MAVAG Heja Airplane Videos and Aircraft Pictures

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Airplane Picture - MAVAG Héja-II

MAVAG Heja Warbird Information

MAVAG Heja

Airplane Picture - MAVAG Héja-II

Aircraft Picture - MAVAG Héja-II

Role: Fighter
Manufacturer: MAVAG
First flight: 1940
Introduction: 1941
Retired: 1945
Primary user: Royal Hungarian Air Force
Number built: 204
Developed from: Reggiane Re.2000

The MAVAG Héja ("Hawk") was a Hungarian fighter aircraft based on the Italian Reggiane Re 2000.

Design and development

In December 1939 seventy Reggiane Re.2000 fighters, purchased from Italy, were delivered to the Magyar Kirx¡lyi xllami Vas-, Acél- és Gépgyx¡rak, ("Royal Hungarian State Iron, Steel and Machine Works"), where they were modified into MAVAG Héja I ("Goshawk I") fighters. The original Piaggio P.XI engines were replaced by the Hungarian-built Manfred Weiss WM K-14 driving Hamilton Standard three-bladed, constant-speed propellers. The WM K-14 was a licensed copy of the French Gnome-Rhx´ne 14K engine that necessitated a 1-foot 3-inch lengthening of the fighters forward fuselage, to restore the center of gravity to a safe position. The Piaggio engine was itself also a copy of the Gnome-Rhx´ne 14K, but less reliable than the original.

A decision was soon made to produce more Héja fighters under license in Hungary as the MAVAG Héja II (Goshawk II). The new Héja II was entirely Hungarian with locally produced airframes, engines and armament. The new fighter differed from the Reggiane fighter in a number of ways. Armament was changed to 2 x— 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) Gebauer fixed forward-firing guns in the upper nose with 300 rounds each. Length was 27 ft 6.25 inch (8.39 m), and maximum level speed was 301 mph (485 km/h) at 13,780 ft (4,200 m). Endurance was 2 hours and 30 minutes. The first MAVAG Héja II took to the air on 30 October 1942, and in total MAVAG built a further 203 Héjas for the Royal Hungarian Air Force. The last aircraft was completed on 1 August 1944 when production ceased.

Operational history

The Kingdom of Hungary was allied to Nazi Germany during World War II, with at least one Hungarian squadron flying the MAVAG Héja in combat on the Eastern Front. However, most Héjas operated inside Hungary in an air defense role or as a trainer.

In September 1942, personal tragedy struck the Hungarian Regent Miklx³s Horthy, when 37-year-old Istvx¡n Horthy, Horthy's eldest son, Deputy Regent of Hungary and a Flight Lieutenant in the reserves, was killed while flying Heja V.421 of 1/1 Fighter Squadron Royal Hungarian Air Force near Ilovskoye.

In 1943, 98 Héjas were produced and another 72 in 1944. They were regarded as no longer suitable for combat against modern Soviet fighters and should have served as fighter trainer only. The Luftwaffe was reluctant to re-equip it's Hungarian ally: the deliveries of aircraft went primarily to front-line formations and there was still danger of a Hungarian-Romanian conflict. Moreover, Hitler held an extremely bad opinion of the Hungarian aviators. So, the Hungarian Air Force was forced to use the licence-built Reggiane.

The last offensive sortie of the Hejas took place on 2 April 1944, when 180 15th Air Force USAAF bombers, escorted by 170 fighters, bombed the Danube Aircraft Works in Budapest and other targets. The Fighter Control Centre dispatched one wing of Hejas from 1/1 Fighter squadron, along with a couple of Messerschmitt Me 210Cas and 12 Bf 109Gs. The Honvéd pilots claimed 11 American aircraft (six of them confirmed). USAAF pilots reported to have shot down 27 Hungarian aircraft, while only two Hungarians were killed.

Operators

Hungary

Royal Hungarian Air Force
2 Vadx¡szszx¡zad based at Szolnok
Szazad Heja
1/2.Szazad 'Keresztes pok
2/1.Szazad 'Keresztes pok
1/1.Vadaszszazad
2/1.Vadaszszazad
1/1.Szazad Dongo

Specifications (Héja II)

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 8.39 m (27 feet 6 inches)
Wingspan: 11.00 m (36 feet 1 inch)
Height: 3.10 m (10 feet 2 inches)
Empty weight: 2,070 kg (4,563 pounds)
Loaded weight: 2,520 kg (5,555 pounds)
Powerplant: 1 x— Gnome-Rhx´ne (Manfred-Weiss) 14kfs Mistral-Major, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine, 694 kW (1030 hp)

Performance

Maximum speed: 485 km/h at 4,200 m (301 mph at 13,780 feet)
Range: 900 km (560 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,138 m (26,700 feet)

Armament

Guns: Two fixed forward-firing 12.7 mm (0.50 inch) Gebauer motor-driven machine guns in the fuselage nose

Avionics

Bibliography

Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books, 2001. ISBN 978-1840652697.
Neulen, Hans Werner. In the Skies of Europe. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press, 2000. ISBN 1-86126-799-1.

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Source: WikiPedia

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