Category Archives: Luftwaffe

Deutschland / Germany

Messerschmitt Me 509 (RS Models)

TYPE: Fighter, Fighter bomber, Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 605B liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,455 hp

PERFORMANCE: 470 mph (estimated)

COMMENT:  Although the Me 509 can trace its roots back to the Messerschmitt Me 309, very little information has survived. The aircraft was to be of an all-metal construction. A new fuselage was designed, with the pressurized cockpit being moved well forward near the nose.  The Daimler Benz 605B 12-cylinder engine was buried in the fuselage behind the cockpit, and drove a three-bladed, Me P 6 reversible-pitch propeller by an extension shaft which passed beneath the cockpit (similar to the US Bell P-39 Airacobra).  The wing was tapered and had rounded wingtips, and was mounted low on the fuselage.  Other Me 309 components were to be used, such as the tricycle landing gear, and the vertical tail assembly was similar to the one used for the Me 309 V1.  Armament was not decided upon for the 509, but it is thought that two MG 131 13mm machine guns and two MG 151 20mm cannon were to be used. Although there were advantages of better cockpit visibility and relocation of the engine weight from the nose gear. That was important, since the Me 309’s nose gear often collapsed. The Messerschmitt Me 509 design and development was stopped when the Me 309 program was ended in mid-1943.
In April 1945, the Japanese completed a very similar project, the Yokosuka R2Y Keiun. Although no firm evidence exists, it is possible that the Messerschmitt Me 309/509 information was licensed to the Japanese military, as were a number of other German designs (Messerschmitt Bf 109, Heinkel He 100, Messerschmitt Me 163, Messerschmitt Me 410, among others). (Ref.: 17).

DFS 230B-1 (Huma Models)

TYPE: Transport glider

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot plus 9 equipped troops 600 lb cargo

POWER PLANT: None

PERFORMANCE: Maximum towing speed 130 mph

COMMENT: The DFS 230 was a German transport glider operated by the Luftwaffe in World War II. It was developed in 1933 by the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS – “German Research Institute for Sailplane Flight”). The glider was the German inspiration for the British Hotspur glider and was intended for airborne assault operations.
The structural design oft he DFS 230 was thoroughly conventional. The wing comprised a single mainspar at approximately one-third cord with plywood covering forward and fabric aft, the long-span ailerons with inset tabs were fabric covered, and a central keel member or boom intended to absorb the impact transmitted to it from the sprung steel skid. Provision was made for either a single or dual control, and, in addition to the pilot, accommodation was provided  for nine men who were seated on the central boom, six facing forward, and four backward. Entry and exit to the cramped interior was by a single side door. The front passenger could operate its only armament, a 7,9 mm MG 15  machine gun on flexible mounting in upper decking of forward fuselage . A large loading door was  provided at the rear of the cabin in the fuselage portside, and the loading of bulky items of freight was facilitated  by a detachable beneath the wing at the starboard side of the fuselage. Up to 1,200 kg of freight could be loaded or 660 lb of freight in addition to the full complement of 10 men .
For take-off a two-wheel dolly was provided, this being jettisoned once the glider was airborne, it landed by means of a landing skid. The DFS 230s usually employed the Seilschlepp or cable-tow, being attached to a 131 ft cable, but for night and bad weather missions the Starrschlepp (ridgid-tow) arrangement was used. By means of a cable running along the tow rope the pilots of the tow-plane and of the freight glider were able to communicate with each other which made blind flying possible, when necessary. The towing speed of the DFS-230 was approximately 116 mph. It dropped its landing gear as soon as it was safely in the air, and landed by means of a landing skid. The DFS-230 could be towed by a Junkers Ju 52 (which could tow two with difficulty), Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 87, Henschel Hs 126, Messerschmitt Me 110, or a Messerschmitt Me 109.
The DFS-230 had the highest glide ratio (8:1) of any World War II military glider other than the Soviet Antonov A-7. This was because it was thought that the glider had to be capable of a long approach during landing, so that it could be released a greater distance from the target so the sound of the towing aircraft did not alert the enemy.
It had been realized that glider operations were hazardous once the enemy’s ground defences had been alert, the DFS 230 providing an excellent target for small arms fire during its low, shallow landing approach. The DFS 230B was therefore fitted with an external parachute pack beneath the rear fuselage this chute being intended  for deployment in the event of a rapid, diving descent necessary to avoid ground fire.
Late production version was the DFS 230C-1 with nose braking rockets for pin-point landing. A single DFS 230 was converted to an auto-gyro by replacing the wings with the 3-bladed rotor from a Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 helicopter, mounted on a pylon above the fuselage. The undercarriage was revised to include long oleo shock absorbers with a wide track for stability. Towed behind a Junkers Ju52/3M during trials, it was found that the low towing speed and low approach speed made the combination more vulnerable to attack.
The DFS 230 played significant roles in the operations at Fort Eben-Emael, the Battle of Crete, and in the rescue of Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini. It was also used in North Africa. However, it was used chiefly in supplying encircled forces on the Eastern Front. Although production ceased in 1943, it was used right up to the end of the war, for instance, supplying Berlin and Breslau until May 1945.
In total more than 1.600 aircraft had been built (Ref.: 24).

