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He 118
Role Dive bomber
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Heinkel
Designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter
Number built 15

The Heinkel He 118 was a German dive bomber design that competed with the Junkers Ju 87 for production, but was never ordered for the Luftwaffe. Designed by the Günter brothers, it was a conventional cantilever monoplane with an inverted gull wing of elliptical planform mounted mid-way up the fuselage. It was considerably more streamlined than Junkers' competitor, with retractable landing gear and an internal bay for its bombs. It was also more an attack bomber than a Stuka, the second crew member acting as a bomber aimer.

In trials, however, it was discovered that its maximum dive angle was only 50°, and after Ernst Udet destroyed one of the prototypes in the air by flying it outside its design limits, it was judged unsuitable and dropped from the competition.

On 27 June 1936, Ernst Udet arrived at the Heinkel manufacturing company to try out the aircraft(Heinkel He 118). Soon after commencing his first dive from about 13,000ft the propeller suddenly feathered, shearing off the reduction gears, and He 118 disintegrated around pilot. Once again, Udet's parachute saved his life, but interest in the Heinkel dive bomber had gone for good. Immediately afterwards the Ju 87 was officially declared winner of this contest and Luftwaffe controlled Junkers manufacturing company awarded a production contract.

Only 15 were built and two of these were given to Japan, where they were given the designation DXHe and provided the inspiration for the Yokosuka D4Y naval dive bomber. One of the other examples was used by the Heinkel company as a flying testbed for the Heinkel HeS 3 turbojet.


  • He 118 : Dive bomber prototypes.
  • He 118A-1 : Eight production aircraft, powered by a 634 kW (850 hp) DB 600C engine.

Specifications (He 118)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 11.80 m (38 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 4 in)
  • Height: ()
  • Wing area: 37.7 m² (406 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,450 kg (5,400 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,775 kg (8,320 lb)
  • Powerplant:Daimler-Benz DB 600C 12-cylinder liquid-cooled supercharged piston engine, 656 kW (880 hp)



See also

Related development

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