”Hansa” numbers 31 and  32-41,  (Reconnaissance Seaplanes, 1921-1931)
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An old Swedish proverb says  ”a dear child has many names”.  This could really be applied to the ”Hansa”, the low-winged float-plane used in Sweden for almost 30 years. The names and designations were many; Caspar S.I, Hansa Brandenburg, Caspar S.II, Heinkel S.1, HE 1, HE 2, HE 4, S 2, S3, S 4, S 5 S 5A etc…Of course the design and performance was improved during the years, but the main outlines were the same, once drawn by the famous German aircraft designer Ernst Heinkel. .

The first ”Hansa” (”Caspar S.I”) was made by  Caspar-Werke in Travemünde. Caspar S I was a development of the Hansa Brandenburg W 29, a successful seaplane for reconnaissance and combat duties during WWI. A contract was drawn up for the delivery of a prototype and for manufacturing in Sweden under license.

To avoid problems with the embargo for German military equipment after the Peace of Versailles, the aircraft arrived to Sweden in parts and was finally assembled at Svenska Aero AB in Lidingö in the end of 1921. This first Hansa was given the number 31.   

The Navy had also purchased a Supermarine Channel II, a sea-plane of biplane type. The two different designs were now to be evaluated together. Unfortunately, the Supermarine crashed in 1922, so the comparing trials were never executed. But it stood clear that the Hansa did very well in heavy sea. The floats were large and the tail was well over the water level. 

Further ten aircraft (numbers 32-41) were ordered in 1922. They were built partially in Germany (Casparwerke) and partially in Sweden (Svenska Aero and Galärvarvet). In 1923 all were delivered. The co-operation between Caspar and Heinkel had come to an end, so the new ”Hansas” were officially designated Heinkel HE 1 (HE = Heinkel Eindecker).

The eleven first Hansas were all fitted with a Maybach IVA engine of 260 hp. For the first time in the history of Swedish Navy aviation the aircraft were armed -  with one machine-gun.  

When the Swedish Air Force was established in 1926, the remaining seven airframes were transferred with the designation S 2. S = ”Spaning” (Reconnaissance).

Photos: Top - Hansa number 37 at Skeppsholmen, Stockholm. Bottom: Hansa number 35.

Hansa 32: Length: 12,66 m. Span:18,30 m. MTOW 2.320 kg. Max. speed: 160 km/h.


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13