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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. It however, could be converted into a bomber.

Crew

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

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

Cockpit

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

The early models had the more normal stepped cockpits.

Wings

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

Fuselage

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

Rocket Assist

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

Range and Bomb Load Comparison

Bomber Range and Bomb Load Comparison

Prototype

The He 111 first flew at Marienehe on February 24, 1934.

The He 111H prototype first flew in January 1938.

The He 111V8 (became the He 111P) prototype first flew in January 1938.

Production

Over 7,300 He 111s were produced.

  • Heinkel He 111A: 10
  • Heinkel He 111B: ~300
  • Heinkel He 111C: 5
  • Heinkel He 111E: ~190
  • Heinkel He 111F: 70
  • Heinkel He 111G: 10
  • Heinkel He 111H: ~6,200
    • Produced from 1938 to 1944.
  • Heinkel He 111J: 90
  • Heinkel He 111P: ~400
    • Produced from 1938 to 1940.
  • Total: nearly 7,000, over 7,300
    • Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel A.G.

Bomber Production Comparison

Variants

  • Heinkel He 111V1: Prototype. Had BMW 6.0Z (660 HP) engines.
  • Heinkel He 111V2: Transport prototype. Had seats for 10. Had BMW 6.0Z (660 HP) engines.
  • Heinkel He 111V7: Prototype with DB 601Aa engines.
  • Heinkel He 111V8: A modified He 111B-0 with a new nose.
  • Heinkel He 111A: Pre production with BMW engines.
  • Heinkel He 111B-1: Had stepped wind screen and elliptical leading edges on the wings. Had Daimler-Benz DB 600 engines.
  • Heinkel He 111B-2: Had Daimler-Benz DB 600 engines. Had coolant radiators on each side of the engines below the wings.
  • Heinkel He 111C: Transport. Carried 10 passengers.
  • Heinkel He 111D: Experimental. Had new DB 600 engines.
  • Heinkel He 111E: Had Junkers Jumo engines. Larger bomb load.
  • Heinkel He 111E-4: Had bomb racks under the wings.
  • Heinkel He 111F: Straight leading wing edge. Jumo engines.
  • Heinkel He 111G: Had BMW 132 or DB 600 engines.
  • Heinkel He 111H: Had fully glazed nose with no wind screen steps. Had Junkers Jumo 211 engines. Went to units in 1939.
  • Heinkel He 111H-2: Increased armor. More defensive armament.
  • Heinkel He 111H-3: Bombing and anti shipping. 20 mm cannon in nose.
  • Heinkel He 111H-4: Had Junkers Jumo 211D-1 engines (1,400 HP). Racks for bombs under the wings.
  • Heinkel He 111H-5: More fuel. Only carried external bombs.
  • Heinkel He 111H-6: Had Junkers Jumo 211F-1/2 engines. Larger bomb load. Could carry torpedo. First to units in 1941. Used successfully against Atlantic convoys.
  • Heinkel He 111H-8: Had a balloon cable fender.
  • Heinkel He 111H-10: Night bomber version. First to units in 1943. Larger bomb loads.
  • Heinkel He 111H-11: Dorsal gun was completely enclosed. Defensive armament was changed.
  • Heinkel He 111H-11/R2: Glider tug for the Go 242.
  • Heinkel He 111H-12: Could launch tow Henschel Hs 293A, FuG 203, or FuG 230 missiles. First to units in 1943. Larger bomb loads.
  • Heinkel He 111H-14: Pathfinder version with special radio.
  • Heinkel He 111H-15: Torpedo version.
  • Heinkel He 111H-16: Had an increase in armament. Built by license in Spain after World War II.
  • Heinkel He 111H-16/R2: Could tow glider.
  • Heinkel He 111H-18: Pathfinder version with special radio. Night bomber.
  • Heinkel He 111H-20: A transport that could carry 16 paratroopers. Could tow a glider.
  • Heinkel He 111H-20/R1: Transport that could carry 16 paratoopers. Could carry two 1,764 lb / 800 kg supply containers on external racks.
  • Heinkel He 111H-20/R2: Glider tug.
  • Heinkel He 111H-21: Had Junkers Jumo 213 engine (1,750 HP).
  • Heinkel He 111H-22: Carried a Fi 103 missile. Could carry V1 under port wing.
  • Heinkel He 111H-23: Transport to carry eight paratroopers. First to units in 1944.
  • Heinkel He 111J: Torpedo bomber. Had DB 600 engines.
  • Heinkel He 111P: Had a fully glazed asymmetric nose with no wind screen steps. Had a DB 601Aa engine. Delivered in 1939.
  • Heinkel He 111P-0: Pre production that appeared in 1938.
  • Heinkel He 111P-1: Deliveries began in early 1939.
  • Heinkel He 111P-2: Deliveries began in May 1939. Had new radio equipment.
  • Heinkel He 111P-3: Dual control trainer.
  • Heinkel He 111P-4: Heavier armor. More defensive armament.
  • Heinkel He 111P-6: Had DB 601N (1,175 HP) engines. Modified dorsal gun position that was now enclosed.
  • Heinkel He 111P-6/R2: Glider tug conversion.
  • Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling (twin): Was two He 111s joined together with a fifth engine. Used to tow a Me 323 or three Go 242s.

