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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Heinkel He 111 bomber, Spaten (Spade)

Photos

  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 K5a bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 K5a bomber
  • Heinkel He 111 bomber

Design

Due to restrictions after World War I the Heinkel He 111 was disguised as an airliner, and flew with Lufthansa starting in 1934.1,4,6 It however, could be converted into a bomber.1

Crew

The pilot sat on the left, and the bombardier on the right in the cabin.1 There was a gangway that went between the bomb racks back to the rear compartment that held the gunners and radio operator.1

There was a ventral gondola that had a MG in it.1 However, it was called the Sterbebett (Deathbed) as it was very vulnerable to attacks from below.1

Cockpit

The allies soon learned to attack from the front of the He 111 as there was no armor in front.1

The early models had the more normal stepped cockpits.3

Wings

The broad dihedral wings gave excellent stability and the ability for the He 111 to carry heavy loads.1

Fuselage

The fuselage and tail section was made from metal, including the skin.1 The allowed for great durability, and sometimes could even fly with a destroyed elevator.1

Rocket Assist

Rockets could be fitted to help the He 111 take off from short or rough fields or with heavy loads.1

Range and Bomb Load Comparison

Bomber Range and Bomb Load Comparison

Prototype

The He 111 first flew at Marienehe on February 24, 1934.1,2,3

The He 111H prototype first flew in January 1938.3

The He 111V8 (became the He 111P) prototype first flew in January 1938.3

Production

Over 7,300 He 111s were produced.1,2

  • Heinkel He 111A: 103
  • Heinkel He 111B: ~3003
  • Heinkel He 111C: 53
  • Heinkel He 111E: ~1903
  • Heinkel He 111F: 703
  • Heinkel He 111G: 103
  • Heinkel He 111H: ~6,2003
    • Produced from 1938 to 1944.3
  • Heinkel He 111J: 903
  • Heinkel He 111P: ~4003
    • Produced from 1938 to 1940.3
  • Total: nearly 7,0004, over 7,3001,2,3
    • Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel A.G.4,6

Bomber Production Comparison

Variants

  • Heinkel He 111V1: Prototype.3 Had BMW 6.0Z (660 HP) engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111V2: Transport prototype.3 Had seats for 10.3 Had BMW 6.0Z (660 HP) engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111V7: Prototype with DB 601Aa engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111V8: A modified He 111B-0 with a new nose.3
  • Heinkel He 111A: Pre production with BMW engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111B-1: Had stepped wind screen and elliptical leading edges on the wings.2 Had Daimler-Benz DB 600 engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111B-2: Had Daimler-Benz DB 600 engines.3 Had coolant radiators on each side of the engines below the wings.3
  • Heinkel He 111C: Transport.3 Carried 10 passengers.3
  • Heinkel He 111D: Experimental.3 Had new DB 600 engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111E: Had Junkers Jumo engines.3 Larger bomb load.3
  • Heinkel He 111E-4: Had bomb racks under the wings.3
  • Heinkel He 111F: Straight leading wing edge.2 Jumo engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111G: Had BMW 132 or DB 600 engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111H: Had fully glazed nose with no wind screen steps.3 Had Junkers Jumo 211 engines.2 Went to units in 1939.4
  • Heinkel He 111H-2: Increased armor.3 More defensive armament.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-3: Bombing and anti shipping.3 20 mm cannon in nose.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-4: Had Junkers Jumo 211D-1 engines (1,400 HP).3 Racks for bombs under the wings.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-5: More fuel.3 Only carried external bombs.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-6: Had Junkers Jumo 211F-1/2 engines.3 Larger bomb load.3 Could carry torpedo.2 First to units in 1941.4 Used successfully against Atlantic convoys.4
  • Heinkel He 111H-8: Had a balloon cable fender.2
  • Heinkel He 111H-10: Night bomber version.3 First to units in 1943.4 Larger bomb loads.4
  • Heinkel He 111H-11: Dorsal gun was completely enclosed.3 Defensive armament was changed.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-11/R2: Glider tug for the Go 242.2,7
  • Heinkel He 111H-12: Could launch tow Henschel Hs 293A, FuG 203, or FuG 230 missiles.3,4,7 First to units in 1943.4 Larger bomb loads.4
  • Heinkel He 111H-14: Pathfinder version with special radio.2,3
  • Heinkel He 111H-15: Torpedo version.2
  • Heinkel He 111H-16: Had an increase in armament.2,3 Built by license in Spain after World War II.4
  • Heinkel He 111H-16/R2: Could tow glider.7
  • Heinkel He 111H-18: Pathfinder version with special radio.2 Night bomber.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-20: A transport that could carry 16 paratroopers.2,3 Could tow a glider.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-20/R1: Transport that could carry 16 paratoopers.7 Could carry two 1,764 lb / 800 kg supply containers on external racks.7
  • Heinkel He 111H-20/R2: Glider tug.7
  • Heinkel He 111H-21: Had Junkers Jumo 213 engine (1,750 HP).3
  • Heinkel He 111H-22: Carried a Fi 103 missile.2 Could carry V1 under port wing.3
  • Heinkel He 111H-23: Transport to carry eight paratroopers.3,4,7 First to units in 1944.4
  • Heinkel He 111J: Torpedo bomber.3 Had DB 600 engines.3
  • Heinkel He 111P: Had a fully glazed asymmetric nose with no wind screen steps.2,3 Had a DB 601Aa engine.2 Delivered in 1939.2
  • Heinkel He 111P-0: Pre production that appeared in 1938.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-1: Deliveries began in early 1939.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-2: Deliveries began in May 1939.3 Had new radio equipment.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-3: Dual control trainer.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-4: Heavier armor.3 More defensive armament.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-6: Had DB 601N (1,175 HP) engines.3 Modified dorsal gun position that was now enclosed.3
  • Heinkel He 111P-6/R2: Glider tug conversion.3
  • Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling (twin): Was two He 111s joined together with a fifth engine.2,3,7 Used to tow a Me 323 or three Go 242s.2,3,7

