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Heinkel He 119

Nazi Germany (1937)
Picture of Heinkel He 119 High-Speed Prototype Aircraft

Eight prototypes made up the Heinkel He 119 reconnaissance bomber program for the pre-World War 2 German Luftwaffe.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Heinkel He 119 High-Speed Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 1/17/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Throughout the 1930s, the air service of Germany, the Luftwaffe, was in rebuilding form and commissioned all manner of aircraft for service before World War 2 arrived in 1939. This allowed many-a-concern to ply their trade and attempt to deliver viable training and weapons-minded platforms to the burgeoning service as it expanded to become one of the most powerful arms of the German military during the decade. The He 119, by Ernst Heinkel A.G., was one of the promising, and certainly impressive, designs to come out of the pre-war period: its well-streamlined fuselage was mated to a tandem engine arrangement promising considerable speed gains in the process. The aircraft was briefly considered for high-speed reconnaissance and bombing roles within the Luftwaffe but the project only matured as far as eight prototypes serving as experimental platforms.

Design work on the type began in 1936 and engineers selected the slimmest of profiles with no obvious physical protrusions to be had along the fuselage. This allowed the airframe to benefit from streamlining as even the cockpit was integrated into the clean lines of this aircraft, its position given away by heavy glazing near the nose and aft of the propeller spinner. To fit the twin engine arrangement, the powerplants were coupled aft of the cockpit and powered the nose-mounted propeller by way of a drive shaft. The propeller was a four-bladed design. The drive shaft ran between the two crewmembers. The engine of choice was the Daimler-Benz DB601 which, when coupled, formed the DB606A-2, a 24-cylinder, liquid-cooled inverted V12 monster outputting 2,350 horsepower.

The wing mainplanes were elliptical and similar in design to those featured on the wartime He 111 medium bomber. The aircraft, like in the He 111, also relied on a single, curved rudder with low-set horizontal planes. The undercarriage was of a retractable tricycle arrangement.

A first-flight by way of the V1 prototype was recorded during mid-1937 and the V2 followed with an experimental radiator fit. V3 was the same design though reworked as a seaplane and still able to retain the aircraft's impressive performance. V4 was set aside for speed trials and managed a record in 1937 of 314 miles per hour while carrying a load of 2,205lb over 621 miles. Prototypes V5 through V8, added in 1938, were intended to serve as production-minded prototypes for operational reconnaissance and bomber aircraft (two of each form). These designs were all given a three-man crew and an MG15 machine gun fitted to a dorsal position (strictly for self-defense). The proposed bomber design was to carry up to 2,205lb of conventional drop stores.

While the He 119 never materialized into an operational combat aircraft, V7 and V8 went on to see extended testing in the hands of Japanese engineers as the pair were sold off to the German ally. Interestingly, German propaganda designated the He 111 as the "He 111U". The "He 519" was a related proposal of 1944 intended as a high-speed bomber. It was developed as a private venture by the company and was to rely on the DB613 engine (a larger version of the DB601). The end of the war in 1945 ended the He 519 in full.

V6 had some of its figures recorded and was capable of 367 miles per hour. It managed an empty weight of 11,465lb against a loaded weight of 16,678lb and could range out to 1,940 miles at altitudes nearing 15,000 feet.

Any available statistics for the Heinkel He 119 High-Speed Prototype Aircraft 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 (367mph).

    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 119's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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
8
8


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Nazi Germany
Year: 1937
Type: High-Speed Prototype Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Ernst Heinkel A.G. - Nazi Germany
Production: 8
Global Operators:
Nazi Germany (cancelled)
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 119 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
48.56 ft


Meters
14.8 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
52.17 ft


Meters
15.9 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
17.72 ft


Meters
5.4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
11,464 lb


Kilograms
5,200 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
16,711 lb


Kilograms
7,580 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Daimler-Benz DB660A-2 24-cylinder liquid-cooled coupled inline engines developing 2,350 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
367 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
590 kph


Knots
319 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,942 mi


Kilometers
3,125 km


Nautical Miles
1,687 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
27,887 ft


Meters
8,500 m


Miles
5.28 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,840 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
561 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED Standard, Fixed Armament:
1 x 7.9mm MG15 machine gun in dorsal position.

PROPOSED Bomb Load:
Up to 2,205lb of conventional drop stores.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• He 119 - Base Series Designation; eight prototypes completed from V1 to V8.
• V1 - Initial prototype
• V2 - Second prototype with experimental radiator installation.
• V3 - Seaplane variant
• V4 - Speed test platform
• V5 - Reconnaissance prototype; three-man crew; 1 x MG15 machine gun armament.
• V6 - Reconnaissance prototype; three-man crew; 1 x MG15 machine gun armament.
• V7 - Bomber prototype; three-man crew; 1 x MG15 machine gun armament; 2,205lb bomb load.
• V8 - Bomber prototype; three-man crew; 1 x MG15 machine gun armament 2,205lb bomb load.
• He 519 - Proposed high-speed bomber of 1944; to carry Daimler-Benz DB613 engine.
• He 111U - German propaganda designation