Luftwaffe Heinkel He 115 N "Nachteule", September 1940

Started by nönöbär, April 27, 2019, 11:22:25 PM

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Luftwaffe Heinkel He 115 N "Nachteule", September 1940

The Vehicle:

In late 1938, the RLM was searching for a new reconnaissance  aircraft for the Luftwaffe that was able to have an operational range of 4000km and a speed of at least 420 kph. Among others, Heinkel entered the competition with a modified version of the Heinkel He 115 float plane.
While the original He 115 float plane was a quite slow aircraft that proved not very useful for military combat operations during WW2, the He 115 N was different. Without the drag caused by the huge floats and the usage of the much more powerful BMW-801-A/B engines (1600 hp compared to the original BMW 132 K with 960 hp) the plane was able to reach speed close to 500kph.
Equipped with external fuel tanks and the internal bomb bay mostly used to carry additional fuel, the range of the plane was increased to 4250 km. The remaining part of the bomb bay was filled up with various cameras which were operated from the former bombardier position.

First flight of the He 115-D was in march 1939 and although the first prototype crash landed six weeks later, the Luftwaffe ordered a first series of 20 He 115 D-0 and later additional numbers of improved He 115 D-1 and He 115 D-2. A total of 232 He 115 D were build, more than of the original float plane.

Introduced in Luftwaffe service in late summer of 1940, the he 115 D saw its first operations during the Battle of Britain. There, it was very vulnerable during daylight recon missions, however it was very successful in night recon flights. Equipped with IR sensitive film material, the now nicknamed "Nachteule " - "Night-Owl" was used to evaluate the effects of the Luftwaffe bombing raids.

The He 115 N was also used during Operation Barbarossa, but later usage over Britain in 1944 made them an easy prey for British Mosquito night fighters.

None of the He 115 N has survived today.

The model shows a Heinkel He 115 N during operations over Britain in April 1941.

The Model:

This is an old Revel 1/72 scale He 115 kit. I had used the floats for an other projects, so i decided to build the He 115 on wheels. Wheels and drop tanks are from an Airfix Do 217 kit and the photo recon pod is taken form the spare par box. The rest of the model is build OOB. The model was airbrushed using Revel Aqua Colour.

Daily updates from my engineer: https://twitter.com/Scratchbr1

German Naval History               : www.german-navy.de
Bärenreisen                             : www.barenurlaub.de


Looks great. I'll see if I can find a He115 in the next swap-n-sell.  Thanks for the inspiration.


Old Wombat

Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


The 115 always looked a very 'purposeful' aeroplane to my mind, and as a landplane it's even better. Most impressive.  :thumbsup:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)




- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


Quote from: zenrat on April 29, 2019, 04:28:46 AM
Good job.  That'll confuse a few people.

It will indeed.

I've been looking forward to seeing this finished and I'm not disappointed. Terrific job  :thumbsup:
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Very good indeed.  I am envious.
If I hadn't lost my mojo, I would have liked to build one for the racing GB, as a contestant in the London-Melbourne, or the Istres-Damascus-Paris races.
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.


Looks great.  Looks plausible, which is really important to me.  It fits in too, something in the Handley Page Heyford  or Martin Maryland class.
The Leng Plateau is lovely this time of year

Captain Canada

CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?