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Reconnaissance and patrol aircraft
© Michael Bykov
The Ar.196A-3 from 102-nd squadron of a flotilla of seaplanes of air force of Romania.
The Ar.196 two-float two-seat monoplane is considered the most widely and effectively used small float aircraft of the Second World War.
The prototype of the aircraft was tested in the summer of 1937 and demonstrated good flight characteristics and suitability for use on large warships. Starting in the summer of 1939, deliveries of the first serial modification Ar.196A-1 aircraft began, intended to replace the obsolete Heinkel He-50 float biplanes on ships.
The battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz received six such aircraft each, Scharnhorst and Gneisenar - four each, and the heavy cruisers housed two aircraft each. The planes took off from catapults and landed on the water.
Aircraft design. "Arado" 196 is a two-float seaplane, made according to the normal aerodynamic configuration with a low wing.
The wing - all-metal, two-spar, trapezoidal in plan with rounded tips - consisted of a center section and two folding consoles. On the wing were landing flaps and ailerons equipped with trim tabs. The change in the position of the center of mass of the aircraft was allowed in the range from 19 to 27% of the average aerodynamic chord.
Fuselage - circular section with duralumin sheathing in the middle part and oval section in the tail, sheathed with canvas. The two-seater cockpit was closed by a common movable canopy. A radio station was installed in the observer's cockpit, which provided stable radio communication in short-wave and long-wave ranges at a distance of up to 600 km. In the aft fuselage, a special rubber boat was located in a packed form.
The tail unit is single-finned, free-carrying. The stabilizer and keel were all-metal, the elevators and rudders had a metal frame and linen sheathing. The elevator is made one-piece in the form of one plane with rounded tips. The steering wheels were equipped with aerodynamic and weight balancing. Both rudders had one trim tab.
All-metal single-run floats with water rudders were attached to the wing using steel tube V-struts. In the central part of the floats, in front of the redan, there were 300-liter detachable metal fuel tanks and smoke generators for setting up a smoke screen. To move the aircraft from the slip to the hangar, tricycle trolleys were used, which were attached to the floats in the redan area.
The aircraft was originally equipped with a single-row, radial nine-cylinder air-cooled engine BMW-132K with a single-speed supercharger. Nominal engine power at 3000 m at 2400 rpm - 960 HP with. Takeoff power at sea level at 2500 rpm - 1000 hp with. This modification of the aircraft used a three-bladed propeller with variable pitch VDM in flight with wooden blades. NACA engine hoods.
The fuel system included three tanks (one fuselage and two float ones) and connecting fittings. The total fuel supply is 670 kg. The small arms armament consisted of two 20-mm MG FF cannons in the wing consoles and one 7.92 mm MG 17 synchronous machine gun on the right in the forward fuselage. A 7.92-mm MG 15 machine gun was located in the observer's cockpit on the "K" type machine gun mount. A characteristic feature of this mount was its simplicity and compactness. It did not clutter up the observer's cabin at all and at the same time provided significant angles of fire: up and down by about 70 ° and to the sides up to 90 ° from the aircraft axis.
The bomb armament was housed in two SC 50 wing cassettes, designed to carry two bombs with a caliber of up to 50 kg. Bombs could be dropped from both cabins.
Combat service. Ar.196 aircraft during the Second World War were used to perform a wide variety of tasks: from reconnaissance to escorting convoys of ships and fighting enemy seaplanes. They were also used to search and destroy submarines, with the greatest success achieved by two Ar.196A-2 aircraft, which on May 5, 1940 forced an English submarine to surrender, which had lost its ability to submerge due to damage.
In addition to the Luftwaffe, Ar.196 aircraft were in service with the Air Forces of Bulgaria (12 aircraft) and Romania (28 aircraft).
Soviet version Ar.196
In August 1951, at the Institute No. 15 of the USSR Navy, state tests of the Ar.196 seaplane were completed. Judging by the composition of the armament, it was the machine of the first series Ar.196 A0 or Ar.196 A1. The aircraft, despite more than ten years of operation and significant physical wear and tear, was modified by a team led by A.P. Golubkov at the request of the command of the Navy. This was most likely explained by the fact that by that time there was an acute shortage of specialized aircraft in the aviation of the fleet.
It should be noted that the serial production of seaplanes was discontinued with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War. From the five design bureaus for naval aircraft that were available before the war, by the beginning of the fifties, only one design bureau of G.M. Beriev remained. It, in the opinion of Admiral of the Fleet N.G. Kuznetsov, was the weakest of all aircraft design bureaus. The orders of the country's naval forces were carried out by one incompletely restored plant number 86 in Taganrog, which only a year after the events described was able to start producing Be-6 flying boats.
The main seaplanes of the Navy were about 130 Lend-Lease Catalins, but there was an acute shortage of spare parts for them. Therefore, at plant No. 86 there were cases of using another aircraft that had become unusable as a "donor" for the restoration of other aircraft of this type. In such conditions, naval pilots had to fly literally everything that was, including the old trophy Arado.
The hydroplane was equipped with an ASh-62 IR engine (with a take-off power of 1000 hp), with a VISH-21 propeller (from the Li-2 aircraft). At the same time, new engine hoods, oil tank and engine frame were manufactured. We installed a domestic air-oil radiator, fire-fighting equipment, a GSK-1500 generator and a 12-A30 battery. The aircraft was equipped with a new instrument panel with domestic flight and navigation instruments. In the cockpit of the radio operator, a pair of DA-2 7.62 mm machine guns appeared.
There is reason to assume that the "rejuvenated" "Arado" served in the aviation of the fleet until 1953.
Blohm and Voss
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