Transport aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft
The He 116 was originally created as a transport aircraft for Deutsche Lufthansa, capable of carrying out mail transportation in the Far East. The route, providing for the flight of the Pamirs in the area of the Tajik-Afghan border, required a flight altitude of about 8000m. In the absence of high-altitude engines with a capacity of about 500 hp, Ernst Heinkel Flyugzeugwerke began to develop a four-engine monoplane according to the requirements of Lufthansa.
In the absence of high-altitude engines, the first He 116-V1, completed in the spring of 1937, received four "Hirt" HM-508S engines - 8-cylinder inverted V type, air-cooled, takeoff power 270hp. Propellers - VDM - two-blade variable pitch.
The second prototype He 116-V2 (D-AJIE) with the same power plant was already considered as a prototype for the series. In 1938. under the name Schlesien it was delivered to Lufthansa for testing. Although the originally planned engines were never brought to installation on the aircraft, the Heinkel by the beginning of 1938. completed four pre-production He 116a-0. Together with them were released the potato He 116-V7 and V8, delivered to the Ministry of Air Transport.
Two He 116a-0 were ordered by Japan and left Berlin on April 23, 1938, reaching Tokyo six days later, having flown 15250 km in 54h 17min flight time. They were later used by Manchu Airlines on the Tokyo-Nanking route. Another aircraft of the A series was prepared as a record one - He 116a-03 (VЗ, D-ARFD). The wingspan was increased to 25m, and the area was increased to 73.2m². Additional tanks and HM-508H engines were installed - with a lower number of revolutions and a degree of boost, giving 240 hp on takeoff.
The aircraft received the designation He 116R "Rostock" and was equipped with four launch rockets. Successfully, on the second attempt, starting on June 30, 1938 and flying 9940 km in 46 hours 18 minutes at an average speed of 215 km/h.
He 116-V7 and V8 structurally almost did not differ from their predecessors, with the exception of an elongated glazed nose. The Air Ministry ordered six more aircraft as long-range reconnaissance aircraft. These aircraft were delivered to the Luftwaffe in 1938. under the designation He 116b-0 and, like the A-series aircraft, they carried numbers (V9-V14). No defensive weapons were deployed, since they were planned to be used outside the range of coastal fighters.
He.116b had a duralumin monocoque fuselage. The two-spar wooden wing was sheathed with plywood. The crew consisted of four people: two pilots, a radio operator and a navigator. The possibility of installing various photographic equipment was provided. V7, V8 and six He 116b consisted of several parts before the war. Although various reconnaissance flights were planned for them, they were not really used at the front, but mainly took photographs of the territory of Germany and the occupied countries.
A total of 14 aircraft of all modifications were built.