Heinkel He 115

The Heinkel He 115 was a World War II Luftwaffe seaplane with three seats. It was used as a torpedo bomber and performed general seaplane duties, such as reconnaissance and mine laying. The plane was powered by two BMW 132K 960 hp (720 kW) nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engines. Some later models could seat four, had different engines, or used different weapon setups. 

Heinkel He 115
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Heinkel
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1937
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bulgaria View
Finland View
Germany View
Sweden View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
Norway View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Heinkel 138 View

At the beginning of the war, the He 115 was used for dropping parachute mines in British waters, normally aiming for narrow passages in close vicinity of heavily-trafficked ports on the English south coast. The River Thames was also a prime target. However, the He 115 was most successful when operating in the anti-shipping role against the Arctic convoys from bases in northern Norway; because these convoys initially lacked air cover, the slow speed and comparatively light armament of the He 115 was not as significant as it had been over the heavily-defended English coastline. With the appearance of carriers and escort carriers, coupled with new Soviet long-range fighters,He 115 losses mounted. Apart from its use as a minelayer and torpedo bomber, it was also used in the coastal reconnaissance role.

Role Torpedo bomber seaplane
Manufacturer Heinkel
First flight August 1937
Introduction 1939
Status Retired
Primary users Luftwaffe
Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service
Swedish Air Force
Royal Air Force
Finnish Air Force
Number built 138

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 56 ft 9 in (17.3 m)
  • Wingspan: 72 ft 10 in (22.2 m)
  • Height: 21 ft 7.75 in (6.60 m)
  • Wing area: 942 ft (87.5 m)
  • Empty weight: 11,670 lb (5,290 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 20,020 lb (9,080 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 x BMW 132K 9-cylinder radial engines, 845 hp (630 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 217 mph (349 km/h)
  • Combat radius: 1,305 mi (2,100 km)
  • Service ceiling 21,400 ft (6,520 m)
  • Wing loading: 21.3 lb/ft (103.8 kg/m)
  • Power/mass: 0.084 hp/lb (139 W/kg)


  • 1 fixed 7.92mm MG 17 and one flexible MG 15 7.92 mm machine gun
  • Up to 2,205 lb. (1,000 kg) torpedo or bombs

End notes