1945. Production requirements called for a
minimum of strategic materials as well as the use
of non-specialist laboring its manufacture. It
also had to weigh less than 4,409 lbs, be able to
take off in no more than 1,640 ft., and carry two
30 mm cannons. The result was an aircraft with a
one-piece wing of wooden construction, a
semi-monocoupe fuselage of duralumin, and a
plywood nose and nose wheel doors. In addition to
the 153-gallon fuel tank behind the cockpit, the
wing was sealed between main and auxiliary spars
to provide an integral tank with a 39.6-gallon
capacity. The supplied BMW 190-003E-1-turbojet
engine mounted on top provided the aircraft with
1,764 lbs. of thrust, simplifying installation and
avoiding problems with intake and tail pipe
ducting. Chief test pilot Flugkapitan Peter flew
the prototype on December 6th, 1945, bringing the
aircraft to a speed of 522 mph and an altitude of
On December 10th, before military and government
personnel, the starboard wing leading edges were
torn off during a high-speed pass that resulted in
the crash of the aircraft and the loss of life to
the test pilot. The second prototype flew on
December 22nd along with other development
aircraft in the program that lead to the findings
of some aerodynamic problems. The third and fourth
prototype flew on the 16th of January 1945.
Both of these aircraft had a few design changes to
correct the problems from the earlier setbacks.
These changes included wingtip extensions as well
as increasing the overall
surface area of the vertical tail. The 30 mm cannons
proved to be to heavy for the lightweight airframe
so instead two 20 mm cannons were substituted. A
total of 116 HE 162s were built, and more than 800
were in various stages of assembly when the
underground centers were overrun.
Full Scale Specs
Type: Single seat fighter
Span: 23 feet 7 1/2 in.
Length; 29 ft. 8 1/4 in.
Height: 8 ft. 4 1/2 in.
Weight: empty 4,520 lb. max. take off 5,941 lb.
Armament: two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon
Engine: one 1,764 lb. thrust BMW 003A-1 turbojet
Max speed: 522 mph at 19,685 ft.
Range: 410 miles
Service Ceiling: 39,500 ft
To be honest, until I saw this plane on Hobby
Lobby's website, I had never heard of it before. I
remember thinking how funny looking it was. It
wasn't until I got on the Internet and did some
research on this amazingly odd looking aircraft
that I started to appreciate it. Comparing the
pictures of the full-scale plane to the picture on
the box, I was very impressed at Kavan's ability
to duplicate this magnificent aircraft with such
The Salamander is powered by a speed 300 motor and
an electric ducted fan (EDF) unit that is housed
in a pod above the wing. A 3-channel control
system (throttle, elevator, and ailerons) is all
that is needed to fly the HE-162. The plane is
constructed completely out of foam. A lot of
detail is molded into the foam such as panel
lines, rivets, and hatches. The top of the
fuselage and wing surfaces are painted olive green
and the bottom surfaces are sky blue. This is my
first "foamie" and I was very impressed with the
quality and detail.
as they come out of the box
It is important to note prior
to assembly that foam surfaces on the model
can be easily dented and bruised if proper
care is not taken. I like to place an old
beach towel on my building bench to provide
a cushion that will protect the foam parts.
by installing the servos in each wing panel.
I used two Hitec HS-55 Micro servos for the
ailerons. Before mounting the servos, I
connected them to the receiver to make sure
that they were centered. The Hitec servos
come with 2 different control horns: one
with large holes and one with smaller holes.
Be sure to use the servo horns with the
smaller holes for this model, as the pushrod
wires are very thin.
Servo is installed the the wing and
the hatch is held in place with
The servo lead exits the hole near
the root of the wing.
will have you epoxy the servo directly
inside the wing's servo pockets. Thinking ahead, I
decided to wrap the servo with electrical
tape first and apply epoxy to the tape
rather than the servo's case. To install the
servo, I fed the wires through the wing
halves and out the opening near the root. I
mixed up a couple drops of 5-minute epoxy
and held the servos in position until it
Next, I attached the aileron pushrods to the
servo horns and marked the control horns
location on the pushrod. I made an L bend on
the pushrod and cut off the excess wire. The
rod is held in place on the control horn
with a small piece of plastic tube, that is
CA'd to the wire.
The last step is
to install the servo hatch covers to the
wing with clear transparent tape.
Alternatively you could use epoxy, but in
case the servo ever failed, I wanted to be
able to remove the hatch.
I created a 1.5"
spacer from scrap wood and used it to prop
up one wing tip while laying the other wing
flat on the table. This gave me the proper
dihedral for the wings center section. I
used a sanding block to lightly sand the
angle until it was correct. I did not glue
the wing halves together at this time.
