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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. 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. Kriegsmarine put out specifications in 1936 for a plane that could be catapulted from a carrier. Focke Wulf and Arado submitted designs. Focke Wulf's was a bi-plane. Four prototypes of the Arado Ar 196s were ordered.

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

Trials were being completed just as the war started.

Wings

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

Floats

Each float had seven water tight compartments holding fuel.

Prototypes

Prototypes had a 2 blade propeller.

The Ar 196V1 prototype first flew in May 1938.

Production

It was built by Fokker and SNCA of Germany.

  • Prototypes: 4, 5
    • Production: 1937
  • Preproduction: 10
  • Arado Ar 196A: 526
    • Arado Ar 196A-1: 20
  • Arado Ar 196B: 546
  • Arado Ar 196A-3:
    • Production: Spring 1941 - ?
  • Arado Ar 196A-5:
    • Production: ? - August 1944
  • Total: 593, >600
    • Manufacturer: Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH

Variants

  • Arado Ar 196V1: Prototype. Single central float.
  • Arado Ar 196V2: Prototype. Single central float.
  • Arado Ar 196V3: Prototype. Twin floats.
  • Arado Ar 196V4: Prototype. Twin floats.
  • Arado Ar 196V5: Prototype. Twin floats.
  • Arado Ar 196A-0: Preproduction.
  • Arado Ar 196A-1: Production version. Catapult attachments reenforced. Delivered in the summer of 1939.
  • Arado Ar 196A-3: Two 20 mm cannons in wings and one 7.9 mm machine gun on the side of the fuselage.
  • 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.
  • Manufacturer: Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH

Usage

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

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

Warships

The Admiral Graf Spee was the first warship supplied with the Ar 196. Eventually all capital ships and heavy cruisers had them.

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

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.

Many Uses

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

Used in Which Countries

Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, and Romania all used the Ar 196.

Specifications

  Arado Ar 196
Type Shipboard and coast patrol craft, Floatplane, Reconnaissance seaplane
Crew 2
Engine (Type) BMW 123K
BMW 132K
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 900, 960
Propeller blades 3
Fuel Capacity 198 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8", 40' 10", 40' 10.5"
12.4 m, 12.45 m
Span - Wings Folded 15' 9"
4.8 m
Length 36' 1"
11 m
Height 14' 6", 14' 7"
4.32 m, 4.4 m, 4.45 m
Wing area 306 ft2
28.4 m2
Weight  
Empty 6,580 lb, 6,592 lb
2,990 kg
Loaded 8,200 lb, 8,223 lb
3,730 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph
310 kph
Climb 980' per minute
300 m per minute
Service ceiling 23,000'
7,000 m, 7,020 m
Range 665 miles, 670 miles
1,070 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
2: MG FF cannons
Upper Cowling 1: MG 17
Rear cockpit 1 or 2: 7.92 mm MG 15
2: MG 17
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb
2: 50 kg
  Arado Ar 196A
Type Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Brano Fafnir
Cylinders Radial
Cooling Air
HP 920
Dimensions  
Span 49' 6"
Length 38' 6"
Height 16' 5"
Weight  
Loaded 8,200 lb
Performance  
Speed 195 mph
Range 670 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: Cannon
Upper cowling 2: MG
Rear cockpit 1: MG
  Arado Ar 196A-1
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) B.M.W. 132 K
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 960
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8"
Length 36' 1"
Height 14' 7"
Weight  
Loaded 8,225 lb
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph
Service ceiling 22,960'
Range 665 miles
Armament  
Rear cockpit 1: MG
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb
  Arado Ar 196A-3
Type Ship and Coastal Floatplane
Crew 2
Engine (Type) BMW 132K
Cylinders Radial
HP 970
Dimensions  
Span 40' 8.2"
12.4 m
Length 36' 1.1"
11 m
Height 14' 7.2"
4.45 m
Wing area 304.62 sq ft
28.3 sq m
Weight  
Empty 5,148 lb, 6,580 lb
2,335 kg, 2,985 kg
Loaded 7,282 lb, 8,223 lb
3,303 kg, 3,730 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 13,120' /
4,000 m
193 mph
310 kph
Cruising speed 166 mph
267 kph
Climb 1,358'/minute
414 m/minute
Climb to 9,845' /
3,000 m
8 minutes 42 seconds
Service ceiling 22,965', 23,030'
7,000 m, 7,020 m
Range 665 miles, 670 miles
1,070 km, 1,078 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
Upper cowling 1: 7.9 mm MG, 7.92 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG
2: 7.92 mm MG
Bombs - under wing 2: 110 lb
2: 50 kg

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site