Author Topic: Japanese Heinkel/Aichi-119 Torpedo Bomber  (Read 22625 times)

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Offline sequoiaranger

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Japanese Heinkel/Aichi-119 Torpedo Bomber
« on: September 30, 2008, 04:41:28 pm »
It's down the pike a bit, as I have yet to "decorate" my Avatar and Jinpu-Kai (just now got my new air compressor into the hobby room to get set up for painting) whiffs.

But...I have the "Planet Models" resin kit of the He-119 which will become the "Aichi 119" for the IJN with only a few modifications.

Backstory: (down to the asterisk is true history)

Several nations, including Japan, were intrigued by the idea of a reconnaissance-bomber aircraft whose speed was so high that it would enable it to elude enemy fighters and would need no defensive armament. Japanese aircraft procurers took an interest in the German Heinkel He-119 tandem-engine aircraft when it was demonstrated to them in 1940. The He-119 had a double Daimler-Benz 601 “inverted V” engine, known as the DB-606, in an “M” configuration and putting out some 2200 horsepower. The engine was located aft of the cockpit in the fuselage, and this tremendous power was directed forward to a single large four-bladed propeller in the nose via an extension shaft running between cockpit crewmembers. For aerodynamic purity the slim, streamlined fuselage did not have a stepped windscreen. The surface-evaporation cooling system of the high-speed prototypes was recognized early on as needing augmenting by some sort of external coolant radiator, and a semi-retractable belly radiator was installed. This radiator could be extended into the airstream to augment cooling upon take-off and climb, but could be mostly retracted for cruising. This aircraft held international air speed records in 1937 for a twin-engined aircraft (though deliberately called a He-111U) carrying a 2000+ lb. bomb load at over 378mph.

 Japan was very interested in the tandem engine arrangement and the aircraft itself*...

[*End of historical segment!]


...for a fast naval torpedo-reconnaissance plane that could, in a pinch, be used from large aircraft carriers.

Junkers had experimented with a similar engine arrangement of two of their Jumo 211’s, called the Doppel-Jumo 611, and it was the first 3,000-horsepower-class engine for the Axis. Working on a similar arrangement for the Jumo 213, the power output eventually reached 3500 horsepower. Japan had licenses to build Junkers’ engines, so asked the Heinkel works to create a few He-119 prototypes for Japan using the paired Jumo engines, and acquire a manufacturing license for this aircraft.

Aichi, having had numerous and fond dealings with Heinkel, took on the project to create three Japanese versions of the He-119, designated the Aichi 119. One version corresponded to the 14-Shi specification for a three-seat naval attack plane that could carry 1800 pounds and still have a range of 1800 miles. The Aichi 119 torpedo-bomber became the B6A, the two-seat reconnaissance version the B6A1-C, and the floatplane version the B6A1-E.

Some German engines were shipped to Japan for the initial batch of Aichi 119’s, and these had full horsepower output, varying only slightly. Problems with the Japanese license-built coupled engines resulted in vastly-differing horsepower outputs, anywhere from a mere 2700 to a full 3500. All the engines were needed in the field as long as they operated properly, so as a result, the engines were classified “A”, “B”, and “C”, with “A” being those most close to full output. These “A” engines went to the recon versions (the idea being these unarmed aircraft need all the horsepower they can muster to escape interceptors); the “B” engines went to the carrier versions (needing good HP output to get the plane off the short flightdecks with load); and the “C” engines went to strictly land-based versions. Occasionally, one got a better engine as a replacement.

The surface-evaporation cooling system was too complicated, and the bulky central retractable radiator reduced airspeed, so a new, low-profile air scoop was tried out [from a 1/48 Mustang--CB]. Tropical climes made engines built for Northern Europe overheat, so wing-root radiators similar to those found on the collaborative “Sea Stuka” were tried out to enhance cooling [from Corsairs--CB]. A tailhook and supporting members were added. The landing gear was strengthened to absorb the shock of carrier landings, but the plane was already so heavy that any extra ordnance would tax its strength—only the recon version, or an empty bomber version, could re-land on a carrier.

 The unarmed recon version retained the original dual exhaust pipes running down the middle underside of the fuselage. The torpedo-bomber version had the torpedo slung under the fuselage. New engine exhaust headers and collectors vented the exhaust down low on each side of the fuselage.

