Arado Ar E.560 Medium-Range Tactical Bomber
The Arado E.560 would have been an impressive addition for the German Luftwaffe of World War 2 had it been completed before the end of the war in 1945.
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The Arado E.560 series of developmental high-speed jet bombers saw a large evolution on paper. Design of the platform centered around the closing days of the Second World War and showed the extent to which the Germans were planning on utilizing the relatively newfound technology of the turbojet to deliver munitions against Allied targets through unquestioned speed and cutting edge design. Fortunately for the Allies, many of these systems fell by the wayside as Germany was playing a defensive game by war's end. The E.560 was such an idea, developed in the closing weeks of World War 2 - that any information on the machine survived is a bonus.
From an external perspective, it becomes easy to see the similarities inherent in the E.560 design, showcasing much the same look as the more famous Arado jet product - the Ar 234 "Blitz" - a single-seat twin engine reconnaissance/bomber aircraft that actually saw production by war's end. The E.560 showed off a similar glazed cockpit at the extreme forward of the fuselage and contained a seating arrangement for two personnel in a pressurized cockpit (for high-altitude work). The engines were held under each wing and differed by developmental model (described in better detail later in this article). Wings were of a swept-back variety which in itself was becoming quite a revolutionary step towards the modern jet fighter. A tricycle undercarriage landing gear system also figured prominently into the design. The Arado Ar E.560 series was envisioned - and classified - as a high-speed tactical bomber of medium range capability, able to mount a substantial internal bomb load. Other unique design features included communications equipment and automatic course correction systems.
The Arado E.560/2 series would have featured twin BMW 803 series double radial piston engines rated at about 4,000 horsepower each. Each engine would power twin contra-rotating blades and develop a maximum speed of well over 500 miles per hour. This initial model was designed with a T-style tail assembly and the base two-man cockpit. The Arado E.560/4 was next in line though this time, the design featured 4 x BMW brand 003E turbojet engines rated at 2,646lbs of thrust each - two engines per wing. The tail was redesigned to feature a more traditional empennage though most everything else of the base E.560/2 remained the same.
The next 560 model of note became the E.560/7 featuring 2 x BMW 028 turboprop engines rated at 6,200 horsepower each - one engine to a wing. This was followed by the truly ambitious E.560/8 which sported an impressive 6 x BMW 003 series turbojet engines at 1,984lbs of thrust a piece. Two engines would have been clusters inboard near the wing root with single engine mountings held outboard. A bulged bomb bay is also noteworthy here. The final design model of note became the E.560/11. This aircraft sported 4 x BMW 018 model turbojet engines at 5,071lbs of thrust apiece, the aforementioned two-man cockpit, single vertical tail surface and swept-back wings. Each wing held two engines apiece. This particular model also focused more in on defensive armament and included twin forward-firing fixed MG 151/20mm cannons, 2 x rear-firing fixed MG 151/20 cannons and a remote controlled MG 151 20mm cannon fired via a periscope (similar to the tail armament of the Arado Ar 234 mentioned at the top of the article). By the time of this design, the bomb load was an impressive 8,818lbs of internal ordnance.
It is hard to say with any level of certainty how the Arado E.560 would have fared in any of these forms. The Ar 234 was a relatively successful foray into the world of turbojet power and met with modest success in the closing months of service that it had so it leads one to believe that the potential in the Ar E.560 could actually be achieved should more time been given to development of the project. In any case, with Germany on its heels, machines such as this potentially war-changing high-speed bomber might have played a great role in disrupting the advances of the Allied cause. At any rate, the E.560 would go down as many of the "what-if" products proposed by the Reich throughout the war and - more specifically - in the closing months of the great conflict. For certain, the air war would have taken on a whole new look might these machines ever have squared off with the Allied offerings available at the time.