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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Blohm und Voss Bv 222 "Wiking" reconnaissance flying boat

Photos

  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222 flying boat
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222 flying boat
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222 flying boat

Design

The Bv 222 was designed to fulfill a 1936 / 1937 / 1938 Deutsche Lufthansa requirement for a cross Atlantic flying boat. It was also the largest flying boat used in World War II.

Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH) ordered three Bv 222s in September 1939 to be used as a 24 berth transatlantic liner.

Was initially powered by six BMW Bramo Fafnir 323 R radial engines.

To build a Bv 222 required 35,000 man hours.

The hull was a corrosion resistant alloy which was from 1/8" - 1/2" / 3 - 5 mm in thickness.

Wings

The wings were placed high in the fuselage.

Armament

Some BV-222s were outfitted with search radar and powered gun turrets for use in long-range reconnaissance in the Atlantic to work with the U-Boats.

There were gun blisters on each side of the fuselage and turrets in the nose and tail.

Prototype

The Bv 222V-1 prototype flew on September 7, 1940 but with the war, DLH no longer needed them. The first prototype flew its first cargo flight to Norway in July 1941 / July 10, 1941.

Production

  • Prototypes: 7
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222C: 4, 5
  • Total: 13
    • Manufacturer: Blohm und Voss Schiffswerft Abteilung Flugzeugbau
    • Production: ? - 1944
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 238: 2 prototypes

Variants

  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222V-1, Blohm und Voss Bv 222V-2, Blohm und Voss Bv 222V-3: Prototypes with machine guns in various positions.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222V-7: Flew in April 1943 with six Junkers Jumo 207C diesel engines.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222A: had 2 turrets in the outer wings armed with 20 mm guns.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222B: Was proposed to be a civilian transport. None built.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222C-09 to Blohm und Voss Bv 222 C-012: Pre production models. Appeared in early 1943.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 222C-013: Production model.
  • Blohm und Voss Bv 238:

Usage

The first three prototypes and five pre-production vehicles formed the Luft-Transportstaffel (See) 222.

In October 1943 a Bv 222 shot down a Lancaster over the Atlantic.

The Bv 222 was used for transportation in the Mediterranean and by the end of 1942 carried 1,377 tons of cargo, 17,000 troops, and 2,400 casualties. All seven Bv 222s carried a total of 3,496 tons of cargo, 37,500 troops, and 5,169 wounded in 1942 on all fronts.

It was found that the Bv 222 was rather vulnerable to attack after two were shot down and one damaged while in use in the Mediterranean. After this most flights were conducted at night. The flights were often escorted by two Me 110s.

France

The Bv 222s were then sent to France to be used as reconnaissance planes. They weren't very successful and were returned to being transports.

Survived

Seven survived the war and two (Bv 222 C-011 and Bv 222 C-013) were flown to the United States for evaluation. Bv 222 C-012 was captured by the British in Norway.

Specifications

  Blohm and Voss Bv 222
Type Transport flying boat, Reconnaissance flying boat
Crew 11
Passengers 110
Engine (Type) 6: BMW Bramo Fafnir 323R
6: BMW Bramo 323R
6: BMW
OR 6: Junkers Jumo diesel
6: Junkers Jumo 207C
Cylinders BMW: Radial, Radial 9
Junkers: Inline, 12
Cooling BMW: Liquid
HP BMW: 1,000 each
Junkers: 980 each
Dimensions  
Span 150', 150' 11", 157'
46 m, 48 m
Length 105', 112', 121' 4.5"
32 m, 37 m
Height 35' 9"
10.9 m
Weight  
Loaded 100,000 lb, 101,000 lb
45,900 kg
Performance  
Speed 200 mph, 210 mph
336 kph
Cruising Speed at 6,500' / 1,980 m 185 mph
296 kph
Service ceiling 26,000'
7,930 m
Maximum Endurance 19 - 20 hours
Armament  
Turret - Dorsal 1: 20 mm
Turret - Dorsal - Front 1: MG 131
Turret - Dorsal - Rear 1: MG 811
Turret - Nose 1: 13 mm MG 131
Wing turrets 1: 20 mm
Bow 1: 13 mm
Beam Positions 4: 7.92 mm MG
4: MG 81
  Blohm und Voss Bv 222A
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 11
Passengers  
Engine (Type) 6: BMW 323 R-2
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 1,000 each
Dimensions  
Span 150' 11"
Length 119 9"
Height 35' 9"
Weight  
Loaded 100,530 lb
Performance  
Speed 193 mph
Service ceiling 21,325'
Range 4,350 miles
Armament 3: MG
3: 20 mm
  Blohm and Voss Bv 222C
Type Reconnaissance flying boat, Transport
Crew 6
Pilots (2), flight engineers (2), navigator, radio operator
Engine (Type) 6: Junkers Jumo 207C inline diesel
HP 1,000 each
Dimensions  
Span 150' 11"
46 m
Length 121' 5"
37 m
Height 35' 9"
10.9 m
Wing area 2,745 ft2
255 m2
Weight  
Empty 67,570 lb, 67,572 lb
30,650 kg
Loaded 108,026 lb, 108,027 lb
49,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at 16,400' / 5,000 m 242 mph
389 kph, 390 kph
Cruising speed 214 mph
344 kph
Service ceiling 23,950'
7,300 m
Range 3,787 miles, 3,790 miles
6,095 km, 6,100 km
Maximum endurance 28 hours
Armament 1: 20 mm
3: 20 mm MG 151
5: 13 mm
5: 13 mm MG 131
Wing turrets 2: 20 mm
  Blohm and Voss Bv 222C-0
Type Long Range Reconnaissance, Transport
Crew 11 - 14
Armed Troops 92
Engine (Type) 6: Junkers Jumo 207C
Cylinders Inline 12
HP 1,000
Dimensions  
Span 150' 11"
46 m
Length 121' 4.67"
37 m
Height 35' 9"
10.9 m
Wing area 2,745 sq ft
255 sq m
Weight  
Empty 67,367 lb
30,680 kg
Loaded 108,026 lb
50,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 242 mph
390 kph
Climb 472' per minute
144 m per minute
Service ceiling 23,950'
7,300 m
Range 3,790 miles
6,100 km
Armament  
Bow 1: 0.51" / 13 mm
Turret - Dorsal - Front 1: 20 mm
Wings - Top 2: 20 mm
Cabin Windows 4: 0.51" / 13 mm
  Blohm and Voss Bv 238
Engine (Type) 6: Junkers Jumo 222
Dimensions  
Span 197'
60 m
Weight  
Loaded 198,000 lb
90,000 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
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