Following its involvement in the Spanish Civil War, the Luftwaffe, or German Air Force, decided that it needed a purpose-built close ground-attack aircraft. A Henschel design eventually won the contract and the Hs 129 ‘Panzerknacker’ (or, ‘Tank Buster’) entered service in December 1941.
The first variants of the Hs 129 proved to be underpowered. After the fall of France, German engineers fitted a pair of French Gnome-Rhône 14M radial engines and the Hs 129 Panzerknacker began its stunning military service career.
With these engines, the Hs 129B2 was equipped with two 7.92mm machine-guns and two 20mm cannon in nose. Another version replaced the 3cm cannon pod with an array of four additional 7.62mm machine guns, for a total of six machine-guns and two 20mm cannons.
By 1944, it was apparent that the 3.7cm cannon was too old for tank-busting duty, and the Hs 129B3 received a massive firepower upgrade. The 3.7cm cannon pod was replaced with the 7.5cm gun from a Panzer IV!
The 7.5cm gun was fed by an auto-loader system with initially twelve rounds, which was later expanded to 26 rounds. The cannon was fed from an ammunition bin behind the cockpit. A sophisticated hydraulic system absorbed the massive recoil of the gun.
Despite this, however, the cannon would slow the aircraft down to dangerous stall speeds after firing more than three rounds!
With the new gun, the Panzerknacker could destroy any armored vehicle in the field!
• 3x Hs 129 aircraft
• Weapons variants to model the Hs 129B or Hs 129B3
• 3x Flying stands
• 1x Decal sheet with German Markings