Messerschmitt Me 323D-1 „Gigant“, 5./ TG 5, (Italeri Models)

TYPE: Military transport aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of five plus 130 troops or 10,000–12,000 kg payload

POWER PLANT: Six Gnome-Rhone 14N radial engines, rated at 1,164 hp; each

PERFORMANCE: 177 mph

COMMENT: The Messerschmitt Me 323 „Gigant“ (“Giant”) was a German military transport aircraft of World War II. It was a powered variant of the Messerschmitt Me 321 military glider and was the largest land-based transport aircraft to fly during the war. In total, 213 were made, with 15 being converted from the Me 321
The Me 323 was the result of a 1940 German requirement for a large assault glider in preparation for Operation Seelöwe (Operation Sea Lion), the projected invasion of Great Britain. The DFS 230 light glider developed by Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für Segelflug, (German Research Institute for Sailplanes)  had already proven its worth in the Battle of Fort Eben-Emael in Belgium, the first ever assault by gliderborne troops, and would later be used successfully in the invasion of Crete in 1941.
However, in order to mount an invasion across the English Channel, the Germans would need to be able to airlift vehicles and other heavy equipment as part of an initial assault wave. Although Operation Sea Lion was cancelled, the requirement for a heavy air transport capability still existed, with the focus shifting to the forthcoming Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.
On 18 October 1940, Junkers and Messerschmitt were given just 14 days to submit a proposal for a large transport glider. The emphasis was still very much on the assault role; the ambitious requirement was to be able to carry either an 88 mm gun and its half-track tractor, or a Panzer IV medium tank. The Junkers Ju 322 Mammut (Mammouth) reached prototype form, but was eventually scrapped due to difficulties in procuring the necessary high-grade timber for its all-wood construction, and as was discovered during the Mammuts only test flight, an unacceptably high degree of instability inherent in the design. The proposed Messerschmitt aircraft was originally designated Me 261w—partly borrowing the designation of the long-range Messerschmitt Me 261, then changed to Messerschmitt Me 263 later reused for Messerschmitt’s improved rocket fighter design, and eventually became the Me 321. Although the Me 321 saw considerable service on the Eastern Front as a transport, it was never used for its intended role as an assault glider.
Early in 1941, as a result of feedback from Transport Command pilots in Russia, the decision was taken to produce a motorized variant of the Me 321, to be designated Me 323. French Gnome-Rhone GR14N radial engines, rated at 1,164 hp, for take-off as used in the Bloch MB 175 aircraft were chosen for use. This would reduce the burden on Germany’s strained industry.
Initial tests were conducted with four Gnome engines attached to a strengthened Me 321 wing, giving modest speed of 130 mph – 50 mph slower than the Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft. A fixed undercarriage was fitted, with four small wheels in a bogie at the front of the aircraft and six larger wheels in two lines of three at each side of the fuselage, partly covered by an aerodynamic fairing. The rear wheels were fitted with pneumatic brakes that could stop the aircraft within 660 ft.
The four-engined Me 323C was considered a stepping-stone to the six-engined D series. It still required the five-engined Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling (Twin) or the highly dangerous „vic-style“ Troika-Schlepp formation of three Messerschmitt Me 110 heavy fighters and underwing-mounted Walter HWK 109-500 Starthilfe rocket-assist take-off units to get airborne when fully loaded, but it could return to base under its own power when empty. This was little better than the Me 321, so the V2 prototype became the first to have six engines and flew for the first time in early 1942, becoming the prototype for the D-series aircraft.
To reduce torque, the aircraft was fitted with three counterclockwise rotation engines on the port wing and three clockwise rotation engines on the starboard wing, as seen looking forward from behind each engine – resulting in the propellers rotating “away” from each other at the tops of their arcs.
Like the Me 321, the Me 323 had massive, semicantilever, high-mounted wings, which were braced from the fuselage out to the middle of the wing. To reduce weight and save aluminium, much of the wing was made of plywood and fabric, while the fuselage was of metal-tube construction with wooden spars and covered with doped fabric, with heavy bracing in the floor to support the payload.
The “D” series had a crew of five – two pilots, two flöight engineers, and a radio operator. Two gunners could also be carried. The flight engineers occupied two small cabins, one in each wing between the inboard and centre engines. The engineers were intended to monitor engine synchronisation and allow the pilot to fly without worrying about engine status, although the pilot could override the engineers’ decisions on engine and propeller control.
Maximum payload was around 12 tonnes, although at that weight, the Walter HWK 109-500 Starthilfe rocket-assisted take-off units used on the Me 321 were required for take-off. These were mounted beneath the wings outboard of the engines, with the wings having underside fittings to take up to four units. The cargo hold was 36 ft long, 10 f) wide and 11 ft high. Typical loads were one 15 cm sFH 18 heavy field howitzer (5.5 ton) accompanied by its Sd kfz 7 half-track artillery tractor vehicle (11 ton), two 4 ton trucks, 8,700 loaves of bread, an 88 mm Flak gun and accessories, 52 drums of fuel (45 US gal), 130 men, or 60 stretchers.
Some Me 321s were converted to Me 323s, but most were built as six-engined aircraft from the beginning. Early models were fitted with wooden, two-blade propellers, while later versions had metal, three-blade, variable-pitch versions.
The Me 323 had a maximum speed of only 136 mph at sea level. It was armed with five 13 mm MG 131 machine guns firing from a dorsal position behind the wings and from the fuselage. They were manned by the extra gunners, radio operator, and engineers.
By September 1942, Me 323s were being delivered for use in the Tunisian campaign. They entered service in the Mediterranean theatre in November 1942. High losses among Axis shipping required a huge airlift of equipment across the Mediterranean to keep Rommel’s Afrika Korps supplied.
A total of 198 Me 323s were built before production ceased in April 1944. Several production versions were built, beginning with the Me 323D-1. Later D- and E- versions differed in the choice of power plant and in defensive armament, with improvements in structural strength, total cargo load, and fuel capacity also being implemented. Nonetheless, the Me 323 remained underpowered. A proposal to install six BMW 801 radials did not occur. The Me 323 was also a short-range aircraft, with a typical range (loaded) of 620–750 mi. Despite this, the limited numbers of Me 323s in service were an asset to the Germans, and saw extensive use .
The aircraft shown here belonged to 5./ TG 5 (5th Gruppe/ Transportgeschwader 5, 5th Sqn,/Transport Group 5) (Ref.: 24).

