In this article, I would like to elaborate a comprehensive and interesting history of the development of jet engines at the German airline Heinkel before and during World War II. world war. According to my current information (unlike the relatively well-known jet projects Jumo 004 and BMW 003), this topic has not been developed in the appropriate breadth in our country, which is why I decided to deal with this topic using mostly foreign language sources.
When Soviet specialists from the NII VVS thoroughly examined the captured He 51B-1 fighter in Spain in 1937, it did not surprise them significantly. It appeared to be a logical outcome of the development of older biplane fighter types of the German company Heinkel, with which the Soviets had considerable experience. In previous years, they bought and tested two copies of the HD 37 and HD 43, and even included the modified HD 37 in the RKKA VVS armament under the designation I-7.
The elegant twin-engine medium bomber Heinkel He-111 was one of the most successful German types from the 1930s and early 1940s. Especially in the first half of World War II, it formed the basis of the Luftwaffe bombing unit. However, his successful operational career began in Spain, where, according to Sonderstab W documents, a total of 97 He-111B and He-111E were delivered with a total value of 39,512,485 Reichsmarks.
Spanish pilots were given the opportunity for the first time to test the German fighter He 112 in flight in the summer of 1938. At that time in the Iberian Peninsula, Ernst Heinkel AG under operational conditions demonstrated the prototype He 112 V9 ( W.Nr.1944, D-IGSI ).
During the Civil War, the Spanish battlefield served Nazi Germany as an ideal polygon for testing tactical procedures and military equipment. Among the aircraft, which in the state of the famous Legion Condor really only blinked for testing in operational conditions, was also the only prototype of the fighter Heinkel He 112 V6. It occurred in Spain from the end of November 1936 until the crash on July 19 of the following year.
In August 1936, an introductory pair of German aircraft, the Junkers Ju 52 / 3m transport and bomber, and the Heinkel He 51 B-1 fighter, appeared on the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War.
When I planned the Lightning in the Sky series, I assumed it would only include airplanes called Lightning. But after the last part was published, I received a number of e-mails warning that the "lightning bolts" also flew in other countries and how it is possible that they were not mentioned in the series, or how I intend to correct this wrong. So I put an imaginary shovel of ash on my head - and we go for them.