Blohm and Voss, the famous German shipbuilder of World War 2 was also responsible for several of the well-known and easily recognized flying boats of the German Navy. To this was also added hundreds of "paper" airplane designs of which only a select few were ever formally adopted. The others were highly unorthodox designs that, had they flown, would have brought about revolutionary changes in aviation design. One such design became the P.208, a single-seat, single-engined fighter concept utilizing a tailless design, tricycle undercarriage and sweptback wing assemblies.
Heading into 1944, Germany was losing initiatives (and territories) across all fighting fronts. This pushed the development of new fighter concepts and, along with it, turbojet and rocket-powered interceptors. The greatest emerging threat to the German war machine was the Allied bombing campaign which sought to wreck all war-making capabilities for Hitler's Nazi kingdom. However, early turbojets proved temperamental, sometimes a danger and producing underwhelming results in some circles. Blohm and Voss took to designing an all-new fighter type to initially utilize a conventional piston engine with the prospect the airframe could be modified to accept a turbojet installation at a future time. Thus begat the P.208 project which never advanced beyond the paper stage. Its design resurfaced in the more refined P.212 project detailed elsewhere on this site - though utilizing a turbojet installation from the outset.
As conceived, the P.208 was given a compact, tubular fuselage tapered at both ends for aerodynamic efficiency. All fuel, avionics and armament was contained in this centralized nacelle with the cockpit fitted just ahead of midships. Armament was seated in the nose with the engine in a compartment at the rear. This forced the three-bladed propeller to push air in a "pusher" configuration. Wings were low-mounted assemblies with noticeable sweep of 30-degrees. The tips showcased an upward and downward crank while lacking any vertical surfaces providing the necessary rudder/elevator controls. The undercarriage was of a tricycle arrangement with single-wheeled main legs (retracting into the wings) and a single-wheeled nose leg. As the P.208 lacked vertical surfaces, a formal tail assembly, made use of sweptback wings and a pusher propeller arrangement, it proved one of the more unique aircraft offerings of the war. Proposed armament was 3 x 30mm MK 108 cannons, all contained in the nose. Dimensions included a wingspan of 40 feet and a running length of 30 feet.
Power was to have been served through a Daimler-Benz 12-cylinder DB 603L two-stage supercharger inline piston engine of 2,100 horsepower output. MW50 methanol-water injection would have provided additional boost at altitude. Blohm and Voss engineers estimated a maximum speed of 490 miles per hour for the P.208 design.
The P.208 originally emerged through the P.208.01 initiative which was to be fitted with the troublesome Junkers Jumo 222 series inline piston engine - the same as powering the Ju 288 and Fw 191 bomber developments (only 289 Jumo 222 engines were ever built). 2 x Junkers Jumop 213 engines (making up the Argus As 413) were to power the follow up P.208.02. The P.208.03 existed in three proposed subvariants through P.208.03.01, P.208.03.02 and P.208.03.03. The major difference between the types was the Diamler-Benz DB 603L selected for the 01 and 02 marks and the 603N engine to be used in the 03 mark.
The P.208 never materialized into a sufficient fighter concept with no prototypes having been built before the end of the war in May of 1945. A Skoda-Kauba V-6 was modified as the SL-6 to verify much of the P.208 design.
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