He 51 A-1

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He 51 A-1
General characteristics
1 personCrew
2.2 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
BMW VIEngine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
500 km/hStructural
500 km/hGear
Offensive armament
2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gunWeapon 1
1 000 roundsAmmunition
1 151 shots/minFire rate
Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
10 Ge icon.pngAces
× (100) % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
× 1.0 Sl icon.png× 0.4 Sl icon.png× 0.1 Sl icon.png
This page is about the German biplane He 51 A-1. For other uses, see He 51 (Family).


GarageImage He 51 A-1.jpg

The He 51 A-1 is a rank I German fighter with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). This fighter has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

General info

Flight Performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
291 282 13.8 14.7 10.4 10.4 294
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
316 305 13.6 13.7 16.7 13 294


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
520 ~11 ~5
Optimal velocities
< 180 < 300 < 300 > 190
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
0 m 750 hp N/A

Survivability and armour

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.


Offensive armament

Main article: MG 17 (7.92 mm)

The He 51 A-1 is armed with:

  • 2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 1,000 total)

Usage in battles

As a bi-plane, the cockpit view offers only a restricted panorama and it is difficult to anticipate targets with a wing in your face. As with all bi-planes, this characteristic tends to dissuade its use in SB. That said the He 51 has a singularly good rate of climb in comparison to most other equivalent battle rating aircraft allowing it to play the energy tactic well. This is good because the He 51 is a slow bird and has trouble catching virtually any other plane in level flight. However, given its slow speed, it also sports an exceptional turn radius allowing it to turn a death-spiral into a turkey shoot.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm
II Compressor
III Wings repair Engine Airframe New 7 mm MGs
IV Cover

Pros and cons


  • Great turn radius
  • Exceptional rate of climb


  • Fragile wings both to damage and high-G manoeuvres.
  • No artificial horizon in the cockpit which can result in extreme disorientation in low-visibility conditions


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

A single-seat biplane of composite structure with fixed landing gear. This aircraft was designed by Heinkel Flugzeugwerke AG under the guidance of the brothers Siegfried and Walter Günter. The He 51 fighter was a serious upgrade of the single-seat He 49 fighter, which had flown for the first time in November 1932.

The He 49 was a single-strut biplane of composite structure with a BMW liquid-cooled engine. Among German planes of that period, it was set apart by its fuselage, which had extremely clean aerodynamic contours and a retractable radiator.

The designers themselves were not very satisfied with their creation, believing that its characteristics could be significantly improved. A fourth prototype was built, with a new designation: He 51a.

The dimensions and the design of the aircraft remained almost unchanged, but the He 51a was noticeably different from its predecessor in various details. The vertical empennage was completely redesigned. The retractable radiator was replaced with a ducted one. The new ailerons had balance and trim tabs, and the wing pylon's parallel struts were replaced with N-type struts. The pyramidal landing gear with a common axle was replaced with individual V struts featuring hydromechanical shock-absorbers. The struts and the wheels now had fairings, and a tail skid was used instead of a tail wheel. As a whole, the He 51 turned out to be noticeably more elegant, which significantly improved its flight characteristics.

The plane's power unit was a 500 hp Bayerische Motoren Werke BMW VI twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that could provide a power of up to 750 hp during short-term uprating.

The He 51 was armed with two fuselage-mounted synchronous 7.92 mm Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 17 machine guns with 500 rounds each.

The leadership of the German Ministry of Aviation saw the He 51 as an aircraft of extreme importance for the reviving Luftwaffe. In April 1935, the production of He 51 A-1 fighters began. The production aircraft differed from the prototype: it had a cut-down fuselage spine fairing behind the cockpit, a slightly changed tail skid design, and extended engine exhaust pipes.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Germany fighters
He 51  He 51 A-1 · He 51 B-1 · He 51 B-2 /Hydroplane · He 51 C-1 · He 51 C-1 /Late
He 100  He 100 D-1
He 112  He 112 V-5 · He 112 A-0 · He 112 B-0 · He 112 B-1/U2 · He 112 B-2/U2
Bf 109 (Jumo)  Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1 Late
Bf 109 (early DB)  Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2
Bf 109 (late DB)  Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop · 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/U12 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-8 · Fw 190 C
Fw 190 (late)  Fw 190 F-8 · Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13
Ta 152  Ta 152 H-1 · Ta 152 C-3
Foreign aircraft 
Britain  ▀Tempest Mk V
Italy   ▀CR.42 Falco · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 Freccia serie 2 · ▀G.50 Freccia AS serie 7 · ▀C.200 Saetta serie 3 · ▀C.200 Saetta serie 7 · ▀C.202 Folgore
USA  ▀P-47D Thunderbolt
USSR  ▀Yak-1B · ▀La-5FN