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 | edit source]
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 stumpy 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 | edit source]
- Ar 68V1
- Prototype, powered by a 492 kW (660 hp) BMW VI engine. First flight in 1933.
- Ar 68a
- First prototype.
- Ar 68b
- Second prototype.
- Ar 68c
- Third prototype.
- Ar 68d
- Fourth prototype.
- Ar 68 V4
- The fourth prototype (Ar 68d) re-designated after the RLM(Reichs Luftfahrtministerium) introduced the standardised Versuchs (research) number system.
- Ar 68e
- Fifth prototype.
- Ar 68 V5
- The fourth prototype (Ar 68e) re-designated after the RLM(Reichs Luftfahrtministerium) 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.
- Ar 68F
- Interim production, powered by a 500 kW (670 hp) BMW VI, awaiting supply of Jumo 210 engines.
- Ar 68G
- Abortive attempt to fit a supercharged BMW VI (500 kW+/670 hp+).
- Ar 68H
- Only a single prototype was built, powered by a 634 kW (850 hp) supercharged BMW 132Da nine-cylinder air-cooled radial. It was also the first Arado fighter to have an enclosed cockpit.
Operators[edit | edit source]
Specifications (Ar 68E-1)[edit | edit source]
Data from 
- Crew: 1
- Length: 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
- Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
- Height: 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)
- Empty weight: 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
- (Ar 68F-1 1,520 kg (3,351 lb))
- Gross weight: 2,020 kg (4,453 lb)
- (Ar 68F-1 1,950 kg (4,299 lb))
- Powerplant: 1 × Junkers Jumo 210Ea inverted V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 507 kW (680 hp) at sea level for 5 minutes, 500 kW (671 hp)) at 3,800 m (12,467 ft)
- (Ar 68a 1 x 478 kW (641 hp)) BMW VId V-12.)
- (Ar 68b 1 x 455 kW (610 hp)) Jumo 210A inverted V-12.)
- (Ar 68c 1 x 455 kW (610 hp)) Jumo 210A inverted V-12.)
- (Ar 68d 1 x 478 kW (641 hp)) BMW VId V-12.)
- (Ar 68e 1 x 507 kW (680 hp)) Jumo 210Da inverted V-12.)
- (Ar 68F-1 1 x 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).)
- (Ar 68H 1 x 634 kW (850 hp)) BMW 132Da 9-cyl. radial.)
- Propellers: 2-bladed wooden fixed pitch propeller
- Maximum speed: 306 km/h; 165 kn (190 mph) at sea level (Ar 68F-1 330 km/h (205 mph))
- 335 km/h (208 mph) at 2,650 m (8,694 ft) (Ar 68F-1 321 km/h (199 mph))
- 325 km/h (202 mph) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft) (Ar 68F-1 310 km/h (193 mph))
- 294.5 km/h (183 mph) at 6,000 m (19,685 ft) (Ar 68F-1 290 km/h (180 mph))
- Range: 499 km; 269 nmi (310 mi)
- Service ceiling: 8,100 m (26,575 ft)
- (Ar 68F-1 7,400 m (24,278 ft))
- Rate of climb: 12.6 m/s (2,480 ft/min)
- (Ar 68F-1 11.2 m/s (2,205 ft/min))
- Time to altitude: 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in 10 minutes
- (Ar 68F-1 1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 1.35 minutes, 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 10.2 minutes)
- Guns: 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns with 500 r.p.g. (rounds per gun)
- Bombs: Up to 6 10 kg (22 lb) SC 10 fragmentation bombs
See also[edit | edit source]
- Ar 64
- Blériot-SPAD S.510
- Fairey Fantôme
- Fiat CR.32
- Fiat CR.42
- Gloster Gladiator
- Grumman F3F
- Heinkel He 51
- Kawasaki Ki-10
- List of Interwar military aircraft
- List of World War II military aircraft of Germany
- List of military aircraft of Germany
- List of fighter aircraft
References[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arado Ar 68.|
- Green, William (1970). Warplanes of the Tthird Reich (1st ed.). New York: Doubleday & Company Inc.. pp. 28–31. ISBN 0 385 05782 2.
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