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Heinkel He 111


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The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter in the early 1930s. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing", it masqueraded as a transport aircraft, but its purpose was to provide the Luftwaffe with a fast medium bomber.

Perhaps the best-recognised German bomber due to the distinctive "greenhouse" nose of later versions, the Heinkel was the most numerous and the primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. It fared well until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament, relatively low speed, and poor maneuverability were exposed. Nevertheless, it proved capable of sustaining heavy damage and remaining airborne. As the war progressed, the He 111 was used in a variety of roles on every front in the European Theatre. It was used as a strategic bomber during the Battle of Britain, a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic, and a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western, Eastern, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African Fronts.

Although constantly upgraded, the Heinkel He 111 became obsolete during the latter part of the war. It was to have been replaced by the Luftwaffe's Bomber B project, but the delays and eventual cancellation of the project forced the Luftwaffe to continue using the He 111 until the end of the war. Manufacture ceased in 1944, at which point piston-engine bomber production was largely halted in favour of fighter aircraft. With the German bomber force defunct, the He 111 was used for transport and logistics.

The design of the Heinkel endured after the war in the CASA 2.111. Its airframe was produced in Spain under license by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA. The design differed significantly in powerplant only. The Heinkel's descendant continued in service until 1973, when it was retired.

Design and development

Design conception

In the early 1930s Ernst Heinkel decided to build the world's fastest passenger plane, a goal met with skepticism by Germany's aircraft industry and political leadership. Heinkel entrusted development to Siegfried and Walter Günter, both fairly new to the company and untested. In June 1933 Albert Kesselring visited Heinkel's offices. Kesselring was head of the Luftwaffe Administration Office: at that point Germany did not have a State Aviation Ministry but only an aviation commissariat, the Luftfahrtkommissariat. Kesselring was hoping to build a new air force out of the Flying Corps being constructed in the Reichswehr and convinced Heinkel to move his factory from Warnemunde to Rostock and turn it over to mass production with a force of 3,000 employees who would produce the first He 111.

The He 111 was a twin-engine version of the 1932 ''Blitz'', with an elliptical inverted gull wing, small rounded control surfaces and BMW engines, so that the new design was often called the ''Doppel-Blitz'' ("Double Blitz"). When the Dornier Do 17 displaced the He 70, Heinkel needed a twin-engine design to match its competitors. The fuselage length was extended to just over 17.4 m/57 ft (from 11.7 m/38 ft 4½ in) and wingspan to 22.6 m/74 ft (from 14.6 m/48 ft).

By the end of 1935, prototypes V2 V4 had been produced under civilian registrations D-ALIX, D-ALES and D-AHAO. D-ALES became the first prototype of the He 111A-1. On 10 January 1936, and received recognition as the "fastest aircraft in the world", as its speed exceeded 402 km/h (250 mph). However, this was incorrect; the fastest aircraft at that time was the Macchi M.C.72, which broke the record in 1934. The design would have achieved a greater total speed had the DB 600 engines of 746 kW (1,000 hp) been added. However, German aviation industries lacked power plants with more than 447 kW (600 hp). Heinkel was forced to use the BMW VI glycol-cooled engine.

During the war, test pilot Eric Brown evaluated many ''Luftwaffe'' aircraft. Among them was a He 111H-1 of ''Kampfgeschwader'' 26 which force landed at the Firth of Forth on 9 February 1940. Brown described his impression of the He 111s unique greenhouse nose:

The overall impression of space within the cockpit area and the great degree of visual sighting afforded by the Plexiglas panelling were regarded as positive factors, with one important provision in relation to weather conditions. Should either bright sunshine or rainstorms be encountered, the pilot's visibility could be dangerously compromised either by glare throwback or lack of good sighting.

Taxiing was easy and was only complicated by rain, when the pilot had to slide back the window panel and look out to establish direction. On take off, Brown reported very little "swing" and the aircraft was well balanced. On landing, Brown noted that approach speed should be above 145 km/h (90 mph) and should be held until touch down. This was to avoid a tendency by the He 111 to drop a wing, especially on the port side.

