POWER PLANT: One Argus As 410C inverted V-12 air-cooled inline engine, rated at 450 hp
PERFORMANCE: 162 mph at 9,843 ft
COMMENT: The Arado Ar 199 was a floatplane trainer aircraft built by Arado Flugzeugwerke. It was a low-wing monoplane designed in 1938 to be launched from a catapult and operated over water. The enclosed cockpit had two side-by-side seats for instructor and student, and a third rear seat for a trainee navigator or radio operator. Only a few aircraft were built, because the Luftwaffe found that many elder aircraft are suitable for training duties (Ref.: 24).
COMMENT: The Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 “Bachstelze” (“Wagtail”) was a type of rotary-wing kite, known as a gyro glider or rotor kite. They were towed behind German submarines during WW II to allow a lookout to see farther. Because of their low profile in the water, submarines could not see more than a few miles over the ocean. To solve this, the German admiralty considered a number of different options, including a folding sea plane e.g. Arado Ar 231. In the end, they chose the Fa 330, a simple, single-seater, autogyro kite with a three-bladed rotor. The Fa 330 could be deployed to the deck of the submarine by two people and was tethered to the U-boat by a 500 ft cable. The airflow on the rotors as the boat motored along on the surface would spin them up. The kite would then be deployed behind the U-boat with its observer-pilot aboard, raising him approximately 400 ft above the surface and allowing him to see much farther — about 25 nautical miles, compared to the 5 nautical miles visible from the conning tower of the U-boat. If the U-boat captain were forced to abandon it on the surface, the tether would be released and the Fa 330 descend slowly to the water. When not in use, the Fa 330 was stowed in two watertight compartments aft of the conning tower. Recovering, dismantling, and stowing the Fa 330 took approximately 20 minutes and was a difficult operation. The Allies came into possession of a Fa 330 in May 1944 when they captured the U-852 intact. After the war, the British government did successful experiments towing Fa 330s behind ships and jeeps, but the development of the helicopter quickly occupied the attention of the military. It is noteworthy that in early 1940 the British made similar experiments with the Hafner “Rotachute”, an autogiro kite to transport a paratrooper (Ref. 24).
POWER PLANT: One Hirth HM 502 six-cylinder inverted inline engine, rated at 160 hp
PERFORMANCE: 106 mph
COMMENT: Designed from the outset for use on U-boat “cruisers”, like the Type XI B, the Ar 231 was a light parasol-wing aircraft. The aircraft was powered by an inline engine, weighed around 2,200 lb, and had a 33ft wingspan. The design led to a simple and compact aircraft that could be fitted into a storage cylinder only 6.7 ft in diameter. For ease of storage, the Ar 231’s wings featured detachable sections that two operators could remove in less than six minutes. One unusual feature was an offset wing design, with the right wing root attaching to the wing’s tilted center section (elevated above the fuselage, as on all parasol-wing designs) and lower than the left wing root, to allow the wings to be quickly folded up. Testing soon revealed the Ar 231s to be fragile, underpowered, and difficult to fly even during calm weather, and as a result, development ended in favour of the Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 gyro glider. Some of the testing was done on the auxiliary cruiser “Stier”. Only six prototypes were built (Ref.: 24).
TYPE: Long-range Transport, Maritime Patrol and Bomber Flying Boat
ACCOMMODATION: Crew of 12
POWER PLANT: Six Daimler-Benz DB 603G, rated at 1,900 hp
PERFORMANCE: 264 mph at 19,685 ft
COMMENTS: First prototype flew in April 1944, but was sunk early 1945 by strafing Mustangs. At the end of WWII the second prototype was virtually complete and construction of the third was in an advanced stage
POWER PLANT: One BMW VI 7,3 Z liquid-cooled engine, rated at 750 hp
PERFORMANCE: 205 mph
COMMENT: The Heinkel He 51 was a single-seat biplane which was produced in a number of different versions. It was initially developed as a fighter, it was also developed as a ground-attack aircraft and a floatplane.
In 1931, Heinkel Aircraft Company developed the Heinkel He 49, officially an advanced trainer in fact it was a fighter. The first prototype flew in November 1932, and was followed by two further prototypes with a longer fuselage, and a revised engine. The type was ordered into production for the still secret Luftwaffe as Heinkel He 51, the first pre-production aircraft flying in May 1933. Deliveries started in July of the next year.
The He 51 was a conventional single-bay biplane, with all-metal construction and fabric covering. It was powered by a BMW VI engine, with an armament of two machine guns mounted above the engine. The He 51 was intended to replace the earlier Arado Ar 65, but served side-by-side with the slightly later Arado Ar 68. The He 51 was outdated the day it entered service, and after an initial run of 150 production fighters, the design was switched into the modified He 51B, with approximately 450 built, including about 46 He 51B-2 floatplanes. With begin of WW II the Heinkel He 51B-2 was only used in a role as trainer (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: One BMW VI 6.0 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 660 hp
PERFORMANCE: 150 mph at sea level
COMMENT: The Heinkel He 60 was a reconnaissance floatplane designed for the German Kriegsmarine (German Navy) to be catapulted from warships of the 1930s.
