Design, production and operations
An unusually detailed study of a remarkable aircraft
that was Nazi Germany's biggest bomber, the Heinkel 177
"Greif". It was the only German Heavy Bomber to be
series produced and put into action in large numbers
during the war. The pilots who flew the
He-177 used to call it "Luftwaffenfeuerzeug"
- Luftwaffe lighters - thanks to the problematic engine
layout with 2 engines driving one propeller, which
caused the engines to spontaneously burst into flames
during flight. This false belief is being taken to
pieces by the author of this remarkable book, Tim Dinan.
It took the
Luftwaffe years of experimenting to solve the issue.
But, by then, the aircraft's image was already
destroyed. But, when the issues were solved the bomber
could have been a real nuisance for the allies, as it
was such a remarkable machine. Germany's fuel
situation from 1943 and onwards helped make sure this
would never happen. The constant rivalry between
different industrialists in Germany, for Gorings and
RLMs interest, did the rest.
Dinan describes this struggle and the He 177's quite
remarkable story, from the brainchild of Ernst Heinkel
to the last test-flights of the Allies.
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