Category Archives: Fighterbomber


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

TYPE: Heavy fighter


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


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request for a much more capable second-generation heavy fighter to replace the Messerschmitt Bf 110, which was becoming outdated.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 Zerstörer-Projekt, Ausführung II, (Destroyer-project, Scheme II), (Unicraft Models, Resin)

TYPE: Destroyer, ground-attack aircraft


POWER PLANT: One turbojet-engine, type unknown

PERFORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: After the end of “WW II, when the Allied occupied Germany they found a huge amount of secret project documents. Among these were several unconventional designs from the Messerschmitt Company e. g. the so called “Animal Names” types. These were a single-turbojet  midget fighter “Libelle”  (Dragonfly) and two designs of the “Wespe I” and „Wespe II“ (Wasp) light fighters, a twin-engine fighter“ Me P.1079/18 „Schwalbe“(Swallow),  a bomber-transporter “Wildgans” (Brant) and two versions of a heavy ground-attacker “Zerstörer –  Projekt I” and „Zerstörer – Projekt II“ (Destroyer I and II).
As far as these latter are concerned these projects appear to consist of studies from the period 1941/42. But very unusual for Messerschmitt project drawings is that none of the dotted-outline turbojets matched  with the contures of any turbojets that were under development by BMW, Daimler-Benz, Heinkel-Hirth, Junkers and Porsche nor do the thrust figures quoted for them correpond to the known turbojet variants in production or development at that time.
An other confusing fact is that the Zerstörer ProjektII had the air intakes in the wing rootes and the sole turbojet engine was located in the rear fuselage. But additionally there were two openings on both sides the fuselage and the wings leading edges. This could be interpreted that the Zerstörer project II was powered by two turbojet engines.
On the other hand the high T-tailplane leads to the assumption of a later design period 1944/45. Focke-Wulf employed the T-taiplane for the first time in 1945 in the design of the Tank Ta 183. Messerschmitt, Heinkel and other aircraft manufacturers followed hastingly, as too little was known of the related flying characteristics of this type of tail surface. After the war the Allied quickly recognized its advantage and adopted this design feature.
Finally, a further factor indicating that the Zerstörer-designes were of later vintage is that both designes had a nosewheel tricycle undercarriage – a design feature that was first introduced in the Messerschmitt Me 262. Also, the rearward reclining seat and flush canopy blending into the fuselage nose contures  were not features of high-speed aircraft designes oft he 1941/42 period.
In conclusion and perhaps more likely is the fact that these designs are more after war fantasy than reality. So this comment is in contrast to the comment, given with the Messerschmitt Zerstörer-Projekt, Ausführung I, (Destroyer-project, Scheme I) on that website.

(Ref.: Herwig, Dieter and Heinz Rode: Luftwaffe Secret Projects, Ground Attack & Special Purpose Aircraft. Midland Publishing, Hinckley, LE10 3EY, England)

Messerschmitt Me P.1101/28 (Resin, Frank Modellbau)

TYPE: Fast bomber and destroyer

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two (Pilot and radiooperator/navigator)

POWER PLANT: Two Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1.300 kp thrust each


COMMENT: This project study of 11. April 1945 (Little note: less than four weeks before the total collaps of the “Third Reich”!!!!) for a two seat “Schnellbomber” (fast bomber) and “Zerstörer” (destroyer) constituted a further development of the Messerschmitt Me P.1099, Me P.1100 and Me P.1101 series of proposals of 1944 on the basis of the original in service Messerschmitt Me 262.
Whereas the basic fuselage, spacious cockpit and tail surfaces of the mentioned follow-up proposals were retained, the two Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojets were relocated into the wing root to which the new wings having a leading edge sweep of almost 40 degrees were attached. An interesting feature of the design was that the mainwheels were to retract inwards to rest vertically in the fuselage between the fore and aft fuel tanks. Exactly how this was to be accomplished with the turbojets in the way is not clear from the documents. Although the final form of the fuselage nose portion had not been decided, the end of the war brought an early end of the project (Ref.: 16).