Messerschmitt Me 321B-1 „Gigant“, (Giant), Italeri Models

TYPE: Cargo glider

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of three plus 200 equipped troops or 20,000 kg of cargo / military equipment

POWER PLANT: None

PERFORMANCE: Maximum tow speed 110 mph

COMMENT: The Messerschmitt Me 321 Gigant was a large German cargo glider developed and used during World War II. Intended to support large-scale invasions, the Me 321 had very limited use due to the low availability of suitable tug aircraft, high vulnerability whilst in flight, and its difficult ground handling, both at base and at destination landing sites. The Me 321 was developed, in stages, into the six-engined Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant, which removed some of the problems with ground handling, but vulnerability to ground fire and aerial attack remained a constant problem during operations of all variants.
During the preparations for a possible invasion of Britain during World War II (Operation Seelöwe, Operation Sea Lion) the Luftwaffe’s Transport Command saw an obvious need existed for a larger-capacity cargo- and troop-carrying aircraft than its mainstay, the Junkers Ju 52.
When the plans for Operation Sea Lion were shelved in December 1940, and planning began for the invasion of the USSR (Operation Barbarossa), the most cost-effective solution to the need for transport aircraft was found to be to use gliders. Accordingly, the Technical Bureau of the Luftwaffe issued a tender for rapid development of a Grossraumlastensegler (“large-capacity transport glider”) to the aircraft manufacturers Junkers and Messerschmitt. The specification called for the glider to be capable of carrying either an 88 mm gun plus its tractor, or a medium tank. The codename Projekt Warschau (Project Warsaw) was used, with Junkers being given the codename Warschau-Ost and Messerschmitt Warschau-Süd.
The Junkers design, the Ju 322 Mammut was unsuccessful, though, due to the company opting to use all-wood construction. Messerschmitt’s design for this transport glider consequently secured the contract for the company. Initially given the RLM designation Me 263, this designation number was later reused for the second-generation rocket fighter developed in 1945, the Messerschmitt Me 263. That number was “freed-up” when the number for this aircraft was switched to Me 321.
The Me 263 had a framework of steel tubing provided by the Mannesmann company, with wooden spars and a covering of doped fabric. This allowed for quick construction and easy repair when needed and also saved weight. The Me 263 was redesignated the Me 321 and was nicknamed Gigant (Giant) due to its huge size.
Its nose stood over 6 m high, and was made up of two clamshell doors, which could only be opened from the inside, when ramps would be used to allow vehicles to drive in or out. Compared to the Ju 52, the Me 321 offered a load area six times larger, around 100 m2, and could accommodate a gross cargo weighing up to 23 tons. The cargo space had been designed to replicate the load space of a standard German railway flatcar, allowing any cargo that could travel by rail to fit into an Me 321. Alternatively, if used as a passenger transport, 120-130 fully equipped troops could be accommodated.
The Me 321 was fitted with a jettisonable undercarriage comprising two Messerschmitt Me 109 mainwheels at the front and two Junkers Ju 90 main wheels at the rear and was intended to land on four extendable skids.
The first flight of theprototype Me 321 V1 took place on February 1941, towed into the air by a Ju 90. It carried 3 tons of ballast. Test pilot Baur reported that the controls were heavy and responses sluggish. They decided to enlarge the cockpit to accommodate a co-pilot and radio operator, and dual controls were fitted. Electric serve motors were also fitted to assist in moving the huge trailing edge flaps and further tests caused a braking parachute to also be added.
The test flights were plagued by take-off difficulties, since the Junkers Ju 90 was not powerful enough, and as an interim measure three Messerschmitt Me 110 heavy fighters were used, in a so-called Troikaschlepp, with the trio of twin-engined fighters taking off together in a V-formation. This was a highly dangerous manoeuvre and Ernst Udet asked Ernst Heinkel to come up with a better aerial towing method. Heinkel responded by creating the Heinkel He 111Z Zwilling (Twins), which combined two He 111 aircraft through the use of a new “center” wing section with a fifth engine added. Underwing-mount, liquid monopropellant Walter HWK 109-500 Starthilfe (rocket-assistet take-off) booster units were also used to assist take-off from rough fields.
The first Me 321 A-1 production aircraft entered service in May 1941, initially towed by Ju 90s and later by the He 111Z and the Troikaschlepp arrangement of three Me 110s. The triple Zerstörer arrangement was very dangerous in the event that one or more of the take-off booster rockets failed. One such failure did occur in 1941, which led to the collision of the tow planes and the deaths of all 129 occupants of the four aircraft. The later Me 321 B-1 variant had a crew of three and was armed with four 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns.
