Aviation of World War II
He 70 Blitz
The history of the creation of the Non-70 began in January 1932, when the German airline Lufthansa, in need of modernizing its aircraft fleet, ordered Heinkel and Junkers to create new passenger machines. The aircraft received the designation Non-65 and Ju-60 and were to be carried out according to the low-wing scheme with a fixed landing gear and an air-cooled BMW engine with an 575 hp power (licensed Pratt-Whitney "Hornet").
However, already in May 1932, a report appeared in the press that the Swiss company Swissair ordered several Orions from Lockheed for the Zurich-Munich-Vienna route. Since the Orion had a retractable landing gear and a speed of over 300 km / h, the Lufthansa management had to urgently raise the bar for the new aircraft so that it would not be inferior to its American competitor.
The production of the Non-70 was increasingly focused on military supplies, but still, Lufthansa managed in 1935 to replenish its fleet with an additional ten passenger Non-70G-1s. This plane had a crew of two - a pilot and a radio operator sitting behind him, and five passengers were accommodated in a rather cramped cabin. It was the small volume of the cabin that was, perhaps, the main drawback of the passenger He-70, especially since by the mid-30s not only comfortable, but also high-speed liners like the Ju-86, DC-2 and DC-3 appeared. Therefore, the civil service of the "seventies" in Lufthansa did not last long, and in 1938 they were all removed from passenger traffic.
Part of the civilian He-70G-1 was transferred to the Luftwaffe, where they were used for communication and transport purposes. And the He-70G-2 (distinguished by a retractable tail wheel) became a personal aircraft for high ranks in the general staff. They also created a new version of the He-70E light reconnaissance bomber with a BMW VI 7.3Z engine and a crew of three: a pilot, a radio operator and a gunner. However, the Non-70F-1 went into the series, which had a greater range due to an additional 280-liter fuel tank in the fuselage. A radio operator sat behind the pilot, and behind the bomb bay was the gunner's workplace. He could fire from the only machine gun on the plane - MG 15 caliber 7.9 mm (ammunition - six disks of 75 rounds). The cockpit canopy was common to the entire crew and therefore turned out to be quite long. The maximum speed of the Non-70F-1 with a full load reached 335 km / h, which exceeded the speed of the main Luftwaffe biplane fighter Non-51. The following variants were also released: Non-70F-2 (with a tail wheel instead of a crutch) and a "clean" non-70F-3 reconnaissance aircraft (differed from the F-2 by the absence of bomb racks).
He-70E design. The He-70e high-speed bomber was a cantilever single-engine three-seater monoplane of mixed design, with a low wing and retractable landing gear.
The all-metal, oval-section fuselage had very clean aerodynamic shapes. Structural scheme - monocoque; the power set consisted of frames, stringers and spars. The fuselage is covered with duralumin. The riveting of the skin was carried out "in a sweat", so as not to disturb the smoothness of the air flow around the fuselage.
Technologically, the fuselage consisted of three sections: nose, center and tail. The bow ended with an armored power fire-fighting frame, to which a steel tubular motor mount and a water tank of the cooling system were attached. The central section housed a fully enclosed cockpit, moved forward as much as possible so that the wing did not interfere with the pilot to follow the ground during takeoff and landing, and to improve visibility.
The pilot's cockpit canopy could be moved back, and for the convenience of landing the crew, one of the canopy sections on the left side of the pilot's cockpit leaned to the side. The pilot's seat is armored. A set of instrumentation made it possible to fly day and night in simple and difficult weather conditions. All instrument panels in the cockpit of the pilot and gunner-radio operator had a backlight.
Behind the pilot, to his right, was the navigator. Navigational navigation equipment was mounted on the right side of the pilot's dashboard. The navigator entered the cockpit through the front door located on the starboard side of the aircraft near the cockpit. Poor visibility from the navigator's workplace subsequently became one of the main reasons for the removal of the aircraft from service and its transfer to auxiliary roles.
Immediately behind the cockpit, in the fairing, there was a hydraulic tank, and on the fairing itself, a radio station antenna rack and a radio compass loop antenna were installed. Between the cockpits of the pilot and arrow-scorer there was a bomb bay with vertical containers for bombs. If necessary, instead of containers, an additional 280-liter fuel tank could be installed.
The gunner's cockpit was behind the bomb bay. In addition to sighting equipment for the bombardment, there was a FuG-VIIIR / T radio station, a 7.9-mm MG-15 machine gun, a first aid kit and oxygen equipment. In the cockpit floor there was a porthole for aiming and observing. The cockpit was closed with a transparent canopy, two sections of which moved forward along the flight, providing access to the cockpit, and in an emergency - a quick exit from it.