AND FUSELAGE ASSEMBLY
picture on the box cover, I was able to
determine how the vertical fin was
positioned on the horizontal stab. I
roughened the glue surfaces by placing small
holes with a T pin. I used this method
throughout the model to ensure a strong glue
joint. I mixed up some 5-minute epoxy and
attached the fin to the stab making a left
and right side. Be sure that the fin is 90
degrees. Once the glue has cured, I mixed up
some more epoxy and made a small fillet on
either side of the joint to increase its
Vertical fin attached to the
horizontal stabilizer with 5-minute
Supplied template is use to obtain
the proper angle of the tail
the two plastic bulkheads next. There is
an indentation in the foam on the inside
of the fuselage to indicate where the
bulkhead goes. My hands are rather large
causing me a bit of a hard time reaching
in to set them in place while the epoxy
cured. The bulkheads have slots in them on
the sides for the landing gear wire (if
you choose to use the gear) so you must
make sure they are glued in well.
Main bulkhead is held in place with
5-minute epoxy. It also serves
main landing gear mount.
Front bulkhead is epoxied in place.
It serves as the nose gear mount.
servo rails next. I attached a Hitec HS-55
Micro Servo to the rails prior to
installing them so I could be sure the
spacing was correct. I mounted them as far
back and as high up as I could in the
cockpit area to allow room for the battery
to slide in and out. I attached the servo
rails to the fuselage with 5-minute epoxy,
and used some of the extra epoxy to attach
the elevator pushrod tubes to the top of
the rear bulkhead.
Balsa servo rails are epoxied into
I trial fit
the wing halves in the fuselage, using
some light sanding to ensure a good fit. I
mixed up a generous amount of 5-minute
epoxy to secure the wing in place. It is
important to not only put epoxy in the
center of the wing, but also run a bead
where the wing meets the fuselage. I used
a small spatula soaked in rubbing alcohol
to make a nice even fillet. I held the
wings together while the epoxy cured
making sure that the dihedral angle was
correct, and the wing was properly seated
as shown in the instructions.
Slide the wing halves into the
fuselage and check for proper
Use a generous amount of epoxy to
attach the wing halves together
and to the fuselage.
After the wing
has cured, I glued the fuselage
cover in place with 5-minute epoxy. Be
sure to use a good amount of glue on this
as it also serves as the mount for the
motor pod. If you get excess epoxy on the
outside of the fuselage, you can use your
finger dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove
it. If you use paper towel and alcohol,
make sure you do not rub too hard or you
might remove the paint.
Next, I trial
fit the tail surfaces in the fuselage.
They fit pretty well without any
adjustments to the openings. The kit
includes a foam angle gauge that you will
need to use to correctly position the tail
surfaces. I applied 5-minute epoxy to the
openings in the fuselage and slid one
stabilizer into position. Then, using a
Popsicle stick, I applied epoxy to the end
of the stab where it will meet the other
horizontal stabilizer. I slid the other
stabilizer into position and placed the
gauge on top of the tail surfaces. This
part was a little tricky because I had to
hold the stabilizers, the gauge, and the
plane all at the same time. Looking at the
fuselage from behind, I made sure that the
top of the gauge was level with the top of
the fuselage cover. This will ensure the
angles remain correct in relation to the
Elevator pushrods are connected
Completed tail surfaces
the pushrods to the elevator control horns
and secured them in place with the small
plastic retainer and a drop of CA. I
installed an EZ-connector on the servo arm
and slid the two elevator pushrods through
the connector, making sure everything is
centered before tightening down the
The main ducting for the EDF unit comes as 4
separate plastic pieces. Using a sharp
knife, I cut the parts away from the mold.
There is a lip on each piece that will allow
it to mate with the other half. Following
the diagram in the manual, I constructed the
front and rear tubes, gluing them together
with medium CA.
Completed Duct Tubes
At this time, I
prepared the motor and fan unit. The first
step was to solder the capacitors from the
negative and positive terminals to the
outside can of the motor. It helps to scuff
the motor a bit with some sandpaper first.
Next, I soldered the wire harness to the
motor, making sure the polarity correctly
matches the plug on the Jeti speed
controller. I mounted the motor to the fan
housing and attached the fan as indicated in
the manual. There is a section of the manual
that deals with balancing the fan blade. The
fan can spin at a very high rpm and if the
fan is not balanced, it can vibrate and
cause damage to the model or worse. I
checked my fan blade and found that it was
pretty close to perfect so I decided to
leave it alone.
Jeti Speed Controller
installing the fan unit in the plane, I
connected the battery and the speed control
to the EDF and checked to make sure the fan
spun in the proper direction when the
throttle was advanced. Everything checked
out OK, so I proceeded to mount the EDF to
the rear plastic tube. This is simply done
by wrapping electrical tape around the fan
unit and tube. I cut a hole in the bottom of
the tube for the motor wires to enter the
fuselage. Next, I glued the intake lip to
the front tube with medium CA. I cut 3
pieces of foam, 40 mm long, and attached
them to the 9, 12, and 3 o'clock positions
on the front tube.
Motor installed in fan unit
Fan unit is attached to the rear
with electrical tape
The outer pod
comes in 2 halves, an upper and lower. Using
a flat razor blade I cut away the excess
foam making sure I was really careful to
have a straight seam where the two halves
will join together. I attached the front
tube to the lower pod with a small amount of
5-minute epoxy. The only part that gets
epoxy is the inside lip of the intake ring.