The Heinkel He 60 was designed as a single-engined biplane of mixed wood and metal construction with fabric covering. Its single bay wings were of equal-span and had significant stagger.
The first prototype flew early in 1933 and proved to be underpowered with its 660 hp BMW VI engine. The second prototype had a more powerful version of the BMW engine, but this only marginally improved its performance and was unreliable, so production aircraft reverted to the original engine. Of conventional configuration, the He 60 was a sturdy aircraft, designed to be capable of operating on the open sea. As a result, it was always somewhat underpowered for its weight, which made handling sluggish and the aircraft vulnerable to enemy fire. Attempts were made to solve its lack of power by fitting one aircraft with a Daimler-Benz DB 600 engine, but engines were not available for production.
Initial deliveries of the He 60 were to Kriegsmarine training units in June 1933. From 1934, the major production version, the He 60C began to be delivered to the shipboard floatplane units of the Kriegsmarine, operating from the catapults of all German cruisers. It also saw action with Spanish Nationalist forces during the Civil War.
In 1939 it was replaced as a shipboard aircraft first by the Heinkel he 114 in service, then soon after by the Arado Ar 196, but it remained in service with several coast reconnaissance Staffeln (squadrons) when WW II began. It had been withdrawn from front-line service by 1940, but returned to use following Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, being used for coastal patrol work in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas. All He 60s were removed from service by October 1943 (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Junkers Jumo 205C-4 liquid-cooled diesel engines, rated at 605 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 155 mph at sea level
COMMENT: In 1934, the Dornier Flugzeugwerke started development of a new twin-engined flying boat to replace the Dornier Do J “Wal“ (Whale) in both military (Do 16) and civil (Do JI and Do J II) roles. The resultant design, Do 18 retained the layout of the “Wal”, with a metal hull fitted with distinctive stabilizing sponsons, and powered by two engines above the wing in a push-pull layout, but was aerodynamically and hydrodynamically more efficient. It was planned to be powered by two of the new Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engines. Although heavy, these promised to give much lower fuel consumption than conventional petrol engines of similar power.
The Do 18G, 62 units built, was an improved version, powered by two 880 hp Jumo 205D engines, armed with a 13 mm MG machine gun in the bow, and a 20 mm MG 151 cannon in a power-operated dorsal turret.
In German Luftwaffe service, the Dornier Do 18G was obsolete by the outbreak of World War II, but – as the only military flying boat – 62 (58 serviceable) aircraft in five squadrons were in use mainly on North Sea reconnaissance missions. In 1940 some squadrons changed their base to Norway. The vulnerable and underpowered flying boat was soon relegated to training and the air/sea rescue role. In the middle of 1941, only one squadron was still operational on Do 18. The Blohm & Voss Bv 138 had superseded the Dornier Do 18G.
A Dornier Do 18G was the first German aircraft to be shot down by British aircraft during the war, when one of a formation of three was caught over the North Sea by nine Fleet Air Arm Blackburn “Skua” fighter bombers of 803 Naval Air Squadron flying from HMS “Ark Royal” on 26 September 1939 (Ref.: 24).
TYPE: Reconnaissance, transport and training flying boat
ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two to four plus 8-10 passengers or equivalent freight
POWER PLANT: Two BMW VI liquid-cooled engines, rated at 700 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 143 mph
COMMENT: The Dornier Do J “Wal” (“Whale”) was a twin-engine German flying boat of the 1920s designed by Dornier Flugzeugwerke. The Do J had a high-mounted strut-braced monoplane wing with two piston engines mounted in tandem in a central nacelle above the wing; one engine drove a tractor and the other drove a pusher propeller. The hull made use of Claudius Dornier’s patented sponsons on the hull’s sides.
The Do J made its maiden flight on November, 1922. The flight, as well as most production until 1932, took place in Italy because of the restrictions on aviation in Germany after World War I under the terms of Treaty of Versailles. Dornier began to produce the “Wal” in Germany in 1931; production went on until 1936. The Dornier J I and its variant J II “Wal” were some of the most famous flying boats of the periods between the world wars.
A military version was the Dornier Do J II d and was in service with the German Luftwaffe as Dornier Do 16 “Militärwal” (“Military Whale”) according to the aircraft designation system of 1934 by the ReichsLuftsfahrtMinisterium (Reich Air Ministry, RLM). It was used as a reconnaissance and transport aircraft. A crew of two to four rode in an open cockpit close to the nose of the hull. There was one machine gun position in the bow in front of the cockpit and one or two amidships. Some 30 Dornier Do 16 “Militärwal” being delivered for the Luftwaffe in 1935. Eventually these were replaced by the Dornier Do 18 and the “Militärwal” was relegated to training roles.
Note: In many publications the Dornier J II d “Military Whale” is cited as Dornier Do 15. So done on my website, too, (but now corrected). The proper designation is Dornier Do 16 (Ref. 24).