Cant Z.501
Savoia-Marchetti S.62bis
Heinkel He-114
Arado Ar-196

The Heinkel He-114 seaplane

 

In 1933, the German Navy had hastily selected the Heinkel He-60 flying boat as its new main seaplane. The plane was a straightforward biplane, very similar to those who had served in WW1, so it's no wonder that by 1935 it was totally obsolete. Therefore, the RLM ( the German Air Ministry ) asked the Heinkel company to improve the He-60 or come up with a new design.
Heinkel engineers got to work, and soon they presented their new solution : the Heinkel He-114. There are two ways to describe the plane ( depends if you want to criticise or praise it ) : either a radical sesquiplane or a traditional monoplane with parasol wings and a bunch of weird supports put where a lower wing should have been placed. Either way, the result was not terribly impressive. The prototype was powered by the excellent Daimler-Benz DB600 engine who could generate close to 1000HP. But when it was announced that all DB600's were reserved for the new Bf-109 and Bf-110 fighters, the BMW 132 radial engine had to be chosen instead.

 

 
  A Romanian Heinkel He-114 preparing for take-off  
Initially, performance was quite adequate and the He-114 seemed to be the answer to Kriegsmarine's needs. However, after they were forced to switch to the BMW engine, performance dropped sharply, up to the point where the He-114 wasn't much better than the He-60 it was supposed to replace.Water handling became particularly bad also, and many pilots complained that the 114
 
was difficult to put down in anything but clear weather. Nine more prototypes were hastily built in order to solve some of the problems, but none was better than the original. Eventually, the Kriegsmarine admitted defeat and asked for a replacement which became the highly successful Arado Ar-196. All the Heinkel He-114 were eventually sold to other countries, namely Romania, Spain and Sweden.
It's not very clear when did the ARR received its first He-114's, since German sources claim the first 12 seaplanes were delivered in 1939, and 12 more came in 1941. On the other hand, Romanian archives claim that it was 1943 when the He-114's arrived. Anyway, it's sure that by the end of 1943, two squadrons ( the 101st and the 102nd ) were fully equipped with He-114B's and C's. Until August 1944, they performed over 1138 sorties, during which only 8 seaplanes were lost, either covering Axis convoys heading for the Crimeea, searching for signs of Russian naval activity or rescuing downed pilots and survivors from lost ships.
2 Soviet warships ( a gunboat and a patrol boat ) and 4 submarines were attacked and listed as severely damaged ; many more Soviet ships and convoys were spotted and these precious informations were quickly passed to higher echelons. After the war the Romanian He-114's remained in service, some of them as late as 1960.

Technical data of the Heinkel He-114

Wingspan
13.6 meters
Length
11.65 meters
Height
5.23 meters
Weight (empty)
2314 kg
Weight (loaded)
3760 kg
Maximum speed at sea level
330 km/h
Maximum operational ceiling
7300 meters
Range
821-1535 km
Engine
Junkers Jumo-211J1rated at 1410 HP
Armament
Two forward-facing 7.92 mm machine guns plus one rear-firing 7.92 mm machine gun
Payload
Up to 100 kg of bombs ( 2X SC 50 )
Crew
2
Numbers received
30

 

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