Heinkel He 277

1943

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Heinkel He 277

In an effort to overcome the problems being experienced with the coupled DB 606 engines of the He 177, Heinkel suggested in 1940 that four separate DB 603s should be substituted. Although the Reichsluftfahrtsinisterium rejected the plan, work continued unofficially under the designation He 177B and the design was resurrected in response to Hitler's May 1943 demand for a heavy bomber to facilitate effective strikes on London. Converted from an He 177A-3/R2 airframe, with four DB 603A engines, the first Heinkel He 277 prototype flew at Vienna-Schwechat in the closing months of 1943, followed by the second aircraft on 28 February 1944. Directional instability resulted in the fitting of a twin fin and rudder tail unittothe third prototype. Eight 1305kW DB 603A-powered He 277B-5/R2 production models were completed before the priority given to fighter production in July 1944 brought the programme to an end.

Heinkel He 277

3-View 
Heinkel He 277A three-view drawing (1322 x 632)

Comments
Barry, 20.05.2016 12:52

According to some sources some 277 were powered by 4 x 1,973 h.p. BMW 801E 14 cylinder radial engines. (Heinkel 177-277-274 by Manfred Griehl and Joachim Dressell Airlife Publishing 1998)

Span 131'3" Length 75'5" Height 19'10" Wing area 1,432 sq ft
Empty weight 48,060 lb Maximum take off weight 98,100 lb

Maximum Speed 354 mph Cruising speed 286 mph
Range 3,728 miles Service ceiling 30,000 ft

Armament 2 x 20 mm cannon in remotely controlled under
nose turret
4 x 20 mm cannon in twin dorsal turrets one
remotely operated forward turret and one aft
manned turret.
2 x 20 mm cannon in remotely controlled ventral
turret to rear of bomb bay
4 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns in rear manned
"Hecklafette" HL 131 V turret
Maximum bomb load of 12,345 lb

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Barry

If you're aware, the He 177B designation was allocated to the 4-engine version of the He 177 in the late summer of 1943, whereas He 277 was assigned months earlier. Consequently, the He 177A-8 four-engined version of the He 177A and the He 177A-10 four-engined version of the He 177A-7 because He 177B-5 and He 177B-7 respectively.

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 21.01.2014 00:04

Steve the He-177-B0 Aircraft which you refer had the following factory codes:

prototype V101 = NN+QQ destroyed at Cheb (Czech) in Allied air raid;

V102 = NE+OD (probably one which you refer);

V103 = WkNr.550036 with KM+TL;

V104 = DL+AT

It is also worth noting the Germans had an infuriating practice of assigning Stamkennzeichen codes to more than one aircraft, thus KM+TL is dubious.

V102 was converted from a single fin tail to a twin fin "H" tail assembly converting it to He-277 B-5 and from this conversion it then wore the code GA+QQ. This code was assigned to the He-277 test development unit at Reichlin.

Reichlin also made several conversions at it's own worksops converting six He-177 A-6 R1 prototype aircraft and one He-177 A-6 R2 prototype into He-277 B-5 aircraft. The He-177 A-6 R2 had a tail turret.

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Simon Gunson

He 177B V104 actually had code KM+TE, and it never flew. The true He 277 was a 131-ft span intercontinental bomber, but never progressed beyond the design phase.

Griehl, Manfred and Dressel, Joachim, 1998. Heinkel He 177-277-274. Airlife Publishing:Shrewsbury, England. ISBN 1-85310-364-0.

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Klaatu83, e-mail, 11.10.2013 02:32

This is what they should have been building all along instead of the over-complicated and unreliable He 177. By the time the RLM saw sense and ordered this instead, it was too late.

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Vahe Demirjian, e-mail, 21.08.2020 Klaatu83

Heinkel's desires for a four-engine He 177 variant were stymied by the RLM's dive bombing requirement for the He 177. The first Heinkel design for a four-engine version of the Greif, the He 179, was conceived in 1939 but did not leave the drawing board. The Heinkel company had to wait long for the RLM to dispense with the dive-bombing requirement for the He 177 to earn the green light to proceed with the He 177B, by which time Hitler's plans for air raids on Manhattan with planes like the He 277, Me 264, and Ta 400 were slipping away due to shortages of materials essential for these long-range heavy bombers.

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Ray B. Hall, e-mail, 20.05.2013 22:34

Steve .. the photos I found of He177B had code-signs, from the factory, of D7+GA A1+BA 1G+HP G1+BH .. German dairies state there were MANY planes IDLE because of lack of fuel .. AND there were pilots and crews that were sent to infintry A1+BA: the A is black, the 1 and B white... codes were put on fuselage and under wings, but were painted over on wings when they arrived

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loupan, 21.06.2011 06:53

The pic on this site shows a "N" outer starboard wing but no more.Thanks to anyone who can help.

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 05.05.2010 12:07

Correction Luft Archiv.de have a photo of the aircraft which you refer to Steve from the side and the Stamkennzeichen is NE+OD which would be a factory code for the first prototype. That codes identified for 6 airframes now.

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 05.05.2010 09:26

Hi Steve,
The aircraft with "N" is likely to have been GA+QN.

There were possibly as many as 26 He-277 produced. If you go online you may find a photo of one bombed out at Cheb airfield Czechoslovakia in 1945. Stamkennzeichen which I can identify include:

GA+QQ Heinkel He277 V9
GA+QR Heinkel He277 V10
GA+QM Heinkel He277 V26
GA+QX Heinkel He277 V18
GA+QQ Heinkel He277 V9

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Simon Gunson

No He 277s were ever built. The airframes with Stamkennzeichen codes GA+QR, GA+QM, and GA+QX were He 177 prototypes, but GA+QQ was one of four He 177s converted to an He 177B prototype. The He 177 with the code GA+QN was never converted to an He 177B. The true He 277, as noted by Griehl and Dressel (1998), was an intercontinental bomber with a 131 foot wingspan and a cockpit similar to that of the Bristol Blenheim, and the He 177B designation was allocated to the four-engined version of the He 177 in mid-1943, months after work on the He 277 began in earnest.

Griehl, Manfred and Dressel, Joachim, 1998. Heinkel He 177-277-274. Airlife Publishing:Shrewsbury, England. ISBN 1-85310-364-0.

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d.jay, 12.07.2009 19:52

This aircraft could have been the german Lancaster. Thousand bomber raids over london ? luckly it was too late in development.

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Simon Gunson, NZ, e-mail, 22.05.2009 04:48

Some sources give W.Nr.535550 as a prototype He-277 but conflict whether it was the first or third prototype. The first was a single fin aircraft. The third was a twin fin. It's code was NN+QQ.

W.Nr.535550 (above) and Heinkel He277 GA+QQ (former He177 A-08 W.Nr.23 previously coded DL+AT are the only two records of He-277 which I can locate.

There are various claims that only 5 were built. Other claims that 8 were built. Given the lack of records or conflicting records it's hard to identify. Good luck.

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Simon Gunson, NZ

W.Nr. 535550 was the first He 177B prototype (code NN+QQ). The third prototype had the W.Nr. 550036 and code KM+TT, while the fourth He 177B prototype had W.Nr. 550055 and code KM+TE. The He 177B with code GA+QQ was the second prototype and had twin fins, and it was initially built as He 177 V9.

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Steve Woodward, e-mail, 04.10.2008 17:50

Can anyone tell me what the factory call-sign codes (stamkennzeichen)were on either of the He177B single-fin aircraft please? I want to model this aircraft but can find no photo showing all four letters. The pic on this site shows a "N" outer starboard wing but no more.
Thanks to anyone who can help.

reply

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