Aviation of World War II

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Distant Marine Reconnaissance Aircraft
Blohm und Voss


Long-range floatplane seaplane At 139 of the Hamburger Flyugzeugbau company, during early flight tests in 1937, it showed good results, which could not but inspire its creators to develop a land version, mainly for mail transport. It was desirable to use as many components of the float plane as possible both to reduce development costs and to maintain the quality already achieved.

Therefore, when the 142 VI appeared in 1938, it, like the 139, had a similar narrow fuselage and a reverse “gull” wing. Their skin was heavily thickened due to the use of only one tubular spar. The wing housed 5295 liters of fuel. The twin chassis wheels replaced both floats. In addition, a retractable two-wheel tail support has been added. The cockpit could accommodate a crew of four: two pilots, a navigator and a radio operator. The fuselage provided a small compartment for mail.

Registered as D-AHFB in honor of the manufacturer, the 142 VI took off on October 11, 1938. The V2 soon appeared. Some time later, the company changed its name to Blom and Foss, and the aircraft was renamed BV 142. By the summer of 1939, four prototypes participated in the flight test program, but Luftanza was satisfied with only one - VI. After making some changes, it was transferred to the airline for the purpose of conducting research flights. Nicknamed "Castor" and registered as D-ABUV under the new name of the manufacturer, the aircraft made several flights and was returned to its owner. By this time, it had already been decided to abandon its commercial use.

Soon after the outbreak of World War II, a proposal was made to convert four prototypes into long-range naval reconnaissance aircraft, for which the V2 was selected as a prototype. dubbed BV 142 V2 / U1. The aircraft had an elongated glazed nose and defensive armament, as well as a small cockpit in the tail compartment for two gunners. The armament compartment served as a post office. The aircraft was equipped with numerous radio and navigation equipment known as the "transoceanic radio".

Under the code "RS + VS" in the spring of 1940 V2/U1 was delivered to the 2nd reconnaissance squadron of the main command of the Luftwaffe and assigned directly to the headquarters of the 3rd Air Fleet. The first prototype, which received the “RS + BB” code, was altered in the same way. They were to be followed by V3 and V4. However, a serious shortage of long-range transport aircraft forced them to be used during the invasions of Denmark and Norway. These aircraft entered service with the 105 Special Purpose Combat Group and the X Air Corps, along with other large aircraft such as Ju 89, Ju 90. FW 200, and others, and their further fate is unknown.

The two aforementioned naval patrol aircraft did not live up to expectations - their flight performance with weapons turned out to be much lower than expected. Despite the presence of defensive weapons, they were considered too vulnerable, in connection with which only a few sorties were made. By 1942 they were decommissioned. There were plans to use this pair of aircraft to launch the Guided Blom and Foss GT 1200C torpedo, but they never came to fruition.

Armament. 4 × 7.92-mm MG-15 machine gun in the nose, on the sides in the fuselage and in the ventral nacelle, one in the turret above the fuselage. The post office could accommodate four 100-kg or eight 50-kg bombs.

Blohm und Voss BV.142
Crew 4
Wing span, m 29.53
Lenght, m 20.45
Height, m 4.44
Wing area, m² 130
Empty, kg 11,000
Maximum takeoff weight, kg 16,500
1 × PE BMW 132H-1, power, hp 880 (656 kWt)
Maximum speed at sea level, km/h 397
Cruising speed near the ground, km/h 375
Cruising speed, km/h 325
Service range, km 3,900
Service seiling, m 9,000
5×7.92 mm MG-15 machine gun; 4×100 kg or 8 × 50 kg Bombs
Blohm und Voss BV.142
Modif. W. Nr. Registr. Luft Issue year Luftwaffe
1938 June/July 1940
V2 219 D-ABUV PC+BC 1939 June/July 1940
V3 437 - PC+BD 1940 Septebber 1940
Fail. Sept., 11 1940
V4 438 - PC+BE 1940 November 1940
Photo Description
Drawing BV.142

Drawing BV.142


  • Luftwaffe Aviation / V.N. Shunkov /
  • Luftwaffe Combat Aircraft / Edited by David Donald /
  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /