Blohm & Voss BV 144
|Profile drawing of the Bv 144|
|Manufacturer||Blohm & Voss|
|Primary user||French Air Force|
The Blohm & Voss BV 144 was an advanced twin-engined commercial airliner developed by Germany during World War II but intended for post-war service. It was unusual in having a variable-incidence wing. Two prototypes were built by Breguet in France.
The BV 144 was an all-metal cantilever monoplane of broadly conventional layout with a high wing and twin tail fins. It had a crew of three and was intended to carry 18 to 23 passengers.
A unique feature of the BV 144 was the variable-incidence wing. The wing mechanism had already been test flown on an Ha 140 floatplane. Combined on the BV 144 with a tricycle (nosewheel) landing gear, which was also still unusual in those days, it ensured the comfort of the passengers by maintaining a level fuselage during takeoff and also allowing the fuselage to sit low to the ground for ease of boarding. An electro-mechanical device rotated the wing by its main spar, up to 9°.
In 1940 the airline Deutsche Luft Hansa approached Blohm & Voss to design and build a twin-engined airliner, to be introduced after the war. Blohm & Voss developed the BV 144 to meet the requirement. At the time the war was going in Germany’s favour and planning for post-war services was reasonable.
B&V had no production capacity for peacetime projects, so Ernst Udet suggested that it could be built by the French company Breguet, based in Bordeaux, who at that time had no work on. Breguet's designers went to work in the B&V offices to complete the detail design work.
Two aircraft were completed near the end of the war, but by then Germany was in retreat and at least one machine was given French Air Force markings. It is said that for a while President Charles de Gaulle used one as his private aircraft.
Specifications (BV 144 V1)
- Crew: 3
- Capacity: 18-23
- Length: 21.8 m (71 ft 6 in)
- Wingspan: 27 m (88 ft 7 in)
- Height: 4.75 m (15 ft 7 in)
- Wing area: 88 m2 (950 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 7,900 kg (17,417 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 13,000 kg (28,660 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × BMW 801A 14-cyl. two-row air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,147 kW (1,538 hp) each for take-off at sea level
- Propellers: 3-bladed variable pitch
- Maximum speed: 470 km/h (292 mph; 254 kn)
- Range: 1,550 km (963 mi; 837 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 9,100 m (29,900 ft)
- Amtmann, Hans H. (1988). The Vanishing Paperclips. Boylston: Monogram. ISBN 0-914144-35-9.
- Gunston, Bill. (ed.) (1980). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Propeller Airliners. Phoebus. ISBN 0-7112-0062-9.
- Smith, J. Richard; Anthony L. Kay (1978). German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam. pp. 73–75. ISBN 0-370-00024-2.
- Wood, Tony; Gunston, Bill (1977). Hitler's Luftwaffe. London: Salamander. ISBN 0-86101-005-1.
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