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Arado Ar 68

Type: Single-seat fighter
Origin: Arado Handelsgesellschaft, Warnedmunde
Models: Ar 68A to Ar 68G
First Flight: November 1933
Service Delivery:
  Ar 68G: December 1935
Final Delivery: 1937

POWERPLANT:
Ar 68a & Ar 68d

 Model: BMW VId
 Type: 12-Cyl. water cooled vee
 Number: One  Horsepower: 550 hp

Ar 68b
 Model: Junkers Jumo 210
 Type: 12-Cyl. water cooled inverted vee
 Number: One  Horsepower: 610 hp

Ar 68e
 Model: Junkers Jumo 210da
 Type: 12-Cyl. water cooled inverted vee
 Number: One  Horsepower: 690 hp

DIMENSIONS: Ar 68E-1
Wing span: 11m (36 ft. 1 in.)
Length: 9.5m (31 ft. 2 in.)
Height: 3.28m (10 ft. 9 in.)
Wing Surface Area: 27.30²
  WEIGHTS:
Empty:
 Typical: 1500 kg (3,307 lbs.)
 Ar 68E-1: 1840 kg (4,057 lbs.)
Maximum:
 Typical: 2000 kg (4,410 lbs.)
 Ar 68E-1: 2475 kg (5,457 lbs.)

PERFORMANCE:
Maximum Speed:
 Typical: 310 kph (192 mph)
 Ar 68E-1: 305 kph (190 mph) at sea level
Initial climb: N/A
Range:
 Typical: 342 Miles (550 km)
 Ar 68E-1: 258 Miles (415 km)
Service Ceiling:
 Typical: 24,280 ft. (7400m)
 Ar 68E-1: 26,575 ft. (8100m)

ARMAMENT:
Two MG 17 7.92mm machine guns mounted above engine.

PAYLOAD: Ar 68E-1
Racks for 6 50kg. (110 lb.) bombs

The Arado Ar 68 was a single-seat biplane fighter developed in the mid-1930s. It was among the first fighters produced when Germany abandoned the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles and began rearming.

Designed to replace the Heinkel He 51, the Ar 68 proved to have admirable handling characteristics on its first flight in early 1934, despite Arado's inability to secure a sufficiently powerful engine for the prototype. Eventually, a Junkers Jumo 210 was installed and the Ar 68 went into production, though not before worries about the unforgiving nature of such a high-performance aircraft almost resulted in the cancellation of the project.

The Ar 68 entered service with the Luftwaffe in 1936 and one of the first units was stationed in East Prussia. Soon, the fighter was sent to fight in the Spanish Civil War, where it was outclassed by the stumpy Soviet Polikarpov I-16. Arado responded by upgrading the engine of the Ar-68E, which soon became the Luftwaffe's most widely-used fighter in 1937-8 before being replaced by the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The last Ar 68s served as night fighters in the winter of 1939-40 and fighter-trainers.

Variants
- Ar 68V1: Prototype, powered by a 660 hp BMW VI engine. First flight in 1933.
- Ar 68a: First prototype.
- Ar 68b: Second prototype.
- Ar 68c: Third prototype.
- Ar 68d: Fourth prototype.
- Ar 68e: Fifth prototype.
- Ar 68E: First type to enter Luftwaffe service, powered by a 610 hp Junkers Jumo 210.
- Ar 68F: Powered by a 670 hp BMW VI.
- Ar 68G: Most produced variant, 670 hp+ BMW VI
- Ar 68H: Only a single prototype was built. It was powered by an 850 hp supercharged
   BMW 132Da nine-cylinder air-cooled radial. It was also the first Arado fighter to have
   an enclosed cockpit.


Sources:
Gunston, Bill & Wood, Tony - Hitler's Luftwaffe, 1977, Salamander Books Ltd., London
Wikipedia - Arado Ar 68

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