The Me 321 was less than successful on the Eastern Front for various reasons. As a glider, the Me 321 lacked the ability to make a second or third approach to a crowded landing strip, moving on the ground was impossible without specialized vehicles, and before the introduction of the He 111 Zwilling, the dangerous Troikaschlepp arrangement gave a one-way range of only 400 km which was insufficient for a safe operating zone.
In early 1942, the remaining Me 321s were withdrawn from service in Russia in anticipation of the planned Operation Herkules, the invasion of Malta, in which a fleet of the gliders hauled by He 111Zs was to be used. The plan was abandoned due to a lack of towing aircraft.
In 1943, Me 321s returned to Russia for use in a projected operation to relieve the besieged Stalingrad, but by the time they reached the front line, no suitable airfields remained and they were sent back to Germany.
Following the cancellation of the Stalingrad operation, the Me 321 gliders were mothballes, scrapped, or converted into the powered variant, the Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant with six 1,200 hp engines, the largest land-based cargo aircraft of World War II. A further proposed operation – in which the remaining Me 321s would have landed troops on Sicily – was also abandoned, due to a lack of suitable landing sites. Ultimately, 200 Me 321s were produced (Ref.: 24).

Focke-Wulf Ta 400, (Antares Models, Resin)

TYPE: Heavy bomber, Long-range reconnaissance aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of nine

POWER PLANT: Six BMW 801D radial engines, rated at 1,700 hp each plus two Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines, rated at 900 kp thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 450 mph (estimated)

COMMENT: The Focke-Wulf Ta 400 was a large six-engined heavy bomber design developed in Nazi Germany in 1943 by Focke Wulf Aircraft Company as a serious contender for the Amerika Bomber project. One of the first aircraft to be developed from components from multiple countries, it was also one of the most advanced Focke Wulf designs of World War II, though it never progressed beyond a wind tunnel model.
In response to the RLM guidelines of January 1942, Kurt Tank of the Focke-Wulf company designed the Ta 400 as a bomber and long-range reconnaissance aircraft, to be powered by six BMW 801D radial engines, to which two Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines were later added. Design work was begun in 1943, much of it being carried out by French technicians working for Focke-Wulf at the Arsenal de l’Aéronautique at Chatillon-sous-Bagneux near Paris, with contracts for design and construction of major components being awarded to German, French, and Italian companies in an attempt to speed the process and begin construction of prototypes as soon as possible.
The Ta 400 had a shoulder-mounted wing with 4° dihedral, with a long straight center section extending to the middle engine on each wing, and highly tapered outer wing panels. It had twin vertical stabilizers mounted at the tips of the tailplane. Like the American Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the Ta 400 was to have a pressurized crew compartment and tail turret, connected by pressurized tunnel, as well as multiple remote-controlled turrets. The crew was to be protected by a heavy defensive armament, including ten 20 mm MG 151 cannons; and the same Hecklafette quadmount tail-turret with two MG 131 machine guns, as the later model Heinkel He 177A series aircraft and Heinkel He 177B bombers would have used. Fuel supply was to have distributed across 32 fuel tanks. Another design feature was tricycle landing gear.
The maximum bomb load was to have been 24 t. With a gross weight of 80.27 tonnes, the Ta 400 with Daimler Benz DB 603 engines was estimated to have a range of 7,500 mi in the reconnaissance role, cruising at 202 mph. The two bomber versions would have 76.07 tonnes and 80.87 tonnes gross weights with estimated ranges of 2,800 mi and 6,600 mi respectively. The projected Jumo-powered aircraft would have had a maximum range of 8,700 mi for long range reconnaissance and 8,100 mi as a bomber.
As with the Heinkel He 277 competitor for the Amerikabomber contract, no prototype of the Ta 400 was ever built  It never progressed beyond a wind tunnel model, and performance, range and dimensions here are based solely on the designers’ estimates. The master aircraft designer Ernst Heinkel himself remarked in October 1943, while both designs were still being worked on, that he thought that only the Ta 400 could be a worthy competitor to his firm’s He 277, for the Amerika Bomber competition. The Ta 400 was essentially a backup design for the Messerschmitt Me 264. As the design required more materials and labor than the Me 264, the RLM became convinced that further development of the Ta 400 was a waste, and on October 1943 notified Focke-Wulf that the program would be terminated, but the minutes of a meeting in Italy between Tank and Italian aviation industrialists on April 1944 – just two days before the entire He 277 program was also cancelled – confirmed that work on the design was still ongoing and proposed the cooperation of Italian industry in the project (Ref.: 24).

