Mach-2 Aircraft 1/72 Arado 232B Luftwaffe General Purpose Transport Aircraft Kit
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The Arado Ar 232 was the Luftwaffe's only specifically designed combat zone transport. It was Arado's response to a specification issued by the RLM in 1939 for a general-purpose transport to replace the Ju 52. The design was the first truly modern transport designed and built during World War II. It embodied almost all of the features now considered to be standard for transports including a low slung box like fuselage, rear loading ramp, a high tail to allow easy access to the cargo compartment and features to allow it to operate from rough fields. It was capable of short field takeoffs utilizing Arado's own "traveling flap" design. These full span flaps effectively increased the wing surface area by 25% when fully extended. The take off distance could be further shortened using RATO. It was originally designed to use two BMW 801 series engines, but this became problematic when the Fw 190 series began large-scale production. Ten pre-production machines were built in the two-engine configuration. To solve the engine problem it was decided to use four BMW-Bramo 323R-2 engines of 1200 hp. The four engine versions were designated Ar 232B's and featured lengthened wings to accommodate the additional engines and a longer fuselage to compensate for the shift in center of gravity caused by the additional engines. Eight pre-production machines were known to have been built although 10 were thought to have been ordered. It is also believed that between twenty and twenty-two additional machines were built however very little reliable data exists on these. Five of these were believed to have been delivered to KG 200 for secret missions.
The 232's were uniquely equipped for field operations. Its set of small bogey wheels under the fuselage allowed landing on unimproved airstrips and was capable of spanning trenches up to 5 feet wide. It could carry nearly 10,000 pounds of cargo. The main gear was extended to raise the smaller wheels off the ground for takeoff. The high mounted tail assembly provided clearance for loading through the real cargo door which could be lowered to for a ramp to allow vehicles to drive on board. A turret with a MG 151 20mm cannon gun was located aft of the cockpit and a MG 131 13mm cannon was located in the nose and could be fired by the pilot. Another MG 131 was located in a position above the rear cargo.