Japan saw a potential for a fast, long-range naval torpedo-bomber whose high speed could elude most fighters until the last minute. Using part of the small internal bomb-bay for an expanded gunner compartment, this version had a [sliding--maybe. Might use a smaller version of the He-111 top gunner perspex--CB]  transparent hood for the rear gunner. An extra fuel bladder filled the rest of the bomb-bay. This version had the power to take off from the larger carriers, but was too heavy to land on them with a torpedo still attached. Shuttle-bombing could be done if the He-119 took off from a carrier and had an island base upon which to land.

The recon version had the small bomb-bay rigged up for fuel tanks, had no rear gunner, and was capable of landing back on a carrier. For the recon mission to detect the oncoming Allied invasion fleet headed toward the Marshalls, the Aichi 119’s carried two external drop tanks.

**?On board an aircraft carrier, the “excessive” length of the craft (too long for carrier elevators) meant that the planes could not be stowed below decks, but must ride on the flight deck. Special outrigger troughs tethered to the flight deck extended out sideways and the tail wheel slid down them until most of the aircraft was hanging out over the water. This put a lot of stress on the fuselage crosswise to the wind, and also subjected the craft to intense weathering, but it could not be helped.**?

Aichi 119’s were painted Hellblau underneath, extending to the tail and about 2/3rds up the fuselage. Topsides were painted a new Turkisgrun overall, with some additional dark green patterns to break up the shape of the aircraft. Some light blue “lamda” (resembling the Greek alphabet for “L”) flecks approximated wave-tops. There will be some mottling and blending on the tail and top fuselage. The national markings were combinations of traditional German white-outline Balkenkreuz and Hinomaru, resembling Slovakian markings from Europe, but more closely resembling the Zuni American Indian symbol for the sun. Several well-educated Japanese pilots commented on the “sun” symbol and approved.  

Though the 601st Air Group was distributed throughout the First and Second Carrier Divisions, the Aichi 119’s were exclusively aboard the armored-deck sister ships Taiho and Ikoma for the Battle of the Philippine Sea. On board each carrier were six 119’s—three recon and three torpedo aircraft. The theory was that they would be launched together. The fast, long-ranged recon planes would fan out and find the enemy fleet beyond normal Allied strike distance, and the three accompanying torpedo-bombers would surprise and victimize at least one large Allied carrier before the main engagement.

There will undoubtedly be more before I'm done, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Line Drawing taken from William Green's "Warplanes of the Third Reich"
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 07:27:13 am by sequoiaranger »
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Offline sotoolslinger

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 06:48:56 pm »
That is a cool looking critter right there. I will be watching this with great interest ;D :thumbsup:
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Offline sequoiaranger

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Cucumber With Wings?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 09:28:33 am »
>That is a cool looking critter right there.<

Cool as a cucumber....with wings!

Pics below are from the boxtop/instruction sheet. Sleek bird, eh wot?

Put a He-111-type top-gunner's position on it, enlarge the wing-root oil coolers, put a torpedo underneath and a 20mm in each wing, some camo and the "Zuni"-type German-Pacific markings on it, and you got yourself an "Aichi 119" headed for the US Fleet (and, unfortunately for them, some F3M "Early Bearcats" radar-guided to their position)!
 

[EDIT] Picture #02m seems a little "fuzzy". I may try another shot later and post the improved version, but you get the idea.
[EDIT #2] Well, this one is slightly better, but still a bit "fuzzy". C'est la vie.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 11:09:16 am by sequoiaranger »
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Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 10:52:44 am »
Would not an FM-3 just be a different version of an Eastern Aircraft built Wildcat?

The Eastern built Bearcat was to be designated F3M-1.

Jon
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Offline sequoiaranger

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F3M--Yeah
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 11:08:45 am »
>Would not an FM-3 just be a different version of an Eastern Aircraft built Wildcat?
The Eastern built Bearcat was to be designated F3M-1.<

Oops. Yup. I knew the designation had an "F", "M", a dash, and a "3" in it, just forgot the sequence!

I'll edit the other post so no one will ever know!!  :wacko:

Though it does seem seem odd that the sequence this late in the war would be "F3", since that was the era of the "biplane Wildcat" (Gulfhawk?). Seems like F8M would be better. Could your and my "authoritative" books have misprinted the "3" and it should be an "8"??

