Ar 234 Blitz

History The world's first jet bomber, Arado's Ar 234 was Germany's "other" wartime jet-powered aircraft, overshadowed by the Me 262, yet every bit as potentially important in its own way as the Messerschmitt fighter. The type originated out of planning circa 1940 for a turbojet reconnaissance aircraft - the only responding design for this requirement was Arado's E.370, a single-seater with a high mounted wing to which were fitted nacelles for a pair of Jumo 004s. Flight testing of the resulting Ar 234V1 started in June 1943; the early prototypes saved internal space for fuel by forsaking conventional landing gear in favor of taking off from a wheeled trolley, and landing on a skid.

Ar 234V6: Four BMW 003s in as many nacelles

Ar 234V8: Four 003s in two double nacelles

Ar 234B Shortly after the Ar 234 prototype had flown, the RLM instigated the development of a bomber version - the Ar 234B would have conventional landing gear at the expense of some fuel, and as an internal bomb bay was completely out of the question, a pair of 500lb bombs could be carried underwing, or a 1,000lb weapon could be accomodated on the centerline.

Ar 234B-2/Nachtigall A pair of bombers converted to two-seat night fighters, with the Neptun radar and a ventral pod with MG 151s. There were plans for thirty conversions, but thew two trial aircraft were unsuccessful, and the effort was cancelled.

Ar 234C Production aircraft based on the Ar 234V8; a few were on hand by the end of the fighting in Europe, but most of these had not been fitted with engines. This variant was also proposed as a mothership for Arado's E.381 parasite fighter, and as the upper portion of a Mistel, with the lower part being an E.377a glide bomb.

Ar 234C-1: Recce model with a pair of MG151 20mm; pressurized.

Ar 234C-2: Bomber model

Ar 234C-3: Forward-firing MG151s, revised cockpit design

Ar 234C-3N: Neptun V-equipped night fighter, with pairs of MG151 and MK108 cannon

Ar 234C-4: Recce model with 2xMG151

Ar 234C-5: Side by side crew positions

Ar 234C-7: Bremen-equipped night fighter with side by side seating

Ar 234D Proposal for a two-seat recce model powered by Heinkel HeS 011 engines. The D-2 would have been the equivalent bomber, while the Ar 234P would have been a night fighter variant.

Ar 234R Höhenaufklärer Proposal for a high altitude Ar 234 derivative intended to conduct reconnaissance misisons over England at altitudes of nearly 60,000 feet. This was to be accomplished by substituting a tail-mounted HWK 509C rocket motor for the Blitz's standard turbojets; the mission profile would have called for the Arado to be towed towards its target by an He 177 before being cast off and the rocket started. After a high altitude dash over enemy territory, the aircraft would glide back to its base.

Ar 234 Bibliography

David Mondey The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II ISBN 0-7858-1363-2 p.18: color profile of a KG 26 Ar 234B-2

Monte Cheney, Jr. "Blitz Bomber" Scale Modeler July 1971 building the Linberg 1/72 Ar 234 - includes three color profiles

Review: Ar 234P in 1/72 from Dragon Skymodel 9/06 p.62

Review of the Revell 1/48 Ar 234B-2/N kit Skymodel 16/08 p.62

Review: The Dragon 1/48 He 162/Me 262 Mistel and He 162D kits Skymodel 15/08 p.63

Walk around of the NASM's Ar 234B Model Airplane International October 2008 p.56-57

Yefim Gordon, Sergey Komissarov, Dmitry Komissarov German Aircraft in the Soviet Union and Russia p.201-204: Several photos of a Soviet Ar 234B-2, plus a color profile and a close-up of the aft part of a fire damaged nacelle.

Flugzeug Profile No.33: Arado Ar 234 Includes many structural drawings and cockpit photos

Warplanes of the Luftwaffe David Donald, editor includes a color profile of a KG76 Ar 234B-2.

Manfred Griehl Luftwaffe X-Planes: German Experimental and Prototype Planes of World War II p.31: photo of an Ar 234B cabin mockup.