Arado Ar 196


Arado Ar 196

Infobox Aircraft
name=Ar 196


caption=
type=Reconnaissance
manufacturer=Arado
designer=
first flight=May 1937
introduced=November, 1938
retired=
status=
primary user=Kriegsmarine
more users=Bulgarian Air Force
Finnish Air Force
Romanian Air Force
produced=1938-44
number built=541
program cost=
unit cost=
developed from=
variants with their own articles=
The Ar 196 was a shipboard reconnaissance aircraft built by the German firm Arado starting in 1936. The next year it was selected as the winner of a design contest, and became the standard aircraft of the Kriegsmarine throughout World War II.

Design and development

In 1933 the German Navy looked for a standardized shipboard reconnaissance aircraft. After a brief selection period the "Reichsluftfahrtministerium" (German Air Ministry, RLM) decided on the Heinkel He 60 biplane. This was one of a line of developments of a basic biplane frame that appeared as a number of floatplanes, trainers, and even the He 51 fighter. Deliveries started in a matter of months.

By 1935 it was clear that the He 60's performance was lacking, and the RLM asked Heinkel to design its replacement. The result was the He 114. Depending on how you looked at it you could call it a radical sesquiplane, or a parasol monoplane with stubby supports where a lower wing would have been. The first prototype was powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 600 engine, but it was clear even then that supplies of this engine would be limited, and the production versions turned to the BMW 132 radial engine instead.

The plane proved to have only slightly better performance than the He 60 it replaced, and its sea-handling was poor. Rushed modifications resulted in a series of nine prototypes in an attempt to solve some of the problems, but they didn't help much. The Navy gave up, and the planes were eventually sold off to Romania, Spain and Sweden.

In October 1936 the RLM asked for a He 114 replacement. The only stipulations were that it would use the BMW 132 engine, and they wanted prototypes in both twin-float and single-float configurations. Designs were received from Dornier, Gotha, Arado and Focke-Wulf. Heinkel declined to tender, thinking that the 114 could still be made to work.

With the exception of the Arado design, they were all conventional biplanes. That gave the Arado better performance than any of the others, and the RLM ordered four prototypes. The RLM was also rather conservative by nature, so they also ordered two of the Focke-Wulf Fw 62 design as a backup. It quickly became clear that the Arado would work effectively, and the Fw 62 was built only as the V1 and V2 prototypes.

The Ar 196 prototypes were all delivered in summer 1937, V1 (which flew in May) and V2 with twin-floats as A models, and V3 and V4 on a single float as B models. Both versions demonstrated excellent water handling, and there seemed to be little to decide one over the other. Since there was a possibility of the smaller outrigger floats on the B models 'digging in', the twin-float A model was ordered into production. A single additional prototype, V5, was produced in November 1938 to test final changes.

Ten A-0s were delivered in November and December 1938, with a single MG 15 machine gun in the rear seat for defense. Five similarly-equipped B-0s were also delivered to land-based squadrons. This was followed by twenty A-1 production models starting in June 1939, enough to equip the surface fleet.

Starting in November production switched to the heavier 'land based' A-2 model. It added shackles for two 50 kg bombs, two 20 mm MG FF cannons in the wings, and a 7.92 mm MG 17 in the cowling. The A-4 replaced it in December 1940, strengthening the airframe, adding another radio, and switching props to a VDM model. The apparently mis-numbered A-3 replaced the A-4, with additional strengthening of the airframe. The final production version was the A-5 from 1943, which changed radios and cockpit instruments, and switched the rear gun to the much-improved MG 81Z. In all versions, 541 Ar 196s (526 production models) were built before production ended in August 1944, about 100 of these from SNCA and Fokker plants.

The Ar 196C was a proposed aerodynamically refined version. The Ar 196C project was cancelled in 1941.

Operational history

The plane was loved by its pilots, who found it handled well both in the air and on the water. With the loss of the German surface fleet the A-1s were added to coastal squadrons, and continued to fly reconnaissance missions and submarine hunts into late 1944. Two notable operations were the capture of HMS "Seal", and the repeated interception of RAF Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley bombers. Although it was no match for a fighter, it was considerably better than its Allied counterparts, and generally considered the best of its class. Owing to its good handling on water, the Finnish Air Force utilized Ar 196 solely on transporting and supplying special forces patrols behind enemy lines, landing on small lakes in remote areas. Several fully equipped soldiers were carried in the fuselage.

