An He 177A-3 of Flugzeugführerschule (B) 16 starting engines. The cart in front of the aircraft is an electrical generator which was widely used on Luftwaffe airfields while starting engines or to replenish batteries within the aircraft. The ground crewman on the left stands by with a fire extinguisher, a prudent precaution.
The main powerplant of the early He 177, the Daimler-Benz DB 606. This engine was built by combining two DB 601 twelve-cylinder engines. The A-3 and later variants carried the similar DB 610 which used DB 605 engines and developed 2,860 hp (2,133 kW).
Each bank was married to a common reduction gear to drive the propeller. This has led to a semantic debate about whether the He 177 was a two-engine or four-engine design. In any case engine fires plagued the Greif and the developmental He 274 and 277 designs were laid out as conventional four-engine designs with each engine in its own nacelle.
Engine servicing on this 4./KG 100 machine would make for an interesting diorama! The aircraft was designed to have this special crane fitted when a block and tackle was needed to service the engines. Note the spinner on the hardstand in front of the aircraft and how uneven the spiral is painted. The aircraft is W.Nr. 550043, coded 6N+HM.
Another view showing the maintenance crew preparing to remove the propeller. Each DB 610 engine weighed a hefty 3,300 pounds (1,500 kg).
A different type of portable block and tackle commonly seen on Luftwaffe airfields. The tarps covering the engines and cockpit glazing of this KG 50 Greif are noteworthy. (World War Photos)
It is rare to see the Fowler flaps deployed on an He 177, on this example they are fully extended and depressed for maintenance. Crews are working on both engines and the wing access panels have been opened. The cover for the B1-Stand remote turret is on the starboard wing. These are KG 100 machines at München-Riem airfield.
An He 177 is bombed up using a standard Luftwaffe hydraulic bomb cart. Maximum bomb load was designed as 15,000 pounds (7,000 kilograms) although it is doubtful this was ever carried operationally.
More bombs are brought to the belly of this KG 100 bomber as armorers work to fuse bombs under the aircraft. (Bundesarchiv photo)
A heavy load! An SC 1800 bomb is wheeled under this He 177. This bomb weighed in at 4,000 pounds, the Grief could carry one on the hardpoint under each wing.
The hydraulic bomb jack strains under the massive weight as armorers connect the shackles. Note the aircrew approaching from the front of the aircraft.
Part I here:
Note the avionics probe under the starboard wing, DL + AQ is He 177A-02, the second pre-production aircraft. It first flew on 05MAY41. It was lost in a forced landing in May 1942 after both engines caught fire in flight. The crew escaped but the aircraft was destroyed.
A nice color photograph of an airfield in Russia showing a rather dense concentration of aircraft which carry a tightly mottled upper surface. Conditions on the Eastern Front were often primitive.
This is a photograph of two He 177A-1 at Zaporozhye-Süd in Russia during the winter of 42/43 which shows well the harsh conditions on the Eastern Front. The aircraft belong to I./KG50, the nearest machine is finished in the standard 70 / 71 / 65 splinter scheme while the rear machine has a temporary coat of white distemper to better hide it in the snow.
6N + SK was an He 177A-3 assigned to 2./KG 100 at Rheine, Germany. Camouflage is 75 / 76 over black undersides. (Bundesarchiv photo)
This is He 177A-3 W.Nr. 2143 coded VD + XS of FFS(B) 16 at Burg-bei-Magdeburg, March 1944. FFS(B) 16 was a training unit, this aircraft had a black distemper paint applied to the undersides and vertical tail which avoided the call letters on the fuselage sides. (Bundesarchiv photo)
Aircrew in a Kubelwagen arrive in front of H for Helga, an He 177A-3 of 2./KG 100. The unit practice was to give the aircraft a female name corresponding with the aircraft code.
In 1944 the focus of the Allied air forces was the destruction of the Luftwaffe in preparation for the landings at Normandy. Heavy bombers attacked aircraft production and fuel supply targets while medium bombers and fighters went after Luftwaffe airfields. Here is a dramatic photograph of He 177s of 10.(Erg)/KG 100 at Schwäbisch Hall after being strafed by USAAF Mustangs on 25APR44.
An A-5 of an anti-shipping unit, KG 100 based at Toulouse-Blagnac, France in early 1944. The He 177 could carry either the Hs 293 or the Fritz–X glide bombs.
A fine example of a Mäandertarnung or “scribble” camouflage applied to this He 177A-5 of 5./KG 100 operating from Aalborg, Denmark in the fall of 1944. The Mäandertarnung was often carried for over-water operations.
An interesting undersurface camouflage has been applied to this Greif, a cloud pattern of RLM 76 or 77 over the darker RLM 65.
He 177A-5 W.Nr. 550062 coded F8 + AP is an aircraft with an interesting history. It was assigned to 6./KG 40 and was undergoing servicing at Toulouse-Blagnac in September 1944 when it was captured by the French Resistance, the first flyable He 177 to fall into Allied hands. It was given a full set of French markings including rudder stripes as well as invasion stripes for good measure. On the sides “Pris de Guerre” was written.
W.Nr. 550062 was flown to Farnborough for evaluation where the British applied their own markings over the French. The French rudder stripes were painted out – some profiles show the rudder color as red but this photograph shows a much better match with the yellow outline of the fuselage roundel. The aircraft received a RAF fin tab as well as the call number TS439 and a “P” designating a prototype, or in this case, test aircraft. Note the cloud camouflage pattern on the undersides and fuselage. The British later passed this aircraft on to the Americans, so modelers have the option of depicting this aircraft in Luftwaffe, French, British, or American markings.
Part II here:
The Heinkel He 177 was Germany’s attempt at fielding a heavy bomber during WWII. It was powered by two DB 606 24 cylinder in-line engines, which were constructed by mating two DB 601 or DB 605 engines to a common gearbox. These engines were recessed into the wing structure to reduce drag, a decision which lead to constant over-heating issues and fires. By the time these and numerous other development and technical issues were resolved the deteriorating war situation forced Germany into the “fighter emergency”, where fuel and other all aviation resources were devoted to bolstering the Jagdwaffe. Of the 1,135 He 177s produced, most ended the war grounded due to lack of fuel on various airfields throughout the Reich.
This is the Revell of Germany kit with the Eduard PE set. It represents an He 177A-5 of 4./KG 100 operating the Fritz-X wire-guided missile in the anti-shipping role from Toulouse-Blagnac France in the Summer of 1944. The kit is sharply molded with recessed panel lines and assembles without drama. A nice kit of a large but rather lesser known type which carried several interesting camouflage schemes. Recently Revell has reissued this kit, so if you missed it the first time you can still pick one up.
Kit construction posts here: