|Role||Military transport monoplane|
|Developed from||Gotha Go 242|
The Gotha Go 244 was a transport aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during World War II.
The Go 244 was the powered version of the Gotha Go 242 military glider transport. Studies for powered versions of the Go 242 began early in the design of the glider, with one early proposal being for modification to allow a single Argus As 10C engine to be temporarily attached to the nose of the glider to allow recovery back to base after use. This idea was rejected, but the alternative of a permanently powered twin-engined version was taken forward.
Three Go 242s were modified as prototypes of the powered Go 244, fitted with varying surplus radial engines. The first prototype, the Go 244 V1 was powered by two 660 hp (490 kW) BMW 132, while the second prototype had 700 hp (520 kW) Gnome-Rhône 14Ms — and the third 750 hp (560 kW) Shvetsov M-25 A engines, with this model of Shvetsov OKB engine design being essentially a Soviet-built Wright Cyclone American-based nine-cylinder radial. Although only the third prototype offered adequate engine out performance, the Luftwaffe had large stocks of captured Gnome engines, so this was chosen as the basis for the production conversion — usually fitted in counter-rotating pairs in production — although a few more aircraft were fitted with the BMW and Shvetsov engines.
The B series was the main production model, being based on the Go 242B with a wheeled tricycle undercarriage and with fuel and oil carried in the tailbooms. 133 were converted from existing Go 242 Bs, while a further 41 Go 244 transport aircraft were built using new air frames, before production reverted to the Go 242 glider version. Plans were also created for single-engined variants with a nose-mounted Argus As 10C or Junkers Jumo 211.
The first examples of the Go 244 were delivered to operational units in Greece, based in Crete in March 1942. Some were also assigned to transport Geschwader in North Africa and the Eastern Front but on the former front they proved vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire and were withdrawn, being replaced by Junkers Ju 52 or Messerschmitt Me 323 aircraft.
Data from Gotha's Twin-Boom Troopers