Although the Heinkel He 111 was designed ostensibly as a civil airliner
for Lufthansa, its military potential was of a far greater importance.
The first prototype of Siegfried and Walter Gunter's enlarged,
twin-engine development of the remarkable He 70 was fitted with a
glazed nose when flown at Rostock-Marienehe on 24 February 1935, in the
hands of Flugkapitan Gerhard Nitschke. An all-metal cantilever low-wing
monoplane, it was powered by two 660 hp (492 kW) BMW VI 6,OZ engines
and was followed by two further prototypes, each with shorter-span
wings than those fitted on the first prototype. The third aircraft
became the true bomber prototype and the second, which flew on 12 March
1935, was a civil version with a mail compartment in the nose and two
passenger cabins, with seats for four and six passengers. After tests
at Staaken this prototype eventually joined the Lufthansa fleet,
although much of the development work on the civil version was carried
out by the fourth prototype, the first to be revealed to the public and
demonstrated at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport on 10 January 1936.
Lufthansa received six He 111C 10 seat airliners during 1936, and these
first entered service on the Berlin-Hannover-Amsterdam,
Berlin-Nuremberg-Munich and Berlin-Dortmund-Cologne routes. Lufthansa
received later a number of He llIG-3 transports with 880 hp (656kW) BMW
132Dc engines and, later, a further generally similar hatch under the
alternative designation He 111L.
Development of the military counterpart continued with the manufacture
of 10 He 111A-0 pre-production aircraft, based on the third prototype,
but with a longer nose and armed by three MG 15 machine-guns in nose,
dorsal and ventral positions. Two were used for operational trials at
Rechlin but poor handling, power deficiencies and inadequate
performance resulted in rejection, and all 10 were later sold to China.
The solution was the installation of two 1,000-hp (746-kW) Daimler-Benz
DB 600A engines, first fitted to the fifth (B-series) prototype which
flew in early 1936 as the forerunner of the first production versions
built at Marienehe from the autumn of 1936. These comprised the He
111B-1 powered by the 880-hp (656-kW) DB600, followed by the He 11IB-2
with 950-hp (708-kW) DB 600CG engines. The improvement in the
performance of these aircraft resulted in the
Reichsluftfahrtministerium placing such large orders that it was
necessary to build a new He 111 construction facility at Oranienburg,
near Berlin, this being completed in 1937.
B-series was followed by the He 111D-1 with improved DB 600Ga engines,
but the urgent need to divert DB 600 powerplant for fighter production
meant that this version was built in only small numbers. This brought
introduction of the 1,000 hp (746 kW) Junkers Jumo 211A-1, installed
initially in a He 111D-O airframe to serve as the prototype of the He
11IE-0 pre-production series. In the initial production He 11IE-1
bomber of February 1938 the bombload was increased to 3,748 lbs (1700
kg), but the He 11IE-3 had another increase to 4,409 lbs (2000 kg), and
the ensuing He 11IE-4 could carry 2,205 lbs (1000 kg) of this total on
underfuselage racks; final sub-variant of the E-series, the He 111E-5
introduced an additional 183.7 Imp gal (835 litres) of auxiliary fuel
carried within the fuselage. The next version into production was the
He 111G which first introduced a new wing of simplified construction
with straight, instead of curved taper. This was used first in the He
111G-3 civil transport built for Lufthansa, and there was some delay
before it was approved by the RLM. Then followed the He 111G-1,
basically similar to C-series aircraft but for the addition of the new
wing, and the He 111G-4 which was powered by the 900 hp (671 kW) DB
60OG engine; four He IIIG-5 aircraft supplied to Turkey had
Daimler-Benz 600Ga engines. Next came, unsequentially, the similar He
111F-1 powered by Jumo 211A-3 engines of which 24 were supplied to
Turkey, and 40 virtually identical aircraft were built for the
Luftwaffe in 1938 under the designation He IIIF-4.
Developed in parallel were the H-series and P- series, the latter
introducing in 1939 a major fuselage redesign which replaced the
stepped cockpit by an extensively-glazed cockpit and nose section and,
at the same time, moved the nose gun position to starboard to improve
the pilot's view. The pre-production He 111P- 0 also introduced a
revised ventral gondola, with the gunner in a prone position, and was
powered by two 1,150 hp (858 kW) DB 601 Aa engines. Relatively few He
111Ps were built before this version was superseded by the H-series,
the He 111P-1 which was virtually identical to the pre-production
aircraft being delivered first in the autumn of 1939; the He llIP-2
differed only by having changes in radio equipment, and the He 111P-3
was a dual-control trainer. Heavier armour protection and up to six MG
15 machine-guns were introduced in the five-crew He 111P-4 which, in
addition to carrying 2,205 lbs (1000 kg) of bombs internally had ETC
500 racks beneath the fuselage for a similar external load; the He
111P-6 had all-internal stowage for 4,409 lbs (2000 kg) of bombs, and
later P-series conversions, for use as glider tugs with 1,175 hp (876
kW) DB 60IN engines installed, were redesignated He 111P-2/R2.
