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Blohm and Voss Bv 238 Flying Boat Aircraft

At the time of its inception, the BV 238 floatplane was physically the largest aircraft ever to fly for Germany.

 Updated: 6/28/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

The mammoth Blohm & Voss Bv 238 was the next evolution in the Blohm & Voss flying boat series for Germany during World War Two. The system was built as the largest aircraft ever produced by any of the Axis powers and was to provide The Reich with extended flying boat capabilities should the series have entered full-scale production. In the end, all the BV 238 project had to show for itself was one damaged prototype and two planned production prototypes started but never finished.

The Bv 238 was powered by a series of six Daimler-Benz piston engines producing upwards of 1,750 each. The powerplants were mounted on a high monoplane wing design with three engines per wing. The initial Bv 238 prototype was airborne by 1944, though it would later be damaged and sunk by allied fighter aircraft while the Bv 238 lay docked. The Bv 239 offered up tremendous range, payload capabilities and respectable speeds for an aircraft of this size and in this role.

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Blohm and Voss Bv 238 V-1 Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1944
Type: Flying Boat Aircraft
National Origin: Nazi Germany
Manufacturer(s): Blohm and Voss - Germany
Production Total: 1

Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 12
Overall Length: 142.26 feet (43.36 meters)
Overall Width: 197.41 feet (60.17 meters)
Overall Height: 43.96 feet (13.40 meters)

Weight (Empty): 120,593 lb (54,700 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 187,393 lb (85,000 kg)

Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

Propulsion: 6 x Daimler-Benz DB 603 V-12 engines generating 1,750hp each.

Maximum Speed: 277 mph (446 kph; 241 knots)
Maximum Range: 4,474 miles (7,200 km)
Service Ceiling: 23,950 feet (7,300 meters; 4.54 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

Not Available

Global Operators / Customers

Nazi Germany

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

BV 238 - Base Series Designation of which one was constructed but damaged while docked; two planned prototypes were started but never finished production.
BV 238 V-1