Dornier Do 335B-2 (Dragon Models)

TYPE: Destoyer, Fighter-bomber


POWER PLANT: Two Daimler-Benz DB 603E-1 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 1,900 hp at 5,905 ft each

PERFORMANCE: 474 mph at 22,000 ft

COMMENT: The Dornier Do 335 „Pfeil“ (Arrow) was a German World-War II heavy fighter built by the Dornier company. The Pfeil’s performance was much 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. It was Germany’s fastest piston-engined aircraft of World War II. The Luftwaffe was desperate to get the design into operational use, but delays in engine deliveries meant that only a handful were delivered before the war ended.
The first 10 Do 335A-0s were delivered for testing in May 1944. By late this year, the Do 335A-1 was on the production line. It was similar to the A-0 but with the uprated DB 603E-1 engines of some 1,800 hp take-off power rating apiece and two underwing hardpoints for additional bombs, drop tanks or guns. It had a maximum speed of 474 mph at 21 300 ft with MW 50 boost, or 426 mph without boost, and climbed to 26, 250 ft in under 15 minutes. Even with one engine out, it reached about 350 mph.
With the worsening of war situation development emphasis in the „Pfeil“ programme switched from the A-series fighter-bomber to the more heavily armed B-series „Zerstörer“ (Destroyer), and during the winter 1944-45 the first Do 335B prototypes were completetd at Oberpfaffenhofen. The initial B-series „Zerstörer“ were essentially similar to the Do 335A-1 apart from armament and the deletion of internal weapon bay, its space being utilized by a supplement fuel tank. The Do 335 V13 had a 15-mm MG 151 cannon in the forward fuselage replaced by 20-mm MG 151s, and was intended to serve as a prototype fort he Do 335B-1, and the Do 335 V14 had this armament supplemented by two 30-mm MK 103 cannon mounted just inboard oft he main undercarriage attachment points, this being the prototype fort he Do 335B-2.
These were destined to be the only B-series prototypes actually completed and flown, although six additional aircraft were under construction at Oberpfaffenhofen when further development was terminated. These were the Do 335 V15 and V16, respectively the second prototype oft he B-1 and B-2 models, the Do 335 V17 which was intended  as a prototype oft he  B-6 two-seat night and bad weather fighter similar to the Do 335 A-6 but posessing the same armament as that oft he B-1; The Do 335 V18 which was to have been the second prototype fort he Do 335B-6, and the  Do 335 V19 and V20 which would have been respectively  prototypes  for the Do 335B-3 and B-7 powered by DB 603LA engines with two stage superchargers, the former being a single-seater similar to the B-2 and the latter being a two-seater similar tot he B-6 (Ref.: 7, 24).

Heinkel He 280 V6 (Huma Models)

TYPE: Fighter aircraft


POWER PLANT: Two Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojet engines, rated at 900 kp thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 508 mph at 19,685 ft