A Heinkel He 111H-16 of the 9./KG 53 'Legion Condor' wearing the escort
identity bars carried by
bombers involved in the large daylight bombing raids on London 15
major production version, built in a large number of variants, was the
H-series, the He 111H-0 and He 111H-1 pre-production/production batches
being basically the same as He 111P-2s except for the installation of
1,010 hp (753 kW) Jumo 211A engines.
He 111H-2 which became available in the autumn of 1939 had Jumo 211A-3
engines and carried two additional MG 15 machine-guns, one in the nose
and one in the ventral gondola, and the He 111H-3 introduced armour
protection and armament comprising a 20-mm MG FP cannon and an MG 15 in
the ventral gondola, two MG 15s in the nose, one dorsally mounted, and
similar weapons in beam positions. The He 111H-4 introduced Jumo 211D-1
engines and was equipped with two external racks to carry a 3,968 lbs
(1800 kg) bombload that could include two 1,686 lbs (765 kg) differed
only by having increased fuel capacity.
When He 111H-3 and He 111H-5 aircraft were later fitted with a
nose-mounted device to fend off balloon cables they were both
redesignated He 111H-8, and subsequent re-conversion for use as glider
tugs was made under the designation He 111H-S/R2. Junkers Jumo 21IF-1
engines with variable-pitch propellers, and a fixed MG 17 machine-gun
mounted in the tail, identified the He 111H-6; and the He 111H-10 was
developed and built in small numbers especially for the night bombing
offensive against the UK, these being equipped with Kute-Nase balloon
cable-cutters in the wing leading edges and additional armour
protection. Armament changes and a fully- enclosed dorsal position
accommodating an MG 131 machine-gun identified the He 111H-11, in which
the nose position carried a 20 mm MG FP cannon and the ventral MG 15
was replaced by a twin-barrel MG 81Z; when the beam guns were later
replaced by MG 81Zs these aircraft were redesignated He 111H-11/R1, and
changed their designation yet again to become He 111H-11/R2 when
adapted to tow Gotha Go 242 gliders. The He 111H-12 and He 111H-15 were
both built in small numbers, without the ventral gondola, to serve as
missile launchers for Henschel and Blohm und Voss weapons respectively.
The first of the pathfinder versions had the designation He 111H-14,
and when converted later to serve as a glider tug was redesignated He
Built in large numbers, following introduction in the autumn of 1942,
the He 111H-16 was generally similar to the He 111H-11, but equipped to
carry a bombload of up to 7,165 lbs (3250 kg), although this
necessitated the use of R-Gerate rocket-assisted take off equipment; it
was built in sub-variants that included the He 111H-16/RI which had a
revolving dorsal turret with an MG 131 machine-gun, He 111H-16/P.2
equipped for rigid- bar towing of gliders, and the He 111H-16/R3 which
carried additional radio equipment for use as a pathfinder. The ensuing
He 111H-18 was also a pathfinder, with exhaust flame dampers to make it
suitable for night operations, followed by the He 111H-20 built in
sub-variants that included the He IIIH-20/Rl carrying 16 paratroops, He
111H-20/R2 night bomber/glider tug, He 111H-20/R3 night bomber with
heavier armour protection and improved radio, and the virtually
identical He IIIH-20/R4 with GM-1 power boosting equipment for the
powerplant; when a 1,750 hp (1305 kW) Jumo 213E-1 engine with two-stage
superchargers was installed in He 111H-20/R3 aircraft they were
redesignated He 111H-21. The He 111H-22 was equipped to carry a
Fieseler Fi 103 (V-1) missile beneath each wing, and the final H-series
variant was the He 111H- 23 paratroop transport with 1,776 hp (1324 kW)
Jumo 213A-1 engines.
Produced in parallel with the F-series, the He 111J-0 and He 111J-1
were intended as torpedo-bombers and powered by 950 hp (708 kW) DB
600CG engines, but the He 111J-1 production aircraft, of which about 88
were built, were equipped as bombers. A single prototype was built of a
proposed high-altitude bomber under the designation He 111R, powered by
two 1,810 hp (1350 kW) DB 603U engines, but no production aircraft
resulted. Final, and certainly the most unusual version, was the He
111Z (Zwilling, or twin), designed to tow the Messerschmitt Me 321
Gigant transport glider. It comprised two 111H-6 airframes joined by a
new wing centre-section which mounted a fifth Jumo 211F-2 engine. Two
prototypes and 10 He 111Z-1 production aircraft were built during the
winter of 1941-2.
