Saturday, 4 June 2016

Multirole aircraft - Arado Ar240

Lieutenant Walter Blume
 in World War I
History of Arado Ar240 begins somewhat from the end. In the second half of the '30 in the Reich they began work on a remote-controlled destruction fire stations, used as a weapon on board of Luftwaffe planes. As a result of this work, in companies Arado Flugzeugwerke, Rheinmetall-Borsig and Versuchsanstalt Deutsch für Luftfahrt under the direction of engineer Walter Blume, presents the project of controlled from the cockpit remote-controlled weapon system, board and guidance on target with the periscope, marked FA-13. RLM after analyzing the results of the work of the team of Walter Blume, commissioned him to work on a project with a high-speed aircraft type of Kampfzerstörer with defensive weapon based on the results of his work. How it used to be in the Reich in matters of aircraft, RLM expected build an aircraft capable of filling a wide range of tasks: heavy fighter, fast reconnaissance aircraft, dive bomber or aircraft assault. Responsibility for project took Van Nes, under the general supervision of the chief engineer Hans Rabeski .


Arado Ar240 V-6
"The Ar 240 came about as the response to a 1938 request for a much more capable second generation heavy fighter to replace the Messerschmitt Bf 110, which was becoming outdated. Both Arado and Messerschmitt responded. Messerschmitt's response, the Me 210, was a totally new design, but thanks to Messerschmitt's experience with the Zerstörer ("Destroyer") concept, it would be able to enter service quickly. Arado's design was considerably more ambitious for the smaller firm..." - Wikipedia

Project twin-engine, two-seat, all-metal aircraft equipped with the very rich mechanics lobe, among others double slotted flaps and slats on the leading edge and spoilers placed in the tail, pressurized cabin and remote control positions defensive weapons board was named E240.
Arado Ar240 V1
Arado Flugzeugwerke built the first two prototypes V1 and V2 in the mid 1940s. V1 made its first flight on May 10, and V2 two months later. Was in order to undergo aerodynamic tests  and used them without a weapon system (F-13), without a pressurized cabin. The weapon was still in the testing phase. The system was installed on the Messerschmitt Bf162 V3. As a result of attempts to found a number of problems:  target location to the gunner and icing periscope during flights at high altitudes.
Arado Ar240 V-3
Tests of both variants have shown that the structure of Ar240 is completely unstable in flight. Engineers was decided to introduce a large number of changes in the structure of plane. Work has begun on the V3, which was to be a reconnaissance version and dive bomber. They radically change the shape of the fuselage. It was extended in the rear part about 1.25 m. Aerodynamic brake, located in the tail, was replaced by a conical tip of the fuselage, with additional surface stabilizer. Slots on the leading edge has been removed. Pressurized cabin was moved to the nose of the aircraft. V3 received two engines Daimler-Benz DB 601 A (take off power 790 kW - 1075KM x 2). The aircraft was armed with two remote-controlled FA-13, dorsal and under the hull, each equipped with a doubled MG 81Z machine gun caliber 7.9 mm. As offensive weapons served mounted permanently in the hull, shooting forward two MG 151 cannon caliber 20 mm and two machine guns MG 17 caliber 7.9 mm installed one at the base of each wing.
Daimler-Benz DB 601 A
So many changes have the effect of waiting for further tests, which did not occur until the spring of 1941 years. The test results showed a significant improvement in the performance of the structure, however, were still far from expected. No achieving satisfactory results forced the team to make further modifications. As a result of many changes and subsequent tests of V-3 in the summer of 1941 Arado Ar240 V-3 was referred for further test during the operational service in one of the reconnaissance units of Luftwaffe. For this purpose, the plane stripped of his weapons, including the FA-13 system,  and a permanently installed Rb 50/30 cameras . Colonel Siegfried Knemeyer conducted on this airplane several flights over the British islands.
Camera, Aerial, Riehenbildner
 RB 50/30, Zeiss FK 30
At the same time, Arado Flugzeugwerke completed a prototype V4, which had been the model for the dive bomber version. Arming V4 looked exactly the same, supplemented by only suspension system of 8 x 50 kg bombs. As a result of restoration of air-brake, again fuselage become longer for another 65 cm. It was decided to change the band shaft. Daimler-Benz DB 601 A engines, were replaced with newer, DB 603A (take off power 1287 kW - 1750KM x 2). Finally RLM decided to re-designed pre-production planes A-01 and A-02 from diva bomber version to reconnaissance plane, which proved to be at the time, much more useful for the Luftwaffe. These two aircraft marked with symbols prototypes V5 and V6. Again been removed aerodynamic brake, mounting bombs system, cannon from under the fuselage and changed completely internal structures of wings.
The Ar240A-03 was, like its predecessors, fitted initially with 1 175 hp DB 601E engines, but these were later replaced by two 1 880 hp BMW 801TJ radials. The Ar240A-04 and A-05  (A-01/U1 and A-0/U2) were flown late in 1942, both powered by 1 750 hp Daimler-Benz DB603 A engines, but lacked armament. Tooling up began at Ago's Oschersleben plant for 40 production aircraft, but these were destined never to appear as the whole Ar240 programme was cancelled by Erhard Milch in December 1942.
Close -up of the double-slotted flaps fited to the Ar240 V-1. The photograph shows the tail mounted sir-brake carried by the aircraft.
Finally A-01 and A-02 were delivered to 13.(Zerstörer)/JG 5 dispersed around Petsamo, than in northern Finland. The aircraft were used to reconnaissance flights over the all important Murmansk railway. Shortly afterwards the Arado Ar240A-03 and A-05 were delivered to operational units on the Easters Front, one to 3.(F)/10 in the north and one to 3.(F)/100 in Central Russia.
Ar 240 A, JG 5 in Finnland


