Heinkel He 60

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Heinkel He 60
Heinkel He 60.jpg
Type: Navy observation aircraft
Design country:

German EmpireGerman Empire German Empire



First flight:

August 1931

Production time:

1932 to March 1938

Number of pieces:

361 production aircraft

The Heinkel He 60 was a German double-decker marine observation aircraft that was developed by Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in the 1930s.


The Heinkel He 60 was developed as a catapult and deep sea reconnaissance aircraft as part of the secret rearmament of the Reichsmarine . The Marineluft production program presented on November 29, 1929 by the chief of naval management originally envisaged the construction of 212 machines of the HD 30 developed in 1928 as a naval observation aircraft. The experience gained with this type of catapult launches and Lufthansa's experience with the HE 12 finally led to the realization that an aircraft specially designed for catapult launches was required - the HD 60 . In 1930 Heinkel was commissioned to build the model aircraft, the HD 60 (W.Nr.380, D-2157). The machine was completed in August 1931; The HD 60a (W.Nr.381, D-2176) followed three months later . After the factory trials at Heinkel, the machines were approved and handed over to the RDL (Reich Association of the Aviation Industry) in Travemünde. On December 16, 1931, the D-2176, which had arrived in Travemünde on December 2, crashed during an incline flight as a result of excessive strain with the pilot Karl Wiborg on board, which killed him. The D-2157 remained in Travemünde, where the accident presumably also occurred in which it lost the reduction gear with the propeller due to the breakage of the gearbox housing. Due to the resulting delays, the aircraft, the D-2157, did not receive its final approval for Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke GmbH until August 1932 ( DVL acceptance: April 10, 1933). The third prototype, the He 60B (W.Nr.418, D-2325, later D-IKAV), apparently made its first flight in August 1932, because from September 1932 the tests were carried out by the E -stelle in Travemünde and in December 1932 the handover to the RDL. Shortly after the He 60B had been tested, the naval management decided to build the He 60. Heinkel received the order for a series of ten machines (W.Nr. 431 to 440), which were designated as He 60C (model aircraft: W.Nr .431, D-2486). The delivery was made to DVS Warnemünde. After further tests in Travemünde, an improved series of 17 He 60D (W.Nr.485-501) followed, its model aircraft (W.Nr.485, D-3214, later D-IGOQ) - like the others too Heinkel was manufactured in Warnemünde. Since the Reich Aviation Ministry (RLM) had meanwhile increased the number of machines to be built, further plants were included in the license production. These were Arado (from February 1935: 238 machines) and Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH in Einswarden (from May 1936: 76 machines). Together with the 47 aircraft built by Heinkel, the RLM accepted a total of 361 series aircraft by March 1938. Only the Ar 196 reached a higher number than seaplane . In autumn 1984 two He 60 floats from the November 1936 production were salvaged from the Austrian Toplitzsee . They served there as swimmers for the naval research station.


Light cruiser Cologne with a Heinkel He 60

During its use, the He 60 had to struggle with an apparent under-motorization, as it only achieved a power ratio of 5.15 kg / hp with the BMW VI, which was strong for German conditions at the time, with a takeoff weight of around 3400 kg . However, this was due to the fact that to increase the service life, the power of the engine was reduced. In spite of everything, the He 60 played an important, albeit unspectacular, role in the reconstruction of the sea aviation associations and was to be found for a long time in training units such as the pilot school (sea) and the aviation weapon school 2 (sea). The installation plan of August 29, 1935 required the equipping of three coastal flight squadrons and two airborne squadrons by October 1938. If they were still in use on almost all catapult-equipped warships at that time, it was there that the forced deployment of the Ar 196 took place quite a quick change. As of November 1939, only 31 He 60s were left with the task forces (3./606, 3./806, 1./906 and 5./196). For May 1, 1940, 242 He 60s were still registered, but - with a few exceptions - only with school associations. In November 1940 this number was reduced to 180 and the rest scrapped. A short-term reactivation of the machines took place in the spring of 1941 with the formation of the reconnaissance groups 125 and 126 and their relocation to Greece; by the end of 1941 the 1./126 and the 2./126 were converted to the Ar 196 . The retired aircraft were offered to some Balkan states, but without success. Some of the machines were used in 1941 as target actors as well as in the sea and swamp emergency service in Lapland. Ten He 60s came to the Buschmann special squadron (which, under the command of Captain Gerhard Buschmann, was mainly recruited from Estonian volunteers) to drop agents and the like. Ä. Used. In July 1944 the last machine was taken out of school. On September 30, 1944, ten He 60s were still registered in the Luftwaffe's inventory , but they were no longer flying any operational missions.

