Heinkel He51 B.2

In 1935 Germany finally departed from the terms of the Versailles Agreement, which following the conclusion of World War I prohibited the country from possessing any offensive weapons, including fighter aircraft. One of the first proper fighters to be taken up by the Luftwaffe once again was the Heinkel He 51 created by the talented designer Ernst Heinkel. This biplane became one of the mainstays of the Air Force, and its role which initially was considered to be exclusively in air combat, was expanded to include use as a light bomber or for air support.
At the same time Germany began full rearmament of the Navy (Kriegsmarine), one of the components of which was aviation. The main task of a maritime fighter had to be support of Kriegsmarine ships from the air in the coastal zone, and also the protection of the nation's coastal zone. As the Heinkel He 51 was initially intended by its developers to include a maritime capability, Heinkel's firm very soon converted a Heinkel He 51 into a floatplane. Its flight test results were more than satisfactory and therefore a preliminary series of eight machines was immediately ordered, that were converted from standard He 51A machines. At this time a significant number of the He 51B variant had been manufactured and therefore the following series of 38 units were produced to the new standard, these machines being designated the Heinkel He 51B-2. All 46 machines were delivered to the I./JG136 Fighter Wing of coastal fighters, which was based in Kiel and Jever. These aircraft were used until the end of the Thirties, but with the beginning of World War II, they were considered obsolete and transferred to training units.

  1. Heinkel He51 B.2, onboard plane of cruiser «Leipzig», 1936.
  2. Heinkel He51 B.2, 1.Kü.J.St./136, Holtenau seadrome (Kiel region), summer 1936.
Technical Specifications
Wingspan 11 m
Length 9.1 m
Height 3.9 m
Wing area 27.2 m²
Empty weight 1526 kg
Takeoff weight 1970 kg
Max speed 315 km/h
Range 550 km
Service ceiling 7400 m
Engine 1 х 750 hp BMW VI-7.3Z
Weapons 2 х MG17 7.9 mm machine gun with 500 rounds each