The Heinkel He 177 Greif

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Richard A. Franks
Other Publication Information
Portrait Soft Square Bound; 8.25” x 11.75”, 194 pages .

Illustrators: Richard J. Caruana, Wojciech Sankowski, and Arkadiusz Wrobel

98 color pictures and 861 black and white photographs (including manual photographs and drawings). Richard J. Caruana provides 32 color profiles plus a top color view by of the Heinkel He 177, including badge views. Wojciech Sankowski contributes 114 3D isometric views of all the prototype and production airframes in Chapter 2 on ‘Evolution. There is one page of 1/72 line drawings by Richard J. Caruana that provides stencil marking details.

Product / Stock #
Provided by: Valiant Wings Publishing - Website: Visit Site

Valiant Wings Publishing was founded in 2010 under the guidance of Richard A. Franks and Mark Peacock. Valiant Wings has released several series of primarily airplane monographs [Airframe & Miniature, Airframe Album and Airframe Detail series] with the first Airframe Album dedicated to the Heinkel He 219 ‘Uhu’ released in 2012. This is Valiant Wings largest Airframe Album to date at 192 pages.

Valiant Wings Publishing’s editor, Richard A. Franks, and in this case the author of The Heinkel He 177 Greif, has recollections of making models at the age of eight. The first aircraft Richard ever built was an Airfix blister-pack 1/72nd Fokker Dr. I. Made in an afternoon, resplendent in 'Post Office Red' and with the decals applied whilst the paint was still wet so that there were lots of fingerprints! While working in the real world, Richard started to submit work for publication in magazines which led Richard to working for such titles as Model Art International, Scale Models, Scale Aircraft Modelling, In Scale, and Scale Aviation Modeller magazines. Richard became the title of editor of the latter in 1995 and continued with that title for the next decade, before leaving it to take the reins of Model Airplane International from its launch in early 2005. Valiant grew much quicker than originally anticipated, resulting in Richard A. Franks dedicating his talents to Valiant Wings in 2014.

Illustrator and author, Richard J. Caruana’s first aviation illustrations were published in 1970 by Ermanno Albertelli of Parma, Italy. These were soon followed by a 15-volume history of the Italian Air Force during WWII published by Edizioni Bizzarri of Rome commissioned by the Italian Air Force. ‘Air International' was the first UK publication to publish Richard’s work in 1976, followed by 'Air Enthusiast' and 'Aviation News'. Between 1984 and 1991 Richard set up and managed Modelaid International Publications, which for ten years produced a specialized aviation monthly magazine, 'Modelaid International' (later Air Forces International). Richard’s color illustrations have been featured in many other magazines and book titles.

The front cover features a color illustration by Arkadiusz Wrobel. The in-flight depicts the Heinkel He 177A-3, 6N+EM, launching the Max Kramer designed Ruhrstahl SD1400X Fritz-X glide bomb in early 1944. Note the black spinners with a white spiral. Serving with 4./KG 100, she is sporting RLM 70/71 upper surfaces with RLM 76 undersides. Large irregular blotches of RLM 65 applied over the upper surfaces. Codes are in black with the exception of the ‘E’ which is red [RLM 23], outlined in white. Black 33 would be on the side of the front gondola below the front fuselage. The Fritz-X glide bomb was primarily used for attacking naval vessels with its 710-pound warhead and speed of 767 miles per hour.

I counted 98 color pictures and 861 black and white photographs (including manual photographs and drawings). Richard J. Caruana provides 32 color profiles plus a top color view by of the Heinkel He 177, including badge views. Wojciech Sankowski contributes 114 3D isometric views of all the prototype and production airframes in Chapter 2 on ‘Evolution. There is one page of 1/72 line drawings by Richard J. Caruana that provides stencil marking details.

