In Action 1006
Heinkel He111 in Action
Heinkel He 111H-4 of 5.Gruppe/KG-26
Heinkel He 111H-22 of Stabs/Kampfgeschwader 3 (Stab/KG3) with Fi 103 (V-1)
Heinkel He 111P-6 of KG55, Fall, 1940
This H-3 of Kampfgeschwader 53, 'Legion Condor", banks to the left as she makes her final landing approach to the French runway below. Interesting to observe is the fully-opened side window in the cockpit, adjacent to the navigator/bombardier's folding seat position.
Over France and heading for the British Isles, using the clouds for cover. These He 111H-3s from Kampfgeschwader 55 have left their base at Dreux in France in the early morning. A good close look at this airplane will reveal the existence of added defensive firepower. Aside from the MG 15 machine guns in the belly gondola, dorsal position and the nose, this H-3 has an additional MG 75 on either side of the fuselage, sticking out of the rearmost waist window and an extra MG 15 poking out of the canopy just to the right of the pilot's position.
The peaceful landscape and clouds belie the fact that within an hour this stream of Heinkel He 111s will be dropping tons of terror and destruction on the enemy below.
Touch down. An He 111P bomber arrives back at its base in France after a mission over England with no damage. This bomber has a rather distinct olive green and forest green "splinter" camouflage pattern on its fuselage sides. Although the majority of the Heinkels carried this camouflage scheme, it is more pronounced on this aircraft than on many others.
Техники для снижения заметности замазывают черной краской опознавательные знаки на "Хейнкеле-111", которому предстоят ночные боевые вылеты в советский тыл
These Luftwaffe ground crewmen make the final preparations in converting this He 111 bomber from day operations to night operations by applying black paint over the glossy markings in order to cut down the reflection at night. An armorer is busily engaged in the field stripping and repair of an MG 75 machine gun on the port side of the horizontal tail surface. Note that the aircraft's Werke number, 3762, has not been painted over, as have the other markings.
In this view, a black coverall clad Luftwaffe ground crewman places a wheel chock in front of this Heinkel He 111s main landing gear. A close look reveals that the tire has Dunlop's name on it. Also interesting to note is the "herringbone" steel matting of the apron. Because of the Heinkel's weight, gravel has been packed into the steel matting to afford more support and to keep the aircraft from sinking into the mat and causing damage to the tires.
A Daimler-Benz DB601 powered He 111P bomber flies low over the field, her undersurfaces showing the oil and exhaust streaking characteristic of the big engines. In this view, only one of the He 111P's three defensive machine guns is visible; the MG 15 in the nose. The fully glassed-in nose of the P-series Heinkels increased the speed of the airplane over that of the earlier stepped-down nose versions, even though the He 111P weighed approximately 25% more and carried twice the bomb load.
In this photo, civilian powerplant specialists from the Junkers and Heinkel factories meticulously adjust the engine of this France-based Heinkel bomber. The uniformed man looking on is wearing the uniform of an Air Ministry official. His position is somewhat similar to that of a warrant officer in our own armed forces.
A pilot and one of his gunner crewmen discuss an upcoming flight beside their aircraft, an He 111H-2. The H-2 version was the first of the series to have additional defensive armament, as the MG 15 in the waist window well indicates. The H-2 also carried an additional machine gun in the glass nose of the plane, and some had a machine gun added to the front of the ventral gondola.
The squadron artist devotes his attention to Mickey Mouse riding a bomb on the side of the fuselage of this He 111 bomber. A look through the fuselage waist window shows the perforated lightweight metal bulkheads used in the construction of the He 111.
"Legion Condor", the insignia of the Second Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 53. KG 53 was formed from a large cadre of veterans who had participated in the Spanish Civil War in the aviation units of the Legion Condor, hence the nickname of their bombing wing. The Second group's insignia was red, white and black. Notice the antiaircraft damage just below and to the right of the unit insignia on this He 111 bomber.
VESTIGIUM LEONIS. Two separate styles of the unit insignia of Kampfgeschwader 26 are displayed on these two Heinkel He 111 bombers. Kampfgeschwader 26's wing insignia was the seated lion, but each Gruppe of the wing used a separate background color on the shield in order to distinguish themselves. The First Gruppe used white as its color, the Second Gruppe used yellow, while the Third Gruppe used red as its background color. Sometimes the shield was outlined in black trimming, but other times it was not outlined at all, as the photos show.
