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  • Arado NJ-1 Nacht Jager (Night Hunter) Jet-Powered Night Fighter / Night Bomber

    The Arado NJ-1 Nacht Jager was a proposed nightfighter design featuring a three-man crew in a pressurized cockpit as well as extensive cannon armament.

     Updated: 5/26/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Project NJ-1 "Nacht Jager 1" ("Night Hunter 1") was put forth by the Arado concern of Germany during the latter stages of World War 2 to fulfill a Luftwaffe requirement for a new jet-powered night fighter. The aircraft was to be a multi-crew aircraft powered by two engines for the fast speeds required and promote strong maneuverability when engaging incoming enemy forces. The Luftwaffe need was also met by competing designs from Blohm and Voss, Dornier, Focke-Wulf and Gotha. Despite the interest, the requirement was eventually cancelled due to the declining war situation for Germany and, of the designs submitted, only the Blohm and Voss aircraft was furthered through a prototype contract prior to war's end, this becoming the Bv P.215.

    As a night fighter, the NJ-1 had to fulfill various qualities for the Luftwaffe - speed, control, armament and reaction. Speed would be managed by its selection of jet propulsion which still proved an infant technology this late in the war. Control was to be provided through ailerons, elevators and split flaps found about the wing structures as well as small vertical fins. Armament followed the German belief that autocannons were the answer when attempting to bring down the large bombers of the Allies. Reaction meant that the aircraft would be able to respond quickly to incoming formations of Allied bombers, able to go airborne in short order and reach the necessary altitude before engaging through armament and the element of surprise. Direction-finding would be radios and tracking by way of radar. As such, the workload would be spread across the three-man crew.

    Arado engineers elected for a swept wing, tailless design incorporated side-by-side cockpit seating for its three crew (it is assumed only two would be side-by-side with the third in a rear, rear-facing cockpit to handle the defensive weaponry). The twin engine arrangement was also a side-by-side installment and these fitted under the aft portion of the aircraft's fuselage. Small vertical tail fins were added at each trailing edge for control. The cockpit canopy was lightly framed for good vision and the aircraft would have been one of greater dimensions than the Luftwaffe anticipated to be able to house the required large-caliber armament and side-by-side seating for the crew. The undercarriage was to be of a tricycle arrangement with two main legs and a nose leg, all single-wheeled and retractable. The powerplant of choice was 2 x HeS 011 series turbines developing 2,865lbs of thrust each. Other integral systems included radio, search radar, a pressurized cockpit for high-altitude flying and ejection seats for crew survival.

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    Arado NJ-1 Nacht Jager (Night Hunter) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1945
    Type: Jet-Powered Night Fighter / Night Bomber
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Arado Flugzeugwerke - Germany
    Production Total: 0

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Weight (Empty): 22,487 lb (10,200 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 29,101 lb (13,200 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Heinkel HeS 011 turbines developing 2,865 lb of thrust each.

    Maximum Speed: 503 mph (810 kph; 437 knots)
    Maximum Range: 851 miles (1,370 km)
    Service Ceiling: 44,619 feet (13,600 meters; 8.45 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 38 feet-per-minute (12 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    STANDARD (Proposed):
    2 x 30mm MK 108 fixed, forward-firing cannons in nose.
    2 x 30mm MK 108 fixed, rear-firing cannons in tail
    2 x 30mm MK 108 cannons in oblique, upward-firing position in fuselage.

    OPTIONAL (Proposed):
    2 x 1,100lb bombs under fuselage.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Nazi Germany

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    NJ-1 ("Nacht Jager") - Base Project Designation

    Projeckt I - Alternative Project Name