Heinkel He 111

The Heinkel He 111 was a medium bomber designed by Siegfried and Walter Guenter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The Heinkel became the most numerous and primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. 

The He 111 was used in a variety of roles on every front in the European Theatre throughout the war. It was used as a strategic bomber during the Battle of Britain, a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic, a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western Front, Eastern Front and Mediterranean and North African Fronts. It became obsolete, but the failure to design and produce a successor meant the He 111 continued to be produced until 1944, when piston-engined bomber production was largely halted, in favour of fighter aircraft. 

The design of the Heinkel He 111 endured after the war in the CASA 2.111. Its airframe was produced in Spain under license. The design differed significantly in powerplant only. The 2.111 continued in service until 1973, when it was retired.

Heinkel He 111
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Heinkel
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1935
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1935 1945 View
Spain 1935 1958 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Heinkel 7300 View

Role Medium bomber/transport
Manufacturer Heinkel Flugzeugwerke
Designer Siegfried and Walter Günter
First flight 24 February 1935
Introduction 1935
Retired 1945 (Luftwaffe)
1958 (Spain)
Primary user Luftwaffe
Produced 1935–44
Number built 32 prototype aircraft
12 civilian airliners
808 pre war aircraft
5,656 aircraft (1939–44)
Total: 6,508.
Variants CASA 2.111


General characteristics

  • Crew: 5 (pilot, navigator/bombardier, nose gunner, ventral gunner, dorsal gunner)
  • Length: 16.4 m (54 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 22.5 m (74 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 3.9 m (13 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 86.5 m (942 ft)
  • Empty weight: 7,720 kg (17,000 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 12,030 kg (26,500 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 14,075 kg (31,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Jumo 211F-1 liquid-cooled inverted V-12, 986 kW (1,300 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 400 km/h (250 mph)
  • Range: 2,800 km with max fuel (1,750 mi)
  • Service ceiling 8,390 m (27,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 20 minutes to 5,185 m (17,000 ft)
  • Wing loading: 137 kg/m (28.1 lb/ft)
  • Power/mass: .082 kW/kg (.049 hp/lb)

Armament

  • Guns:
    • up to seven 7.92 mm MG 15 or MG 81 machine guns, some of them replaced or augmented by
      • 1 x 20 mm MG FF cannon (central nose mount or forward ventral position)
      • 1 x 13 mm MG 131 machine gun (mounted dorsal and/or ventral rear positions)
  • Bombs:
    • up to 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) carried internally (eight 250 kg max), or
    • up to 2,500 kg (5,512 lb) on two external racks

End notes