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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Heinkel He 59 floatplane

Photos

  • Heinkel He 59 floatplane
  • Heinkel He 59 floatplane

Design

The Heinkel He 59 was designed in 1930.

Mine Laying

A Heinkel He 59 could carry two 1,102 lb / 500 kg magnetic mines for dropping into the sea.

Prototype

The first prototype flew in January 1932.

Variants

  • Heinkel He 59:
  • Heinkel He 59B-2: Production version.
  • Heinkel He 59C-2: Air-sea rescue.
  • Heinkel He 59D-1: Trainer.
  • Heinkel He 59E-2: Long range reconnaissance.
  • Heinkel He 59N: Trainer.

Usage

The Heinkel He 59 was used for reconnaissance, rescue, and training.

Spanish Civil War

Heinkel He 59B-2s were used as night bombers and coastal patrolling by the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War.

World War II

Around 70 Heinkel He 59B-2s were in service at the start of World War II.

Used during the attack on Norway.

Unique Attack

The Staffel Schwilben used twelve Heinkel He 59Bs to transport 120 soldiers to the River Maas to capture a bridge in Rotterdam. Four aircraft were lost to the Dutch.

Units

  • Küstenfliegergruppen: 106, 406, 506, 706
    • Used for coastal patrols, mine laying, and reconnaissance

Battle of Britain

Heinkel He 59s were primarily used for coastal patrolling and air-sea rescue. Over 400 German airmen were rescued. 31 of the He 59s were shot down.

Specifications

  Heinkel He 59
Engine (Type) 2: BMW VI
HP 660 each
Dimensions  
Span 78'
Length 57' 6"
Performance  
Speed 138 mph
  Heinkel He 59B-2
Type Air-Sea Rescue, Reconnaissance
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: BMW VI 6,0ZU
Cylinders V 12
HP 660 each
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"
9,100 kg
Length 57' 1"
17.4 m
Height 23' 3.5"
7.1 m
Wing area 1,644.78 sq ft
152.8 sq m
Weight  
Empty 11,023 lb
5,000 kg
Loaded 20,062 lb
9,100 kg
Performance  
Speed at Sea Level 137 mph
220 kph
Climb to 3,280' / 1,000 m 4 minutes 48 seconds
Service ceiling 11,400'
3,475 m
Range 1,087 miles
1,750 km
Armament  
Bow 1: 7.92 mm / 0.31" MG
Dorsal 1: 7.92 mm / 0.31" MG
Ventral 1: 7.92 mm / 0.31" MG
Bombs, Mines, or Torpedo 2,205 lb
1,000 kg

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site