The Heinkel He 115 in a nutshell
National origin:- Germany Role:- Torpedo bomber seaplane Manufacturer:- Bayerische Flugzeugwerke Designer:- Heinkel First flight:- August 1937 Introduction:- 1939 Retired: 1945 Primary users:- Luftwaffe, Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service, Swedish Air Force, Royal Air Force, Finnish Air Force Number built:- 138 Variants Produced: Nord 1000; Nord Noralpha
Design and development
In 1935, the German Reich Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrtministerium or RLM) produced a requirement for a twin engined general purpose floatplane, suitable both for patrol and for anti-shipping strikes with bombs and torpedoes. Proposals were received from both Heinkel Flugzeugwerke and from Blohm & Voss' aircraft subsidiary, Hamburger Flugzeugbau, and on 1 November 1935, orders were placed with both Heinkel and Hamburger Flugzeugbau for three prototypes each of their prospective designs, the He 115 and the Ha 140.
The first prototype Heinkel flew in August 1937, with testing proving successful, with the He 115 being selected over the Ha 140 early in 1938, resulting in an order for an additional prototype and 10 pre-production aircraft. Meanwhile, the first prototype was used to set a series of international records for floatplanes over 1,000 km (621 mi) and 2,000 km (1,243 mi) closed circuits at a speed of 328 km/h (204 mph).
Armament varied, but included a 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine guns, 20 mm MG 151 cannons, 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns and 20 mm MG FF cannons. Other weapons used by He 115 variants include LTF 5 or LTF 6b torpedoes and SD 500 500 kg (1,100 lb) or SC 250 250 kg (550 lb) bombs. Some also carried LMB III or LMA mines.
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