Heinkel in Japan

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Airman 1st Class
May 26, 2021
Just looked these up on finding Fred David, working for Heinkel was sent to Japan to assist in aircraft design.


  • A5M_Claude_in_China_3 (2).jpg
    A5M_Claude_in_China_3 (2).jpg
    60.6 KB · Views: 142
  • He_112V-3_2.jpg
    63 KB · Views: 157
  • Heinkel He 118.jpg
    Heinkel He 118.jpg
    70.3 KB · Views: 174
  • Aichi99 (2).jpg
    Aichi99 (2).jpg
    146.4 KB · Views: 147
His most famous product, or at least that for which he was known for was the CAC Boomerang.
His most innovative work during WWII was being Chief Engineer on the CA-15 fighter which was initially designed with an R2800 engine. The final version that was built and flown (a one-off prototype) was powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon.


  • 58562F66-1629-46FD-B8B6-A175EC3B2629.jpeg
    64.5 KB · Views: 64
His most innovative work during WWII was being Chief Engineer on the CA-15 fighter which was initially designed with an R2800 engine.
Yup, fully turbocharged as well. The Centaurus was also considered. In its first incarnation the CA-15 was to have elliptical main wings and looked like a cross between a P-47 and a Westland Wyvern, with gracefully curved flying surfaces. Just a little too late and a contemporary of the Martin Baker MB.5.

Throughout the war David was subject to police investigation because he was German, which was the subject of some bemusement among the CAC management, particularly following his work on the Boomerang where the irony of him being engaged in a panic fighter for the defence of Australia, yet he was classified as a possible hostile enemy-of-the-state was noticed.
The A5M was a 1934 design and first flew in Feb 35 nearly a year before the He112 so it is unlikely there was any input into that by David as it was already probably an established design when he got there. If he did have input then it is unlikely the He112 provided any inspiration.

I was unable to find when he actually arrived in Japan but given how much money was being pumped into the German aircraft industry at that time ,and how fast a paper concept became a flying aircraft in Germany then I would expect that the He-112 was barely, or little more than, a concept when the A5M first flew.

The He 118 first flew 1936 and was prone to converting itself to components in flight. The Aichi D3A first flew two years later and did not have that habit. He may well have had input into that design.

I suspect that he may have been recruited by the Wackett team while they were in Japan in 1938 looking for aircraft for CAC to build and assessing Japanese designs and negotiating to make Japanese alloys under licence in Australia.
Japan had a long-standing relationship with Heinkel Aircraft.

He112 (A7He1)

Ernest Heinkel even travelled to Japan in the inter-war period and helped design a catapult for the IJN's seaplanes, the prototype being installed on the Nagato.

Users who are viewing this thread