Helwan HA-300

The Helwan HA-300 was a single-engine, delta-wing, light supersonic Interceptor aircraft developed in Egypt during the 1960s. It was designed by the famous German aircraft designer 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 museum exhibits as of 1997.


Helwan HA-300
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Egyptian General Aero Organisation
Origin Egypt
Country Name Origin Year
Egypt 1964
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Egyptian General Aero Organisation 3 View

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. 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.

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. 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.

Front view of HA-300 showing tailed delta-wing and the undercarriage

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, and achieved Mach 1.13. Egypt sent two Egyptian pilots to India in 1964 to prepare for the HA-300 flight development. 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.

Role Single-seat interceptor
National origin Egypt
Manufacturer Egyptian General Aero Organisation
Designer Willy Messerschmitt
First flight 7 March 1964
Status Canceled
Primary user Egyptian Air Force
Produced 1964-1969
Number built 3 prototypes
Program cost EGP 135 million (EGP 16 billion in 2014 values)


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (pilot)
  • Length: 40 ft 7 in (12.40 m)
  • Wingspan: 19 ft 16 in (5.84 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 33 in (3.15 m)
  • Wing area: 179.75 sq ft (16.70 m2)
  • Empty weight: 4,630 lb (2,100 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 12,000 lb (5,443 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Orpheus 703 or (Brandner E-300 turbojet fitted to the third prototype) turbojet
  • Dry thrust: 6275 lbf (28 kN)
  • Thrust with afterburner: 10,582 lbf (47 kN)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.7 (2,100 km/h) projected Mach 2 with Brandner E-300 engine
  • Range: 870 mi (1,400 km)
  • Service ceiling: 59,100 ft (18,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 666 ft/s (203 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 25.755 lb/ft² (125.749 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.88

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × 30mm Hispano or 4 × 23mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannon
  • Missiles: 4 × infrared homing air-to-air missiles

End notes