First deliveries to an operational squadron were made late in 1936, to
1./KG 154 at Fassberg, and in February 1937 30 He 111B-ls were sent to
the Legion Condor bomber unit K/88 in Spain, following operational
trials in which four of the pre-production He 11IB-Os were flown by a
flight of VB 88. The He 111 bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe's bombing
effort in early World War 11. Poland in the autumn of 1939, Norway and
Denmark in April 1940, France and the Low Countries in May and against
British targets during the Battle of Britain. Large-scale introduction
of the Junkers Ju 88, and the He 111's vulnerability to British
fighters, resulted in the Heinkel bomber being transferred to night
operations and to a variety of specialised roles, as a missile-carrier,
torpedo-bomber, pathfinder and glider- tug. Transport duties were also
undertaken, including operations to supply the beleaguered German army
at Stalingrad between November 1942 and February 1943, and by the end
of the war He Ills were virtually flown only in the transport role.
Production of more than 7,000 German-built aircraft for the Luftwaffe
was completed in the autumn of 1944. In addition to those manufactured
in Heinkel factories at Marienehe and Oranienburg, He Ills were built
by Norddeutsche Dornierwerke in Wismar, by Allgemeine Transport-gesellschaft
in Leipzig, Arado in Babelsberg and Brandenburg/Havel and at other
centres. Some 236 He 111Hs were built by CASA in Spain during and after
the war as the CASA 2.111, approximately 130 with Jumo 21IF-2 engines
and the rest with Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-29s. Some were converted later
for transport and training duties.
Following unsatisfactory tests of 10 pre-production He 111A-0 bombers,
all were sold to China.
Testing of the fifth prototype with 746 kW (1,000 hp) DB 600A engines
led in 1936 to the production He 111B-1 with 656 kW (880 hp) DB 600C
engines, followed by the He 111B-2 with the 708 kW (950 hp) DB 6OOCG.
10-passenger airliners for Lufthansa.
improved version with DB 600Ga engines and auxiliary wing radiators
deleted; production was discontinued in favour of the He 111E.
shortage of DB 600 engines brought installation of 746 kW (1,000 hp)
Junkers Jumo 211A-1 engines in an He 111D-0 airframe; the resulting He
111E-0 pre-production prototype had increased bombload; production He
111E-1 bombers were delivered in 1938, followed by the He 111E-3 and He
111E-4 with further increase in bombload and He 111E-5 with fuselage
auxiliary fuel tank.
new wing of the He 111G and Jumo 211A-3 engines characterised the 24 He
111F-1 bombers supplied to Turkey; the Luftwaffe received 40 similar He
111F-4 aircraft in 1938.
First version with the new straight-taper wing which, incorporated on
the He 111C, brought redesignation He 111G-1; the He 111G-3 had 656-kW
(880-hp) BMW 132Dc engines, the He 111G-4 671-kW (900-hp) DB 60OGs, and
four He 111G-5 aircraft for Turkey had DB 600Ga engines.
Developed in parallel with the He 111P series, the He 111H-0 and He
111H-1 were basically He 111P-2s with 753 kW (1,100 hp) Jumo 211A
engines; the He 111H-2 of 1939 had improved armament; the He 111H-3
introduced armour protection and a 20-mm cannon; the He 111H-4 had Jumo
211 D-1 engines and two external racks for bombs or torpedoes, and the
generally similar He 111H-5 had increased fuel capacity; the He 111H-6
introduced Jumo 211F-1 engines and machine-gun in the tailcone; He
111H-8 was the redesignation of He 111H-3s and He 111H-5s following
installation of fenders for balloon cables, most of them being
converted later to He 111H-8/R2 glider tugs; the He 111H-10 for night
bombing of UK targets had additional armour, reduced armament and wing
leading-edge balloon cable-cutters; the He 111H-11 and He 111H-11/R1
had revised armament, the last becoming He 111H-11/R2 when converted
later as a glider tug; the He 111H-12 and He 111H-15 were
missile-launchers, the He 111H-14 a pathfinder version and the He
111H-14/R2 a glider tug; introduced in 1942, the He 111H-16 was a major
production variant similar to the He 111H-11 but able to carry a 7,165
lbs (3250 kg) bombload with the use of rocket-assisted-take-off gear.
