He 112 A-0
|This page is about the German fighter He 112 A-0. For other versions, see He 112 (Family).|
The He 112 A-0 is a rank I German fighter with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/RB) and 2.0 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
The He 112 A-0 is a very solid plane. Being fully-metal and equipped with a 20 mm MG C/30L cannon, it is quite a formidable foe in the hands of a decent rank I pilot.
The aircraft is an evolution of the He 112 V-5, and loses the 7.92 mm MGs in favour of a single 20 mm cannon. Obviously it is more sluggish, less fast, heavier and deadlier. It has a very poor turn time, so do not dogfight.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 3,200 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 280||< 320||< 360||> 315|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,800 m||640 hp||N/A|
Survivability and armour
The survivability of the plane is decent. Because of the open canopy, the pilot is vulnerable, and the plane can withstand a few hits, but not anything great. The aircraft has no armour, but speed makes up for it. If you fly fast you will survive. It has self-sealing fuel tanks, with 1 in each wing.
Modifications and economy
The He 112 A-0 is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm MG C/30L cannon, nose-mounted (100 rpg)
Usage in battles
The single and unique cannon gives the He 112 an interesting and quite a challenging playstyle. It has two types of rounds: API-T and HEFI-T. API-T is high penetration but causes less internal damage. It is useful against bombers and light ground targets. HEFI-T is devastating against smaller aircraft. Sometimes just one direct hit will be enough to completely dismantle a target. However, HEFI-T is unreliable against larger targets, where it often just explodes on the exterior of the target and causes limited damage. Carrying a mixed belt can be a good idea if there are a range of targets available.
The cannon can be very difficult to aim against fast targets, as it has quite a slow rate of fire. Luckily, the plane is manoeuvrable and turns well, so you can get your cannon on target quite effectively. It is also faster than biplanes and some other monoplanes, meaning that Boom & Zoom tactics work quite well. You should attack ground attack aircraft and monoplanes. Attacking biplanes, however, is a risky job because they can easily outmanoeuvre you and take you down instead.
Speed and climb are one of the main factors when using this plane. It is roughly on par with the faster monoplanes at rank I, being slightly slower than the F2A and P-36G. Climb rate is good when engine upgrades and fuselage upgrades are purchased, at around 16 m/s. While this is much less than some of the top pre-war biplanes, the He 112 is also much faster, better protected, and performs better at altitude.
Play in the vertical when using the He 112. Typical rank I planes consist of biplanes and pre-war monoplanes that are much more manoeuvrable than the He 112. Don't get into a horizontal turn fight with a biplane; energy retention is fairly poor and after a few turns you'll be left a sitting duck for 7.92 mm and .50 cal MGs to rip you apart. Climb to a favourable height (3-4 km), and then begin boom and zoom attacks, by diving on favourable targets. In Realistic Battles, do not dive far vertically or perform extreme manoeuvres at high speed; your wings will rip.
One unique aspect of the He 112 A-0 is its excellent cannon, the MG C/30L. Derived from the Flak 38, the MG C/30L possesses very good firepower, and when utilizing HE (High Explosive) shells, it is capable of ripping all rank I planes apart with a few short bursts. Be warned, however - against bombers, utilise deflection shooting and attack at angles, aiming for the wing. A single 20 mm, regardless of capability, will do you no good if you simply pump shells into a bomber's fuselage.
Another unique aspect of the He 112 A-0 is its capability to outdive a lot of planes, being that the He 112 A-0 is very heavy. The He 112 A-0 is also very manoeuvrable at high speeds, whereas most monoplanes at a similar battle rating tend to be sluggish in a turn.
In Ground RB, you can have up 47 mm of penetration, using an API-T round, combined with a very accurate cannon, will let you, with enough luck, to destroy 4-6 tanks (including heavy tanks), before running out of ammo. Normally, the best belt for this will be the ground targets belt, but using it is risky, because it is ineffective against planes, and will require many hits, in order to destroy a target.
The He 112 A-0 at its BR, with a full belt of 100 armour-piercing shells you are able to pierce most sides and front hulls of light and medium tanks, and able to pierce every roof with ease.
One of the reasons that make this plane so effective is its vertical agility and ability to repeatedly chain low altitude dives by simply doing loops over the target, allowing you to be conservative in terms of ammunition each dive and be able to re-engage at a new facing angle in a dozen seconds later.
Another reason is the rather low fire rate of your motorkannone. At only 325 rounds per min, you only lose 2-3 shots before correcting your angle and strike the target tank. The shell's rather good spall damage means you generally only need to spend 10-25 rounds per target to get a kill, and 1-2 to destroy their engines.
It is heavily recommended to bleed off a lot of speed before doing those quick dive attack runs, and to stay around 350 km/h to not lose control due to >6G manoeuvres, and to reduce your turn radius as much as possible to make a quick recovery and avoid ground obstacles.