"The sheep": early civilian variants

He 111C

The first prototype, He 111 V1 (W.Nr. 713, D-ADAP), first flew from Rostock -Marienehe on 24 February 1935. It was followed by the civilian-equipped V2 and V4 in May 1935. The V2 (W.Nr. 715, D-ALIX) used the bomb bay as a four-seat "smoking compartment", with another six seats behind it in the rear fuselage. V2 entered service with Lufthansa in 1936, along with six other newly-built versions known as the He 111 C. The He 111V4 was unveiled to the foreign press on 10 January 1936. Nazi propaganda inflated the performance of the He 111C, announcing its maximum speed as 400 km/h (249 mph), in reality its performance standing at 360 km/h (224 mph).

The He 111C-0 was a commercial version and took the form of the V4 prototype design. The first machine, designated D-AHAO "''Dresden''". It was powered by the BMW VI engine and could manage a range (depending on the fuel capacity) of 1,000 km (621 mi) to 2,200 km (1,367 mi) and a maximum speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). The wing span on the C series was 22.6 m (74 ft 1¾in). The fuselage dimensions stood at 17.1 m (56 ft 1¾in) in the He 111V1, but changed in the C to 17.5 m (57 ft 5 in). The Jumo 205 diesel-type powerplant engine replaced the BMW VI. Nevertheless, the maximum speed remained in the 220–240 km/h (137–149 mph) bracket. This was increased slightly when the BMW 132 engines were introduced.

A general problem existed in powerplants. The He 111 was equipped with BMW VI glycol -cooled engines. The German aviation industry lacked powerplants that could give an output more than 600 hp. The engines that were of suitable quality were kept for military use, frustrating German airline Lufthansa and forcing it to rely on the BMW VI or 132s.

He 111G

The He 111G was an upgraded variant and had a number of differences to its predecessors. To simplify production the leading edge of the wing was straightened, like the bomber version. Quite a few different engine types were used, among them the BMW 132, BMW VI, DB 600 and DB601A. Some C variants had been upgraded with the new wing modifications. A new BMW 132H engine was also used in a so-called ''Einheitstriebwerk'' (unitary powerplant). These radial engines were used in the Junkers Ju 90 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 200. The wing units and engines were packed together as complete operating systems, allowing for a quick change of engine.

The He 111G was the most powerful as well as the fastest commercial version. The G-0 was given the BMW VI 6.0 ZU. Later variants had their powerplants vary. The G-3 for example was equipped with the BMW 132. The G-4 was powered by DB600G inline engine and the G-5 was given the DB601A with a top speed of 410 km/h (255 mph). By early 1937, eight G variants were in ''Lufthansa'' service. The maximum number of He 111s in ''Lufthansa'' service was 12. The He 111 operated all over Europe and flew flights as far away as South Africa. Commercial development ended with the He 111G.

Basic design (based on the He 111 H-3)

The design of the He 111A-L initially had a conventional stepped cockpit. The introduction of the P variant meant that the He 111P and following production variants would be fitted with a fully glazed "bullet" or "fishbowl"-like nose. The stepped cockpit now merged into the glazed nose which housed the pilot, bombardier, and navigator. Within the cockpit the pilot was on the left and the navigator/bomb aimer on the right. The navigator went forward to the prone bomb-aiming position, or could tilt his chair to one side so that he could move into the rear of the aircraft. There was no cockpit floor below the pilots feet - the rudder pedals being on arms - giving very good visibility below.

The fuselage contained two major bulkheads. The cockpit was at the front of the first bulkhead. The nose was fitted with a rotating machine gun mount which was offset to allow the pilot a better field of forward vision. The cockpit was fully glazed, with the exception of the lower right section, which acted as a platform for the bombardier-gunner to be positioned. The bombsight penetrated through the cockpit floor into a protective housing on the external side of the cockpit area.

Between the forward and rear bulkhead was the bomb bay, which was constructed with a double-frame to strengthen it for carrying the bomb load. The space between the bomb bay and rear bulkhead was used up by Funkgerät radio equipment and contained the dorsal and ventral gunner positions. The rear bulkhead itself contained a hatch which led to the rest of the fuselage which was held together by a series of stringers. The wing was a two spar design. The fuselage was formed of stringers to which the fuselage skin was riveted. Internally the frames were fixed only to the stringers which made for simpler construction but at the loss of some rigidity.

