Heinkel He 118 (DXHe1)

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Heinkel He 118/DXHe1 (ハインケル He 118)
The Heinkel He 118 is a German dive bomber that competed with the Junkers Ju 87 in a competition for a new Luftwaffe dive bomber. The aircraft was a fiasco and only 18 copies were produced, two of which were purchased by Japan. In Japan, the aircraft was not accepted into service, but allowed the development of the D4Y aircraft.
History in Germany
In 1935, the Reich Ministry of Aviation announced a competition for a dive aircraft for the Luftwaffe. Heinkel (He 118), Junker (Ju 87) and Arado (Ar 81) took part in the competition. The He 118 aircraft was very different from the Concretion, because it was designed as a very aerodynamic machine. Work on the machine went smoothly and at the beginning of 1936 the prototype of the aircraft was ready. The first flight of the He 118 took place on February 17, 1936, piloted by Gerhard Nitsche. The first prototype was powered by an 800 hp Rolls-Royce Buzzard engine. The second prototype, which was built shortly afterwards, was powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 600 C engine with 880 hp, this aircraft was flown at the end of April 1936. The Heinkel He 118 V2 managed to reach a speed of 430 km / h. Heinkel Plant received an order for 10 pre-series aircraft for further testing. Then, during the tests to check the ability to dive, the Ju 87 and He 118 piloted by Colonel Ernst Udet competed. The Ju 87 aircraft made a dive attack at a 90-degree angle and then came out of the dive unscathed. After that, it was the turn of the He 118, Colonel Udet was informed by Heinkel designers not to dive more than 50 degrees. When the He 118 entered a dive, Colonel Udet ignored the recommendations and entered a stronger dive. After a while, there was serious damage to the propeller and tail (detached), which forced the pilot to flee on a parachute. This accident caused the He 118 to be rejected as a new Luftwaffe bomber. After this accident, the production of the He 118 was discontinued after the production of 12-15 aircraft. Heinkel decided to look for foreign customers for the He 118 and Japan showed interest (more on that later). The He 118 aircraft were used until 1944, during these tests, for example, jet engines were experimented with.

Photos of the German Heinkel He 118

OIP (1)
R (1)
R (2)

History in Japan
In 1937, the Japanese Naval Commission evaluated the He 118 aircraft and negotiated to purchase the aircraft to be purchased for testing. The aircraft was sent to Japan and given the designation DXHe1, at the same time the Japanese army also ordered the He 118 aircraft. The He 118 ordered by the Navy was the first to arrive in Japan and practical tests began on it. However, during the diving flight attempts, the same accident occurred as the early one in Germany. The accident led to the pilot’s death, and when the Japanese army found out about it, they decided to test the He 118 only technologically, not practically, so that there would be no more accidents. The Navy’s He 118 led to the development of the D4Y aircraft, and the Army version to the development of the Ki-32 aircraft.

Photos of the Japanese He 118

Heinkel He 118 a
Heinkel He 118 b

Construction description
The aircraft had a duralumin semi-monocoque fuselage with space for two crew members in one cockpit with a half-closed canopy. The three-part wing had one main spar and two auxiliary spars. The middle part of the wing contained the fuel tanks. The central part was made integrally with the fuselage. When the “seagull” of the wing was torn off, the landing gear was attached. The large-area flaps, fully released, acted as air brakes. The bomb bay was located in the fuselage under the gunner’s cabin and directly behind the main spar passing through the fuselage. It was possible to hang a 500 kg bomb with one crew member or one 250 kg bomb with two crew members in the compartment. The bomb was mounted on a special retractable rocking ejector, which allowed the bomb to be safely dropped during a dive flight. The aircraft had two MG 17 machine guns mounted in the wings and one MG 15 mobile machine gun for self-defense. The aircraft, which was delivered to the Japanese Navy, had a system that allowed the wingtips to be folded.

Technical sketches


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 or 1
  • Length: 11.8 m (38 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 37.7 m2 (406 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 2,450 kg (5,401 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,775 kg (8,322 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Daimler-Benz DB 600C V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engine 870 hp (650 kW) 900 hp (670 kW) for take-off
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 394 km/h (245 mph, 213 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 335 km/h (208 mph, 181 kn) at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
  • Landing speed: 105 km/h (65 mph; 57 kn)
  • Range: 1,250 km (780 mi, 670 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 4,000 m (13,000 ft) in 13 minutes 12 seconds


  1. Guns:
  • 2 × fixed forward-firing 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns
  • 1 × flexible rearward-firing 7.92 mm MG 15 machine gun
  1. Bombs:
  • 1x SC 500 or SC 250 bomb on underfuselge swinging crutch in an internal bomb bay.

The Heinkel He 118 would be a very interesting aircraft for Japan in War Thunder. It would be a very interesting bomber, similar to the D4Y1, but with different armament, it would be great for a premum or event bomber. I encourage you to discuss in the comments and to share your own knowledge on this subject.
Finally, I apologize for the linguistic and logical errors because unfortunately English is not my main language and I had to use google translator.

Internet sources

He 118 (航空機) - Wikipedia
Heinkel He 118 – Wikipedia
DXHe1 - Japonia - War Thunder - Oficjalne forum
Heinkel He 118 (airpages.ru)
Heinkel He 118 (fliegerweb.com)
Heinkel He 118 - Destination’s Journey (destinationsjourney.com)
Heinkel He 118 - dive-bomber (aviastar.org)
Heinkel He 118 - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei (Comet) ‘Judy’ (historyofwar.org)
Heinkel He 118 V4 : Heinkel (armedconflicts.com)
He 118 - Forum Historyczne Axis (axishistory.com)

Book sources