On this day in history, 1939, German pilot Hans Dieterle set a world record speed when he reached 746,606 km/h (463.919 mph) in a Heinkel He 100 fighter aircraft. Dieterle set the record near the town of Oranienburg, just north of Berlin.
Heinkel, a German aircraft manufacturer, was competing with Messerschmidt in developing innovative aircraft technology. At the time of the record flight, the Heinkel He 100 was still in the development stage, and was powered by a Daimler-Benz DB 601M engine with an output of approximately 1,175 hp.
The aircraft had a V12 engine with liquid cooling, radial compressor, and direct fuel injection. However, for the record flight, Heinkel used a special version that could reach 2,700 hp, but only had a lifespan of 30 minutes. Curiously, the Heinkel He 100 never went into serial production.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense