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Arado Ar 232

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Old March 30th 17, 03:08 PM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
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Default Arado Ar 232


The Arado Ar 232 Tausendfüßler (German: "Millipede"), sometimes also called
Tatzelwurm, was one of the first truly modern cargo aircraft, designed and built
in small numbers by the German firm Arado Flugzeugwerke during World War II. The
design introduced, or brought together, almost all of the features now
considered to be "standard" in modern cargo transport aircraft designs,
including a box-like fuselage slung beneath a high wing; a rear loading ramp
(that had first appeared on the December 1939-flown Junkers Ju 90 V5 fifth
prototype four-engined transport via its Trapoklappe); a high-mounted twin tail
for easy access to the hold; and various features for operating from rough
fields. Although the Luftwaffe was interested in replacing or supplementing its
fleet of outdated Junkers Ju 52/3m transports, it had an abundance of types in
production at the time and did not purchase large numbers of the Ar 232.

The most noticeable feature of the Ar 232 was the landing gear. Normal
operations from prepared runways used a tricycle gear — a then-novel feature for
German military aircraft — but the sideways-retracting main gear's lever-action
lower oleo-strut suspended arm - carrying the main gear's wheel/tire unit at the
bottoms of the maingears' struts could "break", or kneel, after landing to place
the fuselage closer to the ground and thereby reduce the ramp angle. An
additional set of eleven smaller, non-retractable twinned wheels per side,
mounted along the ventral centreline of the fuselage from just behind the
semi-retractable nosewheel aftwards to just forward of the wing's trailing edge,
supported the aircraft once the main landing gear's lever-action lower arm had
"knelt", or could be used for additional support when landing on soft or rough
airfields. The aircraft was intended to be capable of taxiing at low speeds on
its row of small wheels, thus being able to negotiate small obstacles such as
ditches up to 1.5 m (5 ft) in width. The appearance of the row of small wheels
led to the nickname "millipede". In flight, the main legs fully retracted
inwards into the wings, while the fixed support wheels remained exposed and the
nose wheel only semi-retracted, with the nosewheel tire's lowest point while
retracted never going above the lowest point of the 22 auxiliary centre-line
wheels' tires.


Arado Flugzeugwerke

First flight
June 1941



Primary user

Number built

The first two prototypes, bearing the Stammkennzeichen alphabetic codes GH+GN
and VD+YA respectively, started trials in early 1941. The first flight resulted
in the collapse of the nose gear, but the twenty-two "millipede wheels" saved
the aircraft from damage. A further ten pre-production machines were built, and
were used operationally as the Ar 232A-0 while awaiting production versions. In
general, the Ar 232 completely outperformed the Ju 52/3m. It carried roughly
double the load over longer distances, operated from shorter runways and rougher
fields if need be, and cruised about 70 km/h (44 mph) faster.

The Ar 232B program ran at the same time. With four 895 kW (1,200 hp) Bramo
323s, each with a dry weight of some 550 kg (1,210 lb), power increased from
2,386 kW (3,200 hp) to 3,580 kW (4,800 hp), solving the A model's problem of
having little excess power in case of engine failure. This change also required
the wing to be extended slightly, the span increasing just over 3 m (9 ft 10 in)
in total. The extra weight of the engines also moved the center of gravity
forward, which was offset by extending the cargo area rearward another meter,
adding to the cargo capacity it could carry internally.

Two of the B-0s were captured by British forces at the end of the war. After
test flights by Eric "Winkle" Brown, who gave the design excellent marks, they
were used by the Royal Air Force on flights between England and Germany after
the war.

Specifications (Ar 232B)

General characteristics
Crew: 4
Length: 23.52 m (77 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 33.50 m (109 ft 10¾ in)
Height: 5.69 m (18 ft 8 in)
Wing area: 142.60 m² (1,535 ft²)
Empty weight: 12,780 kg (28,175 lb)
Useful load: 4500kg (9920lbs)
Max. takeoff weight: 21,150 kg (46,628 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × BMW Bramo 323R-2 Fafnir 9-cylinder radial engine, 895 kW (1,200
hp) each

Maximum speed: 308 km/h (191 mph) at 4,000 m (13,100 ft)
Cruise speed: 290 km/h (180 mph) at 2,000 m (6,560 ft)
Range: 1,062 km (660 mi)
Service ceiling: 6,900 m (22,640 ft)

takeoff in 200m possibleArmament

1 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine gun mounted in the nose
1 × 20 mm MG 151/20 autocannon mounted in an Elektrische Drehlafette EDL 151
dorsal turret
1-2 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine gun mounted in the rear position
8 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 34 machine guns mounted in side windows when
transporting infantry



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