Blohm and Voss Bv P.170 - Nazi Germany, 1942
Detailing the development and operational history of the Blohm and Voss Bv P.170 Three-Engine Bomber Proposal.
Entry last updated on 6/28/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Blohm and Voss P.170 bomber proposal utilized a very unique design configuration that included three engine nacelles along a single wing.
During World War 2 (1939-1945), German shipbuilder Blohm and Voss ventured into many aircraft design studies and more of its attempts fell in the direction of the unorthodox when compared to anything previously seen. By the end of the war, B&V would be primarily remembered for its large flying boats which achieved operational service and for its contributions to German shipbuilding while many of its aviation designs would fall away to obscurity. The Bv P.170 design project would become one such example, certainly strange-looking three-engine bomber project that did not materialized beyond the drawing board.
Richard Vogt lent his design talents to many of the B&V wartime aircraft designs and the P.170 was another of his offerings. The aircraft was intended for the bomber role and thus altitude and range would be high priorities in terms of performance. A two-man crew was envisioned and propulsion would come from three BMW 801D series piston engines. These engines were held in three individual nacelles which immediately gave the P.170 its unique appearance but spread out its propulsion power along a single plane for a well-balanced airframe. One engine was fitted to the center nacelle which also made up the tubular fuselage while the remaining pair were fitted in nacelles found at each of the mainplane wingtips. The crew of two sat at positions within aft section of the fuselage that also held the horizontal tailplanes to the extreme rear. The vertical tailfins were not attached at this section but instead found at the ends of the outboard engine nacelles. Because of its strange arrangement, a four-wheeled undercarriage system would be required to prevent tipping when ground running. The main legs were fitted under each engine installation and the rear of the aircraft would be supported by a simple tail wheel.
The P.170 was drawn up to have a length of 14.3 meters, a wingspan of 16 meters, and a height of 5.65 meters. Empty weight was estimated at 20,060 pounds with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 29,320 pounds. As the P.170 was never constructed and flown, performance figures were only estimated and this included a maximum speed of 510 miles per hour, a range out to 1,245 miles, and a service ceiling of 38,225 feet.
As a bomber, the P.170 was set to carry an offensive payload of conventional drop bombs totaling about 4,400 pounds. Interestingly, no defensive armament was to be fitted to the aircraft - perhaps the assumption being that the bomber would fly high enough and fast enough to avoid Allied interceptor.
Before the P.170 product could gain any useful steam, the German direction had already turned to development of turbojet and rocket engines leaving the P.170 as nothing more than a design study. The P.170 would have been a limited offensive weapon as views out-of-the-cockpit would have been very restricted due to the cockpit's position located well-aft in the design. The large wing mainplanes would have certainly presented a visual obstruction for both pilot and bombardier making target approaches difficult not to mention ground running precarious.