Blohm and Voss Bv P.212 High-Altitude Jet Fighter Concept
Another aircraft conceived through the German Emergency Fighter Program of World War 2 was the Blohm and Voss P.212 project.
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A major strategic oversight on the part of the German Air Ministry was not pursuing large four-engined heavy bombers to strike at the infrastructure of its enemies. The Allies, on the other hand, held great value in their bombing campaign and unleashed hordes of Boeing B-17s, Consolidated B-24s and Avro Lancasters against the heart of the German war machine. With the attacks proving a tremendous detriment to the German effort, the "Emergency Fighter Program" was put into effect ("Jagernotporgramm"). The program was enacted on July 3rd, 1944 and sought to develop a new generation of high-flying, jet-powered interceptors capable of reaching enemy bomber formations in time and at the required altitudes thanks to steadfast development of the turbojet engine, unleashing attacks through cannon and rockets. Many aircraft were designed on paper and few actually managed to see working prototypes by the end of the war in May of 1945. While the likes of the Heinkel He 162 ""Volksjager"
and the Arado Ar 234 "Blitz"
normally take the limelight, the Blohm and Voss concern became a major contributor, submitting hundreds of paper design proposals of which many fell to naught. The firm was widely recognized throughout the war for its large flying boats while one of their many paper submissions became the "P.212".
The P.212 was a compact fighter that was to utilize a single turbojet engine - the new Heinkel HeS 011 series. The design would be basic with a centralized fuselage nacelle containing the cockpit, avionics, fuel stores, undercarriage and powerplant. The engine would be buried in the fuselage with a circular nose intake aspirating the system and exhaust emanating from the tailless fuselage nacelle. Ductwork ran from the nose, under the cockpit floor and curved upwards within the body of the aircraft, connecting to the powerplant seated at the extreme rear. Wings were mid-mounted and well-swept with winglets added to the tips and vertical wing surfaces added inboard of the winglets for additional control/stability. The undercarriage utilized two single-wheeled main legs with a single-wheeled nose leg, all retracting into the fuselage nacelle. Due to the shortage of natural resources in Germany, wood and aluminum would be used in conjunction with steel to facilitate mass production of the small fighter. For high-altitude sorties, the P.212 would be given a pressurized cockpit and good vision from a lightly-framed canopy. By and large, the P.212 was a further evolution of the Blohm and Voss P.208 concept, a similar-minded fighter proposal from Blohm & Voss which utilized a conventional engine driving a three-bladed propeller in a "pusher" configuration with the prospect of the airframe being converted to using a turbojet in the near future.
The P.212 joined competing fighter submissions from Heinkel, Focke-Wulf, Junkers and Messerschmitt by February of 1945. While the Focke-Wulf proposal was formally accepted (to become the Ta 183 "Huckabein"
), three prototypes of the P.212 were commissioned to begin testing the validity of the small design. Manufacture of these airframes began in May of 1945 with a scheduled first flight to take place in August. However, the Allied march on Germany by this time ended all further work on the type, terminating the program for good and leaving the design to the pages of history.
The P.212 evolved quite a bit in a short amount of time. The P.212.01 was its original form with 45-degree swept wings sporting dihedral as well as vertical dorsal winglets. The P.212.02 was a revised design with lengthened fuselage, retaining the same wing arrangement as the 01 though with downward-cranked wing tip surfaces and lacking the vertical dorsal fins. The P.212.03 became the finalized definitive P.212 form (the one presented to the German Air Ministry for contention) and introduced a longer fuselage for more internal fuel stores and managed wing sweep of 40-degrees. Armament proposed for the 03 proved highly variable and included a mix of 15mm and 30mm cannons. Thought was also given to arming the aircraft with a massive 55mm cannon as well as 22 x R4M air-to-air rockets. One other form was envisioned carrying 1 x SC500 series 500kg conventional drop bomb in addition to cannon armament. Underwing stations would also be plumbed for the use of jettisonable fuel drop tanks. Mission endurance for the 03 was estimated at four hours with these drop tanks in place.
The P.212 had a proposed maximum speed of 642 miles per hour (1,034kph), making it one of the fastest proposed German Luftwaffe jet fighters of the war