Arado Ar. (E) 555 ( Revell 1/72 )
In mid-December 1943, at the Arado facilities in Landeshut/Schlesien, work began on a flying wing project series under the direction of Dr.-Ing. W. Laute. This was further elaborated by Dipl. Ing. Kosin and Lehmann of Arado under the title of "Long Range/High Speed Flying Wing Aircraft". A discussion took place with the RLM several months later in early 1944, and Arado was asked to compile design studies for a long range jet powered bomber. Since the requirements were high speed, a bomb load of at least 4000 kg (8818 lbs) and a range of 5000 km (3107 miles), it was realized that the project could best be fulfilled by using a flying wing design with a laminar high speed profile. The number of designs eventually reached fifteen, and included strategic bombers, remote controlled weapons carriers and fighters.
The Arado Ar E.555-1 was constructed entirely of metal (both steel and Duraluminum), and was basically a flying wing with a short, circular cross section forward fuselage where the pressurized cockpit was located. There were two large vertical fins and rudders that sat 6.2 m (20' 4") from the centerline of the aircraft. The main landing gear undercarriage consisted of two tandem, dual wheeled units that retracted inwards into the wing, and the front landing gear was a single, dual wheeled unit that retracted to the rear to lie beneath the cockpit. A droppable auxialiary landing gear could be used for overload conditions. Power was to be provided by six BMW 003A, all located on the rear upper surface of the wing. Defensive armament consisted of two MK 103 30mm cannon in the wing roots near the cockpit, a remote controlled turret armed with two MG 151/20 20mm cannon located just behind the cockpit and a further two MG 151/20 20mm cannon in a remote controlled tail turret, which was controlled via a periscope in a pressurized weapons station behind the cockpit area.
On December 28, 1944, Arado was ordered to cease all work on the E.555 series, probably due to the worsening war situation, and the need to concentrate aircraft development and production on fighters.
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