The wings' leading edges were swept back to a point inline with the engine nacelles, while the trailing edge s were angled forward slightly. The wing contained two 700 L (190 US gal) fuel tank s between the inner wing main spars, while at the head of the main spar the oil coolers were fitted. Between the outer spars, a second pair of reserve fuel tanks were located carrying an individual capacity of 910 L (240 US gal) of fuel.

The outer trailing edges were formed by the aileron s and flaps, which were met by smooth wing tips which curved forward into the leading edge. The outer leading edge sections were installed in the shape of a curved "strip nosed" rib, which was positioned ahead of the main spar. Most of the interior ribs were not solid, with the exception of the ribs located between the rear main spar and the flap s and aileron s. This was of solid construction, though even they had lighting holes.

The control systems also had some innovations. The control column was centrally placed and the pilot sat on the port side of the cockpit. The column had an extension arm fitted and had the ability to be swung over to the starboard side in case the pilot was incapacitated. The control instruments [ were located above the pilot's] head in the ceiling which allowed viewing and did not block the pilot's vision.

The fuel instruments were electrified. The He 111 used the inner fuel tanks closest to the wing root. The outer tanks acted as reserve tanks. The pilot would be alerted to the fuel level when the tank had 100 L (26 US gal) left. A manual pump was available in case of electrical or power failure, but the delivery rate of just 4½ L (1.2 US gal) per minute demanded that the pilot fly at the lowest possible speed and just below 3,048 m (10,000 ft). Fortunately, the He 111 handled well at low speeds.

The defensive machine gun positions were located in the glass nose, the ventral, dorsal and lateral positions in the fuselage and all offered a significant field of fire. The design of the nose allowed the machine gun position to be moved 10° upwards from the horizontal and 15° downwards. The gun can also traverse some 30° laterally. Both the dorsal and ventral machine guns can move up and downwards by 65°. The dorsal position can also move the 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine gun 40° laterally, but the ventral 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z machine gun could be moved 45° laterally. Each MG 81 single machine gun mounted in the side of the fuselage could move laterally by 40°, and could move upwards from the horizontal by 30° and downwards by 40°.

Military variants

He 111 A - D

The initial reports from the test pilot, Gerhard Nitschke, were favorable. The plane's flight performance and handling were impressive although it dropped its wing in the stall. As a result, the passenger variants had their wings reduced from 25 m (82 ft) to 23 m (75 ft). The military aircraft - V1, V3 and V5 - spanned just 22.6 m (74.1 ft).

The first prototypes were underpowered, as they were equipped with 431 kW (578 hp) BMW VI 6.0 six-cylinder in-line engines. This was eventually increased to 745 kW (999 hp) with the fitting of the DB (Daimler-Benz ) 600 engines into the V5, which became the prototype of the "B" series.

He 111H, the main variant

He 111H-1 to H-10

The H variant of the He 111 series was more widely produced and saw more action during World War II than any other Heinkel variant. Owing to the uncertainty surrounding the delivery and availability of the DB 601 engines, Heinkel began tests with the 820 kW (1,100 hp) Junkers Jumo 211 powerplants. The somewhat larger size and greater weight of the Jumo 211 engines were unimportant considerations for a twin engine design, and the Jumo was used on almost all early-war bomber designs. When the Jumo was fitted to the P model it became the He 111 H.

The He 111H-1 was fitted with a standard set of three 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15s and eight SC 250 250 kg (550 lb) or 32 SC 50 50 kg (110 lb) bombs. The same armament was used in the H-2 which started production in August 1939.

The P-series was gradually replaced on the eve of war with the new the H-2, powered by improved Jumo 211 A-3 engines of 820 kW (1,100 hp). A count on 2 September 1939 revealed that the ''Luftwaffe'' had a total of 787 He 111s in service, with 705 combat ready, including 400 H-1 and H-2s that had been produced in a mere four months. Production of the H-3, powered by the 895 kW (1,200 hp) Jumo 211 D-1, began in October 1939. The experiences during the Polish Campaign lead to an increase in defensive armament. MG 17s were fitted whenever possible and the number of machine guns was increased to seven. Normally one MG 17 would be installed in the nose, one in the ventral position, dorsal position and one in each waist window position. The two waist positions received an additional MG 15 or 17. On some Heinkels a permanent belt-fed MG 17 was installed in the tail.

