History[edit | edit source]
Built in 1944, 701152 is a late specification Heinkel, fitted with an electrically operated mid upper gun turret, and powered by a pair of 1,750 hp (1,305 kW) Jumo 213E-1 engines. It was designed to carry 16 paratroopers in addition to the three man crew.
Allocated to the USAAF after it was handed over to the Allies in May 1945, 701152 was earmarked to join the captured aircraft being gathered for shipment to the USA, as part of Colonel Harold Watson's famed 'circus'. Flown to Cherbourg for shipping to the US aboard USS Ranger, the Heinkel was one of the 12 aircraft left behind when the heavily laden ship left for New Jersey in July 1945.
Subsequently flown to Boxted, Essex by members of the US 56th Fighter Group, the aircraft received the unit's HV codes and a set of Star and Bar insignia, and was extensively flown by the Americans before it's move to North Weald on 12 September 1945, after which it was transferred to Heston, Middlesex.
In November, British night-fighter ace Group Captain John Cunningham flew 701152 to Farnborough, for it's appearance at the German Aircraft Display. This was followed by a period in the scrap area, before selection by the Air Historical Branch for museum use, which led to the aircraft being placed in storage in 1947.
Following static display at Horse Guards Parade, in 1954 and 1955, the aircraft was stored at various locations until the spring of 1967, when it was moved to Henlow for a static role in the film Battle of Britain, by which time the turret was no longer fitted.
After further periods of storage, 701152 was repainted in 1944 factory colours by 5 MU at Kemble, and prepared for display in the RAF's Battle of Britain Hall, which opened on 28 November 1978. During the 1990s the aircraft underwent further restoration by the RAF Museum Friends, resulting in overhaul of the cockpit, reconnecting of the controls, radio mast replacement and anti corrosion work.