Oh, here is a picture of an F3F. Notice that the cowl's red paint is VERY splotchy and streaky, as if applied with a brush. Now I won't feel so bad if my hand-painting is a little streaky.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 11:16:51 am by sequoiaranger »
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Offline dy031101

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Availability of He-119 floatplane kit?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2008, 11:58:31 am »
Is the kit for the floatplane V5 available from that company or any other?

I was very interested in the floatplane torpedo bomber idea that was mentioned in the Spanish fleet section of the Admiral Furashita website......
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 12:01:03 pm by dy031101 »
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Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: F3M--Yeah
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2008, 12:17:25 pm »
>Would not an FM-3 just be a different version of an Eastern Aircraft built Wildcat?
The Eastern built Bearcat was to be designated F3M-1.<

Oops. Yup. I knew the designation had an "F", "M", a dash, and a "3" in it, just forgot the sequence!

I'll edit the other post so no one will ever know!!  :wacko:

Though it does seem seem odd that the sequence this late in the war would be "F3", since that was the era of the "biplane Wildcat" (Gulfhawk?). Seems like F8M would be better. Could your and my "authoritative" books have misprinted the "3" and it should be an "8"??

Oh, here is a picture of an F3F. Notice that the cowl's red paint is VERY splotchy and streaky, as if applied with a brush. Now I won't feel so bad if my hand-painting is a little streaky.

Nope F3M because it was the third type from Eastern Aircraft, USN manufacturer code 'M'.
The Grumman designation was F8F, eighth type from Grumman, USN manufacturer code 'F'.

I've seen a much larger version of the photo and what appears to be streaking looks to be a combination of shadows created by
dents in the aluminum and reflections in the glossy paint. Interestingly the prop is also varnished.

Jon
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Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline sequoiaranger

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He-119 Floatplane
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2008, 12:25:34 pm »
>Is the kit for the floatplane V5 available from that company or any other? I was very interested in the floatplane torpedo bomber idea that was mentioned in the Spanish fleet section of the Admiral Furashita website......<

Aimodel made a vac-form of the He-119, and currently Planet Models makes it, too, in resin. Neither had the floats.  I am not aware of any other manufacturers of the He-119.

I had intended, originally, to make the Spanish floatplane version as seen in my webpage on the Dedalo, but the more I got to thinking, the more I wanted a Pacific/Japanese version instead (see http://www.combinedfleet.com/furashita/grafze_f.htm down near the bottom of the page as the GZ is welcomed to the Marshall Islands). I had a whole Vac-Formed sheet of various-sized floats, but sold that off when I realized I wasn't going to make a floatplane version. Maybe a He-115's floats might be appropriate, or floats from a 1/48 Supermarine S6B or something. Gotta improvise for the floatplane version.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2008, 02:10:57 pm »
Craig,

Italeri produced a Ju-52 in 1/72nd scale that had floats included in the kit.  These were quite large and very German looking in appearance and would be just about the right size for your project.  The only challenge is to source the Ju-52 kit with the floats.
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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2008, 01:28:41 pm »
Other variations could include:

A IJN Float plane version:




or a better defensive armament:



Regards,

Greg



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Offline sotoolslinger

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2008, 03:03:52 pm »
Puddingwrestler should be drooling with exctacy ;D :wub:
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Offline pbhawkin

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 11:38:56 pm »
Quote
Aimodel made a vac-form of the He-119, and currently Planet Models makes it, too, in resin. Neither had the floats.  I am not aware of any other manufacturers of the He-119.

Hi, I make a 1/144 He-119 V-3 floatplane version (note there were no other planes built after V-4). The decals I include with the kit have Japanese Hiromaru purely as a conjecture. See my website:
www.petersplanes.com
I look forward to seeing  your 1/72 build as it is a lovely graceful plane.

regards
Peter

Offline sequoiaranger

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He-119 V5-V8
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2009, 12:54:53 am »
>Hi, I make a 1/144 He-119 V-3 floatplane version (note there were no other planes built after V-4).<

Not so. Heinkel made V5, V6, V7 and V8 as well. BTW, I liked your floatplane version on your website.