COMMENT: The Heinkel He 280 was the first turbojet-powered fighter aircraft in the world. It was inspired by Ernst Heinkel‘s’s emphasis on research into high-speed flight and built on the company’s experience with the Heinkel He 178 turbojet prototype. A combination of technical and political factors led to it being passed over in favor of the Messerschmitt Me 262 „Schwalbe“ (Swallow). Only nine were built and none reached operational status
The Heinkel company began the He 280 project on its own initiative after the Heinkel He 178 had been met with indifference from the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM, Reich Aviation Ministry).
Work on the project began under the Heinkel designation „Projekt 1065“ in late 1939 but in March, 1940, after receiving official support the designation Heinkel He 280 was applied. The design had a typical Heinkel fighter fuselage, elliptical wings and a dihedralled tailplane with twin fins and rudders. Power was provided by two Heinkel HeS 8 centrifugal turbojet engines and had a tricycle undercarriage landing gear with very little ground clearance. This arrangement was considered too frail for the grass or dirt airfields of the era; however, the tricycle layout eventually gained acceptance. The He 280 was equipped with a compressed-air powered ejection seat, the first aircraft to carry one and the first aircraft to successfully employ one in an emergency.
The first prototype was completed in the summer of 1940, but the Heinkel HeS 8 intended to power it was running into difficulties. On September 1940, while work on the engine continued, the first prototype started glide tests with ballasted pods hung in place of its engines. It was another six months before the second prototype flew under its own power, on March 1941. The aircraft was then demonstrated to Ernst Udet, head of RLM’s development wing, on April, 1941, but like its predecessor, it apparently failed to make an impression. One benefit of the He 280 which did impress the political leadership was the fact that the jet engines could burn kerosene, which requires much less expense and refining than the high-octane fuel used by piston-engine aircraft. However, government funding was lacking at the critical stage of initial development.
Over the next year, progress was slow due to the ongoing engine problems. A second engine design, the Heinkel HeS30 was also undergoing development, both as an interesting engine in its own right, as well as a potential replacement for the HeS 8. In the meantime, alternative powerplants were considered, including the Argus As 014 pulsejet that powered the Fieseler Fi 103 V-1 Flying bomb. It was proposed that up to eight be used.
Engine problems continued to plague the project. In 1942, the RLM had ordered Heinkel to abandon the HeS 8 and HeS 30 to focus all development on a follow-on engine, the Heinkel/Hirth HeS 011, a more advanced and problematic design. But because the HeS 011 was not expected for some time, Heinkel selected the rival BMW 003. However, this engine also had problems and delays. The second He 280 prototype was re-engined with Junkers Jumo 004  The Jumo 004 engines were much larger and heavier than the HeS 8 that the plane had been designed for, and while it flew well enough on its first powered flights from March 1943, it was clear that this engine was unsuitable. The aircraft was slower and generally less efficient than the Messerschmitt Me 262.
Meanwhile, the He 280 V4 and V5 had been completed, the latter with Heinkel-Hirth 001 turbojets and the former with BMW 003A-0 turbojets. The He 280 V5 was considered by Heinkel tob e representative of he proposed He 280A-1 production standart. Ist claimed peformance include a maimum speed of 509 mph at 19,685 ft at normal loaded weight. The Heinkel He 280 V6 was completed with Junkers Jumo 004 engines and full armament from the onset. Amarment consisted of three 20 mm MG 151 cannon in the fuselage nose and one 500 kg or two 250 kg bombs. The He 280 V6 was tested at Rechlin, and in early 1943, Heinkel tendered a proposal to the Technische Amt for the He 280B-1 fighter bomber with two Junkers Jumo 004 engines and an estimated maximum speed of 547 mph.
By this time, flight testing of the Messerschmitt Me 262 V4 suggested that the Messerschmitt fighter would have a performance advantage over the Heinkel He 280 when fitted with similar power plants, and particularly in so fas as range was concerned, this being a serious defect in the Heinkel fighter’s performance. Thus, on March 1943 the Technische Amt instructed Heinkel to abandon all further development of the He 280 as a fighter, permission being given to complete only the nine prototypes which were allocated to various test programmes (Ref.: 7, 24).

Messerschmitt Me 609 (Huma-Models)

TYPE: Fighter, Fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: Two Daimler-Benz DB 603 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 1,726 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 472 mph (estimated)

