Thursday, 27 February 2014

Arado 232 - Ebay photo find # 25



 Rare images of the Arado Ar 232 Tausendfüßler (or "Millipede") on offer here and here at the time of posting. Only a handful of these Transportflugzeuge were constructed. While the original specification called for the aircraft to be powered by two BMW 801 engines these were no longer available by 1941 and four of the less powerful Bramo 323 were selected instead for the 'B' variant. The main feature of the type was the distinctive tricycle undercarriage arrangement; this comprised 'kneeling' main oleos which placed the fuselage closer to the ground, serving to minimise the loading ramp angle via the rear fuselage clamshell doors and a row of small wheels under the fuselage for taxiing on soft or rough fields. During June 1944 test pilot Paul Bader (sic!) had demonstrated the aircraft to Milch and other high ranking Luftwaffe personalities, landing the aircraft on a 'test track' comprising ditches at least 1.5 metres in width and 'embankments' of sand and rubble at least 80 cms high. Note the 'flying dumbo' emblem of 7./Erg TG on the fuselage side just behind the cockpit in the image below..



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