there's one of those He 162s in the Technical Museum in Berlin and you can walk right up to it; it is both terrifying and awesome at the same time. You know that if competent pilots were let loose in them, they could cause havoc. Even today, it has a look of moderness about it..............as for the glue story, RAF bombers flattened the original glue factory and the Germans had to farm out the task to other manufacturers. Bear in mind that they had been glueing aircraft together for nearly forty years and were quite up to speed on what worked and didnt work. Unfortunately for them, putting wooden aircraft into underground factories and trying to make aircraft glue work with indifferent temperature control, ill-trained and reluctant slave labour, excessive moisture and constant interruption meant that they were accidents waiting to happen.
It is said that the slave labourers in the underground plant used to piss in the glue, which made it fail to cure properly.
Considering that it went from drawing board to prototype in 6 weeks it is a remarkable aeroplane. Given more time it could have developed into a potent mass produced lightweight fighter as good as the Me262, but much cheaper and easier to build. Future planned versions would have had forward swept or gull wings, butterfly 'v' tails, 2x30mm cannons for destroying bombers and extended endurance, and possibly powered by the more powerful Junkers Jumo 004 engine in place of the BMW 003 unit. Although that would have been to trade speed for reliability as the JJ 004 could only be relied upon for 4-25hrs of flight time before needing major overhaul or replacement.
I sat in the cockpit of one that was stored at RAF St Athan whilst on an Air Cadet Camp in the 80s. It had less instruments than some gliders! But the idea that it could be flown by Hitler Youth pilots was insane, and shows how unhinged the Nazi regime was by 1944/5. Eric 'Winkle' Brown flew a captured one in 1945 and said it was a very pleasant aircraft to fly. That aircraft is now in the RAF Museum at Hendon. Someone has nicked the ejector seat though. (No. It wasn't me)
According to the relatively unknown but widely experienced wartime ATA pilot, Lettuce Curtis (an odd name and no relation to the American manufacturers) ".... it i s hard to imagine how, even in wartime, such an aircraft could have been accepted from the factory, let alone given valuable cargo space across the Atlantic... "