Heinkel He219A-5 “Uhu” Night Fighter

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAI had never been particularly interested in night fighters (of any nationality) until I read Night Duel Over Germany–but then I was hooked and wanted to explore some of the specialized machines I had learned about. In its desperate campaign to meet Bomber Command’s night-time onslaught against the Reich, the Luftwaffe equipped various pre-existing designs, for instance the Me110 and Ju88, for the night fighter role–to great effect–but there were also purpose-built aircraft, such as the He219 I have modeled here.

He219 A5_005


Judged by some to have been “the best night fighter of the war,” the Uhu (“Eagle Owl”) incorporated everything the Germans had learned about aerial combat in the dark. This version of the He219 was equipped with the antler-like “Liechtenstein” SN2 FuG (FunkGerät) 220 forward-facing and FuG 214 rear-facing radar systems¹ for detecting the RAF’s bomb-laden intruders. For armament, the He219A-5 boasted four forward-firing 20mm cannon under the fuselage and the dorsally mounted Schräge Musik system, which fired two 30mm cannon obliquely upward, a diabolically effective means of ambushing an unsuspecting bomber (such as my Lancaster) from below. Something between 100 to 200 He219s of all types appear to have been produced,² not enough to have made a strategic difference in the campaign.




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