Development of the He 177 began in 1936 as part of the Bomber A specifications issued by the German Air Ministry (RLM). The specifications called for a long range, high speed bomber with a payload of 1,000 kg. Despite the very demanding specifications, Heinkel began working on a mockup which was submitted for review in late 1937, with an order for 12 experimental machines following shortly after in early 1939. However, throughout its development, the He 177 suffered from a range of problems, some of which weren’t even fixed before further development stopped. For example, one of the requirements (which was soon rejected, since it was impossible to implement) from the Air Ministry was the ability to bomb from a dive, that’s why the engineers had to make various workarounds to provide the required flight technical characteristics. To reduce aerodynamic drag and to ensure flight range, two DB 601 engines were installed in pairs on one gondola and worked with a common shaft which rotated one four bladed propeller. Thanks to this it was possible to create the aircraft using a two-engined scheme. But for this reason, the vehicle suffered from severe engine overheating issues and more often than not experienced mid-flight engine failures and frequent fires. In the process of fine tuning the aircraft, the weight was significantly increased, so it became necessary to install a massive frame which could not be hidden - a relatively thin wing or tightly packed nacelles wouldn't fit. As a result, each frame was divided into two racks, each with a single wheel that could be retracted into the wing on opposite sides of the nacelle.
By 1944, development of the He 177 was considered finished, but by that time, the fortune of war had already turned on Germany and the need for a complex strategic bomber had faded. Nonetheless, over 1,000 He 177s were produced across several variants, with most machines seeing action on the Eastern front. However, despite being made in large numbers, the aircraft ultimately failed to make a difference in the war’s outcome as its design maturity came too late, although some of the built vehicles were also used after war’s end.