Gotha Go 244B-1 (Italeri Models)

TYPE: Transport aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: One or two pilots, up to 23 troops or freight

POWER PLANT: Two Gnome-Rhone 14M-04/-05 radial engines, rated at 700 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 180 mph at 9,800 ft

COMMENT: The Gotha Go 244 was a transport aircraft used by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.
From an early design stage of the Gotha Go 242 transport glider, consideration was given tot he possibility of introducing a degree of „motorization“, either on a temporary or permanent basis, both to simplify the retrieval of empty gliders from forward airstrips and to provide a transport capable of operating out of fields too small for towplane-glider combinations. Numerous project studies were prepared, these ranging from the temporary application of a single engine which could be „bolted on“ after the Go 242 had performed its supply mission, enabeling the empty glider to return to its base under ist own power, to the permanent installation of one or more power plants to remove entirely the aircraft’s dependence on towplanes.
An early proposal for temporary „motorization“ of the glider envisaged the provision of an Argus As 10C air-cooled engine complete with oil tank, oil cooler and firewall as a „power egg“ which could be attached to the nose of the Go 242 by means of four bolts. The scheme envisaged the Go 242 being employed as an orthodox tranport glider for the supply mission. After landing and being unloaded, the glider was to have the As 10C „Power egg“ bolted to the nose of the fuselage and in this form it was expected to be capable of returninjg to base without assistance. This and several similar proposals failed to find approval with the RLM, but the projected installation of a pair of air-cooled radial engines in the 500 – 750 hp category on a permanent basis was accepted, and during early summer 1942 the Gotha Waggonfabrik adapted several Go 242B airframes to test various types of air-cooled radial engines as prototypes for the Go 244.
The first prototype, the Go 244 V1 was powered by two 660 hp BMW 132 radials, while the second prototype had  two 700 hp Gnome-Rhone 14Ms and the third two 750 hp Shwetsov M-25 A radial engines, with this model of Shvetsov OKB engine design being essentially a Soviet-built Wright Cyclone American-based nine-cylinder radial. Although only the third prototype offered adequate engine out performance, the Luftwaffe had large stocks of captured French Gnome engines, so this was chosen as the basis for the production conversion — usually fitted in counter-rotating pairs in production — although a few more aircraft were fitted with the BMW and Shvetsov engines.
The Go 244B series was the main production model, being based on the Go 242B with a wheeled tricycle undercarriage and with fuel and oil carried in the tailbooms. 133 aircraft were converted from Go 242 Bs, while a further 41 were built from new before production reverted to the glider Go 242.
The first examples of the Go 244 were delivered to operational units in Greece, based in Crete in March 1942. Some were also assigned to Transport Geschwader in North Africa and the Eastern Front but on the former front they proved vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire and were withdrawn, being replaced by Junkers Ju 52 or Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant aircraft.
The Go 244B was decidedly underpowered and was incapable of remaining airborne on one engine othe than empty conditions (Ref.: 7, 24).

