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A Gotha Go 244 on the ground

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

Contents

Development

The Go 244 was the powered version of the Gotha Go 242 transport glider.

After the fall of France, the German army came across large stockpiles of the Gnome-Rhône 14M radial engines, rated at 500 kW (700 hp). It was decided to use these engines to modify Go 242 gliders; the modification also added a tricycle undercarriage. They hoped that by doing this they would be able to increase the performance as well as operational versatility, but the Gnome engines proved to be underpowered.

After the invasion of Russia in June 1941, the Germans captured large stockpiles of Shvetsov M-25A radial engines, rated at 500-600 kW (700-800 hp) at takeoff, depending on model, but they proved to be just as underpowered as the French engines. The A series of the Go 244 were prototypes and some were powered by BMW 132 radial engines, rated at 720 kW (960 hp) at takeoff. The B series was the main production model. 43 were built as full production models and 133 were converted from Go 242B. Plans were also created for single-engined variants with a nose-mounted Argus A 10C or Junkers Jumo 211.[1]

Operational history

The first examples of the Go 244 were delivered to operational units in Greece and 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in North Africa and the Eastern Front but on the former front they proved vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire and were withdrawn, being replaced by Junkers Ju 52 or Messerschmitt Me 323 aircraft.[1]

Variants

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

Specifications (Go 244B-2)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: up to 23 troops or freight
  • Length: 51 ft 10 in (15.80 m)
  • Wingspan: 80 ft 5 in (24.50 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)
  • Wing area: 693 ft² (64.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 11,517 lb (5,225 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 17,196 lb (7,800 kg)
  • Powerplant: × , () each
  • * Aspect ratio: 16:1

Performance

Armament

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

Notes

  1. ^ a b Bishop, Chris; Roger Ford (2002). The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling. p. 408. ISBN 1586637622.  
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