Aircraft, Airport, Aircraft Specification

Why the Blohm & Voss BV 141 Never Soared

Why the Blohm & Voss BV 141 Never Soared

Way back towards the end of the 1930’s when it seemed like the Nazis would be the world rulers, Germany decided that it required an observation plane which would provide unparalleled visibility for scouting-out targets. At this point, BV submitted its Blohm & Voss BV 141. This was an aircraft with a very unusual asymmetrical design. It has a tail boom with its radial engine on 1 side. The shorter crew compartment that was made up almost completely of windscreens (with a camera in it), was fitted on the other side.

The company had produced 3 Blohm & Voss BV 141 prototypes in 1938. The last of these was outfitted with 2, 2.92mm machine guns that fired forward and 2 that fired rearward. Racks had also been added for 4, 11 a-pound bombs. It was believed that the initial aircraft were underpowered. Thus, the engines were revamped and 5 more BV 141 were built with these high-powered engines. In late 1941, the company started on the trials which were discontinued in 1943.

These aircraft operated at a much lower speeds than the bombers and allied fighters. The Luftwaffe needed more fighters to shield the country from the persistent Allied bombing. Thus, though the Blohm & Voss BV 141 performed well, the need of the hour was for these faster bombers and it never moved into operational service. Only 23 of these unusually structured aircraft were built. In the end, the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 that had a similar fuselage with a more traditional twin engine layout won the race to the skies.

Every decade has had its fair share of aircraft oddities and many aircraft were unique in configuration, concept or design. In the latter part of the decade, the world saw some more unorthodox aircraft make an appearance. But the Blohm & Voss BV 141, with its outstanding all-round vision and off-center single engine will probably be recognized as the world’s most unusual aircraft.

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