Arado Ar 240

Arado Ar 240

infobox Aircraft
name = Ar 240
type = Zerstörer (Heavy Fighter) prototype
manufacturer = Arado Flugzeugwerke

caption = 3.(F)/ObdL. Kharkov, Summer 1943
designer = Walter Blume
first flight = 25 June 1940
introduction =
retired =
status =
primary user = Luftwaffe
more users =
produced =
number built = 14
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The Arado Ar 240 was a German twin-engine multi-role heavy fighter aircraft developed for the Luftwaffe during World War II by Arado Flugzeugwerke. Its first flight was in 1940, but problems with the design hampered development and it remained only marginally stable through the prototype phase. The project was eventually cancelled, with the existing airframes used for a variety of test purposes.

Design and development

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request for a much more capable second generation heavy fighter to replace the Messerschmitt Me 110, which was becoming outdated.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 "Zerstorer" concept it would be able to enter service quickly. Arado's design was considerably more ambitious for the smaller firm, a dream project of Arado's chief designer, Walter Blume, since the mid-1930s. While it would take some time before deliveries of the Arado design could begin, the "Reichsluftfahrtministerium" (German War Ministry, RLM) was nevertheless interested enough to order prototypes of both designs.

Prior to this point Arado had invested heavily in several lines of basic research. One was the development of the "Arado travelling flap" which offered excellent low-speed lift performance. Another was ongoing work into the design and construction of pressurized cockpits, which dramatically lower pilot fatigue for any flight above about 15,000 ft (4,500 m). Finally, they had also invested in a technically advanced remote-control defensive gun system, which they had been experimenting with for several years. The system used a gunsight located in the rear cockpit, operated by the navigator/gunner, which had optics on both the top and bottom of the aircraft allowing aim in any direction. The gunsight was hydraulically connected to well-streamlined "pancake" shaped turrets on the top and bottom of the aircraft. For the Ar 240 design, the Arado engineers combined all this research into a single airframe.

For outright performance they used as small a wing as reasonable, thereby lowering parasite drag (at the expense of greater induced drag, or drag due to lift). Normally this would make the plane have "impossibly high" landing speeds, but this was offset by the use of a huge travelling flap and leading edge slats for high low-speed lift. When the flaps were extended the upper portion of the ailerons would remain in place while the lower portion extended rearward, essentially increasing the wing area.

The Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines were conventionally installed and equipped with a four blade fully-adjustable propeller. The radiators were somewhat unique however, quite similar to those fitted to the Junkers Ju 88, which pioneered them, consisting of an annular block located in front of the engine, but with the Ar 240 partially covering each of them in an oversized propeller spinner, with the air entering through a large hole in the front of the spinner and exiting out the cowl flaps. As with the Jumo inline-powered versions of the Ju 88, this made the plane look as if it was mounting a radial engine, and the Ar 240, like later Jumo inline-powered fighter aircraft from the Focke-Wulf firm (the Fw 190 D, Ta 152 and twin engined Ta 154) also benefitted from the simpler setup of an annular radiator just forward of the engine.

The fuel cells in the wings were provided with a newly developed self-sealing system that used thinner tank liners, allowing for more fuel storage. The liners could not be easily removed as they stuck to the outer surface of the tank, so in order to service them the wing panelling had to be removable. This led to a complex system for providing skinning stiff enough to be handled in the field, complicating construction and driving up weight.

As with all German multi-use aircraft designs of the era, the aircraft was required to be a credible dive bomber. The thick wing panelling wasn't suitable for piercing for conventional dive brakes, so a "petal" type brake was installed at the extreme rear of the fuselage which opened to the sides when activated. When closed the brake looked like a stinger, extending beyond the horizontal stabilizer and twin fins.

Finally, the cockpit was fully pressurized. This would not have been easy if the armament had to be hand operated by the gunner, as it would have required the guns to penetrate the rear of the cockpit canopy. However the remote control system allowed for them to be located in turrets in the unpressurized rear of the fuselage.

