|First flight||23 May 1945|
|Primary user||Spanish Air Force|
|Developed from||Heinkel He 111|
The CASA 2.111 was a medium bomber derived from the Heinkel He 111 and produced in Spain under licence by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA). The 2.111 models differed significantly in details from Heinkel's wartime He 111H design while using essentially the same exact airframe in appearance, featuring heavier armament and eventually Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.
Design and development
In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the Spanish Nationalist Air Force received a number of He 111Bs from Germany, which had begun to receive the improved He 111D model, receiving He 111Es following the end of the war. There was a need for more modern aircraft, however, so in 1940, CASA negotiated a contract with Heinkel to produce 200 examples of the newer He 111 H-16 in Seville. Setting up production was slow, with relatively little support received from Germany as World War II continued. Spain managed to locate a store of Jumo 211F-2 engines in France, and this allowed completion of 130 Jumo powered examples (although only 117 were delivered owing to the need to cannibalise engines). These were in three versions: the 2.111A, a medium bomber; the 2.111C, a reconnaissance bomber; and the 2.111F, a dual-control trainer.
The first Spanish-built aircraft flew on 23 May 1945. Following the end of the war, access to the German-built Junkers engines became an issue, and CASA found an alternative with the Rolls-Royce Merlin 500. In April 1956, 173 Merlin engines were ordered and installed on the aircraft in a power-egg nacelle of a type originally developed by Rolls-Royce for the Beaufighter II and later used on the Avro Lancaster. The newly Merlin-powered bombers and reconnaissance bombers became the 2.111B and 2.111D, respectively; some were re-engined, while others were built new. A nine-passenger transport, the 2.111T8, was also developed and produced. Spanish 2.111s served into the late 1960s and, in the case of the transports, early 1970s. Many of the aircraft retired in the 1960s found second lives in movies such as Battle of Britain and Patton, due to the family resemblance to Heinkel He 111s.
Approximately 14 Spanish licenced built CASA 2.111s survive today in various conditions on display or storage. One modified Spanish 2.111D served as a transport for Spanish VIPs, including General Francisco Franco, before being purchased in England by the Commemorative Air Force in 1977. It remained the last He 111 in flyable condition until 10 July 2003, when it was destroyed in a fatal crash landing. The aircraft was attempting a landing at the Cheyenne Municipal Airport, near Cheyenne, Wyoming, while en route from Midland, Texas to an air show in Missoula, Montana. Eyewitness reports indicate the aircraft lost power to one engine on final approach and ploughed through a chain link fence before colliding with a school bus washing building under construction. Killed were CAF pilot Neil R. Stamp and co-pilot Charles S. Bates.
- Crew: 5
- Length: 16.4 m (53 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: 22.5 m (73 ft 10 in)
- Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 86.5 m2 (931 sq ft)
- Max takeoff weight: 14,000 kg (30,865 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-29 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engines, 1,176 kW (1,577 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 440 km/h (273 mph; 238 kn)
- Range: 1,950 km (1,212 mi; 1,053 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 7,800 m (25,591 ft)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- Cruz 2000, pp. 49–50.
- Wilson, Randy. "It's a Heinkel: the Luftwaffe's workhorse Heinkel 111 bomber." The Dispatch, Volume 12, Number 4, Winter 1996. Retrieved: 25 February 2007.
- Cruz 2000, pp. 48–49.
- Wilson, Randy. It's a Heinkel: the Luftwaffe's workhorse Heinkel 111 bomber rwebs.net, The Dispatch. Volume 12, Number 4, Winter 1996. Retrieved: 6 September 2009
- "Two Killed in Cheyenne, Wyo. Crash of Vintage World War II Bomber." Associated Press via ''stelzriede.com, 10 July 2003. Retrieved: 12 April 2012.
- Cruz, Gonzalo Avila. "Homegrown 'Pedros': Spanish-Built Heinkel He 111s: Part One-Jumo Variants". Air Enthusiast, No. 90, November/December 2000, pp. 48–53. Stamford, UK:Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Cruz, Gonzalo Avila. "Homegrown 'Pedros': Spanish-Built Heinkel He 111s: Part Two-Merlin Variants". Air Enthusiast, No. 91, January/February 2001, pp. 8–18. Stamford, UK:Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Lambert, C.M. "Handling the Spanish Heinkel 111". Flight, 17 August 1956, pp. 247–248.
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