Blohm und Voss BV.222 Viking

1940

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Blohm und Voss BV.222 Viking

Largest flying-boat to achieve production status during World War II, the six-engine Blohm und Voss Bv 222 Viking was designed in 1936 to provide Deutsche Lufthansa with a 24- passenger airliner for the North and South Atlantic routes, but it was not until 7 September 1940 that the first prototype Bv 222 VI was first flown by Flugkapitan Helmut Wasa Rodig. Flying characteristics were pronounced good and the first operation for the Luftwaffe was flown by a civilian crew between Hamburg and Kirkenes, Norway, on 10 July 1941. Usually escorted by a pair of Messerchmitt Bf 110 fighters the Bv 222 VI, with six Bramo Fafnir radials, then started flying regular supply missions across the Mediterranean for German forces in North Africa. Several narrow escapes from Allied fighters emphasized the need for some defensive armament and the second and subsequent prototypes included a number of gun positions, while the Bv 222 VI was fitted with seven single 7.92mm and 13mm machine-guns, and under each wing a gondola mounting a pair of the latter. The Bv 222 V3 featured gun turrets on top of the wing between the outboard engines, each with a 20mm cannon. By March 1943 a total of seven transport prototypes had been completed, all with armament variations; all served with Lufttransportstaffel See 222 (LTS See 222) in the Mediterranean, three being lost (two shot down by fighters and one sunk after striking a buoy while landing at Athens). The remaining aircraft, the Bv 222 V2, Bv 222 V3, Bv 222 V4 and Bv 222 V5, were converted for maritime reconnaissance and served with Fliegerfuhrer Atlantik, some with FuG 200 search radar; the Bv 222 V3 and Bv 222 V5 were destroyed at their moorings at Biscarosse by Allied fighters in June 1943, and another aircraft was shot down by an Avro Lancaster over the Bay of Biscay in the following October. The Bv 222 V7 was the prototype of the production version, the Bv 222C, of which five examples were completed with six 746kW Junkers Jumo 205D or 207C diesel inlines and a total armament of three 20mm and five 13mm guns. Of these one was shot down by a British night-fighter near Biscarosse and another was hit by strafing Mustangs at Travemunde; the Bv 222 V2 was destroyed during the Allied reoccupation of Norway; two others were sunk by their crews at the end of the war, two were flown to the USA and one was ferried to the UK after the end of hostilities.

Blohm und Voss BV.222 Viking

Specification 
 CREW11
 ENGINE6 x 746kW Junkers 207C 12-cylinder radial engines
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight49000 kg108027 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan46.00 m151 ft 11 in
  Length37.00 m121 ft 5 in
  Height10.90 m36 ft 9 in
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed390 km/h242 mph
  Ceiling7300 m23950 ft
  Range6100 km3790 miles
 ARMAMENT3 x 20mm cannon, 5 x 13mm machine guns

3-View 
Blohm und Voss BV.222 VikingA three-view drawing (1322 x 710)

Comments
Stan Holmes, e-mail, 28.09.2012 19:01

In autumn 1946 I was attached to 201 Sqn at Calshot and the BV222 flown to UK by Capt Eric Brown RN was moored off Calshot Spit. The SNCO who was responsible for it took me out to see it and it was very impressive. The main spar was a metre diameter through the fuselage. The flight deck was huge and the navigator had a very large desk.Pilot's seats had thick moulded armour plating. I have a memory of seeing mechanics dismantling an engine out on the water. The Germans did use a BV222 to resupply one of their Arctic weather stations on Franz Joseph Land.

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Joćo Maio, e-mail, 12.04.2012 18:47

I would like to know if there is any BV-222 left, because I know that RAF captured one just at the end of ww II, and used it during some years. What was done with that plane?
After 02 years of my first e.mail, no one ever answered me.

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Kris, e-mail, 06.12.2011 14:31

the BV 222 had Jumo 205 /207 diesel engines, no BMW 801s ...

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bombardier, e-mail, 24.05.2011 10:49

The BV222 was powered by six BMW801 radial engines not by diesels

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 01.05.2010 03:12

HM Archer the Bv222 had a total 40,418lb of diesel fuel.

There were trials in the baltic with a captured Dutch submarine transferring fuel to a Bv222 which failed miserably because as the fuel in the submarine's tanks were replaced by seawater, this was drawn up to the Bv222 which had to be towed to port. The technique may have been perfected but these are the only trials I am aware of. Bv222 aircraft did operate to fjords in Greenland where U-boats also resupplied German units so potentially it did happen.

Bv222 V-2 was test flown by Flugkapitän Möhring of Erprobungsstelle Travemünde and USN test-fligt Cdr. McNelly wearing US markings in Norwegian waters. The Americans lost interest in the aircraft quite quickly and handed it to the British Subsequent to it's testing by the US Navy, the RAF kept the aircraft in the autumn, and it was docked outside Skansen in Trondheim till October 1945. Due to engine trouble on October 10, the British decided to scuttle the aircraft near Trondheim. After having been filled up with surplus material from the German airbase in Ilsvika, it was towed and sunk between Fagervika and the Monk's Island. This aircraft has been relocated and may be raised for restoration.

Puzzlingly however another all white Bv222 was flown to the UK by RN test pilot Eric Brown and was given RAF registration and markings.

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Bob Tufo, e-mail, 05.02.2010 01:12

A beautiful airplane I have long admired. I didn't know one was flown to the US after the war; anyone know what became of it?

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Joćo Manuel Maio, e-mail, 09.01.2010 17:01

I would like to know if there is any BV-222 left, because I know that RAF captured one just at the end of ww II, and used it during some years. What was done with that plane?

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Edward B. Cummings, e-mail, 27.12.2009 01:03

Can you confirm this aircraft was powered by diesel engines? During the war my father, in the Navy with FleetAirWing 7 operating PB4-Y1's (Navy B-24's) against the U-boats mentioned that these Bv222's would refuel at sea from U-boat "milchcows" and thus take on diesel fuel, not gasoline. This was a particular logistic advantage which I think your website should address.

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Paul Buten, e-mail, 11.11.2009 00:41

The above mentioning of an Avro Lancaster is incorrect .
My Oncle Simon Butz was a Flight engineer on V4 BV222 and
on a reconnaissance flight over the Atlantic ,they shot down a
Liberator Bomber.Video material about V4 BV 222 is in my
possession .

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HM Archer, e-mail, 07.12.2007 20:07

Have you any information on the fuel load and distribution for this aircraft

reply

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