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Heinkel He 277

In an effort to overcome the problems being experienced with the coupled DB 606 engines of the He 177, Heinkel suggested in 1940 that four separate DB 603s should be substituted. Although the Reichsluftfahrtsinisterium rejected the plan, work continued unofficially under the designation He 177B and the design was resurrected in response to Hitler's May 1943 demand for a heavy bomber to facilitate effective strikes on London. Converted from an He 177A-3/R2 airframe, with four DB 603A engines, the first Heinkel He 277 prototype flew at Vienna-Schwechat in the closing months of 1943, followed by the second aircraft on 28 February 1944. Directional instability resulted in the fitting of a twin fin and rudder tail unit to the third prototype. Eight 1305kW DB 603A-powered He 277B-5/R2 production models were completed before the priority given to fighter production in July 1944 brought the programme to an end.


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