Saturday, 16 January 2016

The story of Heinkel He111. Production and variants. Part 4. Dzib German -Compileer-


He 111 production in 1939
To meet demand for numbers, Heinkel constructed a factory at Oranienburg. On 4 May 1936, construction began, and exactly one year later the first He 111 rolled off the production line. (63) The Ministry of Aviation Luftwaffe administration office suggested that Ernst Heinkel lend his name to the factory. The "Ernst Heinkel GmbH" was established with a share capital of 5,000,000 Reichsmarks (RM). Heinkel was given a 150,000 RM share. (63)  The factory itself was built by, and belonged to, the German state. (63)

A He 111 in the preliminary stage of wing installation
From this production plant, 452 He 111s and 69 Junkers Ju 88s were built in the first year of the war. (64) German production for the Luftwaffe amounted to 808 He 111s by September 1939. (65) According to Heinkel's memoirs, a further 452 were built in 1939, giving a total of 1,260. (65) But "1940s production suffered extreme losses during the Battle of Britain, with 756 bombers lost". (64) Meanwhile, the He 111's rival - the Ju 88 - had increased production to 1,816 aircraft, some 26 times the number from the previous year. (64) Losses were also considerable the previous year over the Balkans and Eastern Fronts. To compensate, He 111 productions was increased to 950 in 1941. (65) In 1942, this increased further to 1,337 He 111s. (64)(65) The Ju 88 production figures were even higher still, exceeding 3,000 in 1942, of which 2,270 were bomber variants. (64) In 1943, He 111 increased to 1,405 aircraft. (64)(65) But the Ju 88 still outnumbered it in production terms as its figures reached 2,160 for 1943. (64) The Allied bomber offensives in 1944 and in particular Big Week failed to stop or damage production at Heinkel. Up until the last quarter of 1944, 756 Heinkel He 111s had been built, while Junkers produced 3,013 Ju 88s, of which 600 were bomber versions. (64)(65) During 1939-1944, a total of 5,656 Heinkel He 111s were built compared to 9,122 Ju 88s. (64) As the Luftwaffe was now on the strategic defensive, bomber production and that of the He 111 was suspended. Production in September 1944, the last production month for the He 111, included 118 bombers. (66) Of these 21 Junkers Ju 87s, 74 Junkers Ju 188s, 3 Junkers Ju 388s and 18 Arado Ar 234s were built. (66) Of the Heinkel variants, zero Heinkel He 177s were produced and just two Heinkel He 111s were built. (66)

Quarterly production 1942-1944 (66)
Number Produced


In 1937, 24 He 111 F-1s were bought by the Turkish Air Force. The Turks also ordered four He 111 G-5s. (66) China also ordered 12 He 111 A-0s, but at a cost 400,000 Reichsmark (RM). (66) The aircraft were crated up and transported by sea. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, the Spanish Air Force acquired 59 He 111 "survivors" and a further six He 111s in 1941-1943. (66) Bulgaria was given one He 111 H-6, Romania received 10 E-3s, 32 H-3s and 10 H-6s. (66) Two H-10s and three H-16s were given to Slovakia, Hungary was given 3 He 111Bs and 12-13 He 111s by 6 May 1941. (66) A further 80 P-1s were ordered, but only 13 arrived. (66) Towards the end of 1944, 12 He 111Hs were delivered. The Japanese were due to receive 44 He 111Fs, but in 1938 the agreement was cancelled. (66)

Operational history

The Heinkel He 111 served on all the German military fronts in the European Theatre of World War II. Beginning the war as a medium bomber it

supported the German campaigns in the field until 1943 when, owing to Western Allied and Soviet air superiority, it reverted to a transport aircraft role.

German-built He 111s remained in service in Spain after the end of the Second World War, being supplemented by Spanish licence-built CASA 2.111s from 1950. The last two German-built aircraft remained in service until at least 1958. (67)

In the late 1930s, these early models of the He 111 (the B, D, and E) were considered very fast for the time. Only carrying three machines, they could make a respectable speed. But, in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricanes and Spitfires cut them down, leaving the Luftwaffe with no recourse but to arm the bombers with more defensive firepower: additional machine guns in the nose and tail, and a 20mm cannon in the ventral gondola, necessarily with more crew to serve the guns. And all this slowed the Heinkels considerably. In short, by 1942, the He 111 was an outmoded design, no longer capable of supporting powerful enough engines. And by this time, it was too late to begin development of a replacement, and the Reich continued to crank them out, about 7,000 overall, by late 1944 when almost all bomber production ceased, in favor of desperately needed fighters.

