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Adolf Galland's He 100D-2/N

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By 1938, it was becoming clear that, given the same engine, the Heinkel He 100 would out-perform the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in maximum speed, range, and altitude. As a result, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium decided to get the most out of the limited supply of Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines available. Priority was given to the He 100 while Messerschmitt received the balance. The Heinkel He 100D soon entered full-scale production, the first units receiving their aircraft in early 1939. By spring of 1940, the Bf 109 remained the backbone of the Jagdwaffe, but the He 100 was quickly replacing it in front line units. By the invasion of France, the He 100 would comprise roughly half of the fighters in Jagdgeschwader stationed on the Western Front. The He 100 cut large swathes through French and British fighters opposing it, making aces out of many of its pilots during the campaign.

One such pilot was the flamboyant Adolf Galland. A veteran of Spain, Galland mentored under fellow Condor Legion veteran and accomplished ace Werner Mölders, quickly becoming an ace and leader in his own right. After scoring 14 kills flying the He 100 with JG 27, Galland took command of III./JG 26. He would remain with JG 26 throughout the Battle of Britain, achieving dozens of kills throughout the summer in the skies over Britain. The He 100 had greater range than the Bf 109, effectively making it the only escort for German bombers over London. Despite the successes of German fighter pilots, bomber losses continued to mount and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring eventually ordered the Jagdgeschwader to remain close to the bombers they were escorting. As Galland recalled:

We had the impression that, whatever we did, we were bound to be wrong. Fighter protection for bombers created many problems which had to be solved in action. Bomber pilots preferred close screening in which their formation was surrounded by pairs of fighters pursuing a zigzag course. Obviously, the visible presence of the protective fighters gave the bomber pilots a greater sense of security. However, this was a faulty conclusion, because a fighter can only carry out this purely defensive task by taking the initiative in the offensive. He must never wait until attacked because he then loses the chance of acting.

We fighter pilots certainly preferred the ‘free chase during the approach and over the target area’. This gives the greatest relief and the best protection for the bomber force, although not perhaps a sense of security for the latter.


Obviously, the advantages of the He 100 over the British fighters such as the Spitfire were greatly marginalized under such circumstances and losses began to mount. While the large daylight raids by German bombers began to wind down near the end of October, German fighters continued to engage RAF fighters in large-scale combat throughout 1940 and into 1941. The speed of the He 100 meant that it could engage in combat and disengage almost at will. Its range also allowed the He 100 considerable time over Britain to seek out RAF fighters. In this environment, Galland found great success, scoring over 60 kills before the year was out.