With a full 100-round AP belt, it becomes possible to claim 4-6 kills and double that in assists in a single reload, provided you don't get taken down before that.
The He 112 A-0 in that shell configuration and conservative mindset is very vulnerable against any level of resistance, especially against biplanes wich, despite not being able to take you down in a timely manner, will not leave your tail unless you have the sheer speed to distance yourself, and you cannot realistically take on Anti Aircraft like USA's M13s unless they are already occupied with a different target;
Thus, the best tactic for those kind of threats is to lay low and let another, more defendable allied plane get targetted before you can do anything. Another tactic is for when you are being targetted by either: just keep attacking tanks in divebombs like nothing hapenned, your erratic manoeuvers makes it hard for AA to hit you, and makes pursuing biplanes unable to get a lot of shots into your plane, leading to crashes sometimes and gives you more time to get extra kills/assists and being rescued by an allied AA or plane to take that exhausted biplane.
Overall, remember- the He 112 A-0 excels in the vertical and in terms of firepower/durability, being an all-metal monoplane with an excellent cannon.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Decent speed
- Decent rate of climb when fully upgraded
- Extremely versatile; can do both turn fighting and energy fighting depending on the opposition
- Excellent cannon ('Air Targets' belts have brilliant HEFI-T rounds)
- Default ammo belt consists of 75% high explosive HEFI-T shells.
- API-T rounds have good penetration (over 40 mm), making them good against lightly armoured targets, though it is not recommended to use the cannon in this role
- Cannon has 100 rounds, but the slow rate of fire means that you can make these 100 rounds last
- Exposed cockpit
- No armour to protect the pilot
- Does not excel at a particular fighting style
- Cannot outmanoeuvre any biplanes (except for a select few)
- HEFI-T does inconsistent damage
- Aiming is difficult, needs a lot of experience
- Cannon is inaccurate and has a slow rate of fire thus low one-second burst mass, making quick deflection shots less effective
- Cannon has a rather low ammo count (only 100 rounds)
- No backup machine guns - once the cannon ammo is gone you will have to wait until reload (AB) or return to the airbase to rearm (RB/SB)
- No WEP
The Heinkel He 112 was a monoplane fighter designed for the 1933 Luftwaffe competition. Drawing on its experience with the He 70 mail plane, Heinkel incorporated features that were new to fighters at the time. The construction was all-metal with stressed skin and the inverted "gull" wings had an elliptical shape. The landing gear was retractable and mounted in the bends of the gull wings. The end result was a sleek and modern aircraft with good cockpit visibility and superior speed to the biplane fighters that the Luftwaffe was equipped with at the time. However, it faced stiff competition from Messerschmitt's Bf 109. The two planes had comparable performance. While the He 112 had better turning capabilities due to its lower wing loading, the Bf 109 was faster and accelerated better. The choice between the two aircraft was not easy for the Luftwaffe and orders were placed for limited pre-production runs of both. The Bf 109 won out in the end for several reasons: it completed testing with minimal complications whereas the He 112 suffered from several crashes, and it was also easier to manufacture than Heinkel's offering. The Bf 109's straight and largely rectangular wings were far simpler than the He 112's elliptical gull wings, for example. The development would continue for the Bf 109 and it would eventually become the Luftwaffe's most numerous and iconic World War II fighter.
Not all hope was lost for Heinkel at the time. The Luftwaffe kept up the order for pre-production He 112s as a backup for the Bf 109, and Heinkel continued to develop new prototypes as part of the He 112 A-0 series. The engine, armament, and aerodynamics were refined. The sixth revision, He 112 V6, was particularly unique. Instead of the twin cowling-mounted 7.92 machine guns used by previous prototypes like the V5, a 20 mm MG C/30L cannon was installed behind the engine, firing through the propeller hub in a "Motorkanone" configuration. This experimental configuration had not been attempted before and the ability to elegantly mount weapons as large as the armament of the Panzer II light tank on a fighter aircraft was intriguing.
With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Luftwaffe moved in to assist the Spanish Nationalist forces through the "Condor Legion" volunteer group and also to test out their new fighters. Several Bf 109 prototypes accompanied the He 112 V6 to Spain, where they cut their teeth in live combat versus the Spanish Republicans.
He 112 V6 was the only aircraft in the theatre armed with a cannon and picked up the nickname of "Kanonenvogel", or "cannon bird". Unsurprisingly, it was used for ground attack duties alongside Luftwaffe attackers like the Ju 87 Stuka and Hs 123. The most memorable usage of the V6 was by Oberleutenant Wilhelm Balthasar, who would later become an ace in World War II. In a single flight on March 16, 1937, Balthasar destroyed an armoured train by detonating its ammunition racks and also destroyed a tank on the way back. He was rewarded with his own attack unit consisting of He 112 V6 and several He 45 bombers. Sharing V6 with other pilots, he managed to score additional ground attack kills.
V6 eventually met its demise in a landing accident in July 19 while piloted by Max Schulze. An engine failure resulted in a crash that totalled the plane, though Schulze was unharmed.
