Heinkel He 270

The sole Heinkel He 270 was a final attempt to produce a useful military version of the fast He 70 passenger aircraft. Although a relatively large number of military He 70s had been built, the type was not a great success, and by April 1937 the Luftwaffe had abandoned any plans to use it as a front line aircraft. An export version, the He 170, had been sold in small numbers to Hungary, but no further orders were received.

In an attempt to extend the life of the aircraft Heinkel produced a single prototype of the He 270. This was a three-seat reconnaissance and light bomber, powered by a 1,175hp Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa inline engine. It first flew in 1938, and achieved a top speed of 286mph at 13,120ft, making it 16mph faster than the He 170 and 62mph faster than the He 70F.

Despite its high speed the He 270 suffered from the same problems as the military versions of the He 70. The elliptical wing blocked the view from the cabin, making it a poor reconnaissance aircraft. It was lightly armed, with one forward firing and two rear firing 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns, and it could only carry a 660lb payload. This would have made it 30mph faster than the British Fairey Battle, which suffered such heavy losses in 1940, but with only two-thirds of the payload.

Engine: Daimler Benz DB 601A
Power: 1,175hp
Crew: 3
Max Speed: 286mph at 13,120ft
Armament: One forward firing and two rear firing 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns
Bomb-load: 660lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 November 2009), Heinkel He 270 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_heinkel_he_270.html

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