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Arado Ar 197

The Arado Ar 197 was a biplane used by the Germans during World War II, specifically designed for naval use on the Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier, which was never finished.

Despite a small number of prototypes being constructed, the project was eventually scrapped in favour of the Messerschmitt Bf 109T and Me 155 aircraft.

The Ar 197 was developed to meet the need for a fighter aircraft that could operate from the German aircraft carriers Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser, although these carriers were never completed.

The Ar 68H was the first Arado aircraft to feature a fully enclosed cockpit, and it was chosen as the foundation for the design of the Arado Ar 197.

The initial model of the Ar 197, known as the V1, was developed from the Ar 68H and included a fully enclosed cockpit, Daimler-Benz DB 600A inline engine, and a three-blade propeller.

However, it was not designed for naval use.

The second model, the Ar 197 V2, was quite similar to the V1 but was equipped with a BMW 132Dc radial engine and naval gear such as an arrester hook and catapult spools.

Both the Ar 197 V1 and V2 took flight in the spring of 1937.

A third prototype, the V3, was constructed in the summer of 1937.

This version featured a more potent BMW radial engine and was the first prototype to be armed, boasting two 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns and a 20 mm cannon.

Additionally, the V3 was equipped with under-fuselage racks capable of carrying four 50 kg (110 lb) bombs, an extra fuel tank, or a smoke-laying canister.

The Ar 197 V3 was considered for evaluation, however, it did not make the cut for production.

By the time the Graf Zeppelin was due to be finished, biplanes like the Ar 197 would have been obsolete as fighters.

In 1939, the Bf 109T, the naval variant of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft, was chosen as the replacement for the Arado Ar 197, and in 1941, the Me 155 was designated as the successor to the Bf 109T.





9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)


11 m (36 ft 1 in)


3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)

Wing area

21.3 m2 (229 sq ft)

Empty weight

1,840 kg (4,057 lb)

Gross weight

2,475 kg (5,456 lb)

Max take-off weight

2,674 kg (5,895 lb)


1 × BMW 132Dc, 9-cyl air cooled radial piston engine,

656 kW (880 hp) for take-off


3 bladed fixed pitch metal propellers


Maximum speed

400 km/h (250 mph, 220 kn) at 2,500 m (8,202 ft)

Cruise speed

354 km/h (220 mph, 191 kn) at 1,500 m (4,921 ft)


695 km (432 mi, 375 nmi)

Ferry range

1,638 km (1,018 mi, 884 nmi) with auxiliary fuel tank

Service ceiling

8,600 m (28,200 ft)

Time to altitude

4,000 m (13,123 ft) in 5.3 minutes


2 X 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 17 machine guns


1 X 20 mm MG FF cannon.

Up to

4 X 50 kg (110 lb) SC50 bombs.


Arado Geschichte Eines Flugzeugwerks-Jorg Armin Kranzhoff.

Air War Over the Atlantic, Luftwaffe at War-Manfred Griehl.

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, An Illustrated Guide-Jean-Denis GG LaPage.

The Official Monogram Painting Guide to German Aircraft, 1935-1945-Kenneth A Merrick & Thomas H Hitchcock.

Sea Eagles, Luftwaffe Anti Shipping Units, 1939-1941, Vol 1-Chris Goss.



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