This profile depicts Galland’s personal He 100D-2/N as it appeared in late 1940. The /N sub-type of the He 100 was powered by the 1,270 hp DB 601N, an uprated version of the DB 601A used in earlier Doras. The new engine had flattened instead of concave piston heads for improved compression, produced an additional 75 hp at altitude, and used 100 octane C3 synthetic fuel. Also seen is Galland’s distinctive telescope, used to distinguish friend from foe at greater range. Behind the cockpit is the additional armor installed behind the pilot’s seat, a feature that would save Galland’s life in 1941. Finally, painted under the cockpit is Galland’s personal emblem, Mickey Mouse, used by Galland since the Spanish Civil War.
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© 2012 - 2020 comradeloganov
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anonymous's avatar
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Alucard234564's avatar
Alucard234564Hobbyist Artist
Beautiful airframe!:D
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I tried to do the He 100 justice with my profiles. Be sure to check out my other profiles, especially the other He 100s!
Alucard234564's avatar
Alucard234564Hobbyist Artist
All right then!:D
aero3-5's avatar
aero3-5Hobbyist Traditional Artist
During the Battle of Britain Goering asked Galland what he needed and Galland replied "a squadron of Spitfires". I am not sure that really happened. I think that the He-100 would have given the British a larger problem than the 109.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Well, he really said that, but it was more to rile Göring than it was a heartfelt belief. He felt the Bf 109 was a good match against the Spitfire as long as you played to its strengths. I agree completely, though, that the He 100 would have been the better fighter for the Germans to have employed during the Battle of Britain. The additional range alone would have benefited them greatly, to say nothing of the greater speed.
joshuatree1967's avatar
I would like to point out that German aviation at the very beginning of WW2 was superior.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
They had very talented designers, but were held back by bureaucracy.
joshuatree1967's avatar
Yes I believe that some guys became ''friends'' with Hitler
huxley75's avatar
This is an alternate history, correct? I don't remember Adolf Galland ever having flown an HE-100. I thought he was in Bf-109s the whole time. Am I wrong?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
You're absolutely correct, huxley. The He 100 never entered series production with any nation, which is a pity for such a beautiful aircraft, but something the free world can be thankful for! If you look at my galleries, you'll see I have two galleries, one for photos and one for "what if" profiles. I try to do profiles of aircraft that never really got their time in the sun, mainly to draw awareness to their designs and to suggest that they really were practical.
huxley75's avatar
I've always thought Germany made a mistake turning down the Heinkel fighters (especially the HE-100 and HE-280) and put too many eggs in the Bf-109 "basket" (so to speak). Granted, Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf turned out very capable aircraft but Heinkel seemed to be ignored.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
There were some political reasons behind it, like everything. Some of it used excuses that don't make much sense, either. For example, the RLM said that they didn't have enough DB 601s to go around (which was true), so they couldn't afford to build another type that used that engine. Well, that makes sense until you realize that--if the limiting resource is the engine, then you should make the most of that resource, shouldn't you? Germany also didn't think the war would last long enough to worry about the more advanced designs. The Bf 109 would be fine... Hindsight is 20/20, but I'm glad they made the mistakes they did.
novicebutnice's avatar
Another alternative to that altered time line. (with no killing of Jews etc)

After much lobbying, and ensuing that the aircraft was totally "traditionally cooled" (some debate as to wether the He100-D1 was fully traditionally cooled, so no surface evaporative cooling), and steps taken to ensure ease of mass production, production of the he100 begins in early to mid 1939 approved but very much in secret. There is no propaganda, why scare the enemy with a "fictional plane" when you can destroy them with a real plane?

Willy isn't too impressed, but production of the 109 will continue until mid 1940. Too sweeten the "loss" Heinkel transfers all of its research regarding jet technology and airframes to Willy. Who is given much needed additional funding to develop jet technology, and orders to develop the next step forward for the german airforce, the jet fighter.

It now July 1 1940. the battle of France is over. German pilots believe that England will probably sue for peace, and they can now enjoy the spoils of their success.
Then orders arrive, 200 of the 250 Me110's are odered to return to Germany, if that didnt confuse the pilots the next bit would, only the pilot and the navigator would go, and the third seat would be occupied by...... a Stuka pilot.

After arriving at the designated airfield late in the evening their aircraft are hastily taken into the hangers, whilst the aircrew is swiftly taken to their accomodation. After 2 days relaxing they report as ordered to the same airfield.

In front of them is rows and rows of a strange new single engined fighter, 400 in total. after spending a good while examining the new aircraft they are thoroughly briefed on all aspects of the plane. the next day they have their first flight. They cannot believe it, she was fast, faster than the 109 at all altitudes, she climbed well, the controls felt like a dream at all speeds, and she could go on seemingly forever, her range being nearly double of the 109.

After a week they are fly back to france in their new fighters. Every german unit is given recognition sketches, but no details as the aircrafts performance, the pilots of the he100 themselves are ordered to say nothing about the planes performance, and ordered never force land in enemy territory, instead ordered to bail out, or take measures to ensure that the plane cannot be repaired and flown bythe enemy.

the 109 pilots are a little unsure of what to make of the new friend. With much disgust they are told that their job will be to provide close escort of the bombers, whilst the he100's sweep the area clear of fighters that may be forming up to attack the bombers. Their disgust is caused by a seemingly much reduced chancde to get kills, and thus the glory of medals.
However they are told that all the newspapers will give credit only to the units involved in the raid, not to pilots, and won't single any particular unit out.

Propaganda leaflets start to bne dropped on English cities regretting the hostilities, but claim that Germany felt that they had no choice.......

