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Romanian Heinkel He 100D-2

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In April of 1939, as a result of a European tour by Charles II, King of Romania, a wide range of modern military equipment, including aircraft, was acquired from France, the United Kingdom and, above all, Germany.  The Third Reich made every substantial effort to attract Romania, a country rich in oil and wheat, to its side by promising the preferred Messerschmitt Bf 109s for future delivery, and by offering twenty-four of the less advanced Heinkel He 112 in the interim.  The shapely Heinkel fighter was no mystery to the Aeronautica Regală Română (ARR, Royal Romanian Aeronautics) since a prototype had been extensively tested during late 1938 by pilots of the ARR's Escadrila de experiente (Experimental Squadron) based at Pipera-Bucharest airfield.

Unfortunately for Romania, the Heinkel He 100 had recently been selected by RLM for operational service and--as a result--the He 112 was no longer in production.  In a visit to the Heinkel plant, however, the Romanian delegation was allowed to test fly the Heinkel He 100 V8 prototype.  Understandably, they were smitten.  Unable to provide the promised He 112s, the RLM agreed to instead deliver the Bf 109s sooner.  Romania was no longer interested in the Bf 109, though, they only wanted the He 100.  This put Germany in a tough position.  The Heinkel He 100 was the fastest fighter in the world and the Luftwaffe didn't want to part with any of its newest fighters.  Despite the RLM's objections, the Reich Foreign Ministry pushed the sale of the He 100 through, in an effort to curry favor with the strategically important Romanians.  Aircraft originally intended for the Luftwaffe were diverted to meet the Romanian order.

A group of Romanian pilots soon arrived in Germany to begin their transition training on the new machine.  The Heinkel fighter represented a completely new aircraft type with unique handling techniques.  They were unprepared for flight in a high-speed, all metal monoplane, with retractable undercarriage and enclosed cockpit.  After completion of the training program at the Heinkel Flugzeugwerke, the first batch of Romanian pilots proudly boarded their new fighters returned home.  Immediately after their arrival, the Heinkels were promptly painted with Romanian Red-Yellow-Blue roundels and hasitly impressed into service.  In this way, the ARR high command attempted to upgrade the quality of Romania's fighter force, which left much to be desired.

A new fighter group was formed within the 1st Fighter Fleet, the front-line Romanian fighter force.  Grupul 5 vânătoare (5th Fighter Group), made up of Escadrila 51 and Escadrila 52 (51st and 52nd Squadrons), was re-equipped with the newly arrived He 100Ds.  The 5th Fighter Group's responsibility was the defense of the capital.  Using Nardi FN.305 monoplane trainers, the handful of assigned pilots began their transition from the old Polish-made PZL P.11 fighters to the new German aircraft.
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Comments11
anonymous's avatar
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artlovr59's avatar
artlovr59Professional Photographer
Looks really good!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
artlovr59's avatar
artlovr59Professional Photographer
It's a pleasure!
ZeroRM's avatar
I have to admit, the He-100 looks sharp in Romanian markings.

Perhaps some aircraft of other air forces that might have imported it (i.e. Finland, Italy, Vichy France, Spain)?  Hell, maybe a Soviet copy based on some He-100 that crashed behind their lines (which would be rather ironic, or I should say more ironic than it already is, because the He-100 inspired Soviet fighter designs during the war, the LaGG-3 and MiG-1 in particular)?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Well, I've already got a Spanish one in my gallery, and of those you mentioned, I should at least be doing Finland and Italy when it gets the DB605.  The Russians may get a couple, but no license-production in this hypothetical universe.  The Japanese are a different story, however, along with a few other nations down the road.
CarrieMoore's avatar
CarrieMooreHobbyist Traditional Artist
Can't wait to see the Finnish one!
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I look forward to doing one, as well.
ZeroRM's avatar
I see.  That'll work.

And did you get my note?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Indeed I did.
ZeroRM's avatar
So, do you think the idea could work?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I responded to it.
anonymous's avatar
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