Arado in Allied hands

The first Arado Ar 196 to fall into allied hands was an example belonging to the German cruiser "Admiral Hipper" captured in Lyngstad by a Norwegian Høver M.F. 11 seaplane of the Trøndelag naval district on 8 April 1940, at the dawn of the Norwegian Campaign. After being towed to Kristiansund by the torpedo boat HNoMS "Sild" it was used against its former owners, flying with Norwegian markings. [Sivertsen 1999: 105, 115-122] At 0330 hrs on April 18 the Arado was evacuated to the UK by a Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service pilot. The plane was shortly thereafter crashed by a British pilot while on transit to the Helensburgh naval air base for testing. [Sivertsen 1999: 122] At the end of the War, at least another Arado Ar 196 was left at a Norwegian airfield and kept in use as a liaison craft by the Royal Norwegian Air Force for a year on the West coast.

Operators

;flag|Bulgaria|1878
*Bulgarian Air Force;FIN
*Finnish Air Force;flag|Germany|Nazi
*Luftwaffe;flag|Norway
*Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service
*Royal Norwegian Air Force;flag|Romania
*Romanian Air Force

urvivors

;Ar 196 A-3:Aircraft operated by Bulgarian Air Force is displayed at the Museum of Aviation and the Air Force, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

;Ar 196 A-5:Aircraft formerly equipped the German cruiser "Prinz Eugen" is displayed at the National Air and Space Museum, USA.

;Ar 196 A-5:Aircraft formerly equipped the German cruiser "Prinz Eugen" is displayed at the National Museum of Naval Aviation, USA.

The Aircraft Historical Museum, Sola, Norway, has a fuselage frame that was raised from the wreck of the German cruiser "Blücher".

pecifications (Ar 196 A-2)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref= [Sharpe, Michael. "Biplanes, Triplanes, an Seaplanes", pg.41. London, England: Friedman/Fairfax Books, 2000. ISBN 1-58663-300-7.]
crew=Two (pilot and observer)
capacity=
length main=11.7 m
length alt=38 ft 6 in
span main=15.1 m
span alt=49 ft 6 in
height main=5 m
height alt=16 ft 5 in
area main=37.9 m²
area alt=408 ft²
airfoil=
empty weight main=2,980 kg
empty weight alt=6,580 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=3,720 kg
max takeoff weight alt=8,200 lb
more general=
engine (prop)=Bramo 323
type of prop=9-cylinder radial engine
number of props=1
power main=620 kW
power alt=830 hp
power original=
max speed main=311 km/h
max speed alt= 193 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main=1,080 km
range alt= 670 mi
ceiling main=7,010 m
ceiling alt=23,000 ft
climb rate main=300 m/s
climb rate alt=980 ft/min
loading main=98.2 kg/m²
loading alt=20.1 lb/ft²
thrust/weight=
power/mass main=167 W/kg
power/mass alt=0.101 hp/lb
more performance=
guns=
** 1 × 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 15 machine gun
** 1 × 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 17 machine gun
** 2 × 20 mm MG FF cannons
bombs=2 × 50 kg (110 lb) bombs
avionics=

ee also

aircontent
related=
similar aircraft=
* OS2U Kingfisher
* Aichi E13A
sequence=
*DFS 193 - DFS 194 - Ar 195 - Ar 196 - Ar 197 - Ar 198 - Ar 199
lists=
* List of World War II military aircraft of Germany
* List of military aircraft of Germany
* List of seaplanes and flying boats
see also=

References

Notes

Bibliography

* Dabrowski, Hans-Peter and Koos, Volker. "Arado Ar 196, Germany's Multi-Purpose Seaplane". Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1993. ISBN 0-88740-481-2.
* Ledwoch, Janusz. "Arado 196 (Militaria 53)" (in Polish). Warszawa, Poland: Wydawnictwo Militaria, 1997. ISBN 83-86209-87-9.
*

External links

* [http://german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/aviation/shipbased/ar196/index.html Arado Ar 196 - Info from German-navy.de]
* [http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/aradoar.htm Arado 196 - Info from the Smithsonian]


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