Usage

Models used by which countries:

  • Heinkel He 111A: China3
  • Heinkel He 111B: Germany and Spain3
  • Heinkel He 111E: Germany and Spain3
  • Heinkel He 111F: Turkey3
  • Heinkel He 111G: Turkey3
  • Heinkel He 111H: Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia3
  • Heinkel He 111P: Germany and Hungary3

Early World War II

The He 111s were extensively used in the early German campaigns.3

There were over 400 He 111Hs in service by September 1939.3,4

Spain

The Condor Legion was supplied with the He 111 in the Spanish Civil War.1 They received 30 He 111B-1s in February 1937.2,3

Battle of Britain

The He 111s proved to be vulnerable to the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Royal Air Force (RAF).4

Specifications

  Heinkel He 111
Type Medium bomber3
Crew 43
  Heinkel He 111B-2
Type Medium bomber3
Crew 43
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 600CG3
Cylinders Inverted V 123
HP 950 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"3
22.6 m3
Length 57' 5"3
17.5 m3
Height 14' 5.25"3
4.41 m3
Weight  
Empty 12,875 lb3
5,840 kg3
Loaded 18,960 lb3
17.5 m3
Maximum load 22,046 lb3
10,000 kg3
Performance  
Speed at sea level 186 mph3
299 kph3
Speed  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
230 mph3
370 kph3
Cruising speed 174 - 214 mph3
280 - 344 kph3
Service ceiling 22,966'3
7,000 m3
Range 1,030 miles3
1,657 km3
Range with bomb load 565 miles3
909 km3
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG3
Dorsal 1: 7.9 mm MG3
Ventral 1: 7.9 mm MG3
Bombs 3,307 lb3
1,500 kg3
  Heinkel He 111H
Type Bomber6, Torpedo bomber6
Dimensions  
Span 74' 3"6
22.6 m6
Length 54' 6"6
16.6 m6
Height 13' 9"6
4.2 m6
Wing area 942 sq ft6
87.6 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 17,000 lb6
7,720 kg6
Loaded 26,500 lb6
12,030 kg6
Maximum load 31,000 lb6
14,075 kg6
Performance  
Speed at 17,000' /
5,185 m
250 mph6
400 kph6
Cruising speed  
Climb to 17,000' /
5,185 m
20 minutes6
Service ceiling 27,500'6
8,390 m6
Range 1,750 miles6
2,800 km6
  Heinkel He 111H-2
Type Bomber4
Crew 54
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211 A-34
Cylinders V 124
Cooling Liquid4
HP 1,100 each4
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1"4
Length 53' 9"4
Height 13' 1"4
Weight  
Loaded 30,865 lb4
Performance  
Speed 252 mph4
Service ceiling 27,900'4
Range 1,280 miles4
Armament 6: MG4
Bombs 5,501 lb4
  Heinkel He 111H-3
Type Medium bomber3
Crew 5 - 63
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211D-13
Cylinders Inverted V 123
HP 1,200 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"3
22.6 m3
Length 53' 9.5"3
16.39 m3
Height 13' 1.5"3
4 m3
Weight  
Empty 17,000 lb3
7,711 kg3
Maximum load 30,865 lb3
14,000 kg3
  Heinkel He 111H-6
Type Medium bomber3, Torpedo bomber7
Crew 5 - 63, 67
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 2111F-1/23, Junkers Jumo 211F-17
Cylinders V 127
Cooling Water7
HP 1,350 each3, 1,400 each7
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"3,7
22.6 m3,7
Length 53' 9.5"3, 53' 11.5"7
16.39 m3, 16.45 m7
Height 13' 1.5"3, 13' 1.75 m7
4 m3,7
Wing area 931.07 sq ft7
86.5 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 19,158 lb7
8,690 kg7
Maximum load 30,864 lb7
14,000 kg7
Performance  
Speed at 19,685' /
6,000 m
270 mph7
435 kph7
Climb to 6,562' /
2,000 m
8.5 minutes7
Service ceiling 27,887'7
8,500 m7
Range 1,181 miles7
1,900 km7
Armament 6: 7.92 mm MG7
Nose 1: 20 mm7
Tail 1: 7.92 mm7
Bombs 2: 2,205 lb7
2: 1,000 kg7
OR 2: LT F5b torpedoes7
  Heinkel He 111H-16
Type Medium bomber1,2
Crew 4 - 51, 52, 5 - 63
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F-2 piston1
2: Junkers Jumo 211F piston2
Cylinders Inline2
