Heinkel He-70

The Heinkel He-70 was a reconnaissance/ bomber aircraft with a crew of two or three. Designed and first flown in 1932, it was in Luftwaffe service from 1934 to 1938. Its length was 12 m (39 ft 4.5 in), its wingspan was 14.80 m (48 ft 6.75 in), its height was 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in) and its weight (empty) 2,360 kg (5,203 lbs). The powerplant was a 750-hp BMW VI 7-3 V-12, water-cooled engine. Its Maximum speed was 360 km/h (224 mph) and its range was 900 km (559 miles). Its armament consisted of one 7.92-mm MG 15 machine gun aimed by observer from rear cockpit, and six 50-kg (110-lb) or twenty-four 10-kg (22 lbs) bombs could be carried.

Before becoming a Luftwaffe combat aircraft, the Heinkel He 70 Blitz was designed in the early 1930s to serve as a fast mail plane for the civilian commercial company Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH German State Airline). Although useful, it had a relatively short commercial career before it was replaced by types which could carry more passengers.

As a combat aircraft it was not a great success and it rapidly became outdated. Nevertheless, the He 70 was a brilliant design for its day, setting no fewer than eight world records for speed by the beginning of 1933. The main characteristics of its revolutionary design were its elliptical wing and its small, rounded control surfaces, designed by the Günther brothers.

The He 70 is known mainly as the direct ancestor to the famous Heinkel He 111 which used its distinctive oval wings and streamlined fuselage in a twin-engine configuration. The He 70 was imported to Japan for study and inspired the Aichi D3A (Val) carrier-launched light bomber. This plane, too, shared the He 70’s distinctive, low-mounted oval wings and was only one of several collaborations between Heinkel and the Japanese aviation industry. In all, 306 Heinkel He 70s were produced and some continued on in Spanish service until the early 1950s. A fast, reconnaissance, export version, powered with one 910-hp WM-K-14 radial engine, known as Heinkel He 170, was delivered to Hungary, and saw service in the Hungarian Air Force in early World War II. A more powerful version, the Heinkel He 270, never went further than the prototype stage.

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