During a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford a few years ago, I came across a dismantled Heinkel 162 placed in the storage area. The aircraft was originally suspended from the ceiling of the entrance gallery in the Imperial War Museum in London, and as the building was being refurbished at the time it was placed in rather untidy storage at Duxford amongst other exhibits. This was lucky for me as I was about to build the Tamiya kit, painted as a stripped down version in plywood and natural metal. A word with one of the staff and I was allowed to access the jumble of parts and photograph them. Of particular interest to me was the nose cone which I had previously understood to be made of plywood, and could be quite a challenge to replicate on the model. Examining the nose cone on the table I was surprise to see that this one was definitely metal, and I got my chaperone to confirm it by tapping it! This was my excuse for avoiding replicating an awkwardly shaped wooden finish on my model, but I remember it attracting a number of comments when I posted the completed model on line.
The original display label explains some of the key details about the aircraft, and although I haven’t been to the newly refurbished IWM in London, I can only assume that it is now back in place and looking a lot happier.
The images below show the nose in detail and the paint chipping off a metal surface. This may not be consistent with the manufacture of other aircraft, and it may be that the nose was a later replacement. Who knows.
In the end I didn’t need to use the photographs as reference, but they do show some interesting constructional details. Whilst the metal components are clearly evident around the engine area and wheel wells, the wooden tail and wings are now covered in a few layers of modern paint. The large mounting bracket in front of the cockpit was used to support the aircraft from the ceiling.