The Heinkel He-111's sleek lines mask the plane's capability and versatility as a medium bomber. This aircraft was classified as a passenger/mail plane to circumvent limits imposed on German rearmament by the Treaty of Versailles. Designed in the early 1930s, production began in November 1936. Almost from its introduction, the He-111 was engaged in combat; early model He-111s served in Spain with the infamous "Condor Legion" in support of Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.
The He-111 was well liked by its crews and despite its relatively light defensive armament, was able to fend off enemy fighter attacks and return to base with heavy damage. The He-111 was also very adaptable. He-111s were used to launch V-1 "Buzz Bombs", transport men and equipment as well as drop paratroopers. A five-engine variant, the He-111Z, was even produced to tow combat gliders.
Roughly 7,000 He-111s (in various models) were produced and operated extensively around the world for more than two decades. He-111s were shipped to China, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria. Beginning in 1943, Spain received approximately 100 He-111s as a gift from Nazi Germany and produced 130 copies. Initially, these Spanish built He-111s, known as CASA 2.111s, were fitted with German engines. However, between 1953 and 1956, Spain purchased 173 Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and fitted them to the seventy remaining airframes.
The Museum's 2.111E was manufactured as B2-H-155 in 1950, but due to a lack of engines was put into storage. In 1956, it was modified to photographic and map making configuration and fitted with Merlin engines. It was accepted by the Spanish Air Force on December 14, 1956 as B2-I-27, to serve with the Spanish Air Force Cartographic Group. In 1968, it was painted in German colors and used in the film "Battle of Britain". From 1970 to 1972, it was operated by 403 Squadron from Cuatros Vientos, near Madrid, Spain. In November 1972, it was transferred to 406 Squadron at Torrejon, Spain. In January 1974, it was transferred to 46 Group in Ganda, Canary Islands, and active in the Spanish campaign in the Western Sahara. On January 21, 1975, B2-I-27 was returned to the air armaments factory in Seville, officially listed as surplus, and placed into storage. From all available information, it appears that B2-I-27 was the last CASA 2.111 in active service with the Spanish Air Force.
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum added B2-I-27 to its collection in 1995. The aircraft is painted in the color scheme of Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG51) "Edelweiss", of the German Luftwaffe of World War
|ENGINE||Two Rolls-Royce Merlin 500s developing 1,600 h.p. each|
|ARMAMENT||CASA 2111: normally unarmed
He-111: up to six 7.92 machine guns or 20mm cannons and 6,600 lbs. of ordnance
|WING SPAN||74 feet, 1 inch|
|LENGTH||53 feet, 9 inches|
|HEIGHT||13 feet, 1 inch|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||30,800 pounds|
|MANUFACTURED BY||Construccions Aeronauticas S.A.|
|TOTAL BUILT||Over 7,000|
|MUSEUM'S AIRCRAFT BUILT||1950|
|ON DISPLAY AT||Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport (KADS), Dallas, Texas|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||288 m.p.h.|
|SERVICE CEILING||32,800 feet|