COMMENT: The Messerschmitt Me 609 was a short-lived WW II German project which joined two fuselages of the Messerschmitt Me 309 fighter prototype together to form a heavy fighter.
The project was initiated in response to a 1941 RLM (Reich Air Ministry) requirement for a new “Zerstörer” (destroyer, or heavy fighter) to replace the Messerschmitt Bf 110 in a minimum time and with a minimum of new parts The new design would use components from existing aircraft, thus not disrupting existing production. After the cancellation of the Messerschmitt Me 309 project in 1943, work was continued using it as a basis for other designs. One of these reworked designs was for the Me 509; another was for the 609, which was basically two Me 309 fuselages joined with a new center wing section. Messerschmitt was also working on and had completed a twin-fuselage Bf 109, known as the Me109Z, but the prototype was destroyed before flight testing.
Two Me 309 fuselages were to be joined with a constant chord center wing section, into which two inboard landing gears retracted. The outboard landing gears were resigned, two nose wheels retracted to the rear and rotating 90 degrees to lie flat beneath the engines. This resulted in an unusual four-wheel arrangement.  Power was to be supplied by two Daimler Benz 603 or 605 12 cylinder inverted V liquid -cooled engines. The pilot sat in a cockpit located in the port fuselage, with the starboard cockpit canopy being faired over.
Two versions were envisioned: a heavy fighter (“Zerstörer”) and a high-speed bomber (“Schnellbomber”, fast bomber). In the fighter version, two MK 108 30 mm cannon and two MK 103 30mm cannon were projected as the armament, with a provision for two additional MK 108 30mm cannon mounted beneath the center wing section or under the outer wing sections. In addition, either one SC 500 or two SC 250 bombs could be carried, also beneath the center wing section. The fast bomber version would have reduced armament, with only two MK 108 30mm cannon were to be installed. Extra fuel (1500 kg) could be carried in the faired over starboard cockpit, and the bomb load was to consist of two SC 1000 bombs which were carried beneath each fuselage.
Finally, a two seater night fighter variant was envisioned with FuG 220 “Lichtenstein SN-2” antennas mounted at the outer wings. The pilot sat in the port and the radar operator in the starboard fuselage.
Even though it was calculated that many components of the Me 309 could be used (fuselage, engines, equipment, 80% of the wings), by the time this design began to jell, the Messerschmitt Me 262 turbojet fighter was proving to be the plane of the future, and could take over all roles for which the Me 609 was designed. Thus, the Me 609 project was no longer pursued after 1944 (Ref.: 24).

Messerschmitt “Projekt Wespe II” (Project Wasp II), (Unicraft Models, Resin)

TYPE: Short-range fighter, fighter bomber


POWER PLANT: One Heinkel/Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engine, rated at 1,300 kp thrust

PERFORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: This late WW II Messerschmitt „Projekt Wespe” (Wasp) is mostly unknown, and information on it is incomplete. Two seperate fuselages were designed for the „Wespe”:
Design Messerschmitt „Projekt Wespe I” had the cockpit located midway along the fuselage, and the single turbojet engine was located at the rear and was fed by a long air duct. A long tapering single fin and rudder was chosen, with the tail planes located about halfway up.
Design Messerschmitt „Projekt Wespe II” had the cockpit located far forward on the fuselage, and the single He S 011 turbojet was mounted mid fuselage. It was fed by an air duct which wrapped under the forward fuselage, and exhausted below a tail boom with a V- Tail unit.
Both designs used a tricycle landing gear arrangement, with the main gear retracting inwards from the wing and the front gear retracting forwards. No armament was specified, but at this stage in the war two MK 108 30mm cannon would probably have been fitted. Priority for both designs was the use of non-strategic material as much as possible, reduction of time for maintenance and adequate flying characteristics (Ref.: 17).

Arado Ar 234B-2 “Blitz” (“Lightning”), (9/KG 76), (Dragon)

TYPE: Fast medium bomber


POWER PLANT: Two Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojet engines, rated at 900 kp each

