The Spanish airplane manufacturer Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA, CASA abbreviated, built own developed planes and built planes from foreign armies under license. The construction of planes started in 1924, a year after work on the factory began. The first aircraft was a French Brequet, built under liceBomber Aircraftnse. From 1926 a German Seaplane, the Donier DO. J Wal was built under license. An own developed airplane, the CASA 1, flew in 1929.
Followed by a French Brequet 19 bomber, a British Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bomber, a Russian Polikarpov I-15 fighter, the Junkers Ju 52 and many more, all built under license.
The first time the Spanish encountered the Heinkel He 111 bomber was during the Spanish Civil war in 1937 with the Condor Legion. In 1939 CASA received Heinkel He 111 bombers from Germany and negotiated to build them under license. They agreed to build the He 111H version and named it CASA 2.111. While the war raged on Germany was low on materials, petrol and engines. The Spanish recovered Jumo engines from a France storage and used them in the first airplanes they constructed. Their first CASA 2.111 flew on 23rd of May 1945. The Spanish bomber differed a little from the German for they were better armored. Another major change came when they ran out of Jumo engine parts and bought the British Rolls Royce Merlin 500 airplane engines, used in British Beaufigther II and the Avro Lancaster. Noticeable on the air in- and outlets near the propellors.
So a Spanish built German developed bomber with British engines. Well that sounds a bit off when reading that !
The CASA 2.111 was flown by the Spanish army throughout the sixties, most of them retired in this decade, some transport versions flew into the early seventies but in 1973 all were retired. The CASA Company constructed 236 airplanes in the CASA 2.111 series. These planes were used for movie “The Battle of Britain” and “Patton” next to surviving Spanish Hispano Aviación HA-1112 fighters. An under licensed built Messerschmitt Bf 109.
CASA 2.111 Types
Different Types of CASA 2.111 were used and with different engines.The CASA 2.111 type 2.111A medium bomber, the CASA 2.111C reconnaissance bomber and the CASA 2.111F dual-control trainer used the German Jumo 130 engines.The CASA 2.111B medium bomber and CASA 2.111D reconnaissance bomber used the Rolls Royce Merlin 500 engines.
The CASA 2.111 as the Heinkel He 111 has a very distinctive cockpit. The cockpit is the same shape as the fuselage with a conical – asymmetrical nose. Instead of being on top of the fuselage it is the front tip extension of the fuselage. The asymmetric nosecone gives the crew good vision, the pilot has a free view 360 vision. The pilot’s seat was placed in the cockpit with the feet rests floating above the glass giving the crew free vision, even downwards. The bombardier was placed offset right from the pilot. Not many planes use this shape, the American Boeing B29 Superfortress bomber is one that uses the extension of the fuselage but is has a perfect cylindrical nosecone.
Casa 2.111B G1-AD On Display
The Casa 2.111 was photographed in Rotterdam but belongs to the Military Museum at the Berlin Gatow Airport in Germany. Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr – Flugplatz Berlin Gatow has a CASA 2.111 which was built in 1951, it initially flew with the registration B.2H-109. In 1957, the Junkers Jumo engines were replaced by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and from then on it flew with registration number B.2I-117. Both numbers indicate use as a medium bomber. Some sources claim this is a “D” model.
In 1968 it was painted in German colors for the first time for the film “Battle of Britain” and received German national insignia, which were removed after the film. In 1969 it was delivered to the museum in Appen Germany with Spanish national insignia, but re-painted in the German color scheme. Here it received the coat of arms and the identification of the Kampfgeschwader 55. In 1995 the bomber moved to the Berlin-Gatow museum.