Behind the cockpit of the shooter-scorer followed the end section of the fuselage with tail and crutch.
The wing is two-spar, cantilever, mixed design. It consisted of a center section and two consoles and had an elliptical shape in plan, which was typical for most Heinkel aircraft of that time. The power set consisted of two steel spars and a set of ribs. Plywood wing cover. The consoles had cutouts for the cleaning niches of the main landing gear. In the center section, between the root ribs and the landing gear cleaning niches, there were two fuel tanks (one on the left and one on the right) with a capacity of 210 liters each. The mechanization of the wing was represented by landing flaps, flaps and ailerons. An air pressure receiver (PVD) was fixed on the left console, and there were navigation lights on the wingtips.
The tail unit is two-spar, mixed design, with an all-metal power set. The keel and stabilizer were sheathed with plywood, and the elevators and rudders with canvas. Controlled trimmers were installed on the rudders and elevators. The elevator control wiring is rigid. The trimmers were deflected by turning the steering wheel on the left side of the cockpit.
Chassis typical for the early 30s of the three-bearing scheme with a tail spike. The main landing gear was retracted and extended using a hydraulic system. Wheels with dimensions of 900x200 mm were equipped with pneumatic brakes. After the landing gear was retracted, the niches were closed with flaps, which significantly improved the aerodynamics of the wing.
The power plant of the aircraft consisted of an in-line 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine BMW-VI7.3Z with a capacity of 750 hp. with a two-bladed metal constant-pitch propeller; later modifications of the Non-170 and Non-270 aircraft were equipped with three-bladed metal propellers with variable pitch in flight. The motor did not have exhaust manifolds - instead they had individual exhaust pipes.
The engine was mounted on a steel tubular motor mount using rubber anti-vibration pads. The water tank was fixed on the power fire-fighting frame, the oil tank - on the motor mount under the engine. The radiator removed with the help of a cable system was located in front of the power frame.
The armament of the aircraft consisted of a defensive 7.9-mm machine gun MG-15 with 450 rounds of ammunition (in six magazines), mounted on a movable pivot mount in the cockpit of the gunner-radio operator, and bomb armament. Bombs (6x50kg or 24x10kg) were placed vertically in the fuselage bomb bay.
The combat debut of the “seventies” was Spain. As part of the Condor Legion, an A / 88 squadron arrived on the Iberian Peninsula, which had 12 He-70F-1. Their main task was aerial reconnaissance, although at the end of 1936 several vehicles, led by Lieutenant Heinz Runze, bombed a hydroelectric plant in Northern Catalonia. By March 1937, the next 13 He-70F-1s were added to the first dozen. But despite the relatively "young" age, in the sky of the civil war, the "seventieth" no longer looked like a modern aircraft. The development of fighters also took a long step forward, and the Non-70 had no chance to get away from the Soviet I-16. Yes, and protective weapons from one rifle-caliber machine gun were clearly not enough. Therefore, they decided to gradually replace the He-70 in combat units with more modern Do-17F-1.
Air formations in Germany were the first to retrain on twin-engine Dorniers. In the spring of 1937, the crews of three squadrons that are part of the air reconnaissance group Aufkl. GR (F) / 122 in Prenzlau, switched from He-70 to Do-17F-1. One of them went to Spain to replace the rapidly obsolete Heinkels there. By that time, Non-70F-1s from the A/88 squadron were actively involved in reconnaissance and bombing missions, especially often involved in missions during the battles near Bilbao in the summer of 1937. The liberated "seventies" did not return to Germany, and 12 scouts flew to Seville, where they were received by Spanish crews led by General Queipo de Llano. In September 1937, the next batch of Do-17F-1s arrived in Spain, and the remaining He-70s from the A / 88 group also went to the Francoists. A group of these aircraft, under the command of Carlos Soler, was based in Vitoria. In November 1937, two of its squadrons received separate status and became part of the 3rd mixed squadron of the 1st air brigade, based in Extremadura and Andalusia.
During 1938, the Germans handed over several more He-70F-1s to Franco, and their total number in the Spanish Air Force reached 30. Due to problems with spare parts, the Lightnings were quite often idle, but nevertheless they were attracted to combat missions as soon as possible. They were actively used, for example, during the fighting at Teruel, in Aragon and on the Zbro River. Some of the aircraft were shot down, others were simply decommissioned due to severe deterioration, so that after the civil war only 10 aircraft remained in service. By 1946, there were still 6 flying Heinkels in Spain, and the last of them ceased to take off in 1953. In the Luftwaffe, by the end of 1937, there were five reconnaissance groups that had a mixed fleet of He-70F aircraft and two-seat He-45 biplanes. By September 1938, 73 combat He-70s were still in service as bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, but in the following months they were quickly removed from service and transferred to flight schools and transport squadrons.
