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CASA 2.111
CASA 2.111B
Role Medium bomber
Manufacturer CASA
First flight 23 May 1945
Retired 1973
Primary user Spanish Air Force
Produced 1945–1956[1]
Number built 236
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.[2]

Design and development[edit | edit source]

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.[2] 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).[3] 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.[4]

Operational history[edit | edit source]

The first Spanish-built aircraft flew on 23 May 1945.[5] 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 1953, 173 Merlin engines were ordered. 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.[4] 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.

The CASA 2.111 were used in combat in the close air support role against Moroccans during the Ifni War in 1957-1958.

Survivors[edit | edit source]

CASA 2.111B Cockpit at the Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim

CASA 2.111B at the Technik Museum Sinsheim

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.[6]

Specifications (2.111B)[edit | edit source]

General characteristics

  • 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)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "He 111." Deutsches Museum. Retrieved: 13 January 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Heinkel He 111." EADS N.V. Retrieved: 17 January 2007.
  3. Cruz 2000, pp. 49–50.
  4. 4.0 4.1 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.
  5. Cruz 2000, pp. 48–49.
  6. "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.

External links[edit | edit source]

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