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Arado Ar 234 Blitz

The Arado Ar 234 Blitz, was an advanced bomber aircraft developed and manufactured by the German aviation company Arado.

This remarkable aircraft holds the distinction of being the first operational turbojet-powered bomber in the world, serving in the later stages of the Second World War.

The development of the Ar 234 can be traced back to the latter part of 1940, when the Ministry of Aviation requested proposals for a jet-powered high-speed reconnaissance aircraft.

Arado was the only company to respond, presenting their E.370 design.

Although the range of the E.370 fell short of the Ministry’s requirements, they promptly awarded a contract for two prototypes to Arado.

These prototypes, designated as Ar 234, were mostly completed by the end of 1941.

However, the Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines, which were essential for the aircraft, were not available until February 1943.

The maiden flight of the Ar 234 V1 was further delayed until 30 July 1943 due to engine reliability issues.

Apart from the original reconnaissance-focused Ar 234A, the Ministry of Aviation also requested the development of a fast bomber variant, known as the Ar 234B.

However, the slender fuselage of the aircraft limited internal space, resulting in the need to carry bombloads of up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) on external racks instead of internal bomb bays.

The production of the Ar 234 was limited, despite initial plans to manufacture 500 units per month by late 1945.

This was primarily due to the scarcity of jet engines and other essential materials, which were in high demand for various aircraft, including the Messerschmitt Me 262.

Numerous models were proposed, featuring different engines, cockpit enhancements, and adaptations for various roles, including night fighter capabilities.

In late 1944, the Ar 234 began conducting aerial reconnaissance missions over enemy territory.

It predominantly served in this capacity and notably became the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over the United Kingdom during the war, in April 1945.

As a bomber, the Ar 234 was primarily utilised in repeated attempts to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen between March 7 and 17, 1945.

However, many aircraft were either destroyed or captured on the ground due to a lack of operational engines or fuel.


Arado E 370

Draft proposal submitted to the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) for a fast jet reconnaissance bomber.

Ar 234 V1 to V5

Initial prototypes of the Ar 234A with skid landing gear, take-off tricycle gear trolley with trio of retractable landing skids and 2 x Jumo 004 engines.

Ar 234 V6 & V8

Prototypes for four engine designs for the Ar 234, meant to use the alternative choice of the lower thrust BMW 003 turbojet engines while retaining the A model skid/trolley undercarriage.

The V6 was fitted with the quartet of BMW 003s in individual nacelles, unlike the V8 prototype which had the BMW jet engines in a pair of “twinned” nacelles, and essentially “prototyped” what would become the four-engine Ar 234C’s engine installation.

Ar 234 V7

Development aircraft for the Ar 234B production aircraft, retaining the A-series intended skid undercarriage, and saw active service.

Ar 234 V9 to V11

Representative prototypes of the Ar 234B production aircraft, with the V9 being the first retractable tricycle geared airframe.

Ar 234 V13 & V20

A pair of B series prototypes fitted with quartets of the BMW 109-003 engines for the C-series aircraft, using the V8 prototype’s “twinned” nacelle design, without the V8 example’s retractable wing-skids.

Ar 234 V15

A single B series airframe fitted with 2 x BMW 003 engines for engine development testing, and rumoured to have been considered for new wing planform tests.

Ar 234 V21 to V30

C-series development aircraft.

V26 and V30 had experimental thick section wooden and thin section metal laminar flow wings.

Ar 234 V16

Intended to be fitted with an experimental crescent wing with sweep back lessening towards the tips, evolved by Rüdiger Kosin and Walther Lehmann.

The wing was constructed but was destroyed before it could be fitted.

Ar 234 A

The first proposed production reconnaissance bomber fitted with skid undercarriage and take-off tricycle gear trolley, built only as the series of eight trolley and skid undercarriage V1 through V8 prototypes.

Ar 234 B-0

20 pre-production aircraft.

Ar 234 B-1

Reconnaissance version, equipped with two Rb 50/30 or Rb 75/30 cameras.

No serial production, all reconnaissance variants were converted from B-2 aircraft with Rüstsatz b.

Ar 234 B-1 Berlin N

Two engine aircraft, this was a wind tunnel test aircraft based on Ar 234 B-1 with FuG 244 Berlin N radar installed on top.

The purpose of this plane was to be an early warning jet and also a fighter control jet.

Ar 234 B-2

Bomber version, with a maximum bombload of 1,500 kg (3,307 lb).

Ar 234 B-2/N

Night fighter version, two aircraft converted from B-2.

Ar 234 C-1

Four engined aircraft, all C-series Ar 234s powered with a quartet of BMW 003 jet engines, as installed on the Ar 234 V8 prototype, otherwise similar to the Ar 234 B-1.

Ar 234 C-2

Four engined aircraft similar to the Ar 234 B-2.

Ar 234 C-3

Multi purpose version, armed with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons beneath the nose.

Ar 234 C-3/N

Proposed two seat night fighter version, armed with two forward firing 20 mm MG 151/20 and two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons, fitted with a mid-VHF band FuG 218 Neptun V radar.

Ar 234 C-4

Armed reconnaissance version, fitted with two cameras, armed with four 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon.

Ar 234 C-5

Proposed version with side by side seating for the crew.

The 31st prototype was converted into this variant.

Ar 234 C-5 Berlin N

Proposed C-5 with a FuG 244 Berlin-N rotating radar dish on top of the plane, for early warning and fighter control role 

Ar 234 C-6

Proposed two seat reconnaissance aircraft.

The 32nd prototype was converted into this variant.

Ar 234 C-7

Night fighter version, with side by side seating for the crew, fitted with an enhanced FuG 245 Bremen O cavity magnetron based centimetric (30 GHz) radar.

Ar 234 C-8

Proposed single seat bomber version, powered by two 1,080 kg (2,380 lb) Jumo 004D turbojet engines.

Ar 234 P-1

Two seat with four BMW 003A-1 engines, one 20 mm MG 151/20 and one 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108.

Ar 234 P-2

Also a two-seat, with redesigned cockpit protected by a 13 mm (0.51 in) armour plate.

Ar 234 P-3

HeS 011A powered P-2, but with two cannon.

Ar 234P-4

As P-3 but with Jumo 004D engines.

Ar 234P-5

Three seat version with HeS 011A engines, one 20 mm MG 151/20 and four 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon.





12.64 m (41 ft 6 in)


14.41 m (47 ft 3 in)


4.29 m (14 ft 1 in)

Wing area

26.4 m2 (284 sq ft)

Empty weight

5,200 kg (11,464 lb)

Max take-off weight

9,800 kg (21,605 lb)


2 × Junkers Jumo 004B-1 axial flow turbojet engines,

8.83 kN (1,990 lbf) thrust each


2 × Walter HWK 109-500A-1 Starthilfe liquid fuelled jettisonable JATO rocket pods,

4.905 kN (1,103 lbf) thrust each (optional)


Maximum speed

742 km/h (461 mph, 401 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)

Cruise speed

700 km/h (430 mph, 380 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)


1,556 km (967 mi, 840 nmi) with 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb load

Service ceiling

10,000 m (33,000 ft)

Rate of climb

13 m/s (2,600 ft/min)



2 × 20 mm MG 151 cannon in tail firing to the rear.


Up to 1,500 kg (3,309 lb) of disposable stores on external racks.

Arado Geschichte Eines Flugzeugwerks-Jorg Armin Kranzhoff.
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.

Monografi Arado Ar-234 Blitz-S Fleischer & M Rys.

Flugzeug Profile 33, Arado Ar-234.

Monogram Close-Up 23, Arado-234.


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