Home at last! Crew members of a Heinkel He 111H bomber of Kampfgeschwader 1 exit their aircraft through the belly gondola hatch after a mission over England. The crew member in the foreground is wearing the cork-filled "sausage" flotation vest over his flight suit. This type of life preserver was later phased out in favor of the lighter, more comfortable rubber inflatable life preserver.
Here is a fine close-up photograph of the glazed nose of a Heinkel He 111H-2 bomber. The MG 15 nose machine gun can be seen resting on its side in the flexible ball-and-socket Ikaria mounting. This aircraft sits beneath a camouflaged cloth canopy at a French airfield. The pilot and navigator/bombardier may be seen in silhouette, going through their pre-flight checklist before the mission.
The big engines of this Heinkel bomber are shown to advantage in this photograph. This is an aircraft of the First Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 53, as the Gruppe insignia behind the glass canopy on the fuselage side shows. The insignia was an eagle riding an aerial bomb in black, yellow and white.
Luftwaffe armorers prepare to load this He 111P-1 bomber with general purpose bombs. The crates in the foreground hold 110-pound SC 50 bombs which the white-suited armorers are removing. When installed twenty such bombs could fit into the internal bomb bay of this Heinkel, each bomb suspended vertically from a lug in the nose of the bomb.
Подготовив самолет к очередному боевому вылету, немецкие авиатехники уснули прямо на летном поле
The ground crew assigned to this Heinkel of Kampfgeschwader 1 gets some sleep before they are called upon to service the aircraft. Plainly visible in the photograph is the open entry hatch over the pilot's seat and the small extended windshield that allowed the pilot greater visibility during takeoffs and landings, as well as in poor weather. Note that the belly gondola's entry hatch cover has also been removed while the aircraft is on the ground.
A rest well deserved between missions. This Heinkel He 111P bomber stands peacefully on a grassy field in France during a sunny autumn day, as members of the ground crew rest under the wing in the cool grass and shadows.
Field Marshall Albert Kesselring arrives at a Lybian airbase in his Heinkel He 111H-6 bomber that has been converted into a high-speed transport. This Heinkel features six MG 15 machine guns and is unique in the fact that it not only bears the white fuselage band of the Mediterranean theater of operations, but also carries the yellow fuselage band of the East Front.
He 111H-6 из 53-й эскадры Люфтваффе. Короткими летними ночами немецкие бомбардировщики вылетали в дальние ночные рейды еще засветло, чтобы с наступлением темноты быть над целью
A1+CK, a yellow striped He 111H-6 of Kampfgeschwader 53 warms up her engines on a Russian airfield. This plane is equipped with a remote-controlled MG 17 machine gun (very similar to the MG 15 except for the firing mechanism, which was designed for remote firing, rather that hand-held firing) "stinger" firing from the tail just above the tip of the tail cone.
Подвеска торпеды под He 111H-6 из состава KG26.
A Heinkel He 111H-6 bomber, especially configured for carrying torpedoes awaits the loading of an LTF5b aerial torpedo by the ground crew. The big aerial torpedo weighed almost 1,700 pounds and the H-6 could carry two of them slung under her belly on external bomb racks. The H-6 was powered by a pair of Jumo 211F-2 engines that produced 1,380 horsepower apiece.
This Heinkel He 111H-3 bomber of Kampfgeschwader S3 is prepared for a trip to the Gruppe's maintenance hangar. Already inside the hangar is the command ship for the Third Gruppe, bearing three white vertical stripes on its rudder. The aircraft's code, A1+EP has been painted over another set of code markings that have been blacked out, indicating that this aircraft may be a replacement from a nearby air depot.
An interesting photo showing French "volunteer" laborers (Hilfsfreiwilligen or "Hiwis") busily engaged in the replacement of the port wing outboard fuel tank of this He 111 bomber. Each of the two outboard wing fuel tanks had a capacity of 226 Imperial gallons of fuel. The "Hiwis" are easily distinguished by the armbands they wear on their left sleeve.
