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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Heinkel He 115 floatplane, torpedo bomber, minelayer

Photos

Heinkel He 115 K2 floatplane, minelayer, reconnaissance:
Germany's Heinkel He 115 K2 floatplane, minelayer, reconnaissance
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Heinkel He 115 K2 floatplane, minelayer, reconnaissance:
Germany's Heinkel He 115 K2 floatplane, minelayer, reconnaissance
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Heinkel He 115 floatplane, torpedo bomber, minelayer:
Germany's Heinkel He 115 floatplane, torpedo bomber, minelayer

Design

The Heinkel He 115 was designed to be a general purpose coastal aircraft.1 The He 115's main duty was to be a torpedo bomber, but it was found that the He 115 was too slow and hard to handle.3 It became a successful and well liked reconnaissance and mine laying aircraft.3

The He 115 was an all metal mid wing aircraft.3

Prototype

The He 115 prototype first flew in October 1936.1,3 It had two BMW 132K radial engines (960 HP).1

Production

Initial construction went from 1938 to 1942.1,2 For a time it was stopped but was restarted in 1943.1,2,3

  • Heinkel He 115A-1:
    • Production: 1938 - ?1
  • Heinkel He 115B-1 delivered in 1939.1
  • Heinkel He 115C:
    • Production:1940 - ?2
  • Heinkel He 115E-1:
    • Production: 1943 - ?1,2
  • Total: ~3502, ~5001
    • Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel A.G.3

Variants

  • Heinkel He 115V1: Prototype.2
  • Heinkel He 115A-0: Pre production.2
  • Heinkel He 115A-1: Had one 7.92 mm MG in the nose and one 7.92 mm MG in the rear of the cockpit.1
  • Heinkel He 115A-2: For export.2
  • Heinkel He 115A-3: Had a new bomb bay and radio eqiupment.1
  • Heinkel He 115B: Could carry more fuel.2 Structure was stronger.2 First to be able to carry a magnetic mine.2
  • Heinkel He 115B-1: Had additional fuel capacity.1
  • Heinkel He 115B-2: Had stronger floats.1
  • Heinkel He 115C: More powerful engines.2 More defensive armament.2
  • Heinkel He 115C-1: Had forward firing 20 mm MG 151.1 Five 7.7 mm MG 15 and MG 17 machine guns.1
  • Heinkel He 115C-2: Had the same reinforced floats as the He 115B-2.1
  • Heinkel He 115C-3: Minelayer.1
  • Heinkel He 115C-4: Torpedo bomber.1
  • Heinkel He 115D: Had four crewmen.1 Used BMW 801 radial engine (1,600 HP).2
  • Heinkel He 115E-1: Had two 7.92 mm machine guns in the nose and rear.1
  • Heinkel He 115K2:

Usage

Britain, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Norway (15), and Sweden (10) used the He 115.2

Speed Records

The He 115V1 prototype was able to set eight speed records for its class in 1938/ March 20, 19383.2 The He 115's average speed over the course was 200 mph.3

First Usage

In 1938 He 115A-1s joined the Luftwaffe.1

Mine laying in English waters

The Kustenfliegergruppen 106, 506, and 906 were equipped with the He 115B-2 and were used to mine English waters.1

Battling the Convoys

During 1942 the KuFlGr 406 was used to attack the North Cape PQ convoys.1

Britain's Use

The British used He 115s that were originally used by Norway.2 These were two He 115A-2s and a He 115B-1.2

Specifications

  Heinkel He 115
Type General purpose floatplane2
Crew 42
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 73' 1"2
22.27 m2
Length 56' 9.5"2
17.31 m2
Height 21' 8"2
6.6 m2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Heinkel He 115B
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 1322
Cylinders Radial 92
Cooling  
HP 865 each2
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed @ 11,150' /
3,400 m
196 mph2
315 kph2
Climb  
Service ceiling 17,060'2
5,200 m2
Range 1,305 miles2
2,100 km2
Armament  
  Heinkel He 115B-1
Type Torpedo bomber1,3, Minelayer1
Crew 31,3
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 132K piston1,3
Cylinders Radial1, Radial 93
Cooling Air3
HP 960 each3, 970 each1
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"3, 72' 2 1/8"1
22.2 m1
Length 56' 9"3, 56' 9 1/8"1
17.3 m1
Height 21' 7"3, 21' 7 1/8"1
6.6 m1
Wing area 933.3 ft2 1
86.7 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 11,684 lb1, 14,748 lb2
5,300 kg1, 6,690 kg2
Loaded 20,065 lb3, 22,928 lb1,2
10,400 kg1,2
Performance  
Speed @ 11,150' /
3,400 m
220 mph3
Speed @ 11,155' /
3,400 m
220 mph1
355 kph1
Climb 771'/minute1
235 m/minute1
Service ceiling 18,040'3, 18,045'1
5,500 m1
Range 1,243 miles1, 2,080 miles3
2,000 km1
Armament 2: MG3
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG2
1: 7.92 mm MG 151
Rear cockpit 1: 7.9 mm MG2
1: 7.92 mm MG 151
Bombs, mines, or torpedo 2,205 lb2, 3,200 lb3
1,000 kg2
Torpedo 1: 1,764 lb1
1: 800 kg1
OR  
Parachute mine 1: 2,205 lb1
1: 1,000 kg1
OR  
Bombs 2: 551 lb1
2: 250 kg1
  Heinkel He 115C
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 132Ks2
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 960 each2
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 3,280' /
1,000 m
186 mph2
299 kph2
Climb  
Climb to 3,280' /
1,000 m
5.1 minutes2
Service ceiling  
Range 1,740 miles2
2,800 km2
Armament  
  Heinkel He 115C-1
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 15,146 lb2
6,870 kg2
Loaded 23,545 lb2
10,680 kg2
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 15 mm2
1: 7.9 mm MG2
Rear cockpit 1: 7.9 mm MG2
Engine nacelles 2: 7.9 mm MG2
Ordnance load 2,756 lb2
1,250 kg2
  Heinkel He 115K2
Type Mine laying4, Reconnaissance4
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 132K4
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 850 each4
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 75' 10"4
Length 57'4
Height 23' 4"4
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 20,200 lb4
Performance  
Speed 220 mph4
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 1,300 miles4
Armament  
Nose 1: MG4
Rear cockpit 1: MG4
Torpedo 1,760 lb4

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site