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Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber)

Nazi Germany (1943)
Picture of Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber) Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Project

Like other multi-engine heavy bomber projects of the Germans during World War 2, little became of the proposed Heinkel He 277 design.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber) Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Project.  Entry last updated on 7/17/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

There were many German aviation concerns lending their talents to the war effort of World War 2 (1939-1945) but only a few stood above the others - Heinkel, Messerschmitt, Focke-Wulf being some of the more notable ones. While Heinkel's contribution is largely through its He 111 medium bomber series, it also tried its hand at a larger, more advanced multi-engined platform in the ultimately-failed He 177 "Greif" ("Griffon"). A unique compound engine arrangement was featured which coupled a pair of Daimler-Benz DB605 inline engines (as the DB610) but these proved prone to catching fire and several prototypes were lost in development. Structural issues only served to limit the type in production as fewer than 1,000 examples were seen by war's end - manufacture was actually ended earlier in 1944.

Back in April of 1942, the RLM initiated the "Amerika Bomber" program which called for a new long-range bomber featuring inherent endurance to bomb targets along the American East Coast following the United States' entry into World War 2 (December 1941). The range in question was about 3,600 miles and various companies threw their hat into the ring, various designs being contemplated which ranged from the conventional to the more advanced/bizarre. One final quality of the large aircraft would be provision to deliver an atomic bomb under development by German scientists before the end of the war.

The companies called to further their more conventionally-minded/conventionally-powered designs became Focke-Wulf, Heinkel, Junkers and Messerschmitt. For Focke-Wulf this became the Fw 300 and Ta 400 entries and Heinkel followed with their He 277 based on the aforementioned He 177. Junkers worked on their Ju 390 concept and Messerschmitt poured its resources into the Me 264. No one offering made it into operational service and eight prototypes (five from Junkers and three from Messerschmitt) was all there was to show for the late-war effort.

The He 177B was selected to form the basis of the He 277 submission. This represented a more conventionally-arranged, four-engine form of their compound-engined He 177A model. Thus, the complexities and engine troubles of the A-model were done away with and control issues were to be remedied by way of a twin-finned tail unit. Four engine nacelles were split as two per wing unit. A manned and a remote-controlled dorsal turret - along with a tail gun position, nose position and ventral chin/aft-facing position - would defend the aircraft from interception. A tubular fuselage was employed with a glazed-over nose section (as in the He 177A). The same "tail dragger" undercarriage seen in the He 177 would be reused in the He 277.

Power would come from 4 x BMW 801E 14-cylinder twin-row radial piston engines developing 1,975 horsepower each to which performance estimates included a maximum speed of 355 miles per hour, a maximum range of 3,728 miles and a service ceiling of 29,530 feet. The bomb load was 6,615 pounds total for trans-Atlantic sorties where fuel and weight-savings were important to range. Otherwise the type was cleared for up to 12,345 pounds of stores for more local missions with a 2,700 mile radius.

Despite the promising specifications, Heinkel could do little about German fortunes as the war deteriorated from 1944 into 1945. No prototypes were completed with only a few components fabricated by war's end (the He 277 project itself was cancelled back in April of 1944). With the shift to jet-powered bombers, it is doubtful the He 277 would have become a frontrunner for the Luftwaffe's long-range bomber need - which became increasingly focused on turbojet-powered types before the end and furthermore placed an emphasis on fighters and interceptors to counter the Allied bomber threat.

The He 277 ended as another German paper airplane and nothing more though the He 274 served as an offshoot of the program. This addition was also featured before war's end but amounted to two incomplete airframes which were taken over, and completed, by French industry. First flight of an He 274 was in December of 1945.

Any available statistics for the Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber) Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Project are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (354mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Nazi Germany
Year: 1943
Type: Four-Engine Heavy Bomber Aircraft Project
Manufacturer(s): Heinkel - Nazi Germany
Production: 0
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
Nazi Germany
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Heinkel He 277 (Amerika Bomber) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
7


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
75.46 ft


Meters
23 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
131.23 ft


Meters
40 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
19.69 ft


Meters
6 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
48,061 lb


Kilograms
21,800 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
98,106 lb


Kilograms
44,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x BMW 801E 14-cylinder (twin-row) radial piston engines developing 1,975 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
354 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
570 kph


Knots
308 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
3,728 mi


Kilometers
6,000 km


Nautical Miles
3,240 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
29,528 ft


Meters
9,000 m


Miles
5.59 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in remote-controlled chin turret.
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in remote-controlled forward dorsal turret.
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in remote-controlled aft dorsal turret.
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in remote-controlled ventral turret.
4 x 13mm MG 131 heavy machine guns in tail turret.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 19,000 lb of stores to be carried including 12,345 standard internal and 6,615 in disposable stores.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• He 277 - Base Series Designation