HP 1,350 each1,2
Fuel capacity Inner wing: 182 gallons1
Inner wing: 700 liters1
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1"1, 74' 1.75"2,3
22.6 m1,2,3
Length 53' 9"1, 53' 9.5"2,3
16.393, 16.4 m1,2
Height 13' 1"1, 13' 1.25"2,3
3.4 m2, 4 m1,3
Wing area 931 ft2 1, 931.07 ft2 2
86.5 m2 1,2
Weight  
Empty 19,096 lb1, 19,136 lb2,3
8,680 kg1,2,3
Loaded 30,800 lb1, 30,865 lb2,3
14,000 kg1,2,3
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
252 mph3, 271 mph2
405 kph3, 436 kph2
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,000 m
270 mph1
435 kph1
Cruising speed 205 - 239 mph3
330 - 385 kph3
Climb to 13,120' /
4,000 m
23.5 minutes3
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
42 minutes2
Service ceiling 21,980'2,3, 28,000'1
6,700 m2,3, 8,500 m1
Range 1,200 miles1, 1,212 miles2, 1,280 miles3
1,950 km1,2, 2,060 km3
Armament 1: 20 mm1,3
1: 13 mm1
7: 7.9 mm MG3
9: 7.92 mm MG1
Nose 1: 20 mm MG FF2
Dorsal 1: 13 mm MG3
1: 13 mm MG 1312
Ventral 2: 7.2 mm MG 152
Beam 2: 7.9 mm MG 812
Bombs 4,409 lb2, 7,165 lb3, 7,775 lb1
2,000 kg2, 3,250 kg3, 3,307 kg1
  Heinkel He 111H-16/R
Type Glider Tug7, Paratroop Transport7
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F-27
Cylinders 127
Cooling Water7
HP 1,350 each7
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.8"7
22.6 m7
Length 57' 5"7
17.5 m7
Height 14' 5.2"7
4.4 m7
Wing area 942.9 sq ft7
87.6 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 19,136 lb7
8,680 kg7
Loaded - Maximum 30,865 lb7
14,000 kg7
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
249 mph7
400 kph7
Service ceiling 21,982'7
6,700 m7
Range 1,212 miles7
1,950 km7
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm MG FF7
Dorsal Turret 1: 13 mm MG1317
  Heinkel He 111K5a
Type Bomber5
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211a5
Cooling Liquid5
HP 1,200 each5
Dimensions  
Span 74' 3"5
Length 54' 6"5
Height 13' 9"5
Weight  
Loaded 25,000 lb5
Performance  
Speed 274 mph5
Range 2,150 miles5
Armament 6: MG5
Bombs - internal 8: 550 lb5
Bombs - external 1: 1,000 lb5
  Heinkel He 111P
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 6016
  Heinkel He 111P-4
Type Medium bomber3
Crew 4 - 53
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 601A-13
Cylinders Inverted V 123
HP 1,100 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"3
22.6 m3
Length 53' 9.5"3
16.39 m3
Height 13' 1.5"3
4 m3
Weight  
Empty 17,670 lb3
8,015 kg3
Maximum load 29,762 lb3
13,500 kg3
Performance  
Speed at sea level 176 mph3
283 kph3
Speed @ 16,400' /
5,000 m
200 mph3
322 kph3
Cruising speed 168 - 193 mph3
270 - 310 kph3
Climb to 6,650' /
2,000 m
14.2 minutes3
Service ceiling 14,765'3
4,500 m3
Range 1,224 miles3
1,970 km3
Armament 6 or 7: 7.9 mm MG3
Bombs 4,410 lb3
2,000 kg3
  Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling
Type Glider tug6, Bomber6
Crew 56
Pilot, navigator / bombardier, radio operator / gunner, gunner (2)
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F6
5: Jumo7
Cylinders Inverted V 126
Cooling Water6
HP 1,300 each6
Propeller blades 3 blade VDM controllable pitch full featering6
Fuel capacity 940 gallons6
Dimensions  
Span 115' 5.8"7, 115' 6"6
35.2 m6,7
Length 54' 8"6
16.7 m
Weight  
Loaded 62,500 lb6, 62,832 lb7
28,375 kg6, 28,500 kg7
Performance  
Speed Towing 140 mph7
225 kph7
Speed at 16,000' /
4,880 m
298 mph6
477 kph6
Range 1,180 miles6
1,890 km6
Armament  
Nose 2: 13 mm MG 1316
Ventral 2: 7.9 mm MG 816
Upper - Rear Firing 1: 13 mm MG 1316
Laterals 2: 7.9 mm MG 816
Bombs 8: 550 lb6
8: 250 kg6
OR 2: Torpedoes6
OR 4: Hs 293 radio controlled glider bombs6

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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