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Arado Ar E.654 (Kampfzerstorer / Skorpion)

Nazi Germany (1943)
Picture of Arado Ar E.654 (Kampfzerstorer / Skorpion) Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer Aircraft

The E.654 received its Skorpion moniker from the distinctive design of its tail.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Arado Ar E.654 (Kampfzerstorer / Skorpion) Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 11/9/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Arado Ar E.654 was proposed as a heavy fighter / destroyer platform designed from another Arado product - the Ar 240. Though the Ar 240 model eventually saw operational service with the Luftwaffe (albeit in limited numbers), the Ar E.654 would never see the light of day. Its unconventional engine arrangement provided some technological barriers to contend with so much so that the complex system was eventually shelved altogether.

The E.654 maintained some visual similarities to the Ar 240 with two wing-mounted engine nacelles, a crew of two and a long streamlined fuselage. Whereas the Ar 240 held its Daimler-Benz engines wholly in the wing nacelles, the E.654 attempted to utilize a more complex approach in order to maximize overall streamlining and benefit engine protection. The E.654 was designed to house the twin Daimler-Benz DB 614 OR 627 series engines within the fuselage itself while running the propellers via multiple gear shafts. This approach was highly apparent in the general design of the exterior of the aircraft as it would not have exhibited quite the large nacelles as those found on contemporary systems. Additionally, keeping the engine within the fuselage added some element of protection to the units as the fuselage was generally the most well-protected part of any aircraft, able to sustain large amounts of damage before losing integrity. The smaller nacelles also provided for better side visibility over the engines themselves, an issue apparent in the design of the Ar 240, that aircraft sporting its large wing-mounted engines to either side of the cockpit. A standard landing gear system was envisioned with the main gears recessing into each nacelle and a retractable tail wheel operating under the rearward portion of the fuselage. The tail section was dominated by a very distinguishable arrangement featuring a high-mounted tailplane with a protruding appendage - an interesting design approach even for this time.

The cockpit was of a glazed variety, again following the lead of the Ar 240 before it. The seating area was held well-forward in the fuselage providing exceptional views outward, above and down. The pilot sat extreme forward with the gunner seated directly behind in a back-to-back seating arrangement. The gunner would have operated the rear-ward facing machine guns through a periscope system.
At the heart of any heavy fighter was its offensive armament and the E.654 did not disappoint. A battery of 6 x Mk 103 series 30mm heavy cannons was arranged in groups of three in bulges on either side of the lower fuselage. Defensively, the E.654 utilized a system similar to the Arado Ar 240 aircraft - with the rear gunner controlling a dorsal and ventral turret (each fitted with 2 x MG 131 series 13mm heavy machine guns) in recessed positions near the base top and bottom positions of the empennage.

In all respects, the E.654 would have been a serviceable aircraft but the complexity inherent in the engine layout and operation doomed the type to the drawing board - similar to the fate that fell the E.561 proposal. Getting materials and parts for such a complex system proved too much for Luftwaffe technicians to address - especially when one considers the defensive war Germany was becoming embroiled in. It seems that the multi-shaft arrangement of the E.654's design would have developed other engineering obstacles as well with most of the issues no doubt related to potential vibration caused by the engine and shaft layout and maintaining the proper level of power generated at the engine, which would then have to be translated through the shaft and eventually to the propeller.

The E.654 received an internal project name of "Skorpion", no doubt due to the stinger-like protrusion at the top of the tail fin. It was also known by the descriptive name of "Kampfzerstorer". Arado designer Walter Blume headed up the project.






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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Nazi Germany
Year: 1943
Type: Heavy Fighter / Bomber Destroyer Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Arado Flugzeugwerke - Germany
Production: 0
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
Nazi Germany
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Arado Ar E.654 (Kampfzerstorer / Skorpion) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
42.03 ft


Meters
12.81 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
47.05 ft


Meters
14.34 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
12.96 ft


Meters
3.95 m

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Daimler-Benz DB 614 OR DB 627 engines.
Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED: 6 x MK 103 fixed-forward cannons at forward fuselage sides.
2 x MG 131 13mm machine guns in dorsal fuselage position (periscope aimed).
2 x MG 131 13mm machine guns in ventral fuselage position (periscope aimed).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• E.654 - Base Developmental Series Designation