He 51 B-1

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He 51 B-1
General characteristics
1 personCrew
2.2 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
BMW VIEngine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
550 km/hStructural
550 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
× 0.8 Sl icon.png× 0.5 Sl icon.png× 0.1 Sl icon.png
This page is about the German biplane He 51 B-1. For other uses, see He 51 (Family).


GarageImage He 51 B-1.jpg

The He 51 B-1 is a rank I German fighter with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). This aircraft has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.

The He 51 B-1 is one of the first planes a player playing in the German aircraft tech tree will be able to fly. Being an early pre-WWII plane, it carries all the characteristics one would expect from such a plane. It has an excellent turn radius, thanks to the biplane design, even at low speeds, and has a remarkably low stall speed. However, these positives only outweigh the negatives if the pilot is new to War Thunder. Biplanes are made entirely from wood and thus, are very fragile. In addition, they are slow, and their armament is limited, and while the He-51 series may not have the worst, it still gets outperformed significantly as soon as it faces newer plane designs which are much faster and better armed.

While the He-51 B-1 may have an excellent turn radius in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn't be relied on, as any remotely experienced pilot will able to exploit it's weaknesses to full effect if they are flying virtually any non-reserve plane.

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
297 287 15.. 15.7 11.8 11.7 294
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
320 310 14.4 14.7 17.0 14.3 294


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
550 550 520 ~13 ~6
Optimal velocities
< 180 < 300 < 300 > 190
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
0 m 750 hp No WEP

Survivability and armour

  • No armour plating
  • No armour glazing
  • All critical components located at the front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)


Offensive armament

Main article: MG 17 (7.92 mm)

The He 51 B-1 is armed with:

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

Usage in the battles

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Controllable Combined Not controllable Not controllable


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

Pros and cons


  • Free repairs
  • Excellent turn rate
  • Freely available at the start of the game in the German aircraft tech-tree


  • Slow, and as a consequence lousy at climbing
  • Pathetic armament for a fighter with only 2 x 7.92 mm machine guns
  • Bad forward visibility in the cockpit, noticeable while dogfighting in simulator battles
  • Any success a player may have in the plane can largely be attributed to being pitted against similarly shabby aircraft and inexperienced pilots due to its battle rating


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 big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.

In-game description

"Heinkel He 51 B-1 single-engine fighter

In the spring of 1935, a new fighter variant, the He 51 B-1, was launched into production. It differed from the ""A"" version in that it had reinforced twin braces and a fuselage rack to mount a 170-litre external fuel tank.

By the spring of 1936, the new version replaced the He 51 A-1 on the production lines. Heinkels were the main Luftwaffe fighters at the time. The He 51 ended up at the centre of a boisterous propaganda campaign developed by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda around the reviving Luftwaffe. However, the He 51 was not commercially successful on the foreign market.

In 1935, after they failed to obtain a licence for the Polish P.24 monoplane fighter, the Hungarian government turned to Heinkel with a request to consider the possibility of producing the He 51 with a French 850 hp Gnome-Rhone 14K engine. Despite the powerful engine, this variant's test results did not satisfy the Hungarians, and they chose to purchase Italian CR.42 fighters instead of Heinkels.

The He 51's career as the main Luftwaffe fighter, meanwhile, started to decline. In January 1936, a series of training duels took place between the Ar 68, a new fighter by Arado Flugzeugwerke, and the He 51. The series was lost by the Heinkel fighter, as it was significantly inferior to its opponent in manoeuvrability, rate of climb, and maximum speed.

As front-line fighter wings were being rearmed with new equipment, the He 51s were handed over to units intended to provide direct air support for ground forces. They did not stay there too long and were soon delivered to training units, where the He 51s were used for training fighter pilots throughout the entirety of World War II.

At the end of the war, He 51s were occasionally used as light night bombers against Red Army units or for anti-guerrilla purposes. Their efficiency in this capacity was deemed unsatisfactory, and the He 51s did not win any fame as night bombers."


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

Read 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.


Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • page on aircraft encyclopedia;
  • 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 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 Late
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-8 · Fw 190 C
Fw 190 (late)  Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13 · Fw 190 F-8
Ta 152  Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1
USA  ▀P-47D Thunderbolt
USSR  ▀La-5FN · ▀Yak-1B
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
Finland  ▀Hawk H-75A-2