Richard A. Franks kicks off with a twenty-six-page Preface / Introduction that addresses the development and service of the Heinkel He 177 Greif. This includes the French, the UK, and USA evaluation aircraft. along with all the Heinkel He 274 and Heinkel 277 projects. Page 11 shows off two of the pre-production airframes or test airframes. The first of twenty of these is the Heinkel He 177A-01 [W/Nr. 0016, DL+AP] and is shown at Heinkel’s factory at the top of the page. The He 177A-01 had a short life with its first flight on February 7, 1941, before being destroyed in a fire on July 8, 1941. The bottom of the page features the second pre-production airframe, He 177A-02 [W/Nr. 0017, DL+AQ]. First flight was achieved on May 5, 1941, but she was destroyed in May 1942 upon crash landing and then exploding.

Chapter One, “Technical Description”, covers every part of the airframe by section. Page 54 is a good example with a black and white photograph and drawings from German technical / parts manuals of the He 177A-5 fin and rudder. Note that the photograph is of the captured He 177A-5 at Farnborough. Wojciech Sankowski is up next with Chapter 2. “Evolution”. His isometric drawings is one of the highlights for me in this series. The drawings highlight what changed in each variant, are well labeled, and often include actual photographs showing off the detail. Page 114 shows off the He 177A-01 and He 177A-02, along with another period photograph of the He 177A-02 on a flight. Every variant is covered in this chapter from the He 177 V1 in its initial form to the proposed He 277B.

Chapter Three digs into the Heinkel He 177’s Camouflage and Markings with photographs and color illustrated side profiles by Richard J. Caruana. Page 164 has three of Richard J. Caruana color side profile illustrations of the He 177A from 1944. The two period photographs feature the Heinkel He 177A-3, “Susi”, of 2./KG 100 during the Spring of 1944. Note the red spinner and the second half of the code, 6N+SK, in red, outlined in white.If you look closely, the first part of the code, ‘6N’, is in white before the cross, only it is quite small compared to the ‘SK’.

Libor Jekl does a build review of the Revell 1/72nd (#04616) Heinkel He 177A-5 & Fritz-X kit. All of the photographs in Chapter Four, ”Model”, Selection, are in color. Page 183 shows off the construction steps and detail in this build, notably the detailed cockpit and tail gunner position. This build review also includes sections on construction, colors and markings, final details, a conclusion, and a table of the paints used. There are not a lot of kits available of the He 177, with most offerings in 1/72nd scale. This volume ends with a recap of available kits, supplemented with three Appendices listing available kits, accessories, decals, and publications. Pit-Road’s multiple releases of the 1/700th scale He-177 was somehow missed, with the latest release in 2022.

Unfortunately, there are no surviving He 177 aircraft, although a few of the DB610 engines are on display. If you wish to get serious enough, there may be one buried underneath Chicago’s O’Hare international airport…

