He 45 / He 61
By 1931 the German aircraft industry had become less secretive in referring to its potential military designs as 'training' or ‘sporting' aircraft. The He 45 was one of the first post-1919 aircraft to be built openly and specifically for military use. Following the basic Heinkel biplane design the prototype, designated He 45A (D-2477), flew for the first time in spring 1932, with a 600-hp BMW VI engine driving a two-blade wooden propeller. It was unarmed, but sufficiently powerful to carry armament and a bombload. Sturdily constructed, the He 45 had twin tandem cockpits and was well suited for training duties. The second prototype was fitted with a four-blade propeller, and production of the A series began in 1932. These unarmed air-craft had 660-hp engines and were used as trainers.
A third prototype developed into the armed He 45B series, which had one movable MG 15 7.9-mm (0.311-in) machine-gun and one fixed 7.9-mm MG 17 and could carry a 200-kg (440-1b) bombload.
Many different versions were produced, including at least 11 testbeds. Structurally all were similar, using the contemporary mixed wood and metal framework, which was fabric-covered. Ailerons were fitted on both upper and lower wings.
Total production was 512 aircraft, although Heinkel produced only 69 of these, including prototypes. The remainder were built under licence: by Focke-Wulf (159 A-1 and A-2 series and 60 He 4513-1/13-2s); 126 AA/A-2s and 30 W1/B-2s by the Bayerische Flugzeug-werke (BFW); and Gotha built 68 of the C series. Heinkel's own somewhat smaller production total included many aircraft used only for test purposes, including trials with various BMW powerplants and the Daimler-Benz DB 600. In addition, a small export batch of He 45Bs was built for China, which had the separate designation He 61.
Although not a very noteworthy aeroplane in itself, the He 45 was in service in greater numbers than any other Luftwaffe type by 1936, and greatly assisted the development of the Luftwalle as a fighting force. Production totalled 512 aircraft. It also formed the basis of later and better-known designs from the Heinkel company. The He 45C partially equipped Aufklarungsstallel A/88, the reconnaissance element of the German-manned Legion Kondor in the Spanish Civil War, and 40 were delivered to a close-support group of the rebel Spanish Nationalist air force, by whom it was nick-named Pavo (turkey). Only 21 remained in Luftwaffe service at the start of the Second World War, on reconnaissance or training duties, though temporary use was made of some in 1942-43 as night 'nuisance' raiders on the Russian Front.
Engine: 1 x BMW-VI-J32, 550kW
Max take-off weight: 2745 kg / 6052 lb
Empty weight: 2105 kg / 4641 lb
Wingspan: 11.5/10.0 m / 37 ft 9 in / 32 ft 10 in
Length: 10.0 m / 32 ft 10 in
Height: 3.6 m / 11 ft 10 in
Wing area: 34.6 sq.m / 372.43 sq ft
Max. speed: 290 km/h / 180 mph
Cruise speed: 230 km/h / 143 mph
Ceiling: 5500 m / 18050 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 1200 km / 746 miles
Armament: 2 x 7.9mm machine-guns
Engine: BMW V1, 750 hp / 559kW
Span: 11.5 m
Length: 10 m
Gross weight: 2745 kg
Maximum speed: 290 kh