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Arado Ar 68


Single-Seat, Single-Engine Biplane Fighter


Nazi Germany | 1936



"By the time World War 2 was in full swing in 1939, the Arado Ar 68 was relegated to pilot trainer - succeeded as a frontline fighter by the Messerschmitt Bf 109."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/08/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image from the Public Domain.
Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
The AradoAr 68 became one of the important first-steps to a rearming Germany during the 1930s. The biplane aircraft was designed by Walter Blume, a World War 1 (1914-1918) veteran who was wounded on the ground during the early part of the conflict - forcing him to become a pilot. His career, which ended in January of 1919, began in flying two-seat Aviatik scouts and became an ace before continuing in the field with Arado Flugzeugwerke as an engineer.

Into the 1930s, as fascism swept across Europe, Germany looked to rearm and Arado became one of the primary players during the period - helping the Luftwaffe to establish itself as one of the premiere air services anywhere in the world. Early entries into the inventory became types such as the Heinkel He 51 biplane of 1933 - the Arado Ar 68 was quickly developed as its successor and first flew in 1934 as "Ar 68 V1".

The V1 form carried an underpowered BMW Vi series engine of 660 horsepower at the streamlined nose set ahead of the pilot's open-air position. A biplane wing arrangement was used which incorporated an over-and-under wing configuration of uneven-span and single bays. The wings were braced by N-type struts as well as cabling. The fuselage held a streamlined form overall and tapered towards the tail to which a single, rounded vertical fin was fitted along with horizontal planes. A fixed, tail-dragger undercarriage was used for ground-running. The main legs were spatted for aerodynamic efficiency - a common trait of aircraft of the 1930s.

The aircraft was categorized as a fighter and could fulfill roles such as light bombing, interception, training, and reconnaissance. The first prototype, Ar 68a, was outfitted with a BMW VId V-12 engine of 641 horsepower and then followed the second as Ar 68b with its Jumo 210A V-12 (inverted) engine of 610 horsepower. The third prototype became Ar 68c and flew with same engine followed by Ar 68d and its BMW VId V-12 fit of 641 horsepower output. This model was then re-designated as Ar 68 V4 under the new Luftwaffe designation system. A fifth prototype was brought online as Ar 68e and carried a Jumo 210Da V-12 (inverted) of 680 horsepower output. This became the Ar 68 V5 under the new naming system.

From all this work was had the Ar 68E, the first operational-quality model to be taken into service with the Luftwaffe (this in 1936). It was powered by the Junkers Jumo 210 of 671 horsepower. The aircraft were stationed in East Prussia during the early-going and some of the stock was shipped to fight in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) - a vital test bed for many of Germany's new weapons of the decade.

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In practice, the aircraft was a sound, solid, and stable platform in the air and was generally considered high performance for the period. However, the Ar 68 had a poor showing against speedier, single-engined Soviet types like the monoplane Polikarpov "I-16" (detailed elsewhere on this site) and this resulted in a revision of the design to produce the "Ar 68F" with its BMW VI 7.3Z engine of 750 horsepower - an attempt to extract more power and performance from the outclassed machine. Another experiment resulted in the ultimately-abandoned "Ar 68G" and its supercharged BMW VI of 671 horsepower. Still another shifted to a supercharged air-cooled radial engine of 850 horsepower through the BMW 132Da 9-cylinder unit producing the one-off "Ar 68H". This fighter model was also of note as it had a fully-enclosed cockpit - the first for the company.

Despite its limitations, the Ar 68 served well in its role as Germany looked to more advanced metal-skinned, monoplane forms. This work resulted in the stellar Messerschmitt Bf 109 which soon took the mantle of Germany's most-used fighter from the Ar 68. The last Ar 68 aircraft were relegated to the night-fighting role in their last few years of frontline service - which arrived in 1940. By that time, the line was all but outclassed by modern fighters.

The Ar 68F production model could manage a maximum speed of 205 miles per hour and range out to 310 miles while reaching heights of 24,300 feet. Rate-of-climb was an excellent 2,480 feet-per-minute and near-20,000 feet altitudes could be reached in about sixteen minutes. Dimensions included a length of 31.1 feet, a wingspan of 36 feet, and a height of 10.9 feet. The BMW engine drove a two-bladed, 10.1 foot, fixed-pitch propeller at the nose.

Standard armament became 2 x 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings with 500 rounds afforded to each gun. Optional ordnance was 6 x SC10 series fragmentation drop bombs for the light bombing role.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Arado Ar 68G Single-Seat, Single-Engine Biplane Fighter.
1 x BMW VI liquid-cooled V-type engine developing 750 horsepower. and used to drive a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
205 mph
330 kph | 178 kts
Max Speed
24,278 ft
7,400 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
311 miles
500 km | 270 nm
Operational Range
2,480 ft/min
756 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Arado Ar 68G Single-Seat, Single-Engine Biplane Fighter.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
31.2 ft
9.50 m
O/A Length
36.1 ft
(11.00 m)
O/A Width
10.8 ft
(3.28 m)
O/A Height
3,527 lb
(1,600 kg)
Empty Weight
4,453 lb
(2,020 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Arado Ar 68 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Biplane Fighter .
STANDARD:
2 x 7.92mm MG17 machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings.

OPTIONAL:
6 x SC10 conventional drop bombs (fragmentation type).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Arado Ar 68 family line.
Ar 68V-1 - Prototype Model; fitted with BMW V1 engine.
Ar 68B
Ar 68E - Fitted with Jumo 210Da two-stage supercharged engine of 610hp.
Ar 68G - Fitted with BMW VI 750hp engine.
Ar 68H - Experimental Variant; single example constructed; enclosed cockpit; fitted with BMW 132 air-cooled engine.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Arado Ar 68. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 511 Units

Contractor(s): Arado Flugzeugwerke - Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Spain

[ Nazi Germany; Spain ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (205mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
511
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Arado Ar 68
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
GROUND ATTACK
RECONNAISSANCE
TRAINING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Arado Ar 68 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Biplane Fighter appears in the following collections:
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