Gotha Go 244

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Go 244
Role Military transport monoplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Gotha
First flight 1940s
Produced 174[1]
Developed from Gotha Go 242

The Gotha Go 244 was a transport aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during World War II.

Development[edit]

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.[2]

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 (492 kW) BMW 132, while the second prototype had 700 hp (522 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.[3][4]

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.[5] 133 were converted from Go 242 Bs,[6] while a further 41 were built from new before production reverted to the glider Go 242.[7] Plans were also created for single-engined variants with a nose-mounted Argus A 10C or Junkers Jumo 211.[8]

Operational history[edit]

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in North Africa and the Eastern Front but on the former front they proved vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire and were withdrawn, being replaced by Junkers Ju 52 or Messerschmitt Me 323 aircraft.[8]

Variants[edit]

  • Go 244 A-1 - prototype, using the BMW 132 radial engine
  • Go 244 B-1 - production version, with fixed landing gear
  • Go 244 B-2 - B-1 with improved landing gear including a larger semi-retractable nose wheel
  • Go 242 B-3 - paratroop-carrying version of B-1 with double rear doors
  • Go 244 B-4 - paratroop-carrying version of B-2 with doors of B-3 and landing gear of B-2
  • Go 244 B-5 - training version with dual controls

Specifications (Go 244 B-1)[edit]

Data from Gotha's Twin-Boom Troopers[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: up to 23 troops or freight
  • Length: 15.8 m (51 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 24.5 m (80 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 64.4 m2 (693 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 5,100 kg (11,244 lb)
  • Gross weight: 7,800 kg (17,196 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14M-04 14-cyl two-row air-cooled radial piston engine (rh rotation), 520 kW (700 hp)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome-Rhône 14M-05 14-cyl two-row air-cooled radial piston engine (lh rotation), 520 kW (700 hp)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed variable-pitch propellers (lh & rh rotation)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 290 km/h (180 mph, 160 kn) at 3,000 m (9,800 ft)
  • Range: 600 km (370 mi, 320 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 740 km (460 mi, 400 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,600 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in 3 minutes

Armament

  • Guns: 3× 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 15 or MG 81 machine guns

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ *Chant, Chris (1999). Aircraft of World War II. London: Brown Books. p. 147. ISBN 189788446X.
  2. ^ Air International December 1989, p. 291.
  3. ^ Air International December 1989, pp. 291–2.
  4. ^ Smith and Kay 1972, p.219.
  5. ^ Air International December 1989, p. 292.
  6. ^ Ford, Roger (2013). Germany's Secret Weapons of World War II. London: Amber Books. ISBN 9781909160569.
  7. ^ Air International December 1989, p. 309.
  8. ^ a b Bishop, Chris; Roger Ford (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling. p. 408. ISBN 1-58663-762-2.
  9. ^ Air International December 1989, pp. 288.
Bibliography
  • "Gotha's Twin-Boom Troopers". Air International. Vol. 37 no. 6. December 1989. pp. 286–292, 309.
  • Smith, J R; Kay, Antony L (1972). German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam. ISBN 0370000242.