After the Battle of Britain, smaller scale production of the H-4s began. The H-4 was virtually identical to the He 111P-4 with the DB 600s swapped for the Jumo 211D-1s. This variant also differed from the H-3 in that could either carry 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) of bombs internally or mount one or two external racks to carry one 1,800 kg (3,970 lb) or two 1,000 kg (2,210 lb) bombs. As these external racks blocked the internal bomb bay doors, a combination of internal and external storage was not possible. A PVR 1006L bomb rack was fitted externally and a 835 L (221 US gal) tank added. The PVR 1006L was capable of carrying a SC 1000 1,000 kg (2,210 lb) bomb. Some H-4s had their PVC racks modified to drop torpedoes. Later modifications enabled the PVC 1006 to carry a 2,500 kg (5,510 lb) "Max" bomb. But 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) "Hermann" or 1,800 kg (3,970 lb) "Satans" were used more widely.

The H-5 series followed in February 1941, with heavier defensive armament. Like the H-4, it retained a PVC 1006 L bomb rack to enable it to carry heavy bombs under the fuselage. The first ten He 111H-5s were pathfinders, and selected for special missions. The aircraft sometimes carried 25 kg flashlight bombs which acted as flares. The H-5 could also carry heavy fire bombs, either heavy containers or smaller incendiary devices attached to parachute s. The H-5 also carried LM A and LM B aerial mines for anti-shipping operations. After the 80th production aircraft, the PVC 1006 L bomb rack was removed and replaced with a heavy-duty ETC 2000 rack, enabling the H-5 to carry the SC 2500 "Max" bomb, on the external ETC 2000 rack, which enabled it to support the bomb.

Some H-3 and H-4s were equipped with barrage balloon cable-cutting equipment in the shape of cutter installations forward of the engines and cockpit. They were designated H-8, but later named H8/R2. These aircraft were difficult to fly and the production stopped. The H-6 initiated some overall improvements in design. The Jumo 211 F-1 engine of 1,007 kW (1,350 hp) increased its speed while the defensive armament was upgraded with one 20 mm MG FF cannon in the nose position, one MG 15 in the ventral turret, and in each of the fuselage side windows (optional). Some H-6 variants carried tail-mounted MG 17 defensive armament. The performance of the H-6 was much improved. The climb rate was higher and the machine could reach a slightly higher ceiling of 8,500 m (27,200 ft). When heavy bomb loads were added, this ceiling was reduced to 6,500 m (20,800 ft). The weight of the H-6 increased to 14,000 kg (30,600 lb). Some H-6s received Jumo 211F-2s which improved a low-level speed of 226 mph (365 km/h). At an altitude of 6,000 m (19,200 ft) the maximum speed was 270 mph (435 km/h). If heavy external loads were added, the speed was reduced by 21.75 mph (35 km/h)

Later H variants, H-11 to H-20

In the summer of 1942, the H-11, based on the H-3 was introduced. With the H-11, the ''Luftwaffe'' had at its disposal a powerful medium bomber with heavier armour and revised defensive armament. The drum-fed 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 was replaced with a belt-fed 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 in the now fully enclosed dorsal position (''B-Stand''); the gunner in the latter was now protected with armoured glass. The single MG 15 in the ventral ''C-Stand'' was also replaced, with a belt-fed 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z with much higher rate of fire. The beam positions originally retained the single MG 15s, but the H-11/R1 replaced these with twin MG 81Z as well; this latter arrangement was standardized in November 1942. The port internal ESAC bomb racks could be removed, and an 835 L (221 US gal) fuel tanks installed in its place. Many H-11s were equipped with a new PVC rack under the fuselage, which carried five 250 kg (550 lb) bombs. Additional armour plating was fitted around crew spaces, some of it on the lower fuselage and could be jettisoned in an emergency. Engines were two 1,000 kW (1,340 hp) Junkers Jumo 211F-2, allowing this variant to carry a 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) payload to a range of 2,340 km (1,450 mi). Heinkel built 230 new aircraft of this type and converted 100 H-3s to H-11s by the summer of 1943.

