Fokker Dr.I
The Heinkel 111 came into WWII aviation history as one of the best medium-range bombers, although its initial combat service with the first-built planes was very short because of airframe and engine problems.
Just after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the Third Reich, he began the process of breaking the Versailles Treaty. But Germany was not in a position to challenge Britain and France and the concept of Bomber aviation consisted of building transport planes, which could be converted to bombers when war became inevitable.
On February 24th1935 the new planes first flight took place. Flight performance was satisfactory and the plane returned to factory for improvements. The Reichsluftahrtministerium at the end of 1935 ordered a pre-production batch of 10 aircraft, which received the official name He-111A, unlike the prototype, the He-111A was heavier by 520 kg, and cruising speed was reduced to 168 mph (270 km/h). The new plane was admittedly unsuitable for the Luftwaffe.
This decision was unexpected by Heinkel, who had already initiated flight-testing of the much powerful He-111V5 prototype.
But at the same time while all this was taking place the Chinese military purchasing commission was in Germany. The Chinese-Japanese boarder conflict had generated a mandate from the Chiang Kai-shek government to obtain bombers.
Soon six He-111A's with deleted bombsights and radio equipment were disassembled and shipped to China by sea. At the end of 1936 all six of the new bombers joined the Chinese air forces.
They were first operationally used to attack the Japanese army near Shanghai, being accompanied by Martin 139 and Boeing 281 escort planes. Five of the six He-111A which participated in this mission (with inexperienced Chinese crews) forgot to lift the ventral gunner's position and the Heinkel's fell behind the Martin's and the Boeing's. Japanese fighters shot down three of them, the others returned to base.
The surviving three He-111A's were still in service until the autumn of 1937.
One He-111 was lost in a flying accident in 1939, when a Chinese gunner from another aircraft shot it down by mistake.
Painter`s description
 Heinkel 111A-0. Chinese Air Force, Nanchang military district.
    This series of ten bombers appeared in Germany at the beginning of 1936 and was equipped with the inline-twelve water-cooled 660-hp BMW V16 OZ engines. This design did not satisfy the Luftwaffe because of bad performance. In 1936 the company sold six aircraft to China, and the rest four were used to do various research and test works.
    Before the Japanese aggression, in July of 1937, the He 111A-0 aircraft were adopted in China by the 19th squadron belonging to the eighth bomber group. The aircraft bore the colors of the U.S. Air Force: the upper and side planes were painted with Olive Drab 41 (OD), the lower ones with Neutral Grey 43 (NG), i.e. gray-olive and blue-gray colors, accordingly.
    The picture shows the episode of the air fight on August 25, 1937, when the squadron took part in a raid on Japanese ships near Shanghai. It was a very unsuccessful raid for the He 111 aircraft: the bombs fell on a settlement and the lower rifle points were thrust out, which reduced the aircraft speed considerably. Enemy fighters used the mistake of the Chinese crews and brought down three Heinkels out of five. The rest flew for one or two more years. According to some sources, a Chinese pilot brought down the last aircraft by mistake in 1939.

Technical Specifications
Wingspan22,61 m
Length17,51 m
Wing area10.70 m2
Take off weight8220 kg
Speed (max)310 km/h
Engine2xBMW VI (660 h.p.)
Machine guns2 x 7,9 mm MG 15