Author Topic: Arado E.500 light bomber version  (Read 685 times)

Offline Lrrr

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Arado E.500 light bomber version
« on: December 05, 2017, 04:01:25 AM »

Backstory:
Arado E.500 was a competitor to the RLM's Kampfzerstörer project of the 1930s, which was eventually won by the Bf 110. 



However, for this WHIF, the E.500 made it past the full-scale mockup stage and entered the live competition against Bf 110, Fw 57 and Henschel Hs 124.  The Fw and Hs stuck closest to the original RLM request; having a crew of 3; pilot, bombardier and rear gunner, with an internal bomb load.  The Bf 110 and E.500 skipped the bombardier and internal bomb requirement, but in very different ways.  The Bf 110, while not as agile as a single seater, beat all comers on speed and outright performance.  The E.500 meant to deal with heavy bombers with 2 turrets armed with 20mm LB 202 .  The twin-boom design was intended to give these huge turrets uninterrupted firing forward and rear. 

Trouble was, the guns and turrets were so heavy and unaerodynamic that not only did the Bf 110 walk all over it in competition, it only had a mild speed advantage over a loaded twin-engine bomber, and unloaded a contemporary medium bomber could just run away from it, as the E.500 had to carry its 'war load' (the turrets) around with it at all times.  There were brief talks of making it an escort fighter, but the new project Ju 88 was theoretically faster, though the dive bombing requirement would eventually slow down the Ju 88 to the point that the turret fighter may have been a good idea.  Irony #1

Irony #2 is that all this added up to the Bf 110 being selected since Messerschmitt built a fast fighter rather than a light bomber with some limited bomber hunting capacity. 

All was not lost since (in this WHIF) Arado had flying prototypes, and first task on the list was to make it at least as useful as other aircraft its size.

The top turret was shrunk with the gunner sitting behind a single 20mm gun rather than in-between two, significantly reducing its profile and turret ring size, as well as machinery to rotate and elevate the 2 FlaK guns.

The lower turret was turned into the typical-for-axis aircraft Bola, with a 20mm MG facing forward and a 13mm facing down and to the rear.  The turret ring and machinery was totally eliminated in the lower arrangement. 

The shrinking of one turret and eliminating another saved enough weight was saved to finally add a bomb bay, as well as a rear gunner position for a final 20mm on board.  With a crew of 5, the Arado 339 entered service in time to compete with the Ju 188, which also had a crew of 5.   Due to the Ju 88 not having been quite fast enough to evade modern single-engine interceptors like the Spitfire it thus required an increase in armament, resulting in the turret-armed 188.   The Ju 88 finally became fast enough much later with new turbocharged engines, but too late to have an impact.

The Arado 339 however was significantly better armed than even the 188, trading up the 7.92s for 20mms wherever possible.  And so the 339 became the 88's successor rather than the 188, and met with enough success that production of the Ju 88 was even redirected to the Arado and the fast engines would eventually make their way onto that platform instead.  The main issue of course remained that allied production was tremendous. 


Started with the 1:144 E.500 'heavy turret fighter'

My mods: shaved down top turret (and painted all the glass black since this scarred the clear plastic pretty good).  Created a window both forward and back on the packaged 'turret' which is now a Bola. I used a fuel tank off a 1:32 build to make the center fuselage extension and bomb bay with the 'stinger' rear turret




« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 03:19:53 PM by Lrrr »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 01:16:40 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
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Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 12:37:45 PM »
Twin-boomers are always lovely  :-* , like this one (even if most of them are military alas)... ???

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 01:01:48 AM »
Quote
Started with the 1:144 E.500 'heavy turret fighter'

Whose kit is this? I like the execution and the back story, but I have not seen a lot of Luft '46 ( or '36 in this case ;) ) in 1/144 scale.

Offline Lrrr

  • I am Lrrr, Ruler of the Planet Omicron Perseii 8
Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 10:12:54 AM »
Thanks all.


Quote
Started with the 1:144 E.500 'heavy turret fighter'


Whose kit is this? I like the execution and the back story, but I have not seen a lot of Luft '46 ( or '36 in this case ;) ) in 1/144 scale.


Lucked out with this one.  This is the AniGrand Fw 261 kit which comes with 4 bonus twin-boom fighters all 1:144.




Here is the FW 261 build I did out of this same kit/box:

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=7468.msg131328#msg131328
http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=2053.0
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 06:01:50 AM by Lrrr »

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 12:55:42 AM »
Interesting!
I have seen that there is similarly a US big plane with 1/144th XP-54/55/56, interesting too... :smiley:

Offline finsrin

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Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 03:01:30 AM »
As if Focke-Wulf Fw-261 isn't interesting enough.  To find additional kits included is more interesting.
Did not know of E.500 until now.  Good job, you built it right. :smiley:

Offline Lrrr

  • I am Lrrr, Ruler of the Planet Omicron Perseii 8
Re: Arado E.500 light bomber version
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 05:58:19 AM »
Thanks!  I've had fun with this 5-pack kit of twin-boomers.