Helwan HA-300

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HA-300
HA-300 side.jpg
Role Single-seat interceptor
National origin Egypt
Manufacturer Egyptian General Aero Organisation
Designer Willy Messerschmitt
First flight 7 March 1964
Retired May 1969
Primary user Egyptian Air Force
Number built 3 prototypes
Program cost EGP 135 million (EGP 14 billion in 2009 values)

The Helwan HA-300 (Arabic: حلوان ٣٠٠‎) was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft developed in Egypt during the 1960s. It was designed by famous German aircraft engineer Willy Messerschmitt.

At various stages, Spain and India were involved in the development program. Spain agreed to finance two projects, the HA-200 and the HA-300, but cancelled financing the HA-300 project when it was just on paper. Then Egypt financed it, and the program transferred to Egypt where every part was built.

At a late stage India financed the Egyptian development of the Egyptian E-300 engine to use it on the Indian fighter jet HF-24 Marut.

The HA-300 was an ambitious project for Egypt, at the time seeking to expand both its civilian and defense aviation industry.

There were three prototypes built before termination of the project in 1969 when the fighter jet was about to enter service.

The first prototype was restored in 1991 and is now in the Deutsches Museum in Munich (Flugwerft Schleißheim).[1]

Design and development[edit]

Origin[edit]

After World War II, Willy Messerschmitt was prohibited as a German citizen from undertaking any further research or development related to the German military, including the manufacture of aircraft, until 1955. He therefore moved to Spain where he joined Hispano Aviación and started designing an ultra light fighter aircraft in 1951.[2] The development was very slow and Messerschmitt was only able to build a delta shaped plywood glider without a tail. Towed by a CASA 2.111, the test flight for the glider wasn't completed due to instability and the airplane didn't get airborne. Due to funding problems and the resultant long development time, Spain abandoned the project in 1960.[3]

Egypt then acquired the design. The design team, headed by Messerschmitt, moved to Helwan, Egypt, to continue its work on the HA-300, which now stood for Helwan Aircraft 300.[1] Ferdinand Brandner, an Austrian jet engine expert, was also invited to develop a turbojet for the new fighter. Egypt aimed to produce a lightweight supersonic, single-seat fighter that could join the Egyptian Air Force as an interceptor.[4]

HA-300[edit]

Development of the Egyptian HA-300 started in the test facilities and workshops in Factory No. 36 in Helwan, southeast of Cairo, under the supervision of the Egyptian General Aero Organisation (EGAO); officially the program started in 1959.

The first prototype of the HA-300, powered by a 2,200 kgp Orpheus Mk 703-S-10, first flew on 7 March 1964,[5] and achieved Mach 1.13.[6] Egypt sent two Egyptian pilots to India in 1964 to prepare for the HA-300 flight development.[1] It was followed by a second Orpheus-powered prototype which first flew on 22 July 1965. The third and last prototype was fitted with the Egyptian E-300 engine, which it was hoped would make it capable of attaining 12,000 m and Mach 2.0 within 2.5 min of takeoff. This prototype was flight-tested at least once when it achieved a speed of Mach 2.1 with the Egyptian Brandner E-300 engine.

A total of 135 million Egyptian pounds was spent on the development, and the E-300 engine was given to the Indian government for use in the HF-24 Marut fighter.[3]

E-300 Engine[edit]

Brandner E-300 engine
Main article: Brandner E-300

The HA-300 was originally designed for the afterburning Orpheus BOR 12 turbojet, but the engine did not achieve the minimum level of success Egypt required in the fighter jet[citation needed]. President Nasser saw from the beginning a major threat to the national security in depending on British engine, because of the hostility that time between Egypt and Great Britain after the 1956 Suez crisis.

The fighter jet was then modified for the Egyptian Brandner E-300 engine, which would have an afterburning rating of 4,800 kgp, which achieved a high level of performance.

India also helped in the funding of the Egyptian E-300 jet engine in exchange for using it as a new powerplant for its HF-24 Marut.[1] The E-300 jet engine ran successfully for the first time in July 1963.[3]

Termination[edit]

After its defeat in the Six-Day War, Egypt needed most of its military budget for acquiring new tanks, artillery, TU-16 heavy bombers, aircraft and air defenses. Due to this and the Soviet pressure to stop the program to prevent the HA-300 to win the challenge against the Soviet Mig-21[citation needed], the high availability of Russian fighters with Soviet pilots, and the special discounts for arms sales to Egypt, the Egyptian government terminated the project finally in May 1969.[2][4]

Survivors[edit]

Helwan HA-300

The first HA-300 prototype was bought by Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG (DASA) in 1991 and was airlifted to Germany for restoration at Manching. The process took MBB five and a half years to complete, and today the HA-300 is in the Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim at Oberschleißheim near Munich.[1] The second prototype is on display at the aviation museum at Al-maza Egyptian Air Force Base in Cairo away from public view.[citation needed] The third, the first E-300 powered pre-production variant, is on display at the Helwan factory in Egypt.[citation needed]

Operators[edit]

 Egypt

Specifications (HA-300)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (pilot)
  • Length: 12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 16.7 m2 (180 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)
  • Gross weight: 5,443 kg (12,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Orpheus 703 or Brandner E-300 turbojet, 21.6 kN (4,900 lbf) thrust (Orpheus)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.1 with Brandner E-300 engine, 1.7 Bristol Orpheus engine
  • Combat range: 1,400 km (870 mi; 756 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,055 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 203 m/s (40,000 ft/min)

Armament

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Group Captain Kapil Bhargava. "Messerschmitt's HA-300 and its Indian Connection". MEMOIRS. Indian Air Force. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Hispano Aviácion HA 300". EADS. 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  3. ^ a b c Ace (2006-12-10). "The Egyptian Helwan HA-300". Aviation fans. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  4. ^ a b Bahaa, Mohamed (2007-11-28). "Helwan-300: The Egyptian Interceptor Project". Aviation Articles. e-sac. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  5. ^ Bhargava, Group Captain Kapil. "Eyewitness to the Six-Day War". The Sixties. Indian Air Force. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  6. ^ "Helwan HA-300". Flug revue. 1998-07-14. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 

External links[edit]