The sections include:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Note
  • Glossary
  • Introduction
  • Preface
  • The Prototypes
  • Pre-Production (Test Airframes)
  • Pre-Production A-0 Series
  • A-Series Production
  • The He 177A – Frontline Service
  • The He 177A-3 in the Mediterranean
  • He He 177A-3 on the Eastern Front
  • Operation Steinbock
  • Bomber Destroyer
  • Anzio
  • Eastern Front
  • Allied Landings
  • Other Units
  • The End – Part 1
  • Operation Bergund
  • The End – Part 2
  • The Four-Engine Greif
  • Projects
  • The He 177 Mistel
  • He 274
  • He 277
  • Foreign Evaluation
  • United Kingdom (Evaluation)
  • United States of America (Evaluation)
  • Specifications [Table]
  • Chapter 1: Technical Description
    • Group 1 - Fuselage
      • CockpitInterior
      • Canopy & Forward Fuselage
      • Main & Aft Fuselage
    • Group 2 - Tail
      • Vertical Fin & Rudder
      • Horizontal Tailplane & Elevators
    • Group 3 - Wings
      • Wings
      • Control Surfaces
      • Dive Brakes
    • Group 4 - Engines
      • Engines, Cowlings, & Propellers
      • Exhausts
      • Fuel System
      • Oil & Coolant System
    • Group 5 - Undercarriage
      • Main
      • Tailwheel
    • Group 6 - Armament
      • A-Stand Fuselage
      • B-Stand Fuselage
      • C-Stand Fuselage
      • Heckstand Fuselage [Tail]
      • Experimental Armament
      • Ordinance [Bombs]
      • Test Ordinance
      • Sighting [Bomb Sight]
    • Group 7 – Electrical Equipment
      • Radio
      • Radar
      • Camera
      • Miscellaneous Electrical Systems
    • Group 8 - Miscellaneous
      • Access Panels
      • Ground Equipment
      • External Winged Fuel Tank [Air Trailer]
  • Chapter 2: Evolution – Prototype, Production, and Projected Versions
    • Prototypes
      • He 177 V1 – Initial Form
      • He 177 V1 – Revised Form
      • He 177 V2
      • He 177 V3
      • He 177 V4 – Initial Form
      • He 177 V4 – Revised Form
      • He 177 V5
      • He 177 V6 – Initial Form
      • He 177 V6 – Revised Form
      • He 177A-01
      • He 177A-02
      • He 177A-03
      • He 177A-04 (V26)
      • He 177A-04 - Revised
      • He 177A-05
      • He 177A-06
      • He 177A-07
      • He 177A-08 - Initial
      • He 177A-08 as the V9
      • He 177A-09 (V10)
      • He 177A-010 (V11)
      • He 177A-011
      • He 177A-012
      • He 177A-013
      • He 177A-014
      • He 177A-015 (V18)
      • He 177A-016
      • He 177A-017
      • He 177A-018
      • He 177A-019
      • He 177A-020
    • Pre-Production
      • He 177A-0 – Early Production
      • He 177A-0 – Late Production
      • He 177A-0 W/Nr. 32913
      • He 177A-0 (V17)
    • Production
      • He 177A-1 (W/Nrs. 332101 to 332142)
      • He 177A-1 (W/Nrs. 135006 to 135025)
      • He 177A-1 (W/Nrs. 15151 to 15280)
      • He 177A-1 (V12)
      • He 177A-1 (V14)
      • He 177A-1 (V19)
      • He 177A-1 (V20)
      • He 177A-1 (V21)
      • He 177A-1 (V22)
      • He 177A-1 (V23)
      • He 177A-1 (V24)
      • He 177A-1 (V25)
      • He 177A-1 (V27)
      • He 177A-1 (V28)
      • He 177A-1 (V29)
      • He 177A-1 (V30)
      • He 177A-1 (V36)
      • He 177A-1/R1
      • He 177A-1/R2
      • He 177A-1/R3
      • He 177A-1/R3
      • He 177A-1/R4
      • He 177A-1/U-1
      • He 177A-1/U-2
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 332143 to 332252)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 332351 to 332410)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 332471 to 332519)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 332536 to 332555)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 332610 to 332629)
      • He 177A-3 – Twin MG 131 (6N + AS)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535351 to 535375)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535436 to 535460)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535531 to 535575*)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535670 to 535699)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535726 to 535760)
      • He 177A-3 (W/Nrs. 535846 to 535870)
      • He 177A-3 (V32)
      • He 177A-3 (V33)
      • He 177A-3 (V34)
      • He 177A-3 (V35)
      • He 177A-3 (V35) – FuG 217