An He 111H-3 of Kampfgeschwader 53 (A1+AM) receives some major repairs from Luftwaffe mechanics. The landing flap and aileron of the starboard wing have been removed and the wing/fuselage fairing has been partially removed. This photo is somewhat of a credit to the abilities of the Luftwaffe technicians, who had the know-how and the equipment to undertake major repairs and modifications at forward air bases, rather than returning damaged aircraft to air depots farther to the rear.
With block and tackle assemblies, the big LTF5b aerial torpedo is pulled into place under the belly of the He 111H-6. It is interesting to note that this Heinkel had received an all-black paint job on its undersurfaces, indicating that it was used primarily at night. Although only the bottom part of the unit insignia is visible on the fuselage side beneath one of the blades of the starboard propeller, it is believed that this aircraft is one of those belonging to either Kampfgeschwader 26, or one of the birds that served on a temporary basis with the aerial bombing school at Grossenbrode on the coast of Northern Germany, between 1942 and 1944.
This He 111H-6 of Kampfgeschwader 55 has made an emergency landing on a forward airstrip in the desert. The crew go about refueling the big bomber in the only way possible: pouring jerrycan after jerrycan of aviation gasoline into the empty wing tanks. A close look at the dorsal defensive machine gun position will reveal the existence of armor plate on the mount of the MG 15, while the waist window gun mount has been somewhat modified by the installation of an armor plate where the window once was.
Here is a line-up of factory fresh He 111P bombers sheathed in protective canvas. The He 111P was the first of the all-glass nosed Heinkels and first saw combat action in Poland during 1939. This photo was taken during the Polish campaign, when the He 111P proved itself to be an excellent medium bomber.
A new day begins as the sun rises over this muddy field in France. This He 111 has been partially covered to protect it from the moisture. In a few hours the aircraft will be loaded with bombs and men on the way to England.
Luftwaffe personnel undertake the unloading of vitally needed supplies from Kesselring's personal transport He 111H-6, coded P4+AA. This aircraft remains somewhat of a mystery at this time, since neither the unit codes, (P4) nor the rather unique insignia on the side of the fuselage below the pilot's window can be identified as belonging to one particular combat unit. Can any reader shed light on the identity of this aircraft's unit?
In this photo, the necessary bombs have been removed from their transporting crates and the armorers have stripped off their white summer fatigue uniforms in order to bomb up the Heinkel in the hot early autumn sun. Three armorers can be seen at the right of the picture, gently lifting an SC 50 bomb, nose up, into the internal bomb bay of the aircraft while two others wait nearby with another SC50 bomb.
Here is an excellent view of the greenhouse of an He 111 as seen from the outside. One can clearly see the exposed control column and rudder pedal complex through the glass. The horizontal platform and pad for the bombardier and nose gunner is also visible on the left side of the nose. The bomb sight fairing has been removed and covered over with a flat sheet of metal, as can be seen beneath the bombardier's position on the bottom of the nose.
Here, He 111s of Kampfgeschwader 1, 'Hindenburg" unlimber their big Jumo engines before a flight over enemy territory. The dorsal gunner of the aircraft in the foreground is in the process of adjusting his harness before takeoff. The small auxiliary windscreen above the pilot's seat has been raised to its upright position.
Nachtangriff! Night attack. The command pilot of this bomber wing gives the signal to start engines as the light plays off the glazed nose of this Heinkel He 111H-2 bomber. Note that the command pilot is wearing the cork-filled life vest and his left hand is resting on the coaming of the hatch just behind the upraised auxiliary windscreen. The plane carries no nose armament.
Posing over the black and white insignia of the First Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 26, this He 111's sergeant-pilot proudly displays his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, worn around his neck. The awardwas most likely won for heroism displayed over the British Isles during a night combat mission in the heart of the Battle of Britain.
Two ground crewmen inspect some light anti-aircraft shrapnel damage on the wing of this He 111H-3 bomber belonging to the 4th Staffel of Kampfgeschwader 1. Note the unit insignia, a cow on a bomb, the cow breathing lightning bolts through its nose.
Three Luftwaffe non-commissioned officers gather around the belly gondola of this France-based He 111H bomber. The NCO in the middle of the photo is holding onto the barrel of the belly-mounted MG 15 machine gun, which was used to defend the aircraft from enemy attacks from the rear and from below. The NCO at the left of the photograph is wearing his flight suit and appears to be holding a flight lunch in his hands as he kneels in front of the open hatch of the belly gondola.
