He 51 B-1

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He 51 B-1
General characteristics
1 personCrew
2.2 tTake-off weight
0.39 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
7 700 mCeiling
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
90 % Sl icon.png50 % Sl icon.png10 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the German biplane He 51 B-1. For other versions, 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). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

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 its weaknesses to full effect if they are flying virtually any non-reserve plane.

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
297 287 7 700 14.9 15.8 11.7 11.7 294
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
320 310 7 700 14.6 14.7 17.9 14.2 294


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 B-1 is armed with:

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

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in an aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

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


  • 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 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 vehicles's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

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.


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/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-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
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
Finland  ▀Hawk H-75A-2