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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Arado Ar 196 floatplane

Photos

  • Arado Ar 196 floatplane
  • Arado Ar 196A floatplane
  • Arado Ar 196A floatplane
  • Arado Ar 196A-2 floatplane
  • Arado Ar 196 floatplane

Design

The Arado Ar 196 was to be the Heinkel He 50 replacement as it was becoming obsolete.1,2,6 The Ar 196 was originally to be carrier based but since no carrier was built it did server aboard the larger ships in the German Navy.3,6 Kriegsmarine put out specifications in 1936 for a plane that could be catapulted from a carrier.3 Focke Wulf and Arado submitted designs.3 Focke Wulf's was a bi-plane.3 Four prototypes of the Arado Ar 196s were ordered.3

The Arado Ar 196's skeleton was of steel tubing.3,6 The rear of the fuselage was fabric covered with the rest being metal.3,6

Trials were being completed just as the war started.1

Wings

The wings had fabric covering the control surfaces with the rest being metal.3

Floats

Each float had seven water tight compartments holding fuel.3,5

Prototypes

Prototypes had a 2 blade propeller.1

The Ar 196V1 prototype first flew in May 1938.2

Production

It was built by Fokker and SNCA of Germany.1

  • Prototypes: 46, 52
    • Production: 19373
  • Preproduction: 102
  • Arado Ar 196A: 5262
    • Arado Ar 196A-1: 202
  • Arado Ar 196B: 5462
  • Arado Ar 196A-3:
    • Production: Spring 1941 - ?3
  • Arado Ar 196A-5:
    • Production: ? - August 19443
  • Total: 5936, >6003
    • Manufacturer: Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH3

Variants

  • Arado Ar 196V1: Prototype.2 Single central float.2
  • Arado Ar 196V2: Prototype.2 Single central float.2
  • Arado Ar 196V3: Prototype.2 Twin floats.2
  • Arado Ar 196V4: Prototype.2 Twin floats.2
  • Arado Ar 196V5: Prototype.2 Twin floats.2
  • Arado Ar 196A-0: Preproduction.2
  • Arado Ar 196A-1: Production version.2 Catapult attachments reenforced.3 Delivered in the summer of 1939.3
  • Arado Ar 196A-3: Two 20 mm cannons in wings and one 7.9 mm machine gun on the side of the fuselage.3
  • Arado Ar 196A-5: Two 20 mm cannons in wings, one 7.9 mm machine gun on the side of the fuselage, and one machine gun for the observer.3
  • Manufacturer: Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH3

Usage

The Ar 196s were also used in the English Channel for air-sea rescues.1

In 1940 two Ar 196s helped in the capture the HMS Seal submarine.1,2,3 The submarine had been damaged by a mine off the coast of Norway.1 Two Ar 196s based in Aalborg, Denmark attacked the submarine and prevented it from submerging.1 The Kriegsmarine then captured the submarine.1

Warships

The Admiral Graf Spee was the first warship supplied with the Ar 196.1,6 Eventually all capital ships and heavy cruisers had them.1

The battleships Bismark and Tirpitz had six Arado Ar 196s each.2 The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst each had four.2 Pocket battleships and light cruisers had two Ar 196s.2 Heavy cruisers had three Ar 196s onboard.2

Land Based

The Ar 196 was also used from land bases in the North Sea, Baltic, English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay starting in 1940.2,6

Many Uses

The Ar 196 was used for coastal patrolling, reconnaissance, anti-submarine, light bombing, and convoy escorting.2

Used in Which Countries

Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, and Romania all used the Ar 196.2

Specifications

  Arado Ar 196
Type Shipboard and coast patrol craft1, Floatplane1, Reconnaissance seaplane2,5
Crew 21,2,5
Engine (Type) BMW 123K1
BMW 132K2,5
Cylinders Radial 91,2,5
Cooling Air1,5
HP 9002, 9601
Propeller blades 31,2
Fuel Capacity 198 gallons5
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8"1, 40' 10"2, 40' 10.5"5
12.4 m1,5, 12.45 m2
Span - Wings Folded 15' 9"5
4.8 m5
Length 36' 1"1,2,5
11 m1,2,5
Height 14' 6"2,5, 14' 7"1
4.32 m2, 4.4 m5, 4.45 m1
Wing area 306 ft2 1,5
28.4 m2 1,5
Weight  
Empty 6,580 lb5, 6,592 lb1
2,990 kg1,5
Loaded 8,200 lb5, 8,223 lb1
3,730 kg1,5
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph1,5
310 kph1,5
Climb 980' per minute5
300 m per minute5
Service ceiling 23,000'1,5
7,000 m1, 7,020 m5
Range 665 miles1, 670 miles5
1,070 km1,5
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm1
2: MG FF cannons5
Upper Cowling 1: MG 175
Rear cockpit 1 or 2: 7.92 mm MG 151
2: MG 175
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb1
2: 50 kg1,5
  Arado Ar 196A
Type Reconnaissance4
Engine (Type) Brano Fafnir4
Cylinders Radial4
Cooling Air4
HP 9204
Dimensions  
Span 49' 6"4
Length 38' 6"4
Height 16' 5"4
Weight  
Loaded 8,200 lb4
Performance  
Speed 195 mph4
Range 670 miles4
Armament  
Wings 2: Cannon4
Upper cowling 2: MG4
Rear cockpit 1: MG4
  Arado Ar 196A-1
Type Reconnaissance3
Crew 23
Engine (Type) B.M.W. 132 K3
Cylinders Radial 93
Cooling Air3
HP 9603
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8"3
Length 36' 1"3
Height 14' 7"3
Weight  
Loaded 8,225 lb3
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph3
Service ceiling 22,960'3
Range 665 miles3
Armament  
Rear cockpit 1: MG3
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb3
  Arado Ar 196A-3
Type Ship and Coastal Floatplane6
Crew 26
Engine (Type) BMW 132K6
Cylinders Radial6
HP 9706
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8.2"6
12.4 m6
Length 36' 1.1"6
11 m6
Height 14' 7.2"6
4.45 m6
Wing area 304.62 sq ft6
28.3 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 5,148 lb6, 6,580 lb2
2,335 kg6, 2,985 kg2
Loaded 7,282 lb6, 8,223 lb2
3,303 kg6, 3,730 kg2
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph2,6
310 kph2,6
Cruising speed 166 mph2
267 kph2
Climb 1,358'/minute2
414 m/minute2
Climb to 9,845' /
3,000 m
8 minutes 42 seconds6
Service ceiling 22,965'2, 23,030'6
7,000 m2, 7,020 m6
Range 665 miles6, 670 miles2
1,070 km6, 1,078 km2
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm2,6
Upper cowling 1: 7.9 mm MG2, 7.92 mm MG6
Rear cockpit 1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG2
2: 7.92 mm MG6
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb2,6
2: 50 kg2,6

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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