Two young mechanic apprentices of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) clamber over the big Jumo 211 engine on this Heinkel bomber. The Jumo 211 series engines could produce power ranging from 1,050 horsepower up to 1,350 horsepower, depending on the variant used. Note the large air intake scoop on the side of the engine, just above the exhaust stubs.
He111 из состава торпедоносной KG26 возвращается после боевого вылета. Снимок сделан над побережьем Сицилии.
(???) An He 111H-4 of 5. KG 26 photographed over the Mediterranean in 1941.
An He 111H-5 long-range bomber of Kampfgeschwader 26, bearing the white fuselage band of most aircraft that operated in the Mediterranean theater of operations flies low over the island of Sicily on its return from an anti-shipping mission. This H-5 has a 20mm MG/FF in the front of its ventral gondola, as well as five MG 15 machine guns; two in the waist windows, one in the rear of the ventral gondola, one in the dorsal position, and a fifth one in the nose.
A Luftwaffe signal corps private stands beneath the port Jumo 211A-3 engine of this He 111H-2 bomber somewhere in France. The large engine exhaust collector installed over the exhaust stubs on the engine was a definite help to the crews who flew these aircraft on night missions, as the bright exhaust flames on uncovered engines had a tendency to temporarily blind crew members at night if they looked at them. The exhaust collectors, although not completely hiding the flames, did serve to mask them quite a bit.
A Heinkel He 111P-2 bomber of Kampfgeschwader 55 painted with night time camouflage banks low over the countryside of France during night attacks over England in October of 1940. The airplane features flat black squiggles all over its uppersurfaces, while the undersurfaces were painted entirely black, covering all markings and even windows that were not absolutely necessary. Quite often, when proper paint was not available, lampblack or coal dust mixed with water was brushed over the aircraft.
This He 111H-3 bomber lumbers majestically behind its squadron mate over the countryside. This aircraft had been equipped with a nose-mounted 20mm MG/FF cannon in place of the lighter MG 15 machine gun. Notice that the nose gun position is slightly offset to the pilot's right in order to give him a better forward view.
Самолеты Не 111 и Do 17 сбрасывали на Польшу зажигательные и фугасные бомбы. Наиболее ожесточенным бомбардировкам подверглась Варшава 27 сентября 1939 года.
This Heinkel He 111P bomber does its job. Suspended over enemy territory it salvoes its entire load of twenty SC50 bombs before turning back to make the home run for its base several hundred miles away. Note that the bombs are leaving the bomb bay in a nose up attitude and rotate 180 degrees until their fused noses are pointing toward the earth below.
With her big flaps dropped to the maximum to cut down her airspeed, this Heinkel bomber throttles back her big engines as she approaches the grassy runway after a mission over Great Britain during the early autumn of 1940, the height of the bitterly contested air war over England.
A view of the open dorsal defensive position of an He 111P bomber, showing to advantage the hand-held drum-fed MG 15 machine gun with the standard Luftwaffe ring and bead sight. This position was used to protect the bomber from the rear, above and from the sides. A close look at the fuselage waist window below the machine gun will reveal the rear of the Funkgerat 3, the airborne radio, later replaced by the more advanced and more effective Funkgerat 10 radio transmitter.
Экипаж He 111 в кабине самолета
The pilot and the navigator/bombardier of this He 111 bomber wear equipment that shows they fly night missions - large, tinted lens glass goggles to counter the effects of searchlight beams that could cause temporary blindness if aimed directly on the glass noses of the night-flying Heinkels. Note that the navigator/bombardier, whose duties demanded of him a certain amount of mobility, moving from the nose position back to the radio compartment, and then back to the nose again, wears a back parachute and harness, while the pilot of the airplane wears no chute.
Here's an excellent view of the interior of an He 111 bomber. Visible above the pilot's head on the bulkhead is the main instrument panel which held the magnetic compass and various navigational instruments as well as oil and fuel pressure instrumentation. Near the pilot's left knee was another instrument panel that held the flight instruments, altimeter, air speed indicator and landing gear instrumentation, while a third small instrument panel was located on the right side of the fuselage, holding the radio compass and much of the engine control instrumentation. The throttles were located on the left side of the fuselage in front of the pilot's left hand. A chronometer was mounted between the handles of the control wheel, and the aircraft's intercom controls were mounted on the control column.
