The Arado Ar 234 Blitz

Germany
Germany

side view front view under view

The Arado Ar 234 Blitz was the first jet bomber ever to take to the skies. Originally the plane was meant to be used in an intelligence gathering role, reconnaissance. Its first operational flight was on July 20th 1944 (just after D-day), where it could gather information on the allied troops and installations with impunity due to it's high speed. In the winter of 1944 it was adapted for it's bombing role, but the high speed and the necessary shallow dive resulting from it made it hard to fulfil it's expectations in that area.

Near the end of the war a nightfighter unit was formed with the Blitz as well. It is unknown to me if they were successful or not in that role.

Versions:

Further pictures:

Pre-flight preparations of a Blitz
Pre-flight preparations of a Blitz

 

Technical data on the Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz
Powerplant 2 × Junkers Jumo 109-004B-1 Orkan turbojets, rated at 1984 lb st (8.83 kN) dry each Role during war
  • Medium Bomber
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft
Length 41 ft 5.5 inch Height 14 ft 1.25 inch
Empty weight 11460 lb Operational weight 18540 lb typical,
21715 lb max
Wing Span 46 ft 3.5 inch Wing Aspect ratio 7.54
Wing Area 284.17 sq ft Service ceiling 32810 ft
Maximum speed 416 mph at 19685 ft Cruising speed 336 mph at 13125 ft
Initial climb rate Climb to 19,685 ft in 12 min 48 sec with a weapon load of 1,102 lb Range 967 miles typical,
1013 miles max
Fuel capacity internal 835.9 Imp gal (1,003 US gal) Fuel capacity external Up to 132 Imp gal (158.5 US gal) in two underwing 66 Imp gal (79.25 US gal) drop tanks
Machine guns - Cannons 2 × 20 mm fixed rearward firing in the rear fuselage, 200 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 3,307 lb on three hardpoints, 1 under the fuselage rated 3,086 lb, 2 under the engine nacelles rated 551 lb each. The bombload could consist of almost any combination of 3,086 lb bomb, 2,205 lb bomb, 551 lb bombs, 1,102 lb bombs, 1,102 lb AB-500 clusters of 4.4lb anti personel bomblets, or 551 lb AB-250 clusters of 4.4 lb anti personel bomblets. Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 1 Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) June 8, 1944 Operational Service 20 July 1944 - 1945
Manufacturer Arado Flugzeugwerke G.m.b.H. Number produced 244 total, 230 this version
Metric system
Length 12.64 m Height 4.3 m
Empty weight 5198 kg Operational weight 8410 kg typical,
9850 kg max
Wing Span 14.11 m Wing Aspect ratio 7.54
Wing Area 26.4 m² Service ceiling 10000 m
Maximum speed 669 km/h at 6000 m Cruising speed 541 km/h at 4000 m
Initial climb rate Climb to 6000 m in 12 min 48 sec with a weapon load of 500 kg Range 1556 km typical,
1630 km max
Fuel capacity internal 3.800 liter Fuel capacity external Up to 600 liter in two underwing 300 liter drop tanks
Machine guns - Cannons 2 × 20 mm fixed rearward firing in the rear fuselage, 200 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 1500 kg on three hardpoints, 1 under the fuselage rated 1400 kg, 2 under the engine nacelles rated 250 kg each. The bombload could consist of almost any combination of 1400 kg bomb, 1000 kg bomb, 250 kg bombs, 500 kg bombs, 500 kg AB-500 clusters of 2 kg anti personel bomblets, or 250 kg AB-250 clusters of 2 kg anti personel bomblets. Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Arado Ar 234  Blitz
Arado Ar 234 V Versions A number of prototypes served to develop the Blitz
Number built: 17
Arado Ar 234B-0 Blitz First operational (pre-production) version of the Arado Ar 234 Blitz. Because of the urgent needs of Germany at the time these aircraft were rushed into service.
Number built: 20
Arado Ar 234B-1 Blitz Reconnaissance version, fitted with drop tanks
Number built: unknown
Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz Optimized for Bombing and reconnaissance/pathfinding tasks. For secifications see above.
There were a number of subversions:
  • Ar 234B-2b: reconnaissance model with 2 × Rb 50/30 or Rb 75/30 cameras, or with one Rb 75/30 and one Rb 20/30 camera
  • Ar 234B-2/1: Pathfinder version with the Lofte 7K bomb sight.
These two subvariants could be fitted with the Patin PDS three-axis autopilot, and/or droptanks, shown with the respective suffixes of "p" and/or "r"
Number built: 230 including B-1 versions
Arado Ar 234C-1 Blitz A variant that did not reach operational status yet was the Ar 234C, fitted with 4 × BMW 109-003A-1 Sturm turbojets, rated at 1,764 lb st (7.845 kN) dry each.
It was intenden not to increase it's speed, but to increase the bombload considerable. Two subversions existed, of which the C-1 was the first. The C-1 was to be equivalent to the B-1, save for the nuber and type of engines.
Number built: 14 Including C-2 models
Arado Ar 234C-3 Blitz The Arado Ar 234C-3 was a multi-role aircraft, fitted with 2 × 20mm MG 151/200 fixed forward firing cannons.
A number of models didn't make it amongst which:
  • Ar 234C-2: Equivalent to the Arado Ar 234B-2
  • Ar 234C-3N: a nightfighter with two seats, fitted with the FuG 218 Neptun V radar and armed with 2 × 30mm MK 108 cannons and 2 × 20 mm MG 151/200 cannons.
  • Ar 234C-4: Armed reconnaissance model.
  • Ar 234C-5: Bomber model with two seats side by side for the pilot and bombardier .
  • Ar 234C-6: Two-seat reconnaissance model.
  • Ar 234C-7: Night-fighter with two seats, and fitted with the FuG 245 Bremen radar
  • Ar 234C-8: Single-seat bomber with 2 × Jumo 109-004D turbojets, rated at 2,381 lb st (10.59 kN) dry each.

Number built: 14 Including C-1 models
Arado Ar 234D Blitz One projected version that was never worked on was the 234D, a bomber/reconnaissance model powered by 2 × heinkel-Hirth HeS 011A turbojets, rated at 2,866 lb st (12.75 kN) dry each.
Number built: none
Arado Ar 234P Blitz Another projected version that was never worked on was the 234P, a two-seat night-fighter, with a lengthened nose to accomodate a centrimetric aiir-to-air radar
Number built: none

Remarks:

Apparently a number of 4 engined prototypes were built as a possible successor, and a nightfighter squadron was formed which entered service in March 1945

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

 

© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 9/20/00