PERFORMANCE: 461 mph at 20,000 ft

COMMENT: In late 1940, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM, Reich Air Ministry), offered a tender for a jet-powered high-speed reconnaissance aircraft with a range of 1,340 mi. Arado was the only company to respond, offering their E.370 project, a high-wing conventional-looking design with a Junkers Jumo 004 tubojet engine under each wing.
Arado estimated a maximum speed of 480 mph at 20,000 ft, an operating altitude of 36,000 ft and a range of 1,240 mi. The range was short of the RLM request, but they liked the design and ordered two prototypes as the Arado Ar 234. These were largely complete before the end of 1941, but the Jumo 004 engines were not ready, and would not be ready until February 1943. When they did arrive they were considered unreliable by Junkers for in-flight use and were cleared for static and taxi tests only. Flight-qualified engines were finally delivered, and the first prototype, the Ar 234 V1 made its first flight on July 1943 at Rheine Airfield.
By September 1943, four prototypes were flying and four more prototypes under construction. The sixth and eighth aircraft of the series were powered with four BMW 003 turbojet engines instead of two Jumo 004s, the sixth having four engines housed in individual nacelles and the eighth flown with two pairs of BMW 003s installed within “twinned” nacelles underneath either wing. These were the first four-engine jet aircraft to fly.
The projected weight for the aircraft was approximately 8 tonnes. To reduce the weight of the aircraft and maximize the internal fuel the eight prototype aircraft were fitted with the original arrangement of trolley-and-skid landing gear, intended for the planned operational, but never-produced Arado Ar 234A version.
Arado did not use the typical retractable landing gear. Instead, the aircraft was to take off from a jettisonable three-wheeled, tricycle gear-style trolley and land on three retractable skids, one under the central section of the fuselage, and one under each engine nacelle.
The RLM had already seen the promise of the design and in July 1943 had asked Arado to supply two prototypes of a “Schnellbomber” (“Fast bomber”) version as the Arado Ar 234B. Since the original skid-equipped Ar 234A’s fuselage design was very slender and filled with fuel tanks, there was no room for an internal bomb bay and the bombload had to be carried on external racks.
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 Ar 234B 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 nose gear retracting rearwards. The first twin-Jumo 004 powered prototype Ar 234B (V 7) flew on 10 March 1944 for the first time and made history on 2 August 1944 as the first jet aircraft ever to fly a reconnaissance mission.
Production B-series aircraft  were slightly wider at mid-fuselage to house the main landing gear, with a central fuel tank present (the middle one of a trio of fuel tanks) in the mid-fuselage location forward tank, central and an aft. Under tests with maximum bombload consisting of three SC 500 bomb, the Ar 234 V9 aircraft could reach 418 mph at 16,000 ft. This was still better than any bomber the Luftwaffe had at the time, and made it the only bomber with any hope of surviving the massive Allied air forces. The normal bombload consisted of two 500 kg bombs suspended from the engines or one large 1,000 kg bomb semi-recessed in the underside of the fuselage with maximum bombload being 1,500 kg. In case the full bomb load was to be deployed on an Ar 234B for an operational sortie, fuel had to be reduced and two Walter HWK 109-500A-1 “Starthilfe” (Take-off assistance) liquid fuel jettisonable JATO rocket pods delivering 500kp thrust each were fixed under each wing.
Production lines were already being set up, and 20 Arado Ar 234B-0 pre-production aircraft were delivered by the end of June 1943. Later production was slow, as the Arado plants were given the simultaneous tasks of producing aircraft from other bombed-out factories hit during the USAAF’s “Big Week”, and the ongoing license-building and nascent phasing-out of Heinkel’s heavy He 177A bomber, even as the Arado firm was intended to be the sole subcontractor for the Heinkel He 177B (He 277) series strategic bomber, meant to start construction at Arado as early as October 1944. Meanwhile, several of the Ar 234 prototypes – including a few of the surviving six twin-engine Jumo 004-powered “trolley-and-skids” Ar 234A-series prototypes – were sent forward in the reconnaissance role. In most cases, it appears they were never even detected, cruising at about 460 mph at over 29,900 ft, with the seventh prototype achieving the first-ever wartime reconnaissance mission over the United Kingdom by a Luftwaffe-used jet aircraft.
The few 234Bs entered service in autumn and impressed their pilots. They were fairly fast and completely aerobatic. The long takeoff runs led to several accidents; a search for a solution led to improved training as well as the use of two jettisonable RATO units. The Jumo 004 engines were always the real problem; they suffered constant flameouts and required overhaul or replacement after about 10 hours of operation.
The most notable use of the Arado Ar 234 in the bomber role was the attempt to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen. The aircraft continued to fight in a scattered fashion until Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945. Some were shot down in air combat, destroyed by flak, or “bounced” by Allied fighters during takeoff or on the landing approach, as was already happening to Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters. Mostly the remaining aircraft sat on the airfields awaiting fuel that never arrived.
Overall from mid-1944 until the end of the war a total of 210 aircraft were built. In February 1945, production was switched to the Arado Ar 234C variant. It was hoped that by November 1945 production would reach 500 per month. Only a few of this four engine aircraft were built before Germany finally collapsed (Ref.: 24).

