Ar 96
Arado Ar-96.jpg
Arado Ar 96Bs in echelon flight
Role Military trainer
Manufacturer Arado Flugzeugwerke
Designer Walter Blume
First flight 1938
Introduction 1939
Primary users Luftwaffe
Czechoslovakian Air Force
Hungarian Air Force
Romanian Air Force
Number built 2891

The Arado Ar 96 was a German single-engine, low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, produced by Arado Flugzeugwerke. It was the Luftwaffe's standard advanced trainer during World War II.

Design and development

Designed by Walter Blume as the result of a 1936 Reich Air Ministry tender, the prototype, powered by a 179 kW (240 hp) Argus As 10c engine, first flew in 1938. In 1939, an initial batch of Ar 96A aircraft was produced. This was followed by the major production series, the more powerful Ar 96B, fitted with the Argus As 410 engine.

In 1943, Arado started development of a new derivative of the Ar 96, using non-strategic metals and wood, to be powered by a 580 hp (430 kW) Argus As 411 MA engine. The French company SIPA was ordered to build three prototypes and 25 preseries aircraft, but the Allied invasion of France forced the Germans to shift production of the Ar 396 to Czechoslovakia.[1][2] The first Czech-built example flew on 24 November 1944, with about 12 more examples completed by a consortium of several Czech manufacturers, led by Avia.[3] SIPA, meanwhile, continued work on its prototype after the German retreat from France, with the first French-built Ar 396, redesignated SIPA S.10, flying on 29 December 1944.[1]

Operational history

The Ar 96 was used for advanced, night and instrument-flying training.

During the Battle of Berlin, on the evening of 28 April 1945, test pilot Hanna Reitsch flew with then-Luftwaffe head Generalfeldmarschall Robert Ritter von Greim out from Berlin under Soviet fire in an Arado Ar 96 trainer, from an improvised airstrip in the Tiergarten.

Shadow production was undertaken by Letov and the Avia factory in occupied Czechoslovakia, where manufacturing continued for some years after the war, being designated the Avia C-2B.

A wooden version, known as the Ar 396, was built in France and was designated the SIPA S.10. Further developments were the SIPA S.11 (armed version), and the SIPA S.12, a metal version; 188 of all versions were produced until 1958. The S.11 was operated with some success in Algeria, carrying machine guns, rockets and light bombs.

Variants

Arado Ar-96.svg
Ar 96A
Two-seat advanced trainer aircraft. Initial production version.
Ar 96B
Improved version. Main production version.
Ar 96B-1
Unarmed pilot trainer version.
Ar 96B-2
Ar 96C
Ar 296
A proposed development of the Ar 96 with an Argus As 411 engine, abandoned in favour of the Ar 396, due to the use of non-strategic materials in the Ar 396 production.
Ar 396A-1
Single-seat gunnery trainer, powered by an Argus As 411 engine, built largely from wood.
Ar 396A-2
Unarmed instrument trainer version.
SIPA S.10
French production version of Ar 396, 28 produced.[4]
SIPA S.11
Modified version of S.10, powered by Renault 12S (French built Argus As 411), 50 built for the French Air Force.[4]
SIPA S.12
All-metal version of S.11, 52 built for the French Air Force.[4]
SIPA S.121
Modified version of S.12, 58 built for the French Air Force.[4]
Avia C.2B
Czechoslovak production version of the Ar 96B. Czechoslovak designation C.2B. 228 built by Avia and 182 by Letov between 1945 and 1950.[5]

Production figures up to 1945

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Version Arado AGO Avia Letov Total Construction period
Prototypes 4       4 1937–1938
A-0 6       6 including 3 delivered on 1 April 1939, W.-Nr. 2879-2884
A 23 69     92 Mid 1939 – May 1940
B-0 2       2 1940
B-1 144 223 997 17 1,381 July 1940 – April 1944
B-3     210   210 1941–1943
B-6     100   100 July 1943 – January 1944
B-7     518 378 896 May 1944 – March 1945
B-7/B-8 81 81 December 1944 – March 1945
B-8 74 74 June 1944 – January 1945
Sales series 45       45 1939–1940
Total 224 292 1825 550 2891

Operators

 Bulgaria
 Czechoslovakia
 France
 Germany
 Hungary
 Slovakia

Surviving aircraft

Specifications (Arado Ar 96B-2)

Data from Aircraft of the Third Reich Vol.1[8]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament
1 × 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 17 machine gun

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b Nëel June 1977, p. 3
  2. ^ Smith & Kay 1972, p. 54
  3. ^ Kudlicka 2004, pp. 48–49
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, Michael J H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. pg. 825. Portland House, 1989. ISBN 0-517-69186-8
  5. ^ Kudlicka 2004, pp. 45–46.
  6. ^ a b Kudlicka 2004, p.48.
  7. ^ Flyhistorisk Museum Sola Archived 2008-11-02 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
  8. ^ Green, William (2010). Aircraft of the Third Reich. Vol. 1 (1st ed.). London: Aerospace Publishing Limited. pp. 43 & 90. ISBN 978 1 900732 06 2.

Bibliography