Arado Ar 234Edit
The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber.
Built by the German Arado company in the closing stages of World War II. Produced in very limited numbers, it was used almost entirely in the reconnaissance role, but in its few uses as a bomber it proved to be nearly impossible to intercept. It was the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over Britain during the war, in April 1945.
The RLM had already seen the promise of the design and in July had asked Arado to supply two prototypes of a Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") version as the Ar 234B. Since the original skid-equipped Ar 234A's fuselage design was very slender and entirely filled with fuel tanks, there was no room for an internal bomb bay and the bombload had to be carried on external racks.
Ar 234B Edit
Since the cockpit was directly in front of the fuselage, the pilot had no direct view to the rear, so the guns were aimed through a periscope, derived from the type used on German World War II tanks, mounted on the cockpit roof. The defensive fixed rear gun system was generally considered useless and it was omitted in production examples of the Ar 234B, while still retaining the periscope for rearwards vision. The external bombload, and the aforementioned presence of inactive aircraft littering the landing field after their missions were completed (as with the similarly dolly/skid-geared Messerschmitt Me 163) made the skid-landing system impractical, so the B version was modified to have fully retractable tricycle landing gear, with the mid-fuselage very slightly widened to accommodate the forward-retracting main gear units, the nosegear retracting rearwards. The ninth prototype, marked with Stammkennzeichen(radio code letters) PH+SQ, was the prototype Ar 234B, and flew on 10 March 1944.
Specifications (Ar 234B-2) Edit
Technical drawing of Ar 234B
Data from Aircraft of the Third Reich Vol.1
- Crew: 1
- Length: 12.64 m (41 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 14.41 m (47 ft 3 in)
- Height: 4.29 m (14 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 26.4 m2 (284 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 5,200 kg (11,464 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 9,800 kg (21,605 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Junkers Jumo 004B-1 axial flow turbojet engines, 8.83 kN (1,990 lbf) thrust each
- Powerplant: 2 × Walter HWK 109-500A-1 liquid fuelled jettison-able RATO rocket pods, 4.905 kN (1,103 lbf) thrust each (optional)
- Maximum speed: 742 km/h (461 mph; 401 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
- Cruising speed: 700 km/h (435 mph; 378 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
- Range: 1,556 km (967 mi; 840 nmi) with 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb load
- Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,808 ft)
- Rate of climb: 13 m/s (2,600 ft/min)
- Guns: 2 × 20 mm MG 151 cannon in tail firing to the rear (installed in prototypes only)
- Bombs: up to 1,500 kg (3,309 lb) of disposable stores on external racks
Special camouflage 1945: Destroy 900 ground units