During the Spanish civil war , the He 60 was used by the AS / 88 sea flier squadron from the end of October 1936 as part of the Condor Legion (LC) . The operations of the total of eight machines were unspectacular, especially since they were rarely flown after the accident of the He 60 “La Fiera del Mar” on February 5, 1937. Therefore, the leadership of the LC decided to hand over the He 60 to the Spaniards, which began in May 1937. On September 1, 1939, all seaplanes of the Aviacion National (with the exception of the Dornier Wal ) were combined in the 51st Grupo de Hidros. Restructuring that took place later saw the He 60 still in various associations, until on November 2, 1945 only the "60.6" (referred to as "HR.2-6") was left. The history of the Spanish He 60 ended when the "HR.2-6" broke on August 28, 1948 and was deleted from the inventory on April 21, 1949.

Portugal also showed interest in twelve He 60s in 1943/44. However, since no agreement was reached, the machines were scrapped in autumn 1944. The same applied to sales negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania, which ultimately opted for the Ar 196 and the He 114 (the two He 60s, which were used as training aircraft for the Bulgarian sea pilots in Varna, were an exception ).

technical description

As a single-legged, staggered double-decker in composite construction, the He 60 had a two-spar wooden frame with fabric covering as a supporting structure . The fuselage was designed as a tubular steel framework with fabric covering (excluding the engine cowling), the tail unit as a fabric-covered light metal frame with braced horizontal stabilizer. The two light metal swimmers were keeled and single-step , the crew cabins were open. The rigid wooden propeller was two-bladed, the lubricant and fuel tank (672 liters) was under the pilot's seat.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data He 60E
crew 2
length 11.63 m
upper span 13.50 m
lower span 13.00 m
Altitude in flight attitude 5.15 m
Wing area 56.2 m²
Empty mass 2523 kg
Preparation mass 2732 kg
Flight mass 3548 kg
Payload 816 kg
fuel 485 kg
Engine 1 × BMW VI 6.0 ZU (transmission 1.61: 1) with 660 PS (485 kW) starting power
propeller Two-blade fixed propeller with 3.1 m diameter
Top speed 240 km / h
Landing speed 90 km / h
Climbing time to 1000 m 3.2 min
Climbing time to 2000 m 7.5 min
Climbing time to 4000 m 20 min
operational summit height 5000 m
Range 945 km
Armament 1–2 × fixed synchronized 7.92 mm MG 17 ,
1 × movable 7.92 mm MG 15 in slewing ring D 30

See also


  • Franz Kurowski: Naval warfare from the air. The German Sea Air Force in World War II. Mittler & Sohn, Herford 1979.
  • Sönke Neitzel: The use of the German air force over the Atlantic and the North Sea 1939–1945. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn 1995.
  • H. Beauvais, K. Kössler , M. Mayer, C. Regel: Die Deutschen Flugerprobungsstellen bis 1945. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn 1998, ISBN 3-7637-6117-9 .
  • Volker Koos: Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke 1933–1945. Heel, Königswinter 2003, ISBN 3-89880-217-5 .
  • Christian König: First at the enemy - on-board aircraft and coastal reconnaissance aircraft Heinkel He 60 . Helios, Aachen 2017, ISBN 978-3-86933-187-4 .

Web links

Commons : Heinkel He 60  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke 1933–1945. P. 28, Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2003
  2. ^ Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke 1933–1945. Pp. 28–29, Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2003
  3. ^ Manfred Griehl: Typenkompass German military aircraft 1933-1945 , p. 20, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2008
  4. ^ PW Cohausz: Deutsche Flugzeug bis 1945. P. 94, Aviatic Verlag, Oberhaching 2001
  5. Instead of the deckhouse, a catapult system was built for the aircraft on the light cruiser Cologne in 1935, and in 1937 it was dismantled.
  6. organization charts of 1 September and 1 December 1939 Air Force general during OBDM, Navy Group West with FdLuft West
  7. ^ Franz Kurowski: "Sea War from the Air" The German Sea Air Force in World War II. P. 298, Mittler & Sohn, Herford 1979
  8. February 12, 1942 “Buschmann Special Squadron” was formed, restructuring in the course of 1943 to 1944 in Aufkl.Gr. 127 (lake), SAGr. 127 and NSGr.11 (Estonian). Equipped, among other things, with the He 60.
  9. ^ Heinkel EHF works data, from April 26, 1939, L.Dv. 365, He-60 E.