Heinkel 65, the german "Val"?


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Hi guys :),

literature and the web tells us about the german origins of the Aichi "Val" dive bomber, stating that the Heinkel He 70 was the forerunner.
Heinz Nowarra`s Die Deutsche Luftruestung 1933-1945, volume II, pages 175 and 178 writes that the predecessor was the Heinkel He 65 mail plane, depicted below. It was stripped of his wings and tailplane and got the ones from the He 70. With some other changes, there you have the "Val". The given span, lenght and wing areas are remarkably similar to the D3A1.
Do you know anything about this? Or anything else on Heinkel`s early monoplane dive bomber projects? Cheers.


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I'd have to check at home, but I think Rene Francillon's JAPANESE AIRCRAFT OF THE PACIFIC WAR describes how the previous Aichi biplane dive bomber was inspired by German and American dive bombers and the "Val" developed as a logical successor.

The He 70s elliptical wing was certainly an inspiration for the "Val" and I am sure the folks at Aichi learned much from the construction details of the He 70 and other imported planes, but I don't think it went any further than that. The Heinkel was very influential on a number of designs, including the Spitfire IIRC, but only in showing what a truly clean monoplane design could achieve.

I think the Japanese are wrongly assumed to have copied much from the West when in fact there was a lot of cross-pollination between designers from different countries in that period and the Japanese were were often quite brilliant in their own right.
ı have one of those little books by Salamander by Bill Gunston which also mentions a similar view in that Japanese were much influenced by Western designs but the work was their own . Gunston also names a few influential designers and counts one Clark . ı know a Virginus (?) Clark did some important work , say in NACA profiles but are they the same person and did he have any actual designs ?
Hi Mole and r16,

I have those books too, but they are old and offer but a general view on japanese aviation. I own Peter Smith`s book on the "Val", which is pretty recent, and the liaison ( intensive ) between Heinkel and Aichi is well documented, again apealling to the Heinkel He 70 influence. The only major change was in simplifying the wing ( a straight one ).
Call me a skeptic, but I'd need to see some pretty clear evidence (such as identical spar layouts under the skin, for example) before I'd just take it on faith based on one book.

There is a lot of "conventional wisdom" about Japanese aircraft design that seems to have sprung from pre-war prejudice and wartime propaganda, not hard facts. The Ki-61, for example, was repeatedly misidentified as a derivative of German design early in the war, when in fact it was an original Japanese design with a German engine and cannon.

Another such generally accepted myth is the idea that the Soviets liked the Bell P-39 because it was a great ground attack aircraft, when in fact they were used almost exclusively in the air-to-air role, where they did quite well in the low-altitude tactical fighting over the Eastern Front. The 37mm cannon was not used in the anti-tank role--the Soviets never received armor-piercing ammo for the guns, only HE.

So, if you can share the relevant points from the Peter Smith book, please do.


The Japanese imported one He 70 and according to Rene J. Francillon's book, it provided the influence for the wing shape of the Val. In addition, the dive brakes used on the initial prototype were similar to those used on the Junkers Ju 87 (though the Japanese would not import a Ju 87A until 1940).

The main thing to keep in mind was that the second prototype had extensive modifications after flight testing of the first showed some problems. The wings were changed by increasing the span and the outer section leading edges were cambered down. The dive brakes were also changed. So while the first prototype's planeform may have drawn direct from the He 70, the subsequent changes were purely Japanese.

Keep in mind there is some precedent for Heinkel technology finding favor with the IJN and Aichi. Just look at the Aichi D1A Susie, itself the Japanese version of the Heinkel He 66 (export designation for the He 50).
IMHO, the most likely Heinkel candidate for influing the "Val" design was the He 118. Wing planform, etc., seem similar. I once condidered "kit-bashing" (archaic english) a Val to make a He 118 model, perhaps a perverse form of reverse engineering.

Best regards,

Artie Bob
Keep in mind that the IJN's He 118 V4 broke apart in flight during testing and the IJN promptly dropped any notion of production as the DXHel. When the IJA received their He 118 V5 some months later, they didn't even bother with it, abandoning it immediately.

Now, the break up may have been the result of improper reassembly but regardless, the He 118 was a failure in the eyes of the IJN and I suspect Aichi would not have looked to a flawed aircraft for influence in the Val.

That is my take on it. ;D

Artie Bob said:
IMHO, the most likely Heinkel candidate for influing the "Val" design was the He 118. Wing planform, etc., seem similar. I once condidered "kit-bashing" (archaic english) a Val to make a He 118 model, perhaps a perverse form of reverse engineering.

