The Heinkel He114 was designed as a warship based reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft, which was intended to replace the company’s previous He60 aircraft that was standard in the Kriegsmarine at the time. Although the prototype He114 took to the air for the first time in 1936, the first production aircraft did not fly until 1939, too late to be used in the Spanish Civil War.
The He114 was an unusual design, with an extreme sesquiplane arrangement – in other words it was a biplane where the lower wings were much shorter than the upper wings. The upper wing was of a parasol type, connected to the fuselage by a series of struts, whilst the lower wings were integral to the fuselage. It’s BMW 132K engine did not deliver particularly stellar performance, and as a result the He114 was barely faster than the He60 it was to replace. Handling on the water was also poor. Only a small bomb load could be carried, and there was just a single machine gun at the observer’s station on a flexible mount.
He114s were only produced in limited numbers, with most examples being exported to nations friendly to Germany such as Romania and Spain. A handful were to serve on board surface raiders like the Pinguin and Komet as they attacked Allied shipping in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The type proved unlucky when operating on these ships, as 4 of the 6 He114s used on raiders were lost to accidents. When the Arado Ar196 became available it replaced the He114 aboard both surface raiders and the remaining heavy ships of the Kriegsmarine.
|Heinkel He 114A-2|
|Crew||2: Pilot, observer|
|Powerplant||1x BMW 132K, 947hp|
|Armament||1x 7.92mm machine gun|
|Dimensions||38ft 3in (length)|
44ft 8in (wingspan)
17ft 2in (height)
|Wing Area||455 sq.ft.|
|In service with||KM|