A Heinkel He-280 takes off for a test flight. Notice the missing engine cowling. Early flights were carried out with cowlings removed in order to minimize the risk of fire as a result of dripping fuel. (Credits: Bundesarchiv)

Heinkel He 280 – Germany’s First Jet Fighter

Could Germany have gotten a jet fighter into combat much earlier than it did? What if the Reich had rushed the Heinkel He 280 into service rather than waiting for the similar Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter that came later? Could Germany have gotten a jet fighter into combat much earlier than it did? What …

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