The He 111H-16/R1 had a revolving dorsal turret, the He 111H-16/R2 was
for rigid bar towing of gliders and the He 111H-16/R3 was a pathfinder
version as was the He 111H-18 with exhaust flame dampers. Four versions
of the He 111H-20 comprised the He 111H-20/R1 capable of carrying 16
paratroops. The He 111H-20/R2 night bomber/glider tug, the He
111H-20/R3 with increased armour protection and the generally similar
He 111H-20/R4 which introduced GM-1 power boost equipment. A version of
the He 111H-20/R3 with 1,750 hp (1305 kW) Jumo 213E-1 engines and
two-stage superchargers was designated He 111H-21. The He 111H-22 was a
missile carrier and the He 111H-23 was a paratroop transport with 1,776
hp (1324 kW) engines.
torpedo bomber version of the He 111F series, the He 111J-0 and He
111J-1 both had 950 hp (708 kW) DB 600CG engines.
alternative designation for the He 111G-3 civil transport.
1939 the He 111P series introduced a major fuselage redesign, the
stepped cockpit being replaced by an asymmetric glazed cockpit and
nose. The He 111P-0 introduced a prone position ventral gondola and was
powered by two 1,150 hp (858 kW) DB 601Aa engines. First being
deliveries of the He 111P-1 began in late 1939. The He 111P-2 was
similar but for radio revisions. The He 111P-3 had dual controls and
the five crew He 111P-4 had more armour and armament. The He 111P-6 had
1,175 hp (876 kW) DB 601N engines and its 4,409 lbs (2000 kg) bombload
stowed vertically in the fuselage; when later converted as a glider tug
the He 111P-6 became the He 111P-6/R2.
single prototype of proposed high altitude bomber.He 111Z/Z-1
He 111Z (Zwilling, or twin) combined two He 111H-6 airframes, joined by
a new wing centre-section to mount a fifth Jumo 211F-2 engine; designed
to tow the Messerschmitt Me 321 Gigant transport glider; two prototypes
and 10 He 111Z-1 production aircraft were built.
Specifications (Heinkel He 111H-16)
Type: Four or Five seat medium bomber (Later used as a torpedo bomber,
glider tug and missile launching platform)
Design: Ernst Heinkel AG
Manufacturer: Ernst Heinkel AG, SNCASO (France), Fabrica de Avione
SET, CASA (Spain), Romania.
Powerplant: Two 1,350 hp (1007 kW) Junkers Jumo 211F-2 12-cylinder
inverted Vee piston engines.
Performance: Maximum speed 227 mph (365 km/h) at sea level; service
ceiling 21,980 It (6700 m).
Range: 1,212 miles (1950 km) with full bombload.
Weight: (Z-2) Empty equipped 19,136 lbs (8680 kg) with a maximum
take-off weight of 30,865 lbs (14000 kg).
Dimensions: Span 74 ft 1 3/4 in (22.60 m); length 53 ft 9 1/2 in
(16.40 m); height 13 ft 1 1/4 in (4.00 m); wing area 931.11 sq ft
(86.50 sq m).
Armament: One 20 mm MG FF cannon, one 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131
machine gun and three 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 81Z machine guns, plus a
normal internal bombload of 2,205 lbs (1000 kg). Could carry up to
7,165 lbs (3250 kg) of bombs (most externally) with the use of
Variants: He 111A, He 111B/B-1/B-2, He 111C, He 111D, He
111E/E-0/E-1/E-3/E-4/E-5, He 111F/F-1/F-4, He 111G/G-1/G-3/G-4/G-5, He
111H/H-1 to H-6/H-8, He 111H-8/R2, He 111H-10, He 111H-11, He
111H-11/R1/R2, He 111H-12/H-15 (missle launchers, He 111H-14
(pathfinder), He 111H-14/R2 (glider tug), He 111H-16 (major production
version), He 111H-16/R1/R2/R3, He 111H-18, He 111H-20/R1/R2/R3/R4, He
111H-21, He 111H-22, He 111H-23, He 111J/J-0/J-1, He 111L, He
111P/P-0/P-1/P-2/P-3/P-4/P-6, He 111P-6/R2, He 111R, He 111Z/Z-1 (Zwilling).
History: First flight (He 111V-1 prototype) 24 February 1935,
(pre-production He 111B-0) August 1936, (production He 111B-1) 30
October 1936 (first He 111E series) January 1938, (first production He
111P-1) December 1938, (He 111H-1) January/February 1939, final
delivery (He 111H-23) October 1944, (Spanish C2111) late 1956.
Operators: Germany (Luftwaffe, Lufthansa), China, Hungary, Romania,