All of this added weight combined with the small wing led to a very high wing loading of 330 kg/m² (221.3 lb/ft2), compared to an average of about a 100 for a single-seat fighter.

Testing and evaluation

Technical specifications were first published in October 1938, followed by detailed plans later that year. In May 1939 the RLM ordered a batch of six prototypes. The first Ar 240 V1 prototype, DD+QL, took to the air on 25 June 1940, and immediately proved to have poor handling in all axes, and it also tended to overheat during taxiing.

The handling was thought to be the result of the ailerons being too small given the thick wing, so the second prototype was modified to have larger ones, as well as additional vertical fin area on the dive brakes to reduce yaw. In addition small radiators were added to the gear legs to improve cooling at low speeds, when the gear would normally be opened. Ar 240 V2, KK+CD, first flew on 6 April 1941, and spent most of its life at the factory as a test plane.

Ar 240 V3 followed, the first to be equipped with the FA 9 rear-firing armament system, developed jointly by Arado and DVL, armed with a 7.92 mm MG 81Z twin machine gun. Ar 240 V4 was the first to include an operational dive brake, and flew on 19 June 1941. Ar 240 V5 and V6 followed in December and January, including the upgraded FA 13 system using two 13 mm MG 131s in place of the MG 81Z for a considerable boost in firepower.

The Ar 240's excellent performance quickly led to the V3, V5 and V6 being stripped of their armament, including the defensive guns, and used as reconnaissance aircraft over England, where no other two-seater could venture by 1942.


* Ar 240 A-0 : Four pre-production aircraft.
* Ar 240B : proposed version
* Ar 240 C-1 : Heavy fighter version.
* Ar 240 C-2 : Night-fighter version.
* Ar 240 C-3 : Light-bomber version.
* Ar 240 C-4 : High-altitude reconnaissance version. The project was abandoned in favour of the Ar 440.

pecifications (Ar 240 A-0)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=German Aircraft of the Second World War Smith and Kay 1972]
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 12.8 m
length alt= 42 ft 0⅓ in
span main= 13.33 m
span alt= 43 ft 9 in
height main= 3.95 m
height alt= 12 ft 11½ in
area main= 31.3 m²
area alt=337 ft²
empty weight main= 6,200 kg
empty weight alt= 13,669 lb
loaded weight main= 9,450 kg
loaded weight alt= 20,833 lb
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (prop)= Various Daimler-Benz
type of prop=V12 engines
number of props=2
power main=
power alt=
power original=
max speed main= 618 km/h
max speed alt= 334 knots, 384 mph
max speed more= at 6,000 m (19,700 ft)
cruise speed main= 555 km/h
cruise speed alt= 300 knots, 345 mph
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 2,000 km
range alt= 1,240 mi
ceiling main= 10,500 m
ceiling alt= 34500 ft
climb rate main= 545 m/min
climb rate alt= 1,790 ft/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=*Climb to 6000 m (19,700ft): 11 min
* 2 × fixed 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns
* Two remote-control barbettes with 2 × 7.92 mm MG 81 machine guns
* 3.968 lb bombs

ee also


similar aircraft=
* Messerschmitt Me 210
* Messerschmitt Me 410

BV 238/Fw 238 -
Ar 239 -Ar 240 -
Go 241 -
Go 242 -
Go 244

* List of World War II military aircraft of Germany
* List of military aircraft of Germany
* List of WW2 Luftwaffe aircraft prototype projects

see also=




* Green, William. "Warplanes of the Third Reich". London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1970 (fourth impression 1979). ISBN 0-356-02382-6.
* Lang, Gerhard. "Arado Ar 240 (Luftwaffe Profile Series No.8)". Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1997. ISBN 0-88740-923-7.
* Smith J.R. and Kay, Anthony L. "German Aircraft of the Second World War". London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1972. ISBN 0-370-00024-2.

External links

* [ Arado Ar 240 profiles]

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