Usage

Models used by which countries:

  • Heinkel He 111A: China
  • Heinkel He 111B: Germany and Spain
  • Heinkel He 111E: Germany and Spain
  • Heinkel He 111F: Turkey
  • Heinkel He 111G: Turkey
  • Heinkel He 111H: Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia
  • Heinkel He 111P: Germany and Hungary

Early World War II

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

There were over 400 He 111Hs in service by September 1939.

Spain

The Condor Legion was supplied with the He 111 in the Spanish Civil War. They received 30 He 111B-1s in February 1937.

Battle of Britain

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

Specifications

  Heinkel He 111
Type Medium bomber
Crew 4
  Heinkel He 111B-2
Type Medium bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 600CG
Cylinders Inverted V 12
HP 950 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 57' 5"
17.5 m
Height 14' 5.25"
4.41 m
Weight  
Empty 12,875 lb
5,840 kg
Loaded 18,960 lb
17.5 m
Maximum load 22,046 lb
10,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 186 mph
299 kph
Speed  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
230 mph
370 kph
Cruising speed 174 - 214 mph
280 - 344 kph
Service ceiling 22,966'
7,000 m
Range 1,030 miles
1,657 km
Range with bomb load 565 miles
909 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG
Dorsal 1: 7.9 mm MG
Ventral 1: 7.9 mm MG
Bombs 3,307 lb
1,500 kg
  Heinkel He 111H
Type Bomber, Torpedo bomber
Dimensions  
Span 74' 3"
22.6 m
Length 54' 6"
16.6 m
Height 13' 9"
4.2 m
Wing area 942 sq ft
87.6 sq m
Weight  
Empty 17,000 lb
7,720 kg
Loaded 26,500 lb
12,030 kg
Maximum load 31,000 lb
14,075 kg
Performance  
Speed at 17,000' /
5,185 m
250 mph
400 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb to 17,000' /
5,185 m
20 minutes
Service ceiling 27,500'
8,390 m
Range 1,750 miles
2,800 km
  Heinkel He 111H-2
Type Bomber
Crew 5
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211 A-3
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,100 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1"
Length 53' 9"
Height 13' 1"
Weight  
Loaded 30,865 lb
Performance  
Speed 252 mph
Service ceiling 27,900'
Range 1,280 miles
Armament 6: MG
Bombs 5,501 lb
  Heinkel He 111H-3
Type Medium bomber
Crew 5 - 6
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211D-1
Cylinders Inverted V 12
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 53' 9.5"
16.39 m
Height 13' 1.5"
4 m
Weight  
Empty 17,000 lb
7,711 kg
Maximum load 30,865 lb
14,000 kg
  Heinkel He 111H-6
Type Medium bomber, Torpedo bomber
Crew 5 - 6, 6
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 2111F-1/2, Junkers Jumo 211F-1
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Water
HP 1,350 each, 1,400 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 53' 9.5", 53' 11.5"
16.39 m, 16.45 m
Height 13' 1.5", 13' 1.75 m
4 m
Wing area 931.07 sq ft
86.5 sq m
Weight  
Empty 19,158 lb
8,690 kg
Maximum load 30,864 lb
14,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at 19,685' /
6,000 m
270 mph
435 kph
Climb to 6,562' /
2,000 m
8.5 minutes
Service ceiling 27,887'
8,500 m
Range 1,181 miles
1,900 km
Armament 6: 7.92 mm MG
Nose 1: 20 mm
Tail 1: 7.92 mm
Bombs 2: 2,205 lb
2: 1,000 kg
OR 2: LT F5b torpedoes
  Heinkel He 111H-16
Type Medium bomber
Crew 4 - 5, 5, 5 - 6
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F-2 piston
2: Junkers Jumo 211F piston
Cylinders Inline
HP 1,350 each
Fuel capacity Inner wing: 182 gallons
Inner wing: 700 liters
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1", 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 53' 9", 53' 9.5"