Dornier Do 435 , Dragon Models, Parts scratch-built)

Type: Heavy all-weather fighter, Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and navigator/radar-operator

POWER PLANT: One Daimler-Benz DB 603G liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,874 hp plus one Junkers Jumo 004C turbojet engine, rated at 950 kp thrust

PERFORMANCE: Not available

COMMENT: The Dornier Do 435 was a heavy all-weather fighter  projected by the Dornier aircraft manufacturer for the German Luftwaffe during World War II. The design based on the twin-engine Do 335 „Pfeil“ (Arrow) heavy fighter, Luftwaffe‘s fastest piston-engined aircraft of World War II.
In May 1942, Dornier submitted a design Do P.231/1 for a twin-engine single-seat „Schnellbomber“-like high-speed bomber/intruder with a 1,000 kg bombload. The performance of this project was predicted to be better than other twin-engine designs due to its unique push-pull configuration and the lower aerodynamic drag of the in-line alignment of the two engines.The proposed front engine was a Daimler-Benz DB 605E and drove a puller-type propeller while the second DB 605E was located in the rear part of the fuselage and drove a pusher-propeller.
This project was selected as the winner after beating rival designs from Arado, Junkers, and Blohm & Voss. A development contract was awarded, by the RLM issuing the Dornier firm the airframe approval number 8-335, for what after many manfications would become known as the Dornier Do 335 „Pfeil“ (Arrow). In autumn 1942, Dornier was told that the Schnellbomber Do 335 was no longer required, and instead a multi-role fighter based on the same general layout would be accepted. This delayed the prototype delivery as it was modified for the new role.
The first prototype Do 335 V1 flew on 26 October 1943. However, several problems during the initial flight of the Do 335 would continue to plague the aircraft through most of its short history. On May 1944, the RLM ordered maximum priority to be given to Do 335 production. The first preproduction Do 335 (A-0s) were delivered in July 1944. But only approximately 22 preproduction aircraft were thought to have been completed and flown before the end of the war.
Early in 1943, while the first prototype of the Dornier Do 335 was under construction the Dornier design team dicussed the possibility to increase the performance of this new heavy twin-engine fighter. With the availability of the brand new incomming  turbojet engines the original Dornier project Do P. 231/1 was redesigned and had the company’s internal designation Do P.231/3.  The design was a single seat fighter aircraft with conventional empennage. The nose-mounted Daimler-Benz DB 603 piston engine remained unchanged while the rear DB 603 engine was replaced by a non specified turbojet engine. The piston engine would be used for normal flight and cruising and the turbojet added for high-speed flight.
On May 1943 Dornier submitted a further development, the single-seat  Do P.323/2. The DB 603 was replaced by a 1,874 hp DB 603G and a tail-mounted Junkers Jumo 004 delivering app. 900 kp thrust was provided. The two air intakes for the turbojet were lokated at both sides of the mid fuselage. The air-flow duct was later positioned on the rear back of the fuselage (project Do P.232/3). While the development made progress the RLM decided to convert the design to a night-/bad weather fighter. The air-ducts were relocated to the fuselage sides and a navigator/radar-operator was seated in between on the upper surface in a glass-covered cockpit. A FuG 220 “Lichtenstein SN-2” radar with “Hirschgeweih” (Stag’s Antlers) aerial array was provided. The airframe was designated Dornier Do 435 and was in summer 1944 in an advanced project stage. For modification as prototype the Dornier Do 335 V4 was envisaged. But in autumn 1944 the RLM decided to stop all further work on the project. Nevertheless, Allied intelligence reports from early May 1945 mention spotting a Do 435 at the Dornier factory airfield at Löwenthal (Ref.: 24).

Sack AS-6 V1 (Special Hobby Models)

TYPE: Experimental circular wing aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Argus As 10C-3 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 240 hp

PERFORMANCE: Na data available

COMMENT: The Sack AS-6 was a German prototype circular-winged aircraft built privately during the Second World War. It did not see production.
The aircraft was designed by Arthur Sack, a farm owner and amateur engineer from a little town near Leipzig. In his attempts to create a circular-winged aircraft he built five model aircraft, each with little success. He entered his fifth model, with a 1.25 meter diameter wing and 1.5 horsepower engine, in a 1939 competition for remotely controlled models with combustion engines. The models were to take off and land at the same point. None of the entries managed to do so. Sack’s model was unable to take off from the ground but flew when released by hand.
At the end of 1940 Sack started design of the AS-6, a full-sized, manned aircraft and successor to the earlier models. Its wing diameter was four times larger than the last model. He built it privately in a shed at his farm, using a wood construction. The Argus As 10 engine as well as the main landing gear from a Messerschmitt Me 109 was sponsored by ATG, a company at Leipzig, that assembled Junkers bomber aircraft. In 1944 the AS-6 prototype was finished and its design documents provisionally approved. Arthur Sack enlisted the help of the chief test pilot of ATG to test the aircraft. Approximately a dozen tests revealed multiple failings, especially in the undercarriage, and managed little more than a hop off the ground. The tests continued at an airbase in Brandis by a pilot in a Messerschmitt Me 163B unit based there. As the AS-6 did not appear on an inventory of seized items when US forces captured the airbase it is assumed that the plane was destroyed to prevent capture (Ref.: 24).