A one-off modification with an unusual gun, the He 112 V6 served well in Spain. However, it was not able to prove itself in air combat, and while other He 112s tested in Spain also worked admirably in ground attack missions, the Bf 109 models racked up an impressive combat record against Spanish Republican aircraft. Little changed in the Luftwaffe's opinions towards the two fighters and Heinkel was resigned to offering the He 112 for export. But credit should also be given to He 112 V6 for being the first successful implementation of the Motorkanone. Such installations would appear on the rival Bf 109 from the F model onward in addition to foreign fighters like the Soviet Yak-1 and its descendants.
Heinkel He.112V6 (He.112A-0) single-engine front-line fighter, issued 1936.
The next prototype of the He.112V6 was equipped with an inline 12-cylinder liquid-cooled Junkers Jumo.210C engine with a takeoff power of 680 hp and a three-bladed metal Schwarz variable-pitch propeller.
The greatest difference between this plane and the previous prototype was its armament. In place of two 7.92-mm machine guns, the He.112V6 was equipped with a 20-mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG C/30L cannon with 150 rounds which fired through the hollow propeller shaft.
The He.112V6 fighter underwent its first flight test in July of 1936. Shortly afterwards, the Reich Ministry of Aviation decided to use General Franco's rebellion in Spain (and the ensuing Civil War) to test new combat aircraft models in real combat and to develop air combat tactics. As a result, in November of 1936 three prototype Bf.109s and one He.112V6 were sent to Spain.
In early December, all four machines arrived at the Spanish port of Cadiz and were taken to Seville's Tablada airport. The aircraft were placed in the Condor Legion's 88th Fighter Group, made up of German "volunteers" and armed with German equipment. The Heinkel became the only cannon-carrying fighter, not only in the Legion, but also in the entirety of the rebels' air force. Therefore, it was decided that the plane would be used as a ground attack aircraft. Together with the Ju.87A and Hs.123 dive bombers, the Heinkel was used to strike Republican armoured vehicles, field fortifications, and artillery positions. Soon it was nicknamed the "cannon bird" ("Kanonenvogel").
In early 1937, the Kanonenvogel took part in the battles over the river Jarama. On March 16, an He.112V6 was flown on its most successful sortie ever by Oberleutnant Wilhelm Balthasar. During an attack on an armoured train, Balthasar managed to hit the ammunition in one of the armoured wagons. The powerful explosion blew the car to pieces and shells detonated all around; as a result, the train was completely destroyed. On the way back, the pilot used his remaining ammunition on a Republican tank and also blew it to pieces.
After this victory, Balthasar was appointed commander of the experimental assault team, which consisted of three two-seater Ne.45 biplanes and an He.112V6 Kanonenvogel.
The "cannon bird's" combat life ended on July 19, 1937. While returning to base, the plane's motor jammed unexpectedly. During the subsequent emergency landing, the He.112V6's fuselage snapped in half. The pilot escaped uninjured, but the plane was discarded.
The He.112V6 became the prototype and lead aeroplane of the pre-production He.112A-0 fighter, of which a total of five were made, two of which were exported to Japan.
- Related development
|Heinkel Aircraft Company (Heinkel Flugzeugwerke)|
|Fighters||He 51 A-1 · He 51 B-1 · He 51 B-2/H · He 51 C-1 · He 51 C-1/L|
|He 100 D-1|
|He 112 A-0 · He 112 B-0 · He 112 V-5|
|Jet fighters||He 162 A-1 · He 162 A-2|
|Twin-engine fighters||He 219 A-7|
|Bombers||He 111 H-3 · He 111 H-6 · He 111 H-16|
|He 115 C-1|
|He 177 A-5|
|Export||He 112 B-1/U2(Hungary) · He 112 B-1/U2(Romania) · He 112 B-2/U2 · A7He1|
|He 51||He 51 A-1 · He 51 B-1 · He 51 B-2/H · He 51 C-1 · He 51 C-1/L|
|He 100||He 100 D-1|
|He 112||He 112 A-0 · He 112 B-0 · He 112 B-1/U2 · He 112 B-2/U2 · He 112 V-5|
|Bf 109 (Jumo)||Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1|
|Bf 109 (DB-601)||Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2 · Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop|
|Bf 109 (DB-605)||Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · Bf 109 K-4|
|Fw 190 (early)||Fw 190 A-1 · Fw 190 A-4 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-5/U14 · Fw 190 A-8 · Fw 190 C|
|Fw 190 (late)||Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13|
|Ta 152||Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1|
|Blohm & Voss|
|BV 155||BV 155 B-1|
|USA||▀P-47D-16-RE · ▀P-47D|
|USSR||▀La-5FN · ▀Yak-1B|
|Britain||▀Tempest Mk V|
|Italy||▀CR.42 · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7 · ▀C. 200 serie 3 · ▀C. 200 serie 7 · ▀C. 202|