Heinkel He 111
1935
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Heinkel He 111

Like a number of German aircraft which were designed and built in the 1930s, the He 111 was planned from the beginning for a dual-purpose role. The first was in a legitimate civil capacity, during which the engines and airframe would be developed to good standards of reliability, or modified as necessary to attain such high standards. The second role was for military usage by the Luftwaffe which, at the period when a number of Germany's most successful wartime aircraft were being designed and/or developed, was still a clandestine organisation.

The prototype - an all-metal low-wing monoplane powered by two 447kW BMW VI in-line engines - flew for the first time on 24 February 1935. The wings were of semi-elliptical planform, fitted with hydraulically operated trailing-edge flaps, the tailwheel-type retractable landing gear also being hydraulically actuated. Very clean in appearance, the prototype (in bomber configuration) was able to accommodate an internal bomb load of 1,000kg, and was armed with three machine-guns in nose, dorsal and ventral positions. Flight testing proved that, like some British bomber aircraft of the period, its performance equalled or even bettered that of contemporary fighters.

The second prototype was completed as a civil transport and was handed over to Luft-Hansa following the termination of early testing. Subsequently, this aircraft reverted to being used by the Luftwaffe for secret high-altitude reconnaissance missions. Many such missions were flown prior to the outbreak of World War II, both by military and civil aircraft, so that long before wartime operational missions were flown, the Luftwaffe had acquired very detailed documentation of a vast number of important targets.

The fourth prototype was completed as a civil airliner with accommodation for ten passengers in two cabins. Named Dresden, it was delivered to Luft-Hansa on 10 January 1936 and given the full glare of press publicity. Six production airliners, He 111C named Breslau, Karlsruhe, Koln, Konigsberg, Leipzig, and Numberg, enured service from the summer of 1936.

He 111B-1 production bombers began to enter Luftwaffe service in late 1936 and, like many German military aircraft of that period, were blooded first in the Spanish Civil War, gaining valuable experience. In the case of the He 111 it proved somewhat misleading: since its performance was superior to that of opposing fighter aircraft, it could operate unescorted. Similar tactics, when used against British Hurricanes and Spitfires, proved costly and from that time their deployment over Britain was mainly in the role of a night bomber. The mauling by British fighters meant that, as development progressed, He 111 became more heavily armed. Many had 20mm cannon and as many as seven machine-guns.

Most extensively built version was the He 111H, with considerably more than 5,000 built before production ended in 1944. Power plant of this version comprised two Junkers Jumo engines, with power ranging from 752.6kW for the Jumo 221A to 1,323.5kW in the Jumo 213A-1 installed in the final production He 111H-23 paratroop carrier. Other roles fulfilled by this exceptional aircraft included torpedo-bomber, launch platform for Hs 293 glider bombs and V-1 flying-bombs, path finding using Y-Gerate, glider-tug, and with two aircraft "twinned" (He 111Z Zwilling, with a fifth engine at the new joining centre-section) operated as a tug for the Messerschmitt Me 321 Gigant (Giant) glider.

A remarkable aircraft of long life - which speaks well for the excellence of its basic design - examples of Spanish-built aircraft (constructed by CASA post-war) remained in use for crew training into 1970.

Heinkel He 111


Specification 
 MODELHe-111H-16
 CREW1
 ENGINE2 x Jumo 211F-2, 1007kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight14000 kg30865 lb
    Empty weight8680 kg19136 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan22.60 m74 ft 2 in
    Length16.40 m54 ft 10 in
    Height4.00 m13 ft 1 in
    Wing area86.50 m2931.08 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Ceiling6700 m22000 ft
    Range1950 km1212 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 1 x 13mm machine-guns, 3 x 7.92mm machine-guns, 1000kg of bombs

3-View 
Heinkel He 111A three-view drawing (1000 x 750)

Comments
jonah, 26.10.2017

what is the avarege speed of the aircraft

Franco, 29.01.2015

From the manual i've this range data for the H-4 variant (so i've doubt that the H-16 had that on this page)
Configuration
Weight 13.6 ton, with 2x1000 kg bomb on external rack, 4285 liters of fuel and 315 liters of oil.
range 2800 km at 5.5 km altitude in flight at 285 km/h and out flight at 350 km/h

marry, 20.06.2011

glider-tug, and with two aircraft "twinned" (He 111Z Zwilling, with a fifth engine at the new joining centre-section) operated as a tug for the Messerschmitt Me 321 Gigant (Giant) glider.

, 20.06.2011

Heinkel He 111

Ben Beekman, 06.02.2011

Some of the more interesting design features in the developmemt of this outstanding bomber included an asymmetrical, offset, nose (easy to see in a frontal view) that was done to aid the pilot's forward view. The forward firing machine gun was relocated, along with its glazed window panels, slightly to starboard in order to improve the pilot's, seated on the port side, forward view. Another interesting feature was that the pilot could raise his seat so that his head projected through a sliding panel for landing in poor visibility. Finally, there was the "Zwilling" model, used as a tug for Germany's large troop-carrying gliders. This involved joining two He 111's together, one missing its port wing and the other minus its starboard wing. They were joined together by a middle-section wing carrying a fifth engine! The result was a five-engined aircraft having two fuselages and tailplanes with the pilot located in the port fuselage. For more information on this very adaptable bomber see Wm. Green's book "Famous Bombers of the Second World War" (Hanover House, 1959).

wlkriessmann, 22.09.2010

Frangipani 19 -I flew 93 missions 1942/43 with the He111 If you still work on your H111 peoject ask questions wlk

David Leeder, 06.03.2010

Im looking for a set of RC plans any scale although around the 80" wingspan would be good.
Please contact me at daleeder@bigpond.com
cheers
David

Frangipani19, 04.03.2010

I am reading a book called 'Machine Gunners' and I have to do a report on Heinkel HE 111's!!! Does anyone have any interesting fast facts for me plz!! Thanx

Romano_Boni, 05.02.2010

What about a crew?It must be 4-5 men at least!As for details
He.111B-2 -4, He.111H-16 - 5.

dude, 21.09.2009

ure england is pretty bad

CHINESE, 14.06.2009

THE CHINESE AIR FORCE ALSO USED He-111A BOMBERS TO FIGHT AGAINST THE EVIL JAPS!
中國空軍同樣有使用He-111A轟炸機對付日軍!

Tom, 17.03.2009

Hello, i like aviation and i'm interested in ww2 planes. Can you guys tell me something about the 20 mm gunner position? Was it successful at defending against spitfires/hurricanes? Maybe you know what model / company made the cannon?

Geir J. Valla, 31.10.2008

Hello ! I`am collecting parts to a HE 111,and I`am looking for parts to the sterm landing system. Also a manual for this aircraft.

Barrett, 26.10.2008

DID YOU KNOW THAT DURING THE 'STRENGTH THROUGH JOY' CAMPAIGN, THE HE-111 WAS USED TO AIR DROP ICE CREAM TO YOUNG GERMAN CHILDREN?

STEVEN, 16.06.2007

DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE 12 HE-111H BOMBED BASTOGNE ON DECEMBER 1944 DURING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

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