Arado Ar 231

The Arado Ar 231 was a lightweight floatplane, developed during World War II in Germany as a scout plane for submarines by Arado.

The need to be stored inside the submarine necessitated compromises in design that made this single seat seaplane of little practical use.

Designed from the outset for use on U-boat “cruisers”, like the Type XI B, the Ar 231 was a light parasol wing aircraft.

The aircraft was powered by a 119 kW (160 hp) Hirth HM 501 inline engine, weighed around 1,000 kg (2,200 lb), and had a 10 m (33 ft) wingspan.

The design led to a simple and compact aircraft that could be fitted into a storage cylinder only 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in diameter.

For ease of storage, the Ar 231’s wings featured detachable sections that two operators could remove in less than six minutes.

One unusual feature was an offset wing design, with the right wing root attaching to the wing’s tilted centre section (elevated above the fuselage, as on all parasol wing designs) and lower than the left wing root, to allow the wings to be quickly folded up.





7.81 m (25 ft 7 in)


10.18 m (33 ft 5 in)


3.12 m (10 ft 3 in)

Wing area

15.2 m2 (164 sq ft)

Empty weight

833 kg (1,836 lb)

Gross weight

1,050 kg (2,315 lb)


1 × Hirth HM 501, 6 cylinder air cooled inverted inline piston engine,

120 kW (160 hp)


2 bladed fixed pitch propeller


Maximum speed

170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn)

Cruise speed

130 km/h (81 mph, 70 kn)


500 km (310 mi, 270 nmi)


4 hours

Service ceiling

3,000 m (9,800 ft)

Wing loading

69.1 kg/m2 (14.2 lb/sq ft)


0.113 kW/kg (0.069 hp/lb).


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