The Arado Ar 232 Tausendfussler was a special beast. World War 2 was a time of rapid advances and development in technology. These technological advances, especially in the areas of weaponry, played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the war.
One example of this technological advance was in the area of aircraft development and one particular aircraft that was proof to this was the Arado Ar 232 Tausendfussler. This WW2 aircraft, nicknamed “Millipede” because of its multiple sets of wheels which were utilized in the undercarriage, was considered as the first truly modern airplane because its design introduced the features that the standards of today’s transport aircrafts.
The Arado Ar 232 was utilized in the war by the Reichs-Luftfahrts-Ministerium (RLM) or the Reich Air Ministry. This WW2 German aircraft was firs flown in 1941 and was further developed into two model series known as the “A” and “B” models based on the number of powerplants that were utilized. The two models however had millipede-like landing gear assembly, had the same cargo fuselage system (the low-mounted type) and were powered by four engines. The initial design specification of the RLM was to have the “Millipede” run only by twin engines. The replacement of this specification into a four-engine designed made both the Arado Ar 232A and Arado Ar 232B into high performance WW2 aircrafts.
The Arado Ar 232 series were powered by four (4) 1200-HP Bramo piston engines having two engines mounted on each wing. The low-mounting cargo fuselage design was advantageous to the Ar 232 because it can hold up to 46,000 pounds in weight.
The Arado Ar 232’s armaments were limited only to defense since their main function was of transport alone. The armaments of this WW2 German aircraft included the following: one (1) 13 mm machine gun which was mounted on its nose, one (1) 20 mm cannon which was mounted on the dorsal portion of the plane, and one (1) to two (2) 13 mm machine guns which can be mounted in the rear portion. A four-man crew can be accommodated in both Ar 232 models. Additional 8 MG machine guns were also mounted during infantry transports.
The Arado Ar 232’s were used mainly by the Reich Air Ministry from 1943 and serve the Germans until they were retired in 1945. Only about 20 units were produced during the war.
|Type:||four-man crew transport aircraft|
|Design:||Arado Aircraft Firm|
|Engine(s):||4 x 1200-HP Bramo 232-R Fafnir 9-cylinder radial-type piston engines|
|Max Speed:||340 km/h (211 mph; 184 knots)|
|Max Range:||1,335 kilometers or 830 nautical miles|
|Ceiling:||22,638 feet or 6,900 meters|
|Wingspan:||47 feet 3 inches|
|Empty Weight:||12,780 kg|
|MTO Weight:||21,160 kg|