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English   Henschel Kassel plant
19.08.2010 von admin

Move into the commercial vehicle business provided lifeline

Oscar Henschel resolutely got down to work. In 1924, he extended the product range to include road-building machinery. 1925 saw the introduction of truck production, with the company manufacturing its first truck the same year. It was based on a licence from the Swiss truck manufacturer FBW (Franz Brozincevic based in Wetzikon), came with a five-tonne payload and a 50-hp engine. In the same year, Henschel extended its truck line-up with a seasoned range of trucks boasting a payload of between three and six tonnes. At the same time, the company also brought out its first bus designed to carry 24 passengers.

In the years leading up to the Second World War, Henschel concentrated increasingly on building locomotives and commercial vehicles. In 1930, the family business took over, among other things, the locomotive manufacturing operations of Linke-Hofmann-Busch in Wrocław. And long before Henschel and Hanomag would join forces in the commercial vehicle sector, Henschel took over locomotive production from Hanomag in Hanover in 1931.

Henschel's first truck

Innovations all along the line

As part of commercial vehicle production, Henschel caused a stir with innovations such as a patented cab with a bunk (1929) or a hydraulically operated tipper (1930). The first Henschel three-axle vehicle dubbed “Querfeldein” (cross-country) came onto the scene in 1928, with an illustrious career ahead of it: the Wehrmacht would order 22,000 units between 1933 and 1945. Incidentally, the six-pointed star, later the hallmark of all Henschel trucks, would only adorn wheel hubs, brochures and letterheads through to the 1930s. It originally came from the coat of arms of the wife of Carl Anton Henschel, Oscar Robert Henschel's predecessor.

250 hp from two six-cylinder petrol engines installed in parallel ultimately caused a sensation in 1931. The powerpack was designed for the touring coach, which would grace the emerging motorway network, en route to what would be some great days. In 1931, Henschel simultaneously embarked on its own engine development programme, opting for the Lanova process from Munich-based engineer Franz Lang. This process involved a combination of direct-injection unit and divided-chamber engine – a superior solution that dispensed with preheating.

Henschel 35 H 3 with 250 hp

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