So as the battle starts, Germany has 844 Me109E's, 50 me110's (prob not to be used), 180 ju87's (only to be used with massed fighter protection), 1330 bombers (of various types), and 400 He100's.

(in real life the differences are in the amount of me110's and ju87's and obviously no he100's). By removing 200 me110s which in the upcoming battle would be useless, you free up 400 DB engines near instantly. Pilots (I've used also some stuka pilots) would not need much retraining, me110 pilots already know how to dogfight, and Ju87's pilots have been known to try dogfighting... in their stukas.

after mid 1940 (in my timeline) the 109 is no longer in production, all new DB engines go to the He100, the new he100 get split, roughly 3/4 go to re-equip 109 units and 1/4 to new pilots.............................
itifonhom's avatar
itifonhomProfessional Digital Artist
Great profile indeed, really well done!!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! You can zoom in and see some of the details, too, like Galland's telescope and gunsight and the details around the rivets.
novicebutnice's avatar
You are welcome, imagine what the performance of the he100 would have been with the db601 and latter with the db605 (from memory it only flew with the db600).

From a military point of view this plane is a teaser, so many what if's. However from a human point of view (all things considered) I'm glad that they are what if's
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the comment. It did indeed fly with the DB 601 as standard, so we know what performance would have been there. The extra weight of armor and other RLM requirements would have brought the performance down a big, but not by a ton (at least for the D-0 aircraft). This profile I've actually proposed with the DB 601N engine that used 96-100 Octane C3 fuel. That would have made it even hotter than normal.

As for a DB 605-powered aircraft? I have that planned somewhere down the line. It would have been possible, but not easy. The He 100 was pretty well mated to the DB 600/601 engine and it would have needed to have been re-engineered to a greater degree than the Bf 109.

There are indeed many What Ifs surrounding the He 100 that I, too, am glad are only What Ifs. To be honest, though, the more I study the Luftwaffe, the more I'm convinced that if switching the He 100 for the Bf 109 was all you did, it wouldn't have made much of an impact on the war in any way. Cheers!
novicebutnice's avatar
Def agreed, i recently read a great book on the topic of the luftwaffe.

In terms of aircraft, there was a shortage of the db engines, which is why i was just a tad surprised that they didn't jump at making the jumo 213 a priority, since it was first run in 1940.

My alternate time line has that engine made a priority with Kurt told to co-develop a fwd190 version to be fitted the jumo engine. But if he 605 wouldn't fit the he100 (i didn't think it was that much different, but i havnt looked too deeply into it) than have the fw190 V engine to be the db605 (which was lighter and more compact than the jumo213)

The he100 was pretty awesome even with the db601, perhaps it could have been modified to take the db605, that at least wouldn't have taken as much effort was keeping the me109 competitive.

There def was still a place for the radial engine fwd190, it was highly versatile, and was def useful against the allied bombers (and other roles like ground attack), but in the anti bomber role def only a stop gap measure until the me262 came in.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I think the DB605 would have worked, I just don't think it would have been as straightforward as engine developments were on other aircraft. The Germans didn't take appropriate steps in aircraft development because in 1940, they didn't think the war would last more than another year or so. By the time they realized their mistake in 1941, the had shot themselves in the foot.

I think WWII German aviation is neat, but too often people look at it with awe. They forget that in 1945, many Luftwaffe squadrons still had the Bf 109 as their main fighter, the He 111 as their bomber (little changed, I might add), and the geriatric Ju 52 as their main transport! Of course they were doomed to lose! It doesn't matter how advanced the designs were on paper. If the aircraft sitting at the airfield are 10-15 year old designs, the 5 year old designs of the Allies will prevail.
artlovr59's avatar
artlovr59Professional Photographer
Good pic and interesting "alternative" history!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I try to keep both believable, but still fresh.
artlovr59's avatar
artlovr59Professional Photographer
Works for me!
Mrpalaces's avatar
Great profile! And the alternate history too
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks, Mrpalaces, and thanks for the fave!
anonymous's avatar
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