SECURING THE SKIES

Other types

The first batch of Ar196 floatplanes were delivered in 1939, being assigned to Germany's principal warships as on-board reconnaissance machines. An improved model, the A-3, appeared in 1940 and was primarily used for coastal patrol and reconnaissance duties, although it had a light attack capability. Numbers were encountered during the Battle of Britain on convoy and air-sea rescue reconnaissance missions.

Heinkel He115

The Heinkel 115 floatplane was used in a wide variety of roles during the Battle of Britain, notably the mining of estuaries and coastal waters. It first flew in 1936, and by the end of the war was one of the best floatplanes of any air arm. Deliveries commenced in 1937, and and export order from Norway was filled in 1939. Some aircraft were modified to carry magnetic mines.

Heinkel He113

In many reports filed between August and October reference was made to combats with, and sightings of, Heinkel 113s. Designated He100D, the so-called He113 was an attractive and very fast interceptor, first flown in January 1938. Seven prototypes, three pre-production and twelve production aircraft were built but not accepted by the Luftwaffe for operational use. Six protypes were sold to Russia and three pre-production aircraft to Japan. The twelve remaining He110Ds were used to form a special unit for the defence of the Heinkel factory and flown by company test pilots. Some aircraft were shown in propaganda leaflets in full camouflage and unit markings and given the spurious designation He113. The He113s reported during the Battle of Britain resulted from faulty identification and were, in fact, Me109s.

Focke-Wulf FW200

The FW200 "Condor" was designed as a trans-Atlantic airliner in 1936, but the Luftwaffe's shortage of long-range aircraft led to its intoduction into service during 1940. deliveries were slow, but a number were used in the long-range reconnaissance and anti-shipping roles with occasional night bombing raids over Britain. The type gained noteriety later in the war with their attacks on the shipping convoys in the North Atlantic.

Dornier Do215

The Dornier 215 was in all main respects similar to the Dornier 17 except for its powerplant of two Daimler-Benz DB601 engines. The Do215 was originally an export model for Yugoslavia and Sweden taken over by the Luftwaffe, and was only seen in small numbers during the Battle of Britain, mainly in the reconnaissance role.

Heinkel He59

Designed as a torpedo-bomber and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the He59 first flew in 1932. By the time of the Battle of Britain, the type was obsolete and used by the Luftwaffe for air-sea rescue. several were brought down by RAF fighters following a British Government protest at the use of the red cross for the recovery of crews and 'reconnaissance'. Interestingly, all the fuel was housed in the huge floats.

Dornier Do18

Yet another civil type converted for use with the Luftwaffe, the Do18 was a water-based trans-Atlantic mail plane and first took to the air in 1935. The Do18D armed reconnaissance model joined the Luftwaffe in 1938, with a turret-equipped version following a year later. Production ended in 1940 with barely 100 aircraft in all models built.