Heinkel He 65

The Heinkel He 65 was a short-lived design for a high speed passenger aircraft that was abandoned in favour of the He 70. Work on the aircraft was triggered by the appearance of Lockheed Orion, a passenger aircraft with the same speed as the most modern fighters. When Swissair placed an order for the Orion in the summer of 1931 other European airlines were forced to compete.

In Germany Lufthansa and the Transport Ministry decided to order the production of a faster aircraft, with a cruising speed of at least 198mph, capable of carrying six passengers between most German cities in two hours or less. Heinkel and Junkers were both asked to submit designs.

Ernst Heinkel responded by sending Siegfried Günter, one of his top designers, to the United States to examine the state of their aircraft industry. On his return Günter produced a design for a low-winged monoplane with non-retractable landing gear in streamlined fairings. This aircraft would have a cruising speed of 148mph, significantly slower than the Lufthansa requirements (the Junkers Ju 60 design suffered from the same problem).

Heinkel submitted their design in January 1932, but it was received without enthusiasm. Work on the He 65 continued until May. On 15 May Ernst Heinkel learnt that one of Swissair's Orions had made its first scheduled flight, flying between Zurich, Munich and Vienna at a cruising speed of 180mph. He decided to halt all work on the He 65 and move onto a completely new design, which would emerge as the Heinkel He 70 Blitz (Lightning).

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 November 2009), Heinkel He 65 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_heinkel_he_65.html

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