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The He 111Z Zwilling (English: twin) was a design that mated two He 111s. The design was originally conceived to tow the Messerschmitt Me 321 glider. Initially, four He 111 H-6s were modified. This resulted in an aircraft with twin fuselages and five engines. They were tested at Rechlin in 1941, and the pilots rated them highly.
A batch of ten were produced and five were built from existing H-6s. The machines were joined by a center wing formed by two sections 6.15 m (20 ft) in length. The powerplants were five Junkers Jumo 211F engines producing 1,000 kW (1,340 hp) each. The total fuel capacity was 8,570 L (2,260 US gal). This was increased by adding four 600 L (160 US gal) drop tanks. The He111Z could tow a Gotha Go 242 or Messerschmitt Me 321 Gigant gliders for up to 10 hours at cruising speed. It could also remain airborne if the three central powerplants failed. The He 111 Z-2 and Z-3 were also planned as heavy bombers carrying 1,800 kg (3,970 lb) of bombs and having a range of 4,000 km (2,500 mi). The ETC installations allowed for a further four 600 L (160 US gal) drop tanks to be installed.
The He 111 Z-2 could carry four Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship missiles, which were guided by the FuG 203b Kehl III missile control system. With this load, the He 111Z had a range of 1,094 km (680 mi) and a speed of 314 km/h (195 mph). The maximum bombload was 7,200 kg (15,900 lb). To increase power, the five Jumo 211F-2 engines were intended to be fitted with Hirth TK 11 superchargers. Onboard armament was the same as the He 111H-6, with the addition of one 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in a rotating gun-mount on the center section.
The layout of the He 111Z had the pilot and his controls in the port fuselage only. The controls themselves and essential equipment were all that remained in the starboard section. The aircraft had a crew of seven; a pilot, first mechanic, radio operator and gunner in the port fuselage, and the observer, second mechanic and gunner in the starboard fuselage.
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