Seen from behind the right shoulder of the pilot, the navigator/bombardier searches the countryside below to get a "fix" from a landmark. Directly to the right of the pilot was a folding seat for the navigator/bombardier to sit in during takeoffs and landings. The corner of the seat can barely be seen by the navigator/ bombardier's right leg.
This remarkable photograph, taken through the gap between the pilot's right shoulder and the navigator/bombardier's left shoulder, shows a squadron of Heinkel He 111Ps heading out over the English Channel to bomb targets in Southern England. Just visible in the photo is the padded mat on which the nose gunner lies when the nose gun position is manned.
In the nose of an He 111P, the nose gunner scans the sky ahead in search of enemy aircraft. The single hand-held MG 15 rifle-caliber machine gun proved to be quite ineffective against modern fighter aircraft, despite it's very high rate of fire (900 rounds per minute). Anyone who sat in the nose of a Heinkel bomber was afforded a tremendous field of vision, as can be seen. The gun position was so constructed as to afford the gunner a very good field of fire, both in traverse and elevation or depression, but the position was rather exposed and has been compared by at least one Heinkel nose gunner to lying at the edge of a very high cliff and hoping that the pilot did nothing to make you slip off!
Seen from the left side of the cockpit, this He 111 banks closer to its squadron mate for better protection as enemy territory nears. The instrument console directly beneath the window contains the radio compass which is clearly visible in its round housing. In front of the radio compass is the container used to store the signal flares.
Many later versions of the Heinkel He 111H series were fitted with the MG 81Z twin machine gun mount for added defensive firepower. This photo shows the ventral gondola gunner lying in his position: the twin breeches of the 7.92mm MG 81Z and the twin belts of ammunition hanging out of the ammunition storage lockers which have been placed overhead in the fuselage of the bomber.
This shot shows to great advantage the larger 20mm MG/FF cannon in the nose position of this Heinkel bomber. Starting with the H-3 version, most versions carried such armament, and many H-1s and H-2s were retro-fitted with the weapon. In contrast to the MG 15 machine gun, this gun had a much slower rate of fire (about 450 rounds per minute) but packed a much bigger punch. This 20mm gun still proved to be ineffective when the Heinkel was attacked from the front because of the great closing speeds of the British fighters. Note the butt of the signal flare pistol in its holder to the right of the nose gunner's head.
Another view of the nose gun position in an He 111P. Notice the the reflections in the plexiglass panels above the gunner's right shoulder, a condition that greatly reduced visibility for the crew. This was corrected in later models. Note that the gunner has a spare MG 15 magazine beside his right hip.
Bathed in bright sunlight shining through the glass canopy of the He 111, the pilot of this bomber enjoys part of his in-flight rations during a long mission. Interesting in this photo is the fact that the pilot is wearing a rubber life jacket around his upper body, indicative of an over-water flight.
This armorer is in the process of stripping and cleaning the nose MG 15 machine gun after a mission. When the gun is removed from its mount, the round socket in which the gun pivots remains attached to the gun. At the right of the photograph can be seen the console in which the radio compass is mounted, as well as the storage areas for the flares and the additional ammunition drums for the nose machine gun.
Heinkel He 111H-2
Heinkel He 111H-8
Dornier Do 23
A Heinkel He 111B-2 bomber rests in front of its hangar. The B-2 was one of the first of the Heinkel He 111s to see combat action during the Spanish Civil War. This particular bomber bears the markings and camouflage pattern of the Luftwaffe, circa 1937. The large swastika on the vertical tail surfaces of the plane is set against a bright red horizontal stripe.
The command flight crew of Kampfgeschwader 1 gathers to hold a brief conference before takeoff. Ground crewmen are busy topping off the fuel tanks in the wings of the Heinkel, while others polish up the outside of the windshield glass. It is interesting to note that the officers of the flight crew are wearing their Sam Browne belts over their flight coveralls, a practice that was discontinued , later on in the war because of the uncomfortablilty of the belt.
A Heinkel He 111F-4 bomber of Kampfgeschwader 1, bearing the coat of arms of Field Marshal Hindenberg's family rolls slowly out on to an East German runway just prior to the beginning of the Polish campaign. The crewman with his head and shoulders out of the top of the canopy is in the process of guiding the pilot on to the runway. The long, narrow nose of the F-4 obstructed the pilot's downward and forward vision considerably when the tail of the airplane was on the ground. Using another person to help the pilot when taxiing became a standard practice for He 111 crews of the Legion Condor during the Spanish Civil War and continued until the Heinkel's nose was radically modified in 1939 with the introduction of the He 111P series.
