Blohm und Voss BV.238

1945

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Blohm und Voss BV.238

Originally designed as a passenger flying boat for the postwar Lufthansa, the BV 238 design was adapted in 1941 for military use as a maritime patrol and transport aircraft. When completed in 1944 it was the largest aircraft since the Maxim Gorkii and the heaviest built to that time. A quarter-scale testbed called the FGP 227 was deemed necessary to test the aerodynamics and water handling, but it completely failed to take off when tested on wheels and was then damaged by saboteurs. All the engines seized on its first flight from water - months after the first full-scale BV 238 flew. The sole complete BV 238 was caught on a lake by P-51 Mustangs and sunk by machine-gun fire in September 1944. Although three further BV 238s and three BV 250 landplane bombers were under construction, the loss of the only flying example caused the Luftwaffe to give up on the idea.

Jim Winchester "The World's Worst Aircraft", 2005

FACTS AND FIGURES

If it had entered service, the BV 238 would have had machine guns in nose and tail turrets, at the rear of the wings and in fuselage beam stations. A dorsal turret would have had two 20mm cannon.

The BV 238 was the world's heaviest aircraft in 1944. Fully loaded it would have needed rocket assistance to get airborne.

The original powerplant choice was four 24-cylinder Jumo 223 engines, but when these were not available, Blohm und Voss had to settle for six 12-cylinder Daimler-Benz motors.

3-View 
Blohm und Voss BV.238A three-view drawing (1310 x 712)

Specification 
 ENGINE6 x 1900hp Daimler-Benz DB 603G inline piston engines
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight100000 kg220463 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan60.17 m197 ft 5 in
  Length43.36 m142 ft 3 in
  Height12.80 m42 ft 0 in
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed425 km/h264 mph

Comments
Oldgunny, e-mail, 09.01.2016 22:48

Hay Steve, for the sake of conversation, let's say that the Blohm und Voss BV.238 had bombed the US mainland; just how would that have changed the out-come of WWII?

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Ben Beekman, e-mail, 27.02.2011 22:12

This seaplane was in many respects similar to the Martin Mars JRM-3. About the same dimensions, it could carry 25 tons as compared to the 16 ton payload of the Mars and was some 40 mph faster in top speed at 264 mph. Ranges were equivalent at approximately 4,300-4,400 miles.Service ceiling was 23,900 vs. 14,300 for the Mars. It used six DB603G engines rated at 1,900 hp each where Mars had four engines each rated at 2,500 hp. The Bv.238 had a crew of 12 while the Mars required a crew of 4 (with accommodations for a relief crew). While only one was built there were a half dozen Mars seaplanes constructed.

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Dan Rowan, e-mail, 07.01.2011 18:32

"30,000 KG of Bombs" with a range of.....? maybe,800 km.

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Paul M, e-mail, 24.12.2010 22:38

I remember looking at a website and it showed pictures of the BV-238 during construction. I believe it showed the first a /c and the construction of the other two.There was views of the inside also. Does anyone know of this website?
I sure would like to find it again.

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Ryan Thompson, e-mail, 02.09.2010 09:28

I'd love to see a photo of the one-quarter scale working model! :D Anyone have a photo?

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Barry, 12.01.2010 14:29

The quarter scale FFG Prag Fg227 was powered by 6 ILO 2 stroke engines rated at 21hp each. It was built by students at Prag under the direction of Dipl.Ing. Ludwig Karch.

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leo rudnicki, e-mail, 03.05.2009 17:15

Per Jane's 1946, the production engine for BV 238 was the Junkers Jumo 222, a 24 cylinder 4 row liquid cooled radial, gasoline fuel. The BV 222 was powered by Jumo 207 boxer or opposed diesels, or Bramo radials.

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Jeff Gillespie, e-mail, 02.05.2009 17:46

I would like some information on the engines of this aircraft. I understand they were diesel engines. What kind? Model? Radial or inline? Where can I find more info on these engines?

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BRI'AN, e-mail, 11.10.2007 18:50

BV 250?DANKE!ICH BIN NAZI,BV 250 BESTMANN,DANKE NAZI!

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STEVEN, e-mail, 29.04.2007 16:04

DO YOU KNOW THE BLOHM & VOSS BV 250 BOMBER COULD CARRY 30.000 KG OF BOMBS , ITS MEAN THAT BV 250 BOMBER CAN CARRY MORE BOMBS THAN AMERICAN B-52 MODERN BOMBER. IF THE BV 250 WERE OPERATIONAL, IT CAN BOMBED SOVIET INDUSTRIAL CITY BEHIND URAL MOUNTAINS AND UNITED STATES MAINLAND.

reply

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