Pitomnik airstrip, in German Stalingrad pocket, early January, 1943. (2)


He 111 A-0

Ten aircraft built based on He 111 V3, two used for trials at Rechlin, rejected by Luftwaffe, all 10 were sold to China". (23)

He 111 B-0

Pre-production aircraft, similar to He 111 A-0, but with DB600Aa engines.

He 111 B-1

Production aircraft as B-0, but with DB600C engines. Defensive armament consisted of a flexible Ikaria turret in the nose A Stand, a B Stand with one DL 15 revolving gun-mount and a C Stand with one MG 15. (23)

He 111 B-2

As B-1, but with DB600GG engines, and extra radiators on either side of the engine nacelles under the wings. Later the DB 600Ga engines were added and the wing surface coolers withdrawn.  (23)

He 111 B-3

Modified B-1 for training purposes.  (23)

He 111 C-0

Six pre-production aircraft.

He 111 D-0

Pre-production aircraft with DB600Ga engines.  (23)

He 111 D-1

Production aircraft, only a few built. Notable for the installation of the FuG X, or FuG 10, designed to operate over longer ranges. Auxiliary equipment contained direction finding Peil G V and FuBI radio blind landing aids. (27)

He 111 E-0

Pre-production aircraft, similar to B-0, but with Jumo 211 A-1 engines.

He 111 E-1

Production aircraft with Jumo 211 A-1 powerplants. Prototypes were powered by Jumo 210G as which replaced the original DB 600s. (27)

He 111 E-2

Non production variant. No known variants built. Designed with Jumo 211 A-1s and A-3s. (27)

He 111 E-3

Production bomber. Same design as E-2, but upgraded to standard Jumo 211 A-3s.  (27)

He 111 E-4

Half of 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) bomb load carried externally. (27)

He 111 E-5

Fitted with several internal auxiliary fuel tanks. (27) 

He 111 F-0

Pre-production aircraft similar to E-5, but with a new wing of simpler construction with a straight rather than curved taper, and Jumo 211 A-1 engines. (32)

He 111 F-1

Production bomber, 24 were exported to Turkey.  (32)

He 111 F-2

Twenty were built. The F-2 was based on the F-1, differing only in installation of optimised wireless equipment.  (32)

He 111 F-3

Planned reconnaissance version. Bomb release equipment replaced with RB cameras. It was to have Jumo 211 A-3 powerplants.  (32)

He 111 F-4

A small number of staff communications aircraft were built under this designation. Equipment was similar to the G-5.  (32)

He 111 F-5

The F-5 was not put into production. The already available on the P variant showed it to be superior. (32) 

He 111 G-0

Pre-production transportation aircraft built, featured new wing introduced on F-0.

He 111 G-3

Also known as V14, fitted with BMW 132Dc radial engines.

He 111 G-4

Also known as V16, fitted with DB600G engines.

He 111 G-5

Four aircraft with DB600Ga engines built for export to Turkey.

He 111 J-0

Pre-production torpedo bomber similar to F-4, but with DB600CG engines. (32) 

He 111 J-1

Production torpedo bomber, 90 built, but re-configured as a bomber.

He 111 L

Alternative designation for the He 111 G-3 civil transport aircraft.

He 111 P-0

Pre-production aircraft featured new straight wing, new glazed nose, DB601Aa engines, and a ventral Bodenlafette gondola for gunner (rather than "dust-bin" on previous models). (40)

He 111 P-1

Production aircraft, fitted with three MG 15s as defensive armament.

He 111 P-2

Had FuG 10 radio in place of FuG IIIaU. Defensive armament increased to five MG 15s. (40)

He 111 P-3

Dual control trainer fitted with DB601 A-1 powerplants.  (40)

He 111 P-4

Fitted with extra armour, three extra MG 15s, and provisions for two externally mounted bomber racks. Powerplants consisted of DB601 A-1s. The internal bomb bay was replaced with an 835 L fuel tank and a 120 L oil tank. (40)

He 111 P-5

The P-5 was a pilot trainer. Some 24 examples were built. The variant was powered by DB 601A engines.  (40)

He 111 P-6

Some of the P-6s were powered by the DB 601N engines. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 received these engines, as they had greater priority.  (40)

He 111 P-6/R2

Equipped with /Rüstsätz 2 field conversions later in war of surviving aircraft to glider tugs.

He 111 P-7

Never built. (38)

He 111 P-8

Its existence and production is in doubt.  (38)

He 111 P-9

It was intended for export to the Hungarian Air Force, by the project founder for lack of DB 601E engines. Only a small number were built, and were used in the Luftwaffe as towcraft. (38) 

He 111 H-0

Pre-production aircraft similar to P-2 but with Jumo 211A-1 engines, pioneering the use of the Junkers Jumo 211 series of engines for the H-series as standard.

He 111 H-1

Production aircraft. Fitted with FuG IIIaU and later FuG 10 radio communications.

He 111 H-2

This version was fitted with improved armament. Two D Stands (waist guns) in the fuselage giving the variant some five MG 15 Machine guns.

He 111 H-3

Similar to H-2, but with Jumo 211 A-3 engines. Like the H-2, five MG 15 machine guns were standard. One A Stand MG FF cannon could be installed in the nose and an MG 15 could be installed in the tail unit.

He 111 H-4

Fitted with Jumo 211D engines, late in production changed to Jumo 211F engines, and two external bomb racks. Two PVC 1006L racks for carrying torpedoes could be added. (68)

He 111 H-5

Similar to H-4, all bombs carried externally, internal bomb bay replaced by fuel tank. The variant was to be a longer range torpedo bomber.  (68)

He 111 H-6

Torpedo bomber, could carry two LT F5b torpedoes externally, powered by Jumo 211F-1 engines, had six MG 15s and one MG FF cannon in forward gondola. (68)

He 111 H-7

Designed as a night bomber. Similar to H-6, tail MG 17 removed, ventral gondola removed, and armoured plate added. Fitted with Kuto-Nase barrage balloon cable-cutters. (68)

He 111 H-8

The H-8 was a rebuild of H-3 or H-5 aircraft, but with balloon cable-cutting fender. The H-8 was powered by Jumo 211D-1s.  (68)

He 111 H-8/R2

Equipped with /Rüstsätz 2 field conversion of H-8 into glider tugs, balloon cable-cutting equipment removed.

He 111 H-9

Based on H-6, but with Kuto-Nase balloon cable-cutters.

He 111 H-10

Similar to H-6, but with 20 mm MG/FF cannon in ventral gondola, and fitted with Kuto-Nase balloon cable-cutters. Powered by Jumo 211 A-1s or D-1s. (68)

He 111 H-11

Had a fully enclosed dorsal gun position and increased defensive armament and armour. The H-11 was fitted with Jumo 211 F-2s.  (68)

He 111 H-11/R1

As H-11, but equipped with /Rüstsätz 1 field conversion kit, with two 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z twin-gun units at waist positions.

He 111 H-11/R2

As H-11, but equipped with /Rüstsätz 2 field conversion kit, for conversion to a glider tug.

He 111 H-12

Modified to carry Hs 293A missiles, fitted with FuG 203b Kehl transmitter, and ventral gondola deleted.  (68)

He 111 H-14

Pathfinder, fitted with FuG FuMB 4 Samos and FuG 16 radio equipment.  (68)

He 111 H-14/R1

Glider tug version.

He 111 H-15

The H-15 was intended as a launch pad for the Blohm & Voss BV 246.  (68)

He 111 H-16

Fitted with Jumo 211 F-2 engines and increased defensive armament of MG 131 machine guns, twin MG 81Zs, and a MG FF cannon.

He 111 H-16/R1

As H-16, but with MG 131 in power-operated dorsal turret.

He 111 H-16/R2

As H-16, but converted to a glider tug.

He 111 H-16/R3

As H-16, modified as a pathfinder.

He 111 H-18

Based on H-16/R3, was a pathfinder for night operations.

He 111 H-20

Defensive armament similar to H-16, but some aircraft feature power-operated dorsal turrets.

He 111 H-20/R1

Could carry sixteen paratroopers, fitted with jump hatch.

He 111 H-20/R2

Was a cargo carrier and glider tug.

He 111 H-20/R3

Was a night bomber.

He 111 H-20/R4

Could carry twenty 50 kg (110 lb) SC 50 bombs.

He 111 H-21

Based on the H-20/R3, but with Jumo 213 engines.

He 111 H-22

Re-designated and modified H-6, H-16, and H-21's used to air launch V1 flying-bombs.

He 111 H-23

Based on H-20/Rüstsätz 1 (/R1) field conversion kit, but with Jumo 213 A-1 engines.

He 111 R

High altitude bomber project.

He 111 U

A spurious designation applied for propaganda purposes to the Heinkel He 119 high-speed reconnaissance bomber design which set an FAI record in November 1937. True identity only becomes clear to the Allies after World War

He 111 Z-1

Two He 111 airframes coupled together by a new central wing panel possessing a fifth Jumo 211 engine, used as a glider tug for Messerschmitt Me 321.

He 111 Z-2

Long-range bomber variant based on Z-1.

He 111 Z-3

Long-range reconnaissance variant based on Z-1.