Best regards,

Artie Bob
From "Wingspan" January 2002


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Thanks for that great bit of history.

Not sure I buy the He.70-to-Val argument, though. He just says "inspired by," which makes sense since he had worked on the Heinkel, not that it was copied from the Heinkel.

But on the man's life, what a story! It would make a great movie, too. The friendship with Heinkel, the escape from Nazi Germany, the periods in the U.S. and Japan, the role in Aussie aviation at a critical time.


In "Luftfahrt International 17" article "Sturzkampfflugzeug Heinkel He 118" the author tells the story of a Japanese navy`s requirement from July 1935 for two carrier borne, all metal, twin seat dive bombers, presented to Heinkel, interim knowned as "leichter Stuka" (P.1030). Some of the parameters were to be:

maximum dimensions - 11,4m span, 9,4m lenght, 3,8m height. Wing tips and rudder tip were to be foldable.

Use of a single radial engine, either the US Hornet or Cyclone, or a german one (to be the BMW 135 or the SAM 22). In October the engine spectrum was enlarged to the Bristol Pegasus, The G&R Mistral, driving a constant speed propeller.

Development of a mechanical bomb release system, designed around a japanese 150kg bomb.

This is well documented ( many documents from Heinkel archives, mainly acts ).

The reason to post this information pertaining to the Heinkel He 118 is that this design could not be much similar to the "hardware" aircraft, but resembling the Aichi "Val".
Maybe this can help a bit...

The characteristic elliptical wing shape of the He-70 (LXHe1 Navy experimental type transport)
was selected by Tokuhisihro Goake who headed the Aichi design team working on Company
Project Number AM-17. After a few alterations the AM-17 became the D3A1
carrier bomber monoplane .
Hi Paul,

welcome aboard.

Does anyone have informations about the Heinkel P.1030?
Thanks for the info on Fred David!
A man with a very interesting history, which I did not know except for the Boomerang!

Has anyone got a picture/drawing of the Heinkel He 65?

Pioneer said:

"Has anyone got a picture/drawing of the Heinkel He 65?"

Try the first post. I believe that will do the trick. It is the first design, still without the eliptical wings and tailplane.
i suppose that this may be a slight tangent, but...
i do not think that it is improbable that the Val is a partial derivative of the He65 - bear with me - since 3 He 100 D-0 's were sold to Japan; which bear a remarkable resemblance to the Ki-61 Hien both in dimensions, shape and an exact match in power output (1,775Hp) (see below). The He 100 could be considered a member of a "family" of Heinkel designs which included: He 65, He 70 [plus the 170 & 270], (He 100), He 112 and He 118.
Most of the extant He 112's were sold to the Japanese Navy; with the V4 and V5 of the He 118 being sold, repectively, to the Japanese Army and Navy.

The "family resemblance(s)" in the He 65, 70, 112 and 118 may be seen in the elliptical wing planform; and the varying degrees of "gull-wingedness"

[try the Heinkel section in:
Hitler's Luftwaffe (1979)
Tony Wood & Bill Gunston
Salamander Books
[ISBN 0-86101-005-1];
Kenneth Munson (1969, reprint, 1983)
Fighters and Bombers Of World War II
Blandford Press, England
[ISBN 0-907408-37-0] ]

[Please understand that i have an unoperative scanner and that the Macro focus on my camera introduces a load of barrel distortion - which makes the Ki-61 look more "pot-bellied" than it ever was - hence the awful Pic. quality. Sorry about that. The He 100 looks about right though]

My point being that... Engineers have LONG collaborated on Projects


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The differences between the Ki 61 and the He 100 far outweigh any similarities.
Aside from the engine all the aircraft have in common is that they are both
low-wing monoplanes with an aluminum structure.

The 'German' connection to the Kawasaki is far simple than saying it is a development
oh the He 100, which it is not...Takeo Doi and his team worked under Richard Vogt
when he was at Kawasaki. The Ki 61 is an extension of work and concepts developed by
Vogt and his Kawasaki team from the mid-twenties to early-thirties.

Here are some good links for the Ki 61 story:


Hi guys :),

here are plans of the planned japanese He100D, probably to be manufactured in the new Hitachi Chiba factory. Only difference would be the radiator scoop.

Taken from "Heinkel He 100, World Record and Propaganda Aircraft" by Hans-Peter Dabrowski, Schiffer Publications.


