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Arado Ar 240

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In response to a Reich’s Ministry development order, the Arado 240 was conceived as an advanced multi role aircraft capable of reconnaissance, dive-bomber, night fighter and bomber destroyer roles. The project began in 1938 with features of cockpit pressurization, high wing flaps, a unique dive brake doubling as a tailcone and remotely controlled upper and lower rear gun barbettes. Despite years of development, this optimistically advanced aircraft was plagued with technical problems which eventually resulted in its cancellation in December 1942. Arado however continued with its development until late 1943, producing the V7 to V12 variants without success.

All the Arado 240s suffered from unacceptable flying characteristics with the enduring problem of flight instability. The Arado 240 V3 resulted in a major redesign and although the problem of flight instability was never entirely solved, several V3s entered operational trials with several reconnaissance missions flown over Great Britain. The reconnaissance version was designated as Arado 240A-0. Among the changes to the design was the deletion of the dive brake, inclusion of auxiliary fins at the rear and repositioning of the cockpit to the far forward section. As a reconnaissance aircraft, it also had a pair of Rb 50/30 cameras fitted under the rear of each engine.

The next succession or the V4 version saw the aircraft converted into a dive bomber role where it had its air brakes reinstated. The V5 and V6 versions entered service as Arado 240A-01 and 240A-02 but merely a handful had been built when the project was cancelled. Arado continued to privately develop until the V12 version but by late 1943, fundamental shortcomings of the aircraft finally saw the entire project scrapped.

Limited numbers of the Arado 240A-01 and A-02 served operationally as reconnaissance aircraft based out of Finland.


Arado Ar 240

Arado Ar 240 third prototype Germany's misguided Kampfzerstorer Arado Ar 240 Arado Ar 240 finish combat trials
The V3 version was a major redesign with revised aerodynamics. It however failed to solve the problem of flight instability. The original design incorporated remotely controlled gun barbettes aimed by a series of magnifying periscopes. These weapon systems were intended to provide anti-bomber capability. Several Arado 240s saw operational service in Finland with the Jagdgeschwader (JG) 5 where it carried out reconnaissance missions.

Arado Ar 240 (Technical Specification)
Role High-speed reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Arado
Maximum Speed 620 kmh (384 mph)
Maximum Range 2,000 km (1,240 miles)
Ceiling 10,500 meters (34,400 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

6,200 kg (13,640 lbs)
9,450 kg (20,790 lbs)
Wing Area

13.33 meters (43 ft 9 in)
12.80 meters (42 ft)
3.95 meters (12 ft 11 in)
31.30 square meters (337 sq ft)
Engines Two Daimler-Benz DB 601E 12-cylinder inverted in-line piston engines which provides 877-kW (1,176-hp)
Armament Two fixed forward-firing 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 17 machine-guns
Four 7.92 mm machine-guns in remotely controlled barbettes

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