Heinkel He-177 A-5 "Grief" story (WNY)


#1



#2

Just to clarify the fact:
The correct German spelling of this bird’s nickname is Greif. Translation to Griffin is proper.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_177


#3

Funny, I intuitively wrote “Greif” and then corrected it to “Grief” after looking at the pictures.


#4

The nickname I heard was “Reichsfeuerzeug” (Feuerzeug = cigarette lighter).
A nice example of what happens when sticking to pre-conceived ideology (dive bombing capability then, identical controls to AR15 weapons today) replaces common sense.
Not to mention starting full scale production before development is completed.


#5

[quote=“JPeelen”]

Not to mention starting full scale production before development is completed.[/quote]

That was indeed silly. They wouldn’t do anything like that nowadays, would they? Oh, wait a minute, there’s the F-35…

Heinkel did correct the engine problem by developing the He 274 with four separate engine pods, but that was too late to get into service. Just as well for the UK, since the prototypes demonstrated formidable performance, capable of 360 mph at 36,000 feet and with a ceiling of nearly 47,000 feet.

(PS the spell-checker tried to correct Heinkel to Heineken - I despair at the priorities of modern programmers…).


#6

Despite some fear of being accused of ‘going off topic’, this subject is however too close to my heart to ignore.

My “Uncle Bob”, now a stooped 92 year old, was on June 10, 1944, Flight Lt, RB Cowper ‘B’ flight commander of 456 Royal
Australian Air Force’ based at RAF Station, Ford, Sussex, United Kingdom, piloting Mosquito Mk XVII ‘Night Fighter’ equipped with Mk. X radar. His duty that evening was to patrol the Cherbourg Peninsula, providing air cover for the numerous ships now staged off the D-Day invasion coast. The culmination of his patrol that night was the destruction of a He177 and Dornier 217.
I quote extracts from his combat report surrounding the destruction of the He 177;
“at 0400 at 4500ft a contact was obtained on an aircraft moving SE, height 4000ft and dropping Window. Speed was increased and a visual obtained at 2000ft, when the e/a opened fire from the rear turret. Pilot recognised e/a as a He177 from the huge wngspan and very square high tail fin. E/a carried two large glider bombs outboard of the engine nacelles. Rear gunner continued to “hosepipe” fire, not very accurately throughout the engagement. No engine exhausts were visible, and glider bombs gave the the effect of a 4-engined aircraft…when identified as He177, pilot fired a 1 second burst at 800ft obtaining strikes on the port wing. E/a turned steeply starboard and lost height; another 2 second burst obtained strikes on starboard wing…This wing burned heartily with huge flames and we flew parallel to e/a and slightly above to observe the finish. However e/a released flaming object and it was seen that the starboard glider bomb had been ignited and was now flying solo, parallel to and between e/a and us. We immediately closed in to the attack again…e/a dived almost vertically towards the French coast W. of Cherbourg and following him down we fired a short burst into his rear.
At 300 ft(!- my exclamation) we pulled out of the dive and e/a was still beneath us and just crossing the coastline. Visual was lost owing to the pilot having to give his whole attention to instruments in view of the dangerously low height.”

The report later describes the 2nd contact with Do217 at 0405. Total ammunition expended for the sortie was 552 rounds of 20mm ammunition, comprising “HE/I” and "SAP/I.


#7

[quote=“PeterC”]Despite some fear of being accused of ‘going off topic’, this subject is however too close to my heart to ignore.

My “Uncle Bob”, now a stooped 92 year old, was on June 10, 1944, Flight Lt, RB Cowper ‘B’ flight commander of 456 Royal
Australian Air Force’ based at RAF Station, Ford, Sussex, United Kingdom, piloting Mosquito Mk XVII ‘Night Fighter’ equipped with Mk. X radar. His duty that evening was to patrol the Cherbourg Peninsula, providing air cover for the numerous ships now staged off the D-Day invasion coast. The culmination of his patrol that night was the destruction of a He177 and Dornier 217.
I quote extracts from his combat report surrounding the destruction of the He 177;
“at 0400 at 4500ft a contact was obtained on an aircraft moving SE, height 4000ft and dropping Window. Speed was increased and a visual obtained at 2000ft, when the e/a opened fire from the rear turret. Pilot recognised e/a as a He177 from the huge wngspan and very square high tail fin. E/a carried two large glider bombs outboard of the engine nacelles. Rear gunner continued to “hosepipe” fire, not very accurately throughout the engagement. No engine exhausts were visible, and glider bombs gave the the effect of a 4-engined aircraft…when identified as He177, pilot fired a 1 second burst at 800ft obtaining strikes on the port wing. E/a turned steeply starboard and lost height; another 2 second burst obtained strikes on starboard wing…This wing burned heartily with huge flames and we flew parallel to e/a and slightly above to observe the finish. However e/a released flaming object and it was seen that the starboard glider bomb had been ignited and was now flying solo, parallel to and between e/a and us. We immediately closed in to the attack again…e/a dived almost vertically towards the French coast W. of Cherbourg and following him down we fired a short burst into his rear.
At 300 ft(!- my exclamation) we pulled out of the dive and e/a was still beneath us and just crossing the coastline. Visual was lost owing to the pilot having to give his whole attention to instruments in view of the dangerously low height.”

The report later describes the 2nd contact with Do217 at 0405. Total ammunition expended for the sortie was 552 rounds of 20mm ammunition, comprising “HE/I” and "SAP/I.[/quote]

Thank you for sharing this - wonderful - 300ft indeed deserves an exclamation mark!