Focke-Wulf Fw P.011- 44 (Fw 250), (Unicraft, Resin) with Henschel „Zitterrochen“ („Crampfish“), (R + V Models,, Resin)

TYPE: Long-range fighter, fighter bomber. Project


POWER PLANT: Two Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1.300 kp thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 663 mph at 26,250 ft (estimated)

COMMENT: This Focke-Wulf project was submitted by Professor Kurt Tank and his team in late 1944 for a twin-jet fighter which could be used as a fighter, fighter/bomber or long-range fighter, and was to be constructed in contrast to Tanks wooden Focke-Wulf Ta 154 entirely of metal. The RLM number of 250 was assigned to this project, which had previously been held by the land version of the huge Blohm & Voss Bv 238 flying boat.
The fuselage was wide, to accommodate the nose air intake for the twin Heinkel-Hirth He S 011 jet engines that were buried in the rear fuselage. The wings were swept back at 40 degrees, with the main landing gear retracting inboard into the wing. Mounted on a “boom”, the tail unit was set high in order keep it free from jet exhaust. A single pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit located near the nose. Armament consisted of four MK 108 30mm cannon or four MG 213 20mm cannon. Also, a droppable supplemental fuel container of 1000 kg could be carried by the long-ranged fighter variant as well as guided missiles.
Further testing and work would doubtless have been needed on this project, for example, the long air intake would have resulted in a loss of power, but this could have been overcome by using leading edge or wing root air intakes instead. Even though it would have been superior in climb and turning ability than the similar Messerschmitt “Hochgeschwindigkeitsjäger” (“High-speed fighter”) Me262 HG III, but the Focke-Wulf project would have been slower and would have a longer design-to-prototype time than the Me 262 HG III. All design work was ceased in order to concentrate on Focke-Wulf’s Ta 183 “Huckebein” single jet fighter. The information learned during this project’s design was later used in the Focke-Wulf Fw P.011-45 and Fw P.011-47 jet powered night and all-weather fighter projects.
The aircraft shown here is armed with two Henschel “Zitterrochen” (“Crampfish”) radio-controlled anti-ship missiles (Ref.: 17).

Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 (Antares Models, Resin)

TYPE: Fast medium bomber, heavy fighter. Project


POWER PLANT: Three Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1,200 kp each


COMMENT: During the summer of 1944, the Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 project was on the drawing board at the same time as the Me P.1101 projects were designed, e. g. Me P.1101/92, Me P.1101/99 and Me P.1101/101. Several of these projects were of variable-geometry wing designs, a configuration which was a novelty in aircraft designing at that time.
The Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 was developed as a fast bomber and heavy fighter.The variable-sweep wings were mounted in the center of the fuselage and could be swept between 15 and 50 degrees. For take-off and landing the wings were to be set at 20 degrees and for high speed flight the wings were to be set at the maximum of 50 degrees. The tail unit was of a normal configuration, with the tail planes swept back at 60 degrees.
Three jet engines powered the Me P.1102/105, two were located beneath the fuselage nose and one was located in the tail with an air intake on the top of the rear fuselage to feed this turbojet. Either three BMW 003 or Heinkel-Hirth He S 011 jet engines were to be employed. A single pilot sat in a cockpit located in the forward fuselage and three fuel tanks of 1200 liter capacity each were located behind the cockpit. The lower fuselage held an internal bomb bay and the tricycle landing gear.
The collapse of Germany ended work on this design. All Messerschmitt documentation relating to this projects series was seized by the US and was used in the development of several post-war aircraft. The Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 project’s unusual three-engine power plant arrangement, in particular, was employed on the Martin XB-51 high-speed attack-interceptor which first flew in mid-1949 (Ref.: 17).