Medium Transport Aircraft
Blohm und Voss
Back in 1940, DLH decided to issue an application for the development of a new passenger aircraft, which in terms of its capacity was supposed to slightly exceed the Ju.52 and thus be highly profitable for the expected increase in traffic in the post-war situation. As a result, the BV.144 aircraft developed in accordance with this assignment at Blohm und Voss was distinguished by a progressive concept, in connection with which Lufthansa immediately ordered two prototype aircraft.
According to the terms of reference, the aircraft was to be operated at any time of the day and combine sufficient carrying capacity and economy. Most of the design work was carried out by French engineers, and the production of prototypes was generally transferred to France.
When ordering two prototypes, only one aircraft was produced at the Societe Louis Breguet plant in Anglet near Bayonne. In mid-August, German specialists installed radio equipment from the crashed Ju.88. On August 15, the BV.144V-1 was ready for flight, and only a series of engine tests remained. The plane was supposed to fly from Anglet to Germany, but the flight did not take place. Later, the French took the plane for themselves. Nothing is known about his further fate. The prototype BV.144V-2 was at an early stage of production by that time.
The most noticeable design feature of the BV.144 was its variable pitch wing. The reason for this decision was the convenience of passengers requested by Lufthansa during embarkation and disembarkation, as well as during the flight. The rotating wing allowed for normal takeoff and landing without noticeable fuselage pitch. At the same time, there was an advantage in terms of aerodynamics: the flow around the fuselage with a low coefficient of drag at all angles of attack and excellent work of the stabilizer.
Structurally, the decision to change the wing angle was made using a tubular spar. The entire regulating device consisted of ball-bearing lugs welded to the rear of the spar and taking up the moment and allowing the adjustment of the electromechanical spindles near the leading edge. The design was developed based on detailed wind tunnel tests. The elimination of icing on the wingtips and empennage using hot air from an oil burner was also fundamentally new.