CASA 2.111

The Spanish company CASA also produced a number of heavily modified He 111s under licence for indigenous use. These models were designated CASA 2.111 and served until 1973.

Army Type 98 Medium Bomber

Evaluation and proposed production of the He 111 for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service


He 111, Werknr. 701152, RAF Hendon, London. This H-20, built in 1944, was modified to drop paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger)
Only four original German built He 111 survivors are on display or stored in museums around the world (not including major sections): (70) 

             He 111 E-3 (25+82), Wk Nr 2940 with the "conventional" cockpit is on display at the Museo del Aire, Madrid, Spain, having served in the Condor Legion.

             A mostly complete He 111 P-2 (5J+CN), Werknummer 1526 of 5.Staffel/Kampfgeschwader 54 (KG 54—Bomber Wing 54), is on display at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum at Gardermoen, part of the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection.(70) The 5JGeschwaderkennung code on the aircraft is usually documented as being that of either I. Gruppe/KG 4 or KG 100 (the two wings swapped numerous examples of the Heinkel He 177A late in the war between them), with B3 being KG 54's equivalent code throughout the war. (71)

             A He 111 H-20 (Stammkennzeichen of NT+SL), Wk Nr 701152, a troop-carrying version is on display at the RAF Museum Hendon, London. Appropriated by USAAF pilots in France at the end of the war, it was left in Britain following the unit's return to the US, and taken on by the RAF. (72)

             In 2005, another He 111 was salvaged from a Norwegian lake and has since been moved to Germany for restoration, and may be the most complete wartime He 111 to date. (70)

             The Imperial War Museum site at RAF Duxford, England, has a Spanish-built CASA apparently awaiting restoration with the outer wings removed while the rudder of a Heinkel He 111 E is on show in another hangar. This rudder was recovered from Norwegian waters when the rest of the aircraft proved too eroded for recovery. The original rudder has bullet holes in it.


He 111 H-6 (73) (74)

General characteristics

             Crew: 5 (pilot, navigator/bombardier/nose gunner, ventral gunner, dorsal gunner/radio operator, side gunner) (75)

             Length: 16.4 m (53 ft 9½ in)

             Wingspan: 22.60 m (74 ft 2 in)

             Height: 4.00 m (13 ft 1½ in)

             Wing area: 87.60 m² (942.92 ft²)

             Empty weight: 8,680 kg (19,136lb lb)

             Loaded weight: 12,030 kg (26,500 lb)

             Max. takeoff weight: 14,000 kg (30,864 lb)

             Powerplant: 2 × Jumo 211F-1 or 211F-2 liquid-cooled inverted V-12, 986 kW (1,300 hp (F-1) or 1,340 (F-2)) each


             Maximum speed: 440 km/h (273 mph)

             Range: 2,300 km (1,429 mi) with maximum fuel

             Service ceiling: 6,500 m (21,330 ft)

             Rate of climb: 20 minutes to 5,185 m (17,000 ft)

             Wing loading: 137 kg/m² (28.1 lb/ft²)

             Power/mass: .082 kW/kg (.049 hp/lb)



             up to 7 × 7.92 mm MG 15 or MG 81 machine guns, (2 in the nose, 1 in the dorsal, 2 in the side, 2 in the ventral) some of them replaced or augmented by

             1 × 20 mm MG FF cannon (central nose mount or forward ventral position)

             1 × 13 mm MG 131 machine gun (mounted dorsal and/or ventral rear positions)


             2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb) in the main internal bomb bay.

             Up to 3,600 kilograms (7,900 lb) could be carried externally. External bomb racks blocked the internal bomb bay. Carrying bombs externally increased weight and drag and impaired the aircraft's performance significantly. Carrying the maximum load usually required rocket-assisted take-off. (39

He 111 C-0  (76)

General characteristics

             Crew: 2

             Length: 17.5 m (57' 5")

             Wingspan: 22.60 m (74 ft 2 in)

             Height: 4.10 m (13' 5⅜")

             Wing area: 87.60 m² (942.92 ft²)

             Empty weight: 5,400 kg (11,905lb lb)

             Loaded weight: 9,610 kg (21,186 lb)

             Powerplant: 2 × BMW VI liquid-cooled inverted V-12, (660 hp) each


             Maximum speed: 310 km/h (193 mph)

             Range: 2,400 (1,491 mi)

             Service ceiling: 4,800 m (15,750 ft)

             Wing loading: 109.7 kg/m² (22.45 lb/ft²)

Notable appearances in media

The He 111 is the most-often portrayed German bomber in Second World War-related shows (often using its Spanish-built CASA 2.111 cousin as stand in), with the quintessential example being the movie Battle of Britain. (77)

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