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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Arado Ar 232 transport
Nickname: "Centipede"

Photos

  • Arado Ar 232A-0 transport

Design

The Arado Ar 232 was intended to replace the Junkers Ju 52.

The Ar 232 V1 and Ar 232 V2 prototypes had two BMW 801 radial engines, the same as used in the Focke Wulf Fw 190. However, the Focke Wulf Fw 190 received priority for the engines. The Ar 232 V3 prototype had four BMW Bramo 323R engines installed.

To help land and take off on rough terrain, there were 11 pairs of wheels on independently sprung suspension legs. When not needed they were partially retracted and the tricycle main wheels were used.

Prototype

The first Ar 232 flew in the summer of 1941.

Production

  • Arado Ar 232B-0: 8
  • Arado Ar 232: ~20, 30
  • Arado Ar 432: Construction was of wood and metal.

Usage

The Ar 232B-08 (V11) operated in Norway with it's 11 pairs of wheels replaced by an 8 m long ski.

In 1944, four of the Ar 232B-0s and a Ar 232A were used on special missions over Russia. These were flown out of Finland and Norway. One of the aircraft crashed near Moscow on one of these missions.

After World War II

The Allies used the captured Ar 232s to transport personnel and captured aircraft back to the United Kingdom.

Specifications

  Arado Ar 232B-0
Type Transport
Engine (Type) 4: BMW Bramo 323R-2
Cooling Air
HP 1,200
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 109' 11"
Length 77' 2"
Height 18' 8"
Wing area 1,535 ft2
142.6 m2
Weight  
Empty 28,164 lb
12,802 kg
Loaded 46,595 lb
21,135 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 15,100' / 4,600 m 211 mph
340 kph
Service ceiling 26,250'
8,000 m
Range 660 miles
1,060 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG 131
Rounds 500
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm
Rear fuselage 1 or 2: 13 mm MG 131
  Arado Ar 232
Type Transport
Crew 2 - 5, 4
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,600 each
Dimensions  
Span 104'
Length 77'
Height 18' 6"
Weight  
Loaded 46,425 lb
Performance  
Speed @ 18,000' 210 mph
Service ceiling 22, 500'
Range 830 miles
Armament 2: MG
1: 20 mm
Nose 1: MG 131
Dorsal 1: MG 151/20
Rear 2: MG 121
  Arado Ar 232A
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
  Arado Ar 232B
Cargo 10,000 lb
4,540 kg
Engine (Type) 4: Bramo 323 R-2
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
Fuel Capacity 595 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 110'
33.5 m
Length 77' 2"
23.5 m
Height 18' 8"
5.7 m
Wing area 1,535 sq ft
143 sq m
Weight  
Loaded 46,600 lb
21,160 kg
Performance  
Speed at 15,100'
4,605 m
211 mph
338 kph
Cruising Speed at 6,560' /
2,000 m
180 mph
288 kph
Range 658 miles
1,053 km

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site