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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Gotha Go 242 transport glider

Photos

  • Gotha Go 242 glider

 

Design

In 1940 the Luftwaffe published a specification for a glider. Designer Albert Kalkert created the Gotha Go 242.

The Go 242 had a double tail. The rear of the glider could be opened for easy loading and unloading.

Rockets were sometimes used to assist in takeoffs.

The Go 242 was primarily made of wood with plywood and fabric covering.

Prototype

Two Gotha Go 242 prototypes flew in early 1941.

Production

  • Prototypes: 2
  • Gotha Go 242: 1,528
    • Manufacturer: Gothaer Waggonfabrik A.G.

Variants

  • Go 242A: Production aircraft.
  • Go 242A-1: Had altered tail surfaces and booms.
  • Go 242A-2: Assault glider. Had hinged tail section.
  • Go 242B: Had a nose wheel.
  • Go 242B-1: Had fixed nosewheel.
  • Go 242B-2: Oleo landing gear.
  • Go 242B-3: Paratroop model.
  • Go 242B-4: Paratroop model.
  • Go 242B-5: Dual control trainer.
  • Go 242C-1: The hull was designed to be able to land on water. Was to be used in attack on British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
  • Go 244: Version with engines.

Usage

Germany and Romania used the Gotha Go 242.

The Go 242 was widely used by the Luftwaffe from 1942 to 1945. It was primarily used in the Balkans, Eastern Front, Sicily, and North Africa.

Specifications

  Gotha Go 242
Type Transport glider
Crew 2, 2 - 5
Passengers 21, 23
Engines None
Dimensions  
Span 79', 80' 4", 80' 4.5"
24 m, 24.5 m
Length 51' 10", 52' 6"
15.8 m, 16 m
Height 13' 11", 14' 4"
4.37 m
Weight  
Loaded 14,991 lb
Performance  
Speed 180 mph
Normal towing speed 130 mph
209 kph
Maximum towing speed 149 mph
240 kph
Armament 4: MG
4 or 6: 7.9 mm MG
  Gotha Go 242A-2
Weight  
Empty 7,055 lb
3,200 kg
Loaded 15,653 lb
7,100 kg

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site