Blohm and Voss Bv P.163 - Nazi Germany, 1941
Detailing the development and operational history of the Blohm and Voss Bv P.163 Asymmetric Bomber Aircraft Proposal.
Entry last updated on 1/7/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Bv P.163 was yet-another short-lived asymmetric aircraft design undertaken by Blohm and Voss and Dr. Richard Vogt.
Blohm and Voss, founded in 1877, became a well-known shipbuilder for Germany even before World War 2 (1939-1945) took over Europe. The company also held an aircraft division and one of its more important contributors became Dr. Richard Vogt. Vogt delivered a myriad of designs to the German Air Ministry for consideration during the war - many with far-reaching goals and futuristic approaches - and there proved a particular fascination with asymmetric airframes with a case-in-point being the Bv 141.
The Bv 141 was built in fewer than thirty examples and first-flown in 1938 but its arrangement is what truly set it apart from contemporaries - the engine was held in a streamlined tail boom offset to portside from centerline. To starboard was a short nacelle housing the cockpit and crew. A wing main plane passed through both of these assemblies and only the tailboom section held tailplanes (vertical and horizontal surfaces). The asymmetric approach worked in the Bv 141 and provided a stable, if unorthodox, operating platform. By all accounts, the Bv 141 performed well in testing for its short time in the air but few were interested in such a strange design so no quantitative production was ordered.
Vogt continued to pursue several asymmetric aircraft designs during the conflict and another venture became the P.163 project aircraft. A streamlined fuselage / tailboom was set at center with the low-mounted wing mainplanes passing through it. The boom held the powerplant which was to drive a dual-propeller scheme at the nose in contra-rotating fashion. A traditional single-finned tail unit was affixed to this boom. The uniqueness of the design lay in the placement of the cockpit nacelle - set along the wingtip of the portside mainplane (housing pilot, radioman (doubling as the navigator) and a gunner). The starboard side mainplane wingtip held another crew nacelle showcasing strictly self-defense armament (and housing two dedicated gunners). Despite the twin nacelles and divided crewspaces, the aircraft could be controlled by wingtip pod as needed.
As designed, the aircraft was to fulfill a bomber role and was rated for 2,000 kilograms of drop stores. Known measurements were a wingspan of 20.5 meters and a length of 15.5 meters.
Proposed armament was up to six 20mm MG151/20 cannons. Two would be fitted in rear-facing positions at the rear of each wingtip nacelle. Each nacelle was also given a forward0facing 20mm mounting.
The P.168 was penciled out in two major forms, P.163.01 and P.163.02. Version 01 was to feature 2 x Daimler-Benz DB613C conjoined engines driving contra-rotating propellers at the nose and these engines would be seated in the frame side-by-side. Estimated maximum speed was 545 kph. Version 02 was to carry 2 x BMW 803 series conjoined engines also driving contra-rotating propellers. Estimated maximum speed was increased to 570 kmh.
Nothing ever became of the P.163 as it ended as just another company aircraft not furthered beyond the paper stage.