The third mass production model of the He 111H was the H-16, entering production in late 1942. Armament was as on the H-11, with some differences. The 20 mm MG FF cannon was deleted, as the H-16s were seldom employed on low-level missions, was replaced with a single MG 131 in a flexible installation in the nose (''A-Stand''). On some aircraft, designated He 111H-16/R1, the dorsal position was replaced by DL 131 electrically-powered turret, armed with a MG 131. The two beam and the aft ventral positions were provided with MG 81Zs, as on the H-11. The two 1,000 kW (1,340 hp) Jumo 211 F-2 provided a maximum speed of 434 km/h (270 mph) at 6,000 m (19,690 ft); cruising speed was 390 km/h (242 mph), service ceiling was 8,500 m (27,900 ft).Funkgerät (FuG) radio equipment. FuG 10P, FuG 16, FuBl Z and APZ 6 were fitted for communication and navigation at night, while some aircraft received the FuG 101a radio altimeter. The H-16 retained its eight ESAC internal bomb cells; four bomb cells, as on previous versions could be replaced by a fuel tank to increase range. ETC 2000 racks could be installed over the bomb cell openings for external weapons carriage. Empty weight was 6,900 kg (15,210 lb) and the aircraft weighed 14,000 kg (30,860 lb) fully loaded for take off. German factories built 1,155 H-16s between the end of 1942 and the end of 1943; in addition, 280 H-6s and 35 H-11s were updated to H-16 standard.

The last major production variant was the H-20, which entered into production in early 1944. It was powered by two 1,305 kW (1,750 hp) Junkers Jumo 213 E-1 engines, turning three-blade, Junkers VS 11 wooden variable-pitch propeller s. Heinkel and its licenses built 550 H-20s through the summer of 1944, while 586 H-6s were upgraded to H-20 standard.

In contrast to the H-11 and H-16 the H-20, equipped with two Jumo 211F-2s, was given more powerful armament and radio communications. The defensive armament consisted of one MG 131 in an A-Stand gun pod for the forward mounted machine gun position. One rotatable DL 131/1C (or E) gun mount in the B-stand was standard and later MG 131 machine guns were added.

The He 111H had to be kept in production until 1944 because the RLM failed to provide a successor: the He 177 ''Greif'' heavy bomber was plagued by engine problems, and the Bomber B program was eventually abandoned. The vast majority of the 7,300 He 111s produced were the H models, largely identical to the first H introduced 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. The ''RLM'' ''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 ''Reichsmark s'' (RM). Heinkel was given a 150,000 RM share. The factory itself was built and belonged to the German state.

From this production plant, 452 He 111s and 69 Junkers Ju 88s were built in the first year of the war.

German production for the Luftwaffe amounted to 808 He 111s by September 1939. According to Heinkel's memoirs, a further 452 were built in 1939, giving a total of 1,260.

But "1940's production suffered extreme losses during the Battle of Britain, with 756 bombers lost". 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. Losses were also considerable the previous year over the Balkans and Eastern Fronts. To compensate, He 111 production was increased to 950 in 1941. In 1942, this increased further to 1,337 He 111s. The Ju 88 production figures were even higher still, exceeding 3,000 in 1942, of which 2,270 were bomber variants. In 1943, He 111 increased to 1,405 aircraft. But the Ju 88 still outnumbered it in production terms as its figures reached 2,160 for 1943. 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. During 1939-1944, a total of 5,656 Heinkel He 111s were built compared to 9,122 Ju 88s. 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. Of these 21 Junkers Ju 87 s, 74 Junkers Ju 188 s, 3 Junkers Ju 388 s and 18 Arado Ar 234 s were built.

Of the Heinkel variants, zero Heinkel He 177 s were produced and just two Heinkel He 111s were built.

Quarterly production 1942-1944.

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. Small numbers of ''Kampgeschwader'' did continue to operate a small number of He 111s until 1945 in various roles, but mostly at night to avoid Allied fighter aircraft.


*He 111 A-0: 10 aircraft built based on He 111 V3, two used for trials at Rechlin, rejected by ''Luftwaffe,'' all 10 were sold to China".

*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.

*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.

*He 111 B-3: Modified B-1 for training purposes.

*He 111 C-0: Six pre-production aircraft.

*He 111 D-0: Pre-production aircraft with DB600Ga engines.

*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.

*He 111 E-0: Pre-production aircraft, similar to B-0, but with Jumo 211A-1 engines.

*He 111 E-1: Production aircraft with Jumo 211 A-1 powerplants. Prototypes were powered by Jume 210G as which replaced the original DB 600s.

*He 111 E-2: Non production variant. No known variants built. Designed with Jumo 211 A-1s and A-3s.