>The decals I include with the kit have Japanese Hiromaru purely as a conjecture.<

The V7 and V8 (neither a floatplane version) were the two that Japan purchased from Heinkel and shipped to Japan for evaluation. The two Japanese He-119's flew in Japan, so Hinomarus are appropriate (but not floats, technically).

In my whif world the Japanese are delighted with the aircraft and build a batch of He-119's under license by Aichi. These become part of Kommando Marschall, the Luftwaffe contingent based in the Marshall (note different spelling; Marschall was a German admiral) Islands.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 12:58:42 am by sequoiaranger »
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Offline pbhawkin

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Re: Japanese He-119 Torpedo Bomber
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 04:45:50 am »
sequoiaranger ,
Hi.
As part of my research into making this model I have not found any evidence that more than 4 planes were made. And that it was V-2 and V-4 that were to go to Japan. Then there is no proof that they actually were sent or if so that they made it. There is a photo of V-4 crashed and probably written off. V-3 was put in the Deutches museum (destroyed in a air raid).
There were certainly more planned and the Japanese did order 2 for export and there apparently is a record of them being planned for shipment but no record of that occurring let alone arrival or use in Japan.
Most authors (including well published ones) have just repeated (even word for word) what earlier authors have published without doing any research to verify the claims. Also the earlier authors (like W.Green) had made many errors in their books.
There is NO period documents showing pictures (unlike there are for Stukas, me-190s, me-109s, He-100s etc in Japan) or recording test data or flights or on establishment figures. There are even pictures of He-100 after the surrender of Japan with American troops partially dismantled. But nothing (so far) for He-119s!
See the following threads where others have also had their say:

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=14198&page=2&highlight=he-119
http://www.j-aircraft.org/smf/index.php?topic=6861.new;topicseen#new

I realise that the planes that were to go to Japan were not floatplanes. But I have not made wheels as yet.
Also V-1 and V-2 were quite different than V-3 and V-4 (wings different shape as was the fuselage).
So am waiting on further information to clarify the matter. But nontheless it is interesting to speculate as to what would have happened.

regards
Peter

Offline sequoiaranger

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He-119 Research
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 10:20:22 am »
>As part of my research into making this model I have not found any evidence that more than 4 planes were made. Also the earlier authors (like W.Green) had made many errors in their books.<

My information on the later Verschus machines came from the comprehensive book "Warplanes of the Third Reich" by William Green. Certainly no author is exempt from errors, or speculation that was taken as fact. The error of William Green's of which I am most familiar was the oft-cited claim that a Ju-390 came within a few miles of New York City (taken as fact from a groundcrewman who was later proved to be mistaken, or deliberately deceitful). If you have the book, Green takes several paragraphs to explain the V5, 6, 7, and 8 and their fates. So these are ALL WRONG? In looking at the Green book, I did notice, however, that the first four Verschus machines all had their civil codes mentioned, but the latter ones did not. If it flew in the skies over Germany, it *HAD* to have a civil registration. Hmmm.

>Then there is no proof that they actually were sent or if so that they made it. ....the Japanese did order 2 for export and there apparently is a record of them being planned for shipment but no record of that occurring let alone arrival or use in Japan. There is NO period documents showing pictures (unlike there are for Stukas, me-190s, me-109s, He-100s etc in Japan) or recording test data or flights or on establishment figures. There are even pictures of He-100 after the surrender of Japan with American troops partially dismantled. But nothing (so far) for He-119s!<

The lack of records, from a country clearly losing/lost a war with many records, photographs, and even people destroyed does not automatically negate their existence.

>Most authors (including well published ones) have just repeated (even word for word) what earlier authors have published without doing any research to verify the claims.<

Such is the bane of writers, but I would appreciate what "contrary evidence" you have that refutes William Green's assertions other than lack of records to support it.  I am not "angry" or obstinate, just curious.

The Green book cites a pilot named "Major Shiochi Susuki", who test-flew the He-119 at Yokosuka and there was damage incurred to the plane. Has anyone talked to the Major? Was he killed, etc.? Green states that the two He-119's arrived in May of 1940 and assembled in Kasumigaura. Does no one who worked at Kasumigaura remember it? Did Green just make this s**t up?

I would be pleased to have links or references to any other "reputable" sources of info on the He-119. It is one of my favorite aircraft and I would like to know more about it. Thanks.

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