Heinkel He-50 and Arado Ar-81 Dive Bombers
Heinkel He-50 Dive bomber
The Heinkel He-50, intended to be a dive bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, was designed in 1931 originally to meet an order from the Japanese navy. It had a crew of two, pilot and observer/rear gunner. A sturdy, two-bay biplane made of wood and metal, it had a span of 11.5 m (37 ft 9 in), a length of 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in), and an empty weight of 1,600 kg (3.528 lbs). Powered by one 650-hp Bramo 322B SAM 9-cylinder, air-cooled, radial engine, it had a speed of 235 km/h (146 mph), and a range of 600 km (373 miles).
Bramo was short for Brandenburgische Motorwerke (Brandenburg Engine Works). The He 50 was armed with one ﬁxed 7.92-mm MG 17 machine gun ﬁring forward, and one 7.92mm MG 15 machine gun aimed by the observer. A bomb load of 250 kg (551 lbs) was carried. Demonstrated to the Defense Ministry in 1932, the aircraft was adopted. In all, some 90 units were built, a few survivors seeing active service on the Eastern front as late as 1943.
Arado Ar-81 Dive Bomber
First ﬂown in the spring of 1936, the biplane dive bomber Arado Ar-81 had a crew of two, pilot and rear gunner. It had a length of 11.5 m (37 ft 9 in), a span of 11 m (36 ft), and an empty weight of 1,925 kg (4.244 lbs). Powered by one 640hp Junkers Motorenbau ( Jumo) 210Ca inverted-V, 12-cylinder, water-cooled engine, it had a speed of 344 km/h (214 mph), and a range of 692 km (430 miles). Carrying a bomb load of 250 kg (550 lbs) and armed with one ﬁxed 7.92-mm MG 17 machine gun ﬁring forward and one 7.92-mm MG 15 on ﬂexible mounting in rear cockpit, the Ar 81 was superior in performance to the Junkers Ju 87, but the fact that it was a biplane made its production seem a retrograde step. So the “modern” monoplane Ju 87 was chosen, and the Ar 81 design was abandoned after three prototypes had been built.