He 177 Greif
|Primary Role||Heavy Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||19 November 1939|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe He 177 Greif ("Griffin") were long-range heavy bombers of the German Luftwaffe. An unusual feature in the design called for two engines in each nacelle driving a single propeller, which was a result of the German Air Ministry's demand that He 177 bombers should be capable of dive bombing, which was impossible with four propellers. This unique engine configuration, unfortunately, increased the chance of accidental fire as any oil leakage would drip onto the hot exhaust manifolds on the two middle cylinder banks. The frequent fires with earlier variants of the He 177 design led to the nickname Reichsfeuerzeug, "the lighter of the Reich"; the problem with fires was never totally resolved in later variants. Because of the dive bombing requirement, the wing and structure were strengthened beyond a typical bomber design called for, therefore He 177 bombers' speed and bomb load to suffer. In the end, they were only able to achieve shallow dive attacks, so most were used as a heavy bomber only. When production ended due to the Fighter Emergency Program of 1944 which called for a halt in all bomber production in favor of fighters, 1,184 aircraft were built.
ww2dbaseA small number of true four-engined variants were built under the designation He 277, but because they were not officially sanctioned by the Luftwaffe, the variant never entered production.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2007
He 177 Greif Timeline
|19 Nov 1939Â||The Heinkel He 177, the German Luftwaffe's only real heavy bomber of the war, took its first flight.|
|Machinery||Two Daimler-Benz DB 610 (twin DB 605) 24-cylinder liquid-cooled engines, rated at 2,950hp each|
|Armament||1x7.92mm nose MG 81J, 1x20mm ventral MG 151, 2x13mm forward dorsal MG 131, 1x13mm aft MG 131, 1x20mm tail MG 151, up to 7,200kg of bombs or two mines, missiles, or torpedoes|
|Wing Area||100.00 mÂ²|
|Weight, Empty||16,800 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||31,000 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||472 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||7,080 m|
|Range, Normal||1,540 km|
|Range, Maximum||5,600 km|
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