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Chas Bunch
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Gotha 244B-2

May 31, 2024 · in Aviation · · 15 · 221

The Gotha 244 was an experiment for adding power plants to the Go 242 transport glider. It was first conceived as an idea to bolt an Argus As 10C 8-cylinder inverted V air cooled “power egg” engine to the front of the glider so that it could return to base under it's own power after completing it's mission of landing troops or supplies at locations where a tow plane could not operate from. That idea went nowhere, but the idea of adding a pair of air-cooled radial engines was accepted and in the summer of 1942 the Gothaer Wagonfabrik modified several Go 242B airframes with the 750 HP M-25A Shetsov and the 600HP BMW 132Z, both 9-cylinder radials. Also, a 14 cylinder Gnome-Rhone 14M of 700 HP was installed. Only the Shetsov engine provided adequate engine-out performance, the 244 was incapable of maintaining altitude on one engine except when empty with the BMW or Gnome-Rhone engines. However, it came down to engine availability. The captured Soviet Shetsov engines were not available in quantity, and after the fall of France the Gnome-Rhone engines were readily available and were used on the 244B-2. They were counter rotating engines, the port engine ran counter-clockwise while the starboard engine ran clockwise. After around 133 conversions, the Gather Wagonfabrik switched to production. After about 40 new 244B-2s were built, it became apparent that the shortcomings of the Go 244 had been revealed in operations on the Eastern Front and elsewhere, and production reverted back to the Go 242 glider. The remaining Go 244s were relegated to training schools for airborne troops.

This kit from is very nice, much like their recent Beaufort and Ki-21b, but a little more care and attention to detail is required. I used Eduard colored PE cockpit details and seat belts, as well as two-faced painting masks. I was undecided about leaving the rear tail cone open or closed, but ultimately built it closed. The model is slightly tail heavy, so I added a piece of lead under the cockpit floor to keep the nose wheel on the ground. The kit has 2 7.62mm guns, but from all the photos I've seen of the real thing, I didn't see any with the guns deployed. I used Mr. Color RLM 70 and 71, Model Master 65 and 02. I kept weathering to a minimum, just some exhaust stains and a little mud on the tires. Being fabric covered, and the fact that these machines probably didn't accumulate a lot of flight time, they were not around long enough to to get weathered much.
Another enjoyable build from ICM.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome 1 

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Nice work on an "oddball" subject, Chas.

  2. Excellent result on a really unique subject, Chas!

  3. OK Bunch…I’m on to you! I see that you are photo shopping your mug into your inflight images of your builds(I think). That’s awesome!

  4. Absolutely beautifully done, Chas @chasbunch
    Never knew those gliders were used with engines as well.

    • Thanks, John. The Germans actually converted several gliders into powered airplanes. For example, the huge Me-321 glider was converted to power, first with 4 engines, then finally 6 engines, redesigned Me-323.

  5. Very interesting!

  6. Chas, yours is a wonderful build, and your outdoor photos are incredible, given away only by their modern clarity and depth of field. I have this kit sitting before me, and the boxes contents are indeed impressive, giving hope that one day it'll get built half so well as yours. Congratulations on your impressive achievement in bringing this oddball to life!

    • Thanks, Christopher. I like oddball stuff, and the fact that ICM offered it closed the deal for me.. Fit is excellent if you pay close attention to instructions and think a couple of steps ahead to see how it all fits together.

  7. Nice work, Chas. Something we don’t see often.

  8. Again very nice work.

  9. Looks great! I've got the old Italeri 1/72 242/244 kit - thinking I'll build the version with engines too.

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