It is to note that the US Navy also planned to realize a disc-shaped Short Take-off/Landing (STOL) aircraft. In the late 1930s the Vought Company was working on an experimental twin engine, circular winged aircraft, the  V-173 Flying Pancake. After successful and promising flights the US Navy placed an order for two prototypes of a new carrier-based fighter aircraft, larger, heavier and more powerful than the V-177. Two prototypes oft he Chance Vought XF5U-1 Flying Flapjack were built made only ground runs and never lifted into the air. Due tot he end of WW II and with jet aircraft coming into service, the Navy finally canceled the project in 1947. Possibly a turbojet powered variant, the Vought Jet skimmer, was on the drawing board. Exact data are not available.

Arado Ar 240A-2, JG 5 Eismeergeschwader, (Revell Models)

TYPE: Heavy fighter

ACCOMMODATION: Crew ot two

POWER PLANT: Two Daimler-Benz DB 601E liquid-cooled  engines, rated at 1,175 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 385 mph

COMMENT: The Arado Ar 240 was a German twin-engine, multi-role heavy fighter aircraft, developed for the Luftwaffe during WW II by Ardo Flugzeugwerke. Its first flight was in 1940, but problems with the design hampered development, and it remained only marginally stable throughout the prototype phase. The project was eventually cancelled, with the existing airframes used for a variety of test purposes.
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, 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 (RLM, German Aviation Ministry 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 in the design and construction of pressurized cockpits, which dramatically lowered pilot fatigue for any flight above about 14,760 ft. 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, remotely-operated 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 lift-induced drag). 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. A Jumo 222-powered Junkers Ju 288 prototype with ducted spinners, of a similar type to that intended for the Ar 240.
The Daimler-Benz DB 601 inline engines were conventionally installed and equipped with three-blade, fully adjustable propellers. The radiators were somewhat unusual however, quite similar to those fitted to the Junkers Ju 88 which pioneered them – but much more closely resembling the intended installation of the radiators intended for the junkers Ju 288, when powered by its intended multibank Junkers Jumo 222 liquid-cooled 24-cylinder engines – for both types, consisting of an annular block located in front of each engine, but with the Ar 240 partially covering each of them with an oversized, ducted flow-through propeller spinner forward of each radiator unit, with air entering through a large hole in the front of the spinner and exiting out of the cowl flaps, as the Jumo 222-powered Ju 288 design was intended to have. As with the Jumo inline-powered versions of the Ju 88, this made the plane look as if it were mounting a radial engine, and the Ar 240, like later Jumo inline-powered fighter aircraft from the Focke-Wulf firm (the Fw 190D, 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 was not suitable for piercing for conventional dive brakes, so a “petal”-type brake was installed at the extreme rear of the fuselage — appearing much like what had been trialled with the Dornier Do 217 — which, unlike the Do 217’s vertically-opening “petals”, opened to the sides instead 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 them to be located in turrets in the unpressurized rear of the fuselage.
All of this added weight, and combined with the small wing, led to a very highwing loding of 330 kg/m2, compared to an average of about a 100 for a single-seat fighter.
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 took to the air on 25 June 1940, and immediately proved to have poor handling in all axes, also tending 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 landing gear legs to improve cooling at low speeds, when the gear would normally be opened. Ar 240 V2, first flew on 6 April 1941, and spent most of its life at the factory in an experimental role.
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 machine gun. Ar 240 V4 was the first to include an operational dive brake, and flew on 19 June 1941. Ar 240 V5 and the V6 followed in December and January, including the upgraded FA 13 system, using two 13 mm MG 131 machine gun in place of the MG 81Z for a considerable boost in firepower. Ar 240 V7 and V8 acted as prototypes for the planned Ar 240 B, which was to use two Daimler Benz DB 605As, while Ar 240 V9, V10, and V11, and V12 served as prototypes of the Ar 240 C.
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. A number of pre-production Ar 240As served on the northern part oft he Eastern Front overflying Soviet military positions. In grand total 14 Arado Ar 240 were built (Ref.: 24).

Messerschmitt Me 264 V1, (Special Hobby Models)

TYPE: Strategic bomber, long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of eight

POWER PLANT: Four Junkers Jumo 211J inline engines, rated at 1340 hp each or four BMW 801G radial engines, rated at 1,750 hp each.