The remainder of the tube will float inside
the foam pod. I cut out the indentation on
the lower pod for the motor wires with a
Wrap foam around the front flange
on the fan unit
Cut flashing away from the upper
and lower pods
Next, I glued
the lower pod to the fuselage cover. Again,
I used 5-minute epoxy for this. Be very
careful that the pod is correctly positioned
along the centerline of the fuselage. Make
sure the hole for the motor cable matches up
with the hole in fuselage cover.
Apply the foam
dampening material to the front lip of the
EDF unit and place a 40mm piece of foam at
the 12 o'clock position on the rear tube. I
carefully fit the EDF unit into the flange
of the front tube. It is a tight fit and the
foam will reduce vibration from the fan.
Once the completed plastic tube is in place,
the top foam pod is glued onto the lower
with 5-minute epoxy. I found that you really
needed to compress the outer pods together
to obtain a tight seam along the sides, so I
opted to glue the left seam first. Then,
once it cured, I compressed the top cover
and held pressure on it while I glued the
right seam. I covered the glue joint with
green self-adhesive tape. The last step was
to epoxy the antenna ring on top of the pod
and the fillets on the back of the wing.
The front tube is mounted to the
The EDF unit is installed to the
front tube in the lower pod.
Completed EDF Unit
View inside the EDF unit.
The kit comes with some green paint, that I
used to detail the canopy frame. When the
canopy was finished, I epoxied a pin to the
back of the canopy and inserted it into the
fuselage. It will act as a hinge to gain
access to the battery. There is a tab on the
front of the canopy that slides under the
front of the cockpit opening to secure it in
Inside the cockpit, I made a balsa plate
(not included in the kit) that I glued to
the bottom of the cockpit floor to support
the battery. I used Velcro to hold the
battery in place. Before installing the
battery, I checked the center of gravity
(CG), which is between 40-45mm from the
leading edge of the wing. The
CG Machine is an excellent tool for this. I
positioned the battery to obtain the proper
CG and made a mark on the battery and
fuselage so if I needed to remove the
battery, I could easily put it back in the
The last step on the kit is the installation
of the landing gear. I do not have access to
a paved runway and the included wheels are
too small to work in the grass, so I opted
to leave the gear off the plane.
The kit comes with decals to complete the
authentic look of the aircraft.
Elevator servo, speed control, and
battery are all installed
The Receiver is installed on the
Video of the HE-162
Band Width Version - Windows
Media File 4.0 meg.)
Video of HE-162 with landing
Media File 1.6 meg.)
Video of HE-162 without
landing gear From
Media File 1.7 meg.)
This HE-162 is
considered a park flyer. However, because it
uses an electric ducted fan for propulsion,
you'll need to give yourself a little more
flying area than with a propeller-powered
As I mention above, I am choosing to
hand-launch the model. To accomplish this,
grab the fuselage below the main wing, apply
full power, and toss it straight and firmly
into the wind. Let the HE-162 build up speed
for about 10 yards before applying up
elevator. The model will drop as you release
it but if properly balanced and trimmed, it
will begin to fly and remain level. You do
not need a big running start, a simple hand
toss should be sufficient.
To be honest, I was not sure what to
expect with this model. The generous
dihedral in the main wing led me to believe
that it would be stable, but the EDF mounted
above the wing concerned me that the
stability might suffer. I am glad to
report that this model is very stable.
Our test flights
were with a 10 mph steady breeze. This
is probably the most wind that I would fly
the model in. The 300 size
EDF moved the plane along at a good rate.
I would not call it fast, like you might
expect from a jet, but I would not call it a
Most of the
flight was either at full power or very
close to it. On high rate ailerons the
model rolls pretty well. Several
attempts were made at a loop, but the model
would keep falling out at the top.
Being that this was a scale Warbird and not
really designed for aerobatics, no other
maneuvers were attempted.
The HE-162 feels
much like a trainer in the air. It is
very stable and controls are soft when setup
as the manual directed.
There were no bad stall characteristics
Landings were simple. Just reduce the
power on final and expect the model to float
a bit. Keep feeding in up
elevator until the model just about flairs.
And it will touch down gently on the belly
The HE-162 was a real pleasure to fly.
The average flight time was 4-5 minutes with
the 600 mAH 8 cell battery pack.
HE-162 "Salamander" EDF
If you are a fan of scale
German warbirds, or have a love for electric ducted fan
aircraft, the Heinkel HE-162 "Salamander" is for you. Kavan
did an excellent job providing good part fit and scale detail.
All of the components come painted and ready to assemble. The
instructions are good for any intermediate modeler. Once
airborne, the model has excellent flying characteristics with
no bad habits and not to mention that unmistakable whine of
the EDF. Check out
Hobby Lobby for more information on this
R O D U C T I N F O R M A T I O N
Hobby Lobby International
5614 Franklin Pike Circle
Brentwood, N.J. 37027 USA
Hitec RCD USA, Inc.
12115 Paine St.
Poway CA, 92064
Corporation of America
Distributed Exclusively in the U.S.A.,
Canada and Mexico by:
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.
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