Aviation of World War II

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He 115 ✙
Multipurpose Seaplane

He.115 in flight

The He 115 floatplane, which by the beginning of World War II was already considered an obsolete aircraft, nevertheless managed to serve not only Germany, but also Norway, Sweden, Finland and Great Britain. Designed as a military aircraft designed to perform not only patrol missions, but also torpedo and bomber functions, the seaplane, with two huge floats, turned out to be too clumsy and unprotected to withstand enemy fighters. However, early prototypes of the He 115, which appeared in 1938, surpassed their competitor Hs 140, and Heinkel was awarded a contract for its production. As a result, 138 seaplanes were built, 76 of which were built at the Weser aircraft plant.

Structurally, the seaplane was an all-metal midwing, an oval-section monocoque fuselage and a two-spar three-section wing. The first flight of the He 115-V1 took place in August 1937, the seaplane was equipped with two 9-cylinder air-cooled engines BMW-132K, with a capacity of 960 hp. from. everyone. Two single-legged floats were mounted directly below the propulsion nacelles on a pair of vertical streamlined struts with wire braces. The fuselage compartment housed either one 700 kg torpedo or three 250 kg bombs. The crew consisted of three people - a pilot, a navigator and a radio operator. Defensive armament consisted of a pair of MG-15 machine guns. In the glazed, somewhat angular nose of the fuselage, a ball machine-gun mount was mounted. The second machine gun was at the end of the cockpit above the trailing edge of the wing.

The first production model of the He 115A-1 was produced in January 1939. It was a clean torpedo bomber, however, it was possible to carry three 250 kg bombs into the compartment. In addition, there were two holders under the wing.

In December 1939. the production of the He 115B-1 was launched, on which it was possible to use several "sets of field weapons", which made it possible to adapt the aircraft to solving special problems. So He 115B-1 / R-1 had two cameras. He 115B-1 / R-2 - holders for one 500kg bomb. He 115B-1 / R-З could carry two 500 kg LMA-III mines, one 1000 kg LMB-III. The empty weight of the He 115B-1 was 6720 kg, and the maximum take-off in the mine layer version was 10815 kg.

The latest C-series aircraft had heavier armament than the B-series. Armament of the He 115 C-1. One 7.9 mm MG-15 machine gun with 525 rounds in the bow mount, one stationary 15 mm MG-151 cannon forward, one 7.9 mm MG-15 machine gun with 1,500 rounds on a movable mount backward and one MG-17 in the tail of each nacelle; 1 torpedo LTF-5 or LTF-6b, or 1x 920 kg mine LMB-III, or 2x500 kg LMA, or 3x250 kg bombs in the compartment and 2 under the wing.

By the summer of 1940, the seaplane as a torpedo bomber was clearly outdated. Its tasks could be perfectly solved by faster and less vulnerable land aircraft. But the long range and duration of the flight made it possible to use the seaplane as a patrol aircraft and a minelayer. The greatest "merit" of the He 115 is considered to be its participation, together with the submarines and aircraft He 111 and Ju 88, in the defeat of the PQ-17 convoy in July 1942, which arranged a real hunt for practically defenseless ships abandoned by their escort and continued to go to Arkhangelsk, 23 out of 36 ships were sunk. The infamous page of the British fleet of World War II ...

He 115 C1
Crew 3
Wing span, m 22.30
Length, m 17.30
Height, m 6.30
Wing area, m² 86.80
Weight, kg:
Empty 6,880
Loaded weight 10,690
2 PE BMW-132K, power, h.p. 2 × 960
Maximum speed, km/h 300
Cruising speed, km/h 285
Maximum range, km 2800
Service ceiling, m 3,200


  • Luftwaffe Aviation / V.N. Shunkov /
  • Luftwaffe Combat Aircraft / Edited by David Donald /
  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /

Photo Description
Drawing He 115 B-2 Drawing He 115 B-2
He 115 Swedish Air Force, above the cockpit you can see the frame of the radio compass.
He 115 B-1. There is a torpedo suspension in the weapons bay.