      • He 177A-3 (V40)
      • He 177A-3 – MG 151Z
      • He 177A-3 – Trials (GP + WP*)
      • He 177A-3 with Schleppgerät (1)
      • He 177A-3 with Schleppgerät (2)
      • He 177A-3/R1
      • He 177A-3/R2
      • He 177A-3/R3
      • He 177A-3/R4
      • He 177A-3/R5
      • He 177A-3/R6
      • He 177A-3/R7
      • He 177A-3/M5
      • He 177A-3/M6
      • He 177A-3/M7
      • He 177A-3/E7
      • He 177A-3/E8
      • He 177A-3/E9
      • He 177A-3/E10
      • He 177A-3 – Vertical Rockets (Grosszerstörer)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550001 to 550006)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550031 to 550090)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550117 to 550175)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550191 to 550200)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550202 to 550266)
      • He 177A-5 (W/Nrs. 550316 to 550333)
      • He 177A-5 – Night Bombers
      • He 177A-5 (V31)
      • He 177A-5 (V37)
      • He 177A-5 (V38) - Initial
      • He 177A-5 (V38) - Final
      • He 177A-5 (V39)
      • He 177A-5/R1
      • He 177A-5/R2
      • He 177A-5/R3
      • He 177A-5/R4
      • He 177A-5/R5
      • He 177A-5/R6
      • He 177A-5/R7
      • He 177A-5 Höhentweil
      • He 177A-6
      • He 177A-6/R1
      • He 177A-6/R2
      • He 177A-7 (Original)
      • He 177A-7 (Revised)
      • He 177A-8
      • He 177A-9
      • He 177A-10
      • He 177 V101 – Initial Form
      • He 177 V101 – Final Form
      • He 177 V102
      • He 177 V103 – Initial Form
      • He 177 V103 – Revised Form
      • He 177 V104
      • He 177B-0
      • He 177B-5 (Stage I)
      • He 177B-5 (Stage II)
      • He 177B-6
      • He 177B-6 (Variant 1)
      • He 177B-6 (Variant 2)
      • He 177B-6/R1
      • He 177B-6/R2
      • He 177B-6/R3
      • He 177B-7
    • Projects
      • He 177C Project
      • He 177H Project
      • He 177 Mistel Project (1)
      • He 177 Mistel Project (2)
      • He 177 Mistel Project (3)
      • He 274
      • He 274 – Original Concept
      • He 274 V1
      • He 274 V1 as AAS.01A
      • He 274 V2 as AAS.01B
      • He 277A
      • He 277B
  • Chapter 3: Camouflage & Markings
    • He 177 – Prototypes
    • Stammkenzeichen
    • He 177 – Pre-Production
    • He 177 – Production
    • He 177A-1 Test Airframes
    • He 177A-3
    • Daylight
    • Night & Operation Steinbock
    • Training
    • He 177A-5
    • II./KG 1
    • 8./KG 1
    • KG 40
    • KG 100
    • Höhentweil Radar
    • He 274
    • Heinkel He 177 Stencil Marking Details
    • Captured and Evaluated
    • France
    • United Kingdom
    • USA
  • Chapter 4: Model
    • Revell 1/72nd Heinkel He 177A-5 & Fritz X by Libor Jekl
    • Construction
    • Colour & Markings
    • Final Details
    • Conclusion
    • Paints Used [Table]
    • The He 177 In Scale
    • No Scale
    • Small Scale
    • 1/72nd Scale
    • 1/48th Scale
    • 1/32nd Scale
  • Appendix I: Kits
  • Appendix II: Accessories
  • Appendix II: Decals / Masks
  • Appendix III: Bibliography

Richard A. Franks delivers yet another must have historical and model reference that organizes all of the early variants sequentially. The 192 pages is packed with details and as the subtitle claims, this is a ‘A Detailed Guide To The Luftwaffe’s Troubled Strategic Bomber’. I was surprised to learn how the German high command insisted that this four-engine bomber must be able to dive bomb which played havoc with the design. The detailed drawings and period photographs provide amazing detail that can be used to detail up any model kit. The Richard J. Caruana color illustrations in conjunction with the Camouflage and Markings chapter make sure you get the correct colors on your kit. There are more than enough contemporary photographs to inspire your next build. Wojciech Sankowski’s isometric illustrations help organize the myriad of variations that can be considered and is a nice evolutionary presentation that is quite valuable. If you have any interest in the history and modeling the Heinkel He 177, put this book on your list to acquire, it is a must-have!

My thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!


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