March 30 THIS DAY IN AMERICAN HISTORY

March 30, 1939 – The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h). The Heinkel He 100 was a German pre-World War II fighter aircraft design from Heinkel. Although it proved to be one of the fastest fighter aircraft in the world at the time of its development, the design was not ordered into series production. Approximately 19 prototypes and pre-production machines were built. None are known to have survived the war. The reason for the failure of the He 100 to reach production status is subject to debate. Officially, the Luftwaffe rejected the He 100 to concentrate single-seat fighter development on the Messerschmitt Bf 109. Following the adoption of the Bf 109 and Bf 110 as the Luftwaffe’s standard fighter types, the RLM announced a “rationalization” policy that placed fighter development at Messerschmitt and bomber development at Heinkel. Because there are no surviving examples, and since many factory documents – including all blueprints for the He 100 – were destroyed during a bombing raid, there is limited specific information about the design and its unique systems.

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