*He 111 E-3: Production bomber. Same design as E-2, but upgraded to standard Jumo 211A-3s.

*He 111 E-4: Half of 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) bomb load carried externally.

*He 111 E-5: Fitted with several internal auxiliary fuel tanks.

*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 211A-1 engines.

*He 111 F-1: Production bomber, 24 were exported to Turkey.

*He 111 F-2: 20 were built. The F-2 was based on the F-1, differing only in installation of optimised wireless equipment.

*He 111 F-3: Planned reconnaissance version. Bomb release equipment replaced with RB cameras. It was to have Jumo 211A-3 powerplants.

*He 111 F-4: A small number of staff communications aircraft were built under this designation. Equipment was similar to the G-5.

*He 111 F-5: The F-5 was not put into production. The already available on the P variant showed it to be superior.

*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.

*He 111 J-1: Production torpedo bomber, 90 built, but re-configured as a bomber.

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

*He 111 P-0: Pre-production aircraft featured new straight wing, new glazed nose, Db601Aa engines, and a ventral gondola for gunner (rather than "dust-bin" on previous models).

*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.

*He 111 P-3: Dual control trainer fitted with DB601A-1 powerplants.

*He 111 P-4: Fitted with extra armour, three extra MG 15s, and provisions for two externally mounted bomber racks. Powerplants consisted of DB601A-1s. The internal bomb bay was replaced with a 835 L fuel tank and a 120 L oil tank.

*He 111 P-5: The P-5 was a pilot trainer. Some 24 examples were built. The variant was powered by DB 601A engines.

*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.

*He 111 P-6/R2: Conversions later in war of surviving aircraft to glider tugs.

*He 111 P-7: Never built.

*He 111 P-8: Its existence and production is in doubt.

*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.

*He 111 H-0: Pre-production aircraft similar to P-2 but with Jumo 211A-1 engines.

*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 211A-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.".

*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.

*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.

*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.

*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.

*He 111 H-8/R2: 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.

*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.

*He 111 H-11/R1: As H-11, but with two 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z twin-gun units at beam positions.

*He 111 H-11/R2: As H-11, but converted to a glider tug.

*He 111 H-12: Modified to carry Hs 293 A missiles, fitted with FuG 203b Kehl transmitter, and ventral gondola deleted.

*He 111 H-14: Pathfinder, fitted with FuG FuMB4 Samos and FuG 16 radio equipment.

*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.

*He 111 H-16: Fitted with Jumo 211F-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 16 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) bombs.

*He 111 H-21: Based on the H-20/R3, but with Jumo 213E-1 engines.

*He 111 H-22: Re-designated and modified H-6, H-16, and H-21's used to air launch V-1 flying-bombs.

*He 111 H-23: Based on H-20/R1, but with Jumo 213A-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 II.

*He 111 Z-1: Two He 111 airframes coupled together by a fifth engine, used 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 license for indigenous use. These models were designated CASA 2.111 and served until 1975.


Military operators


*Bulgarian Air Force.


*Chinese Nationalist Air Force.


*Czechoslovak Air Force operated one aircraft post-war.


*''Luftwaffe ''


*Royal Hungarian Air Force.


*Royal Romanian Air Force.



*''Slovak Air Force ''

Spanish State

*Spanish Air Force.


*Turkish Air Force operated He 111F variant.


*Royal Air Force operated various captured variants during and after the war.

United States|1912

*United States Army Air Force operated several captured aircraft after the war. One pictured H-20 - 23, may be the machine currently on display at the RAF Museum Hendon, minus the DL131 turret.

Civil operators


*''Lufthansa '' operated 12 aircraft.


*Unknown civilian user operated one converted bomber. The registration of the He 111 was YR-PTP. It is unknown whether this was a German or Romanian designation. Works, or factory number is unknown.


Only three original German built He 111 survivors are on display or stored in museums around the world (not including major sections):

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

* A mostly complete He 111P-2 (Wk Nr 1526), is on display at the Norwegian Air Force Museum at Gardermoen.

* A He 111H-20, Wk Nr 701152, is on display at the RAF Museum Hendon, London.

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. Unrelated to this effort are efforts by several organizations to restore one to flyable condition.

The original source for this article was the Wikipedia Heinkel 111 article.