Ha 139 Langstreckenaufklärer
Long-range Naval Scout
Blohm und Voss
In 1935, Lufthansa published specifications for a naval aircraft required for its new transatlantic postal service. He had to take off and land on waves, be suitable for launch from a catapult and capable of carrying a load weighing at least 500 kg over a distance of 5000 km at a cruising speed of 250 km / h. Hamburger Flyugzeugbau, a subsidiary of Blom & Foss, undertook a number of design developments, including the P 15 project, which later received an order for three prototypes of such an aircraft. The chosen power plant was a specially designed Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engine, which has a specific fuel consumption that is almost 25% lower than that of the corresponding gasoline engines.
Only 3 vehicles of this type were built:
- Ha 139 V1 Nordmeer (civil registration number D-AMIE, production number 181);
- Ha 139 V2 Nordwind (D-AJEY, Zn. 182);
- Ha 139 V3 Nordstern (D-ASTA), a slightly larger version, designated Ha 139 B.
The first prototype The 139V1 made a test flight in the fall of 1936, and by March 1937 the first two aircraft were delivered to Lufthansa for flights between Horta (Azores) and New York. A slightly enlarged and weighted third aircraft, named Na 139B, appeared under this program in mid-1938.
Later, in 1939, these three Na 139 aircraft and their crews were taken over by the Luftwaffe, and the third prototype was modified for reconnaissance missions. To provide better visibility, the nose was lengthened and glazed, and the vertical tail unit was increased accordingly. In the bow, in a glazed gondola on the Ikaria installation, an MG 15 machine gun was located, a second machine gun, serviced by a radio operator, was placed in a hatch in the upper part of the cockpit, and two more MG 15s could be installed in the side holes in the lower part of the fuselage. Called the 139B / U (Umbau - Reconstructed), this prototype made its maiden flight on January 19, 1940, starting from the catapult of the Lufthansa support vessel Friesenland. After testing the Ha I39B / U, the 1st Squadron of the 406th Land-Based Group (l./Kustenfliegerguppe 406) was delivered, which operated it along with other naval aircraft for transport missions and for weather reconnaissance during the Norwegian campaign. The other two prototypes underwent similar changes and were sent to Norway as well. Once at the disposal of the 108th Special Purpose Naval Combat Group, they were mainly used as transport aircraft, supplying ground units stationed along isolated fjords.
A shortage of spare parts prevented the wider use of the Ha 139 in the Luftwaffe, however in 1942 the V3 was converted into a mine clearance aircraft called the H 139B / MS. A large rim of the coil of the magnetic field generator stretched from the nose to the ends of the wing and to the tail stabilizer. It is not known whether this plane was used by miners - it was later decommissioned along with two other machines.