16.39, 16.4 m
Height 13' 1", 13' 1.25"
3.4 m, 4 m
Wing area 931 ft2 , 931.07 ft2
86.5 m2
Weight  
Empty 19,096 lb, 19,136 lb
8,680 kg
Loaded 30,800 lb, 30,865 lb
14,000 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
252 mph, 271 mph
405 kph, 436 kph
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,000 m
270 mph
435 kph
Cruising speed 205 - 239 mph
330 - 385 kph
Climb to 13,120' /
4,000 m
23.5 minutes
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
42 minutes
Service ceiling 21,980', 28,000'
6,700 m, 8,500 m
Range 1,200 miles, 1,212 miles, 1,280 miles
1,950 km, 2,060 km
Armament 1: 20 mm
1: 13 mm
7: 7.9 mm MG
9: 7.92 mm MG
Nose 1: 20 mm MG FF
Dorsal 1: 13 mm MG
1: 13 mm MG 131
Ventral 2: 7.2 mm MG 15
Beam 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
Bombs 4,409 lb, 7,165 lb, 7,775 lb
2,000 kg, 3,250 kg, 3,307 kg
  Heinkel He 111H-16/R
Type Glider Tug, Paratroop Transport
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F-2
Cylinders 12
Cooling Water
HP 1,350 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.8"
22.6 m
Length 57' 5"
17.5 m
Height 14' 5.2"
4.4 m
Wing area 942.9 sq ft
87.6 sq m
Weight  
Empty 19,136 lb
8,680 kg
Loaded - Maximum 30,865 lb
14,000 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
249 mph
400 kph
Service ceiling 21,982'
6,700 m
Range 1,212 miles
1,950 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm MG FF
Dorsal Turret 1: 13 mm MG131
  Heinkel He 111K5a
Type Bomber
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211a
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,200 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 3"
Length 54' 6"
Height 13' 9"
Weight  
Loaded 25,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 274 mph
Range 2,150 miles
Armament 6: MG
Bombs - internal 8: 550 lb
Bombs - external 1: 1,000 lb
  Heinkel He 111P
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 601
  Heinkel He 111P-4
Type Medium bomber
Crew 4 - 5
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 601A-1
Cylinders Inverted V 12
HP 1,100 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 74' 1.75"
22.6 m
Length 53' 9.5"
16.39 m
Height 13' 1.5"
4 m
Weight  
Empty 17,670 lb
8,015 kg
Maximum load 29,762 lb
13,500 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 176 mph
283 kph
Speed @ 16,400' /
5,000 m
200 mph
322 kph
Cruising speed 168 - 193 mph
270 - 310 kph
Climb to 6,650' /
2,000 m
14.2 minutes
Service ceiling 14,765'
4,500 m
Range 1,224 miles
1,970 km
Armament 6 or 7: 7.9 mm MG
Bombs 4,410 lb
2,000 kg
  Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling
Type Glider tug, Bomber
Crew 5
Pilot, navigator / bombardier, radio operator / gunner, gunner (2)
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 211F
5: Jumo
Cylinders Inverted V 12
Cooling Water
HP 1,300 each
Propeller blades 3 blade VDM controllable pitch full featering
Fuel capacity 940 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 115' 5.8", 115' 6"
35.2 m
Length 54' 8"
16.7 m
Weight  
Loaded 62,500 lb, 62,832 lb
28,375 kg, 28,500 kg
Performance  
Speed Towing 140 mph
225 kph
Speed at 16,000' /
4,880 m
298 mph
477 kph
Range 1,180 miles
1,890 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 13 mm MG 131
Ventral 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
Upper - Rear Firing 1: 13 mm MG 131
Laterals 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
Bombs 8: 550 lb
8: 250 kg
OR 2: Torpedoes
OR 4: Hs 293 radio controlled glider bombs

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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