Heinkel He 112 in action by Dénes Bernad

The Heinkel He.112 was one of the great ‘might-have-beens’ of aviation history. It was the alternative contender in the competition for the main Luftwaffe fighter in the pre-war years, and many consider that it was probably the better aircraft – an elegant, elliptical-winged aircraft with a bubble canopy that was some years ahead of all the competition, either in Germany or elsewhere. The problem was that whereas Willy Messerschmitt had the ear of the German leadership, Ernst Heinkel didn’t. So although the He.112 was the superior aircraft, the Me.109 was declared the winner because it was “the best fighter aircraft in the world” anyway. And things might have turned out very differently in the Battle of Britain…

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