Arado Ar 68

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Ar 68
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1990-021-20, Arado Ar 68.jpg
Role Biplane Fighter
Manufacturer Arado
Designer Walter Blume
First flight 1934
Introduction 1936
Retired 1940
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built 511

The Arado Ar 68 was a single-seat biplane fighter developed in the mid-1930s. It was among the first fighters produced when Germany abandoned the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles and began rearming.

Design and development[edit]

Designed to replace the Heinkel He 51, the Ar 68 proved to have admirable handling characteristics on its first flight in early 1934, despite Arado's inability to secure a sufficiently powerful engine for the prototype. Eventually, a Junkers Jumo 210 was installed and the Ar 68 went into production, though not before worries about the unforgiving nature of such a high-performance aircraft almost resulted in the cancellation of the project.

The Ar 68 entered service with the Luftwaffe in 1936 and one of the first units was stationed in East Prussia. Soon, the fighter was sent to fight in the Spanish Civil War, where it was outclassed by the Soviet Polikarpov I-16. Arado responded by upgrading the engine of the Ar 68E, which soon became the Luftwaffe's most widely used fighter in 1937-8, before being replaced by the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The last Ar 68s served as night fighters and fighter-trainers up to the winter of 1939-40.

Variants[edit]

Data from:[1]

Ar 68V1
Prototype, powered by a 492 kW (660 hp) BMW VI engine. First flight in 1934.
Ar 68a
First prototype. 1 x 478 kW (641 hp) BMW VId V-12.
Ar 68b
Second prototype. 1 x 455 kW (610 hp) Jumo 210A inverted V-12.
Ar 68c
Third prototype. 1 x 455 kW (610 hp) Jumo 210A inverted V-12.
Ar 68d
Fourth prototype. 1 x 478 kW (641 hp) BMW VId V-12.
Ar 68 V4
The fourth prototype (Ar 68d), redesignated after the RLM(Reichs Luftfahrtministerium) introduced the standardised Versuchs (research) number system.
Ar 68e
Fifth prototype. 1 x 507 kW (680 hp) Jumo 210Da inverted V-12.
Ar 68 V5
The fifth prototype (Ar 68e), redesignated after the RLM introduced the standardised Versuchs (research) number system.
Ar 68E
First type to enter Luftwaffe service, powered by a 455 kW (610 hp) Junkers Jumo 210, at sea level for 5 minutes, 500 kW (671 hp)) at 3,800 m (12,467 ft).
Ar 68F
Interim production, powered by a BMW VI 7.3Z; 559 kW (750 hp)) at sea level for 1 minute, 410 kW (550 hp)) at 1,000 m (3,281 ft), awaiting supply of Jumo 210 engines.
Ar 68G
Abortive attempt to fit a supercharged 500 kW (671 hp) BMW VI.
Ar 68H
Only a single prototype was built, powered by a 634 kW (850 hp)) BMW 132Da 9-cyl. supercharged air-cooled radial. It was also the first Arado fighter to have an enclosed cockpit.

Operators[edit]

 Germany
 Spain

Specifications (Ar 68F)[edit]

Data from Warplanes of the Third Reich.[1], Flugzeug-Typenbuch 1936[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
  • Upper wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Lower wingspan: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.1
  • Empty weight: 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,020 kg (4,453 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: main tank:200 l (53 US gal; 44 imp gal); oil tank:27 l (7.1 US gal; 5.9 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × BMW VI V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 541 kW (725 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed pitch propeller, 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 330 km/h (205 mph; 178 kn) at sea level
  • Landing Speed: 97 km/h (60 mph; 52 kn)
  • Range: 500 km (311 mi; 270 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 7,400 m (24,300 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 12.6 m/s (2,480 ft/min)
  • Time to altitude: 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in 16 minutes
  • Wing loading: 74 kg/m2 (15 lb/sq ft)

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 17 machine guns with 500 r.p.g. (rounds per gun)
  • Bombs: Up to 6x 10 kg (22 lb) SC 10 fragmentation bombs

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Green, William (1970). Warplanes of the Third Reich (1st ed.). New York: Doubleday & Company Inc. pp. 28–31. ISBN 0 385 05782 2. 
  2. ^ Schneider, Helmut (1936). Flugzeug-Typenbuch 1936 (pdf) (in German) (1936 ed.). Leipzig: Herm. Beyer Verlag. p. 10.