Heinkel on the move
On 15 March 2020, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum in Hawkinge received a new exhibit; a former Spanish Air Force CASA 2.111B. The CASA 2.111B is the Spanish licence built, Merlin powered, version of the wartime German Heinkel 111 bomber.
Historic details on this aircraft are that it was originally built in 1942 as a Heinkel He111-H16. During the 1950s, the aircraft was configured and updated to a CASA 2.111B.
In the early hours of 15 March the airplane was moved by truck from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford to its new location. Two more or less complete Merlin engines arrived with the CASA, but the new museum hopes to find two Jumo 211 engines in the more distant future. So the aircraft will be closer to a Heinkel He111H-16 configuration.
The bomber will however be representing a Heinkel He111H-2 of KG53 that was shot down on 15 September 1940. Originally the museum hoped to prepare the aircraft for the museum opening on 4 April 2020, but due to COVID-19 (coronavirus pandemic), the museum postponed the opening until 1 May 2020.
This CASA is a composite aircraft. The main fuselage is former Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force) serial B.21-103 (c/n 053), whilst the tail section is from B.21-27. It was one of the aircraft that was flown as a He111 during the filming of the 1968 "Battle of Britain" movie. After the filming ended, the aircraft was stored at Tablada air base near Seville (Spain).
It was acquired by the Old Flying Machine Company (OFMC) at Duxford (UK) in 1995 and arrived there suspended under a German Army CH-53G transport helicopter in March 1998. Two years later OFMC sold the CASA to the Imperial War Museum. Unfortunately this museum has since then not undertaken any restoration activities on the aircraft. Last year the IWM conservator decided it did not fit into the collection and it was decided to dispose of it. Now the Kent Battle of Britain Museum is very happy with its new exhibit, currently placed in open air, but it is hoped that it will be brought into a new built hangar in the future.
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