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Heinkel HE-51B1

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Heinkel HE-51B1 Deutsches Reich Luftwaffe Spring 1935

Heinkel HE-51B1

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Its first prototype, the HE-49, flew in November 1932, and the type was ordered into production for the still secret Luftwaffe as the He 51, deliveries starting in July of 1934. The aircraft had a traditional fabric-covered steel tube fuselage and wood frame wings, was powered by a glycol-cooled BMW VI 750hp, 12 cylinder inverted-vee engine, and armed with two 7.92mm Rheinmetall MG17s mounted above the engine. While an elegant design, the HE 51 was outdated as a fighter the day it entered service, in spite of which it became the core of the new Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwaders in 1936 and 1937.

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