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Umm, it think the point that i was making is that:

Engineers collaborate on Projects

...always have, always will do.

it's not always "Slavish Copying". I'm not making judgements here - good ideas work - so why "reinvent the wheel"?

But, to return to Wurger's original point, i don't see it as improbable that the "Val" is inspired by Heinkel designs at all
" .. that the "Val" is inspired by Heinkel designs "

Why not ? You can frequently read, that the Spitfire wing was based on
an inspiration by the He 70 Blitz. And several WWII fighter designs
are said to be inspired by the Fw 190 ..
That doesn't mean, they were copies, or even designed in co-operation.
For an inspiration a photo or drawing in a newspaper may be enough, the
designer not even would have to read the text ! ;)
Well gentlemen,

the literature I have stated points markedly to Heinkel`s, not just as an inspiration, but as technological transfer, with enginners from Japan taking months among the german company, and german ones accompanying the Aichi company, in Japan itself. The similarities are striking, but surely you would find some differences in the internal structure ( that`s the japanese part in the first prototype, along with the straight wing ).
Perhaps, given that many of the contributers to this forum do not have English as a first language, i should clarify the English i have used:

I'm with Wurger - agreeing that there was a certain cross-polination of ideas between Aichi and Hienkel. That said, i also do not believe that the "Val" is simply a "Slavish Copy" of a Hienkel design; the elliptical wing planform simply proved itself to be amongst some of the most "top notch" aerodynamics of the day.
This was demonstrated beyond doubt in the Pearl Harbour attack (Aichi Vals) and the Battle of Britain (Supermarine Spitfires). I do not think for one moment that Wurger believes that the "Val" is some sort of "slavish copy" of the He 70.

As i said above, "Good ideas 'work' ", so why "reinvent the wheel"?

Engineers are a conservative lot when it comes to "good ideas"!


BTW, Thanks everyone for the excellent Links :)


(FYI) Likewise, Freddie Handley-Page spent a lot of the 1920's instructing aircraft designers in Japan; How's that for collaboration? [i don't mean "collaboration" in a perjorative sense here, BTW]
While the wings of some Heinkel aircraft, the Aichi Val, and the Spitfire share a similar elliptical planform,
the aerodynamics are decidedly different, as the Spitfire wing is, for the time, extremely thin. This is considered
as having far more influence on the Spitfire's overall aerodynamic performance than the elliptical planform.
The Heinkel-type elliptical wings are the exact opposite, being very thick, almost as thick as a Miles designed wing. ;)

The connections between Heinkel and Aichi are detailed by Peter Starkings in issues 3 and 4
of Arawasi Magazine, the articles include a listing of the Heinkel aircraft sent to Japan.
The He 65 isn't on the list, which is not surprising as Heinkel abandoned work on the project
in 1932 and moved to the superior He 70 design. ;D
Starkings restates the shape influence of the He 70 on the D3A.

One interesting bit is that the He 118 crash led to the IJNAF ordering Aichi to develop an aircraft that, while inspired
by and similar to the He 118, would outperform it. The result was the D4Y Suisei.

There were indeed plans to produce the He 100 in Japan, for the Imperial Japanese Navy as their land-based interceptor.
Hitachi won the production contract, however the drawings and jigs never arrived from Germany.

As to any Ki 61 connection to Heinkel, the He 100s arrived in Japan in May 1940 and after re-assembly were
delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force for evaluation.
The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force gave Kawasaki the go-ahead to proceed with development of the
Ki 60 and Ki 61 designs in February 1940. Both designs were an extension of preliminary work done while
Kawasaki was negotiating DB601 rights with Daimler-Benz prior to 1940.

To put it simply, Heinkel was connected, through Aichi, to the IJNAF...Kawasaki was connected to the IJAAF,
so Kawasaki copying the He 100 is a doubtful proposition. Kawasaki built a total of one aircraft for the IJN,
an experimental flying boat constructed in 1928, they never did any other aircraft for the Navy.

The connections between German and Japanese aircraft designers and companies are definite and documented,
single source statements that attempt to counter what is known, should be viewed skeptically.

Thanks again, Jon. I must admit that my knowledge of Japanese WWII a/c is decidedly sketchy and you continue to fill in some gaping gaps :-[

reading Volker Koos "Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke 1933-1945" I can confirm what I`ve read in "Luftfahrt International 17": that the Heinkel P.1030 was a radial engined dive bomber for the japanese navy, run in parallel but different to the bigger future He 118. Cross the dimensions I`ve posted taken from that article and you get a nice "Val" ;D.

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