PERFORMANCE: 339 mph at 36,000 kg at 20,015 ft

COMMENT: The Messerschmitt Me 264 was a long-range strategic bomber developed during World War II for the German Luftwaffe as its main strategic bomber. The design was later selected as Messerschmitt‘s competitor in the RLM (Reichsluftfahrt-ministerium, German Air Ministry) Amerikabomber programme, for a strategic bomber capable of attacking New York City from bases in France or the Azores.
Three prototypes were built but production was abandoned to allow Messerschmitt to concentrate on fighter production and the Junkers Ju 390 was selected in its place. Development continued as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft instead.
The origin of the Me 264 design came from Messerschmitt’s long-rangereconnaissance aircraft project, the P.1061, of the late 1930s. A variant on the P.1061 was the P.1062 of which three prototypes were built, with only two “engines” to the P.1061’s four, but they were, in fact, the more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 606 “power systems”, each comprising a pair of DB 601 inverted V-12 engines. These were also successfully used in the long-range Messerschmitt Me 261, itself originating as the Messerschmitt P.1064 design of 1937. The DB 606’s later use in the Heinkel He 177A‘s airframe design resulted in derision by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring as „welded-togehter engines in August 1942, due to badly designed engine installations. In early 1941, six P.1061 prototypes were ordered from Messerschmitt, under the designation Messerschmitt Me 264. This was later reduced to three prototypes.
The progress of these projects was initially slow, but after Germany had declared war on the United States four days after the Pearl Harbor attack by Imperial Japan, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium started the more serious Amerikabomberprogramme in the spring of 1942 for a very long range bomber, with the result that a larger, six-engine aircraft with a greater bomb load was called for. Proposals were put forward for the Junkers Ju 390, the Focke-Wulff Ta 400, a redesign of the unfinalized and unbuilt Heinkel He 277 design, and a design study for an extended-wingspan six-engine Messerschmitt Me 264B. The need for six engines was prompted by the ongoing inability of Germany’s aviation powerplant designers to create combat-reliable powerplants of 2,000 PS and above power output levels, thwarting efforts to do the same with just four engines instead. As the similarly six-engined Junkers Ju 390 could use components already in use for the Junkers Ju 290 this design was chosen.
The Me 264 was not abandoned, however, as the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) separately demanded a long-range maritime patrol and attack aircraft to replace the converted Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor in this role. As a result, the two pending prototypes were ordered to be completed as development prototypes for the Me 264A ultra long-range reconnaissance aircraft.
The Me 264 was an all-metal, high-wing, four-engine heavy bomber of classic construction. The fuselage was round in cross-section and had a cabin in a glazed nose, comprising a “stepless cockpit” with no separate windscreen section for the pilots, which was common for most later German bomber designs. A strikingly similar design was used for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, of slightly earlier origin. The wing had a slightly swept leading edge and a straight trailing edge. The empennage had double tail fins. The undercarriage was a retractable tricycle gear with large-diameter wheels on the wing-mounted main gear. . In order to provide comfort on the proposed long-range missions, the Me 264 featured bunk beds and a small galley complete with hot plates.
The Me 264’s first prototype was originally fitted with four Junkers Jumo inverted V12 engines using the then-new Kraftei (or “power egg”) unitized powerplant installation as standardized for the earlier Junkers Ju 88A Schnellbomber, but inadequate power from the Jumo 211 engines led to their replacement on the Me 264 V1 first prototype with four similarly unitized 1,700 hp BMW 801G engines. The first prototype, the Me 264 V1, bearing the Stammkennzeichen factory code of RE+EN, was flown on 23 December 1942. It was powered at first by four Junkers Jumo 211J inline engines of 1,340 hp each. In late 1943, these were changed to the BMW 801G radial engines which delivered 1,750 hp each.
Trials showed numerous minor faults and handling was found to be difficult. One of the drawbacks was the very high wing loading of the Me 264 in fully loaded conditions at some 356 kg/m2. Comparable aircraft, such as the Boeing B-29 Superfortress with a wing loading of 337 kg/m2, the redesigned Heinkell He 277 at 334.6 kg/m2 and the Junkers Ju 390 at 209 kg/m2 had lower wing loadings. The relatively high wing loading caused poor climb performance, loss of manoeuvrability, stability and high take-off and landing speeds. The first prototype was not fitted with weapons or armour but the following two prototypes, the Me 264 V2 and V3 had armour for the engines, crew and gun positions. The Me 264 V2 was built without defensive armament and vital equipment and the Me 264 V3 was to be armed and have the same armour.
In 1943, the Kriegsmarine withdrew their interest in the Me 264 in favour of the Ju 290 and the planned Ju 390. The Luftwaffe indicated preference for the unbuilt Focke Wulf Ta 400 and the Heinkel 277 as Amerikabomber candidates in May 1943, based on their performance estimates. Further payments for development work to Messerschmitt AG for its design were stopped. Late in 1943, the second prototype, Me 264 V2, was destroyed in a bombing attack. On 18 July 1944, the first prototype, which had entered service with Transportstaffel 5, was damaged during an Allied bombing bombing raid and was not repaired. The third prototype, which was unfinished, was destroyed during the same raid. In October 1943, further Me 264 development was stopped to concentrate on the development and production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 turbojet fighter-bomber.
Following the cancellation of the competing He 277 in April 1944, on 23 September 1944, work on the Me 264 project was officially cancelled. Messerschmitt proposed a six-engine version of the Me 264, the Me 264/6m (or alternately Me 364), but it was never built (Ref.: 24).