A Luftwaffe armorer seats the hand-held MG 15 nose machine gun into it's receptacle in the middle of the nose bubble. The MG 15 was simply a modified version of the infantry's MG 34 7.92mm machine gun. Plainly visible is the fairing under the nose through which the lens aperture for the bomb sight was fitted when in use.
While a ground crewman squats on the wing to oversee the refuelling of the bomber, the dorsal and belly gunners pose for the photographer. One of the two gunners already has on his flight coveralls, while the other still wears his standard blue-grey Luftwaffe uniform. A close look will reveal the "dustbin" belly position partially extended below the fuselage. This position mounted a single MG 15 machine gun that could be traversed approximately 90 degrees to the left or right, but neither the "dustbin" nor the gun could be turned to fire in the direction of flight, proving later to be a serious weak point of the airplane.
Servicing a Heinkel He 111F-4 bomber of KG 1 for another combat mission. The Luftwaffe armorer on the left stands with a 110 pound SC50 bomb. To the right another armorer stands with part of the bomb hoist block and tackle assembly which will later be hooked up into the heart of the bomb bay to aid in hoisting the bombs into position. The ventral, or belly "dustbin" machine gun position can be seen extended almost to the ground beneath the fuselage.
Luftwaffe anti-aircraft (Flak) gunners receive a tour of an airbase flight line and a close inspection of an He 111F bomber. They are probably being instructed on recognition factors of the He 111, as it wasn't uncommon for gunners to shoot down their own planes from time to time because of poor recognition. Three distinct types of Luftwaffe uniform can be seen. The Flak gunners all wear the standard blue-grey jackets and pants tucked into their boots. Two wear the black loose-fitting coveralls of ground crewmen, while two other airmen (one running) wear the khaki flight coveralls over their blue-grey uniforms.
V4 + AB, an He 111F-4 of Kampfgeschwader 1, "Hindenburg", picks up speed for takeoff on another visit to the Polish Army. The ventral "dustbin" has been fully retracted into the belly for takeoff. When the Heinkel was in flight, a fully lowered "dustbin" caused enough drag to slow the plane about 20 m.p.h. The F version was phased out of the Luftwaffe's bomber inventory shortly after the start of the Polish campaign, but continued to remain in service for a time as a crew trainer and armed VIP transport.
Inside the cockpit of a Heinkel He 111F-4 bomber. Notice the rather cramped conditions inside the F-4, and compare this with one of the photographs of the interior of an He 111P or He 111H. It is interesting that the three crewmembers in this photo are wearing leather jackets over their standard Luftwaffe uniforms, rather than the more common flight coveralls worn by the majority of bomber crews during the Second World War.
Heinkel He 111A-0
Heinkel He 111D-1
A Heinkel He 111Z "Zwilling" (twin) lifts off the airfield in Hildeshein Germany with two Gotha Go 242 gliders in tow.
A big He 111Z composite aircraft starts to warm up her five engines on this icy Russian airfield. Already the first, third and fifth engines are slowly turning over. Equally visible are the belly drop tanks, similar to those carried by Bf 110s and the typical yellow wingtips and belly bands of aircraft that operated on the eastern front.
Not really a line-up of Heinkel bombers, but only one aircraft - the giant He 111Z glider tug showing off all five of its Jumo 211F-2 engines and huge external belly tanks. This He 111Z has a 20mm MG/FF cannon in its right nose, and an MG 15 machine gun in its left nose, from which the aircraft was piloted.
With all engines roaring, this big He 111Z passes overhead to show its massive size to all below. It is interesting to note that virtually no changes whatever were made to the twin fuselages and tail assemblies in joining the two Heinkel bombers together to make this composite. The addition of a wing section and engine were the only major modifications.
The big 'twin" heads back to the rear to pick up another pair of fully loaded transport gliders and fly them to the front and the beleaguered German troops below. This big aircraft could tow either two fully-laden Gotha Go 242 transport gliders, or one massive Messerschmitt Me 321 transport glider.