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On Heinkel, a pilot installation of the Gnome-Ron-14K Mistral-Major licensed engine manufactured in Budapest was carried out on the He.70f-3, which received the brand designation He.170-V1 (D-OASA). Initially, the engine mount was attached to the front frame, as with the VMW-VI, but the centering still required the front fuselage to be lengthened. This modification received the designation He.170a-01 (D-OHEW). The engine was a Gnome-Ron 14K with a Hamilton-Standard three-bladed variable-pitch propeller. The first flight was made in early 1937. Due to the fact that work on the development of the licensed "Gnome-Roi" 14K progressed extremely slowly on the "Manfred Weiss", the second serial He.170a was originally equipped with a French engine received through Italy.
He.170a-01 was the first of 18 aircraft ordered by the Hungarian government. Deliveries were made between September 1937. and February 1938. Of these, the 1st separate long-range reconnaissance group was formed, consisting of two squadrons of nine aircraft each. They were based at the Matyasfelde airfield near Budapest. At the end of 1938 they were transferred to Kecskemét, from where in March 1939. they made their first "combat" missions when Hungary took part in the division of Czechoslovakia. Summer 1940 relations with Romania sharply worsened, from which Hungary demanded the return of Transylvania. He.170a made quite a few secret reconnaissance flights, which were carried out at an altitude of 6000-8000 m, while successfully evading interception by Romanian fighters. This continued until August 1940. - until the return of Hungary to the northern part of Transylvania, which softened relations between the two countries.
At the beginning of November 1940. the group was transferred to Budapest, but the cold weather that winter briefly put the He.170a out of action, as they were not adapted to operate in low temperatures. So the radio antennas broke off at the first sign of glaciation. In April 1941 He.170 took part in the Balkan company, making reconnaissance flights at low altitude over the Bakska region, which belonged to Yugoslavia. June 26, 1941 He.170a made their first sorties in the war against the Soviet Union. In total, up to 20 reconnaissance flights were carried out from Budaers He.170a. After refueling at Ungvar, they conducted reconnaissance over the areas of Sambir, Grodno, Lvov, Brod, Ternopil and Kamenetz-Podolsk. During this time, only one He.170a was shot down by Soviet fighters. Another one was lost during an emergency landing after the tanks ignited in flight.
Despite the small losses, He.170a was not particularly popular among the crews. The aircraft caught fire very easily, besides, the defensive armament was clearly weak with small angles of fire. The view from the plane was also unsatisfactory. It was the latter circumstance that forced the He.170a to be removed from the armament of combat units after 30 sorties. The designation He.170 was practically used only on the Heinkel, the Hungarians preferred to call it He.70.
* note - with an additional tank.
In 1937, Heinkel proposed to the Technical Department to extend the service of the He.70f by re-equipping them with DB-600 or DВ-601 engines and new equipment. It was assumed that with these changes, the Luftwaffe would quickly and cheaply receive a scout at the level of the latest requirements. The project of the upgraded aircraft received the designation He.270. Lufthansa received the same offer to upgrade the He.70s.
On its own initiative, "Heinkel" converted the last serial He.70f glider under the DВ-601Аа engine with a take-off power of 1175 hp. At the same time, the rear firing mount was redone and the side windows characteristic of previous models were sealed up, and a synchronous MG-17 machine gun was installed. The consoles provided for the installation of additional tanks.
He.270-V1 (D-OEHF) made its first flight in the spring of 1938. The tests that began in the spring of 1938 were encouraging, and the designers hoped for a prosperous fate for the aircraft. However, officials from the Ministry of Aviation were more than cool about the younger brother of the famous Blitz. Firstly, the latest DB 601 engines were already lacking for other aircraft building programs, and even more so, I didn’t want to put them on the old He-70 fuselages that had almost exhausted their resource. And, secondly, the Dornier company already had a modern reconnaissance Do-17P-1, superior to the Heinkel in all respects. Also, the leadership of Lufthansa showed no interest in the Non-270. At the beginning of 1938, only five He-70Fs remained on the passenger lines, and the airline was not going to extend their flying life. Naturally, in such a situation, the further release of the Non-270 did not take place.