In July 1943, Arado Ar240A-02 was transferred to 2.(F)/122 at Frosinone, south of Rome, but it was written off when it crashed on landing while returning from its first operational mission. Shortly afterwards the Ar240A-0 was transferred to the same to the same unit, than based at Perugia, some miles north-east of Rome. The aircraft suffered constant engine troubles and was eventually flown back to the Germany; there it was overhauled and sent, together with the V7 and V8, to join the other pre-production aircraft on the Eastern Front.

The Arado Ar240 V7 and V8  received designation Ar240B-01 and B-02 and were forerunners of the proposed Ar240B series. The B series, was very close to A-0 version but powered by two DB 605 A (1 475 hp) and flew in October and December 1942. Both machines being provided with MW-50 water-methanol injection. The Ar240 V7 armed with two MG 17 and four MG 81, two in each FA-13 barbettes. V 8 carried a rearward-firing 20mm MG 151/20 cannon.

With V9 (C-01)coming more changes again: new wing of increased span ans improved profile, powerplant received two new engines DB 603 G (1 900 hp). The Ar240 V10 (C-02) was intended for the night fighter tole, an additional pair of MG 151/20s being installed below the fuselage. The Ar240 V11 (C-03) was similar to the V9 and the V12 (C-04) was a destroyer sub-type.
proposode production variants included the Arado Ar240C-1 destroyer, the C-2 night fighter, the C-3 light bomber and the C-4 fast reconnaisance aircraft. The proposed Ar240D series were similar, but were to have been powered by 2 000hp DB 614 engines. Other version - Arado Ar240E - never passed beyond the project on the drwaing board stage. In 1942, based on the experience gained in the construction of Ar240, work began on a new  multi-purpose aircraft Arado Ar440, acting as Kampfzerstörer.
The last part of the story of Arado A240 took place between March and may 1944. At this time was made final attempt to utilize the high performance of the Ar240 in the reconnaissance flight over the British isles. One of the aircraft was delivered to the Sonderaufklärungsstafel of the Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe based in France, while another was operated by 1./Versuchsverband Ob.d.L. Again the aircraft suffered interminable troubles from its poor flight characteristics, and folowing the invasion of France, the type disappeared front-line service.