Japanese Heinkel He 119

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Heinkel He 119 (ハインケルHe 119 )
The Heinkel He 119 is a German experimental bomber that was built in 1937. 4-8 prototypes were built, of which the V7 and V8 or V2 and V4 were purchased by the Japanese around 1940. The planes arrived in Japan in 1941 and were severely damaged during the tests, and the results of the tests laid the foundations for the experimental R2Y1 reconnaissance aircraft.
History in Germany
In the 1930s, brothers Siegfried and Walter Günter pushed the boundaries of aerodynamics by designing aircraft for Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in Germany. One of their concepts was the He 119 reconnaissance aircraft/light bomber. Work on it began in the autumn of 1935 as a private venture financed by Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke. At the beginning, it was designated P. 1055. During the design work, in order to reduce aerodynamic drag, it was decided to give the cockpit at the front of the machine, the engine behind the cabin, and the propeller was located on the nose of the machine. A propeller shaft came out of the engine, which passed between the pilots and drove a four-bladed propeller. As the Germans did not have a powerful engine at that time, they decided to combine two Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines that were placed next to each other and connected to each other by means of a common gear reduction. This is how the DB 606 engine with 2,350 hp was created. This engine emitted a lot of heat, so cooling was used in the wings (as in the He 100). The aircraft was produced in secret, and the first prototype (V1) was ready by June 1937. In the same month, the plane made its maiden flight, with Gerhard Nitschke at the controls. The aircraft reached a speed of 565 km/h, which confirmed to Heinkel and the Günter brothers that the aircraft did not need defensive armament, but when the aircraft was shown to German officials, they insisted that it be armed with two defensive positions at the rear of the aircraft (from the bottom and top). At this point, the aircraft received the official designation He 119 and work began on further improvements. However, there are contradictions here, some say that the He 119 V1 plane was used to break the speed record, and on the second attempt it crashed or the plane was delegated to propaganda activities. The next He 119 V2 prototype was equipped with a retractable upper gunner station equipped with the MG 15. Sources say that the plane was either flown in September 1937 or early 1938. The next aircraft was the V4, which was built either in October 1937 or in 1940. The plane probably crashed in December 1937 while trying to break the speed record. The next aircraft was the He 119 V3, which was a seaplane, so work on it took longer, all prototypes after the V3 (V5, V6, V7, V8) had new wings with a smaller area and with a straight wing attack. Not much is known about the V5 and V6 aircraft, although there are sources that say that they were improved reconnaissance aircraft. On November 22, 1937, one of the He 119 planes was used to break the speed record. Due to low clouds, the plane was not able to reach the optimal altitude and reached only 504.988 km / h, which allowed it to break the world record. Unfortunately, a week later he was beaten by a Breda 88 plane. The next test took place in December 1937, but the He 119 piloted by Nitschke and Hans Dieterle crashed the Travemünde after the engine stopped working. After this event, it was forbidden to break speed records with He 119. Probably also He 119, V7 and V8 planes were created, which were additionally modified as bombers (All He 119s except the V1 had a compartment that held 750-1000 kg bombs). All but two German He 119s (V2 and V4 or V7 and V8) were scrapped during World War II, as neither Lufftwafe nor Krigsmarine wanted this aircraft.

German Heinkel He 119

heinkel-he-119-v3-side (1)

History in Japan
At the end of 1938, one of the He 119s was shown to a delegation of the Japanese Navy. The Japanese expressed great interest in the He 119 aircraft and after long negotiations in 1940 they purchased the production rights and copies of the He 119. Unfortunately, it is not known exactly which planes they were, V2 and V4, or V7 and V8. It is known that the planes ordered by Japan had bomb bays and an MG 15 top gunner. The aircraft were delivered to Japan in parts in late 1940 or early 1941. The aircraft were assembled by the Navy at Kasumigaura Airport, and the aircraft were tested at the Yokosuka Naval Base. The first He 119 crashed during landing during one of the tests, and the second shortly after. Although the tests lasted very short, they gave Japanese engineers very useful data, which was later used in the Yokosuka R2Y1 aircraft.

Japanese Heinkel He 119

The Japanese Commission at Henkel He 119 ^

Construction description
The Heinkel He 119 was a lower-wing wing that was powered by the DB 606 engine, which was located in the fuselage. In the front there was a glass cockpit for two pilots, through the cockpit between the pilots there was a drive shaft driving the propeller which was mounted on the nose. Behind the cockpit there was space for the engine, and a radiator was mounted at the bottom of the fuselage. The wings were used to cool the engine (the same as in the He 100). Behind the girders of the main wing there was a bomb bay, which held either a maximum of 1000 kg or reconnaissance equipment. Behind the bomb bay there was room for another reconnaissance equipment, which was operated by the rear gunner. The gunner’s position was located on top of the fuselage and was retractable to improve aerodynamic capabilities. A special chassis was designed for the Henkel He 119. A conventional main landing gear would have been too long to fit in a semi-elliptical wing with an inverted seagull. A telescopic strut was invented that collapsed when the gear retracted. This allowed the gear to fit the sash and also to extend to provide the required ground clearance.

Technical sketches


General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 14.8 m (48 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.9 m (52 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 50.2 m2 (540 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 5,201 kg (11,466 lb)
  • Gross weight: 7,581 kg (16,713 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Daimler-Benz DB 606A-2 24-cylinder coupled V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,750 kW (2,350 hp)
  • Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 591 km/h (367 mph, 319 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 510 km/h (320 mph, 280 kn)
  • Range: 3,120 km (1,940 mi, 1,690 nmi) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
  • Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in 3 minutes 6 seconds


  • Guns: 1 × 7.9 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine gun in dorsal position
  • Bombs: 750-1000kg

The Heinkel He 119 would be a very interesting aircraft for Japan in War Thunder. It would be a great Premium bomber (just like other foreign vehicles) that would be very different from other bombers. His speed would allow him to easily escape most fighters. In the game, the rear gunner, as there is one, should be extended only then when switching to it. Otherwise, the plane will lose its only advantage, i.e. speed. 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 119 (航空機) - Wikipedia
Heinkel He 119 : Heinkel (valka.cz)
Heinkel He 119 | Old Machine Press
Yokosuka (Kugisho) R2Y1 Keiun | Old Machine Press
Heinkel He 119 - reconnaissance, bomber (aviastar.org)
He 119 Multipurpose Seaplane - Luftwaffe (airpages.ru)
Weird He 119 Carried its Crew Inside the Nose - PlaneHistoria
Exports to Japan - Page 2 - Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum (12oclockhigh.net)
Heinkel He 119: Photos, History, Specification
Heinkel He 119 High-Speed Prototype Aircraft (militaryfactory.com)

Book sources
  • 日本航空機総集 輸入機篇 (Japan Aircraft Catalogue Imported Aircraft Edition) Shuppan Kyosha, 1972, page. 168-170.
  • “Warplanes of the Third Reich” Green, William. New York: Doubleday, 1972.
1 Like

Looks cool!

Question, Do they operate it?

I hope not it would be out classes by everything

It depends on how you understand operational activity. Neither the Germans nor the Japanese used this plane in combat, in both countries it was used for testing or breaking speed records. Of course, we can also suggest two variants for Germany, i.e. He 119 V2/V4 or V3 with floats.