Blohm und Voss: Rockets Away!

 

 

The multirole fighters of the German Blohm und Voss mini-branch introduced in Update 1.9.10 are impressive not only in terms of their flight characteristics, but with their general looks as well. They are the true “wunderwaffen” — the exceptionally unorthodox projects that the Third Reich put a lot of emphasis on in 1944-1945, when the situation in WWII was starting to look increasingly grim.

Blohm und Voss P 210

In the second half of 1944, the Luftwaffe command (OKL) announced a Jägernotprogramm (Emergency Fighter Program) — a series of competitions between aircraft manufacturers to create fighters for defense against the increasingly regular and devastating Allied bombing raids. The main emphasis was put on ease of production, service and piloting (by that time a large part of the Luftwaffe pilot ranks consisted of poorly trained young volunteer pilots), and most importantly, minimum use of increasingly sparse rare metal alloys and materials. 

In August 1944, a Volksjäger (People’s Fighter) competition was started as part of that program: leading German manufacturers were to design their projects for light fighter-interceptors. The requirements were simple: the fighter was to use a currently produced turbojet engine, have high-speed characteristics, be simple to master and pilot. The design should have been based on easily accessible materials and suitable for rapid mass production.

One of the projects presented to the Luftwaffe was the Blohm and Voss P 210. As with other designs created by Dr. Richard Vogt, it was very unusual. The short steel fuselage was supposed to house the engine, pilot’s cockpit and two 30 millimeter MK-108 cannons along with all the related systems. Interestingly, the design did not use the tail structure: all the control surfaces were located on swept wings. The project was rejected in favor of the Heinkel He 162 that proposed better characteristics and a less unorthodox design.

Blohm und Voss P 212.03

In early 1945, the Luftwaffe announced a new competition for a high altitude high-speed fighter-interceptor to replace existing designs. This time it was supposed to use the new Heinkel HeS 011 engine that would provide higher speeds and better altitude performance.

Richard Vogt proposed the third iteration of the P 212 design, which included numerous changes to previous versions. As with the P 210, the machine was supposed to utilize the tailless design, but included a more traditional control scheme: rudders were located on two winglets located on the end parts of the swept wings. The wings could be constructed from aluminum, steel and even wood. The proposed armament was very variable, ranging from two to seven (!) 30 millimeter cannons, and could be modified to include rockets. Blohm and Voss secured the Luftwaffe technical department’s approval to build three prototypes but hadn’t managed to construct any by the end of WWII.

Blohm und Voss P 215.02

Richard Vogt based the P 215 design on the P 212, creating it in response to design specifications issued by Luftwaffe in late January 1945. The second iteration of that design was eventually presented to the Luftwaffe after changes necessitated by alterations to those specifications issued in late February were implemented. Specifically, the basic design (two HeS 011 turbojets, wide swept wings with rudders in the winglets, and a tailless scheme) was augmented with a defensive turret and a seat for its operator behind the pilot. The proposed armament was once again very flexible: up to five 30 millimeter cannons, or four rapid-fire MK-213 20 millimeter cannons and 56 R4M rockets, or even two 55 millimeter cannons.

The proposed design was not fully compliant with the Luftwaffe requirements but the same issues plagued all the other projects by Blohm and Voss’s competitors. Eventually on 20 March 1945, the P 215.02 was selected for further development and prototype construction. Less than 2 months later, Germany capitulated, and the test prototype did not come to be.

Blohm und Voss machines in World of Warplanes

The new German Tier VIII-X warplanes belong to the multirole fighter class. Their common features include exceptional roll and pitch speeds, and powerful armament.

The Tier VIII Blohm und Voss P 210 has great roll speed, high speed and dynamic characteristics, and good altitude performance. Its swept wings make diving very efficient. The P 210 is not very suitable for close quarters fighting: the lack of rudders make active dogfighting difficult, so it is more suitable for repeated strafing run tactics. The aircraft has great armament for a Tier VIII: two Tier X 20 millimeter MG-213 cannons deal a lot of damage in mere seconds, though they are not suitable for prolonged firefights because they overheat quickly. Additionally, the aircraft carries up to 24 R4M rockets that are launched in salvos, which is a great asset for tackling durable enemies like attack aircraft or heavy fighters.

The Tier IX Blohm und Voss P 212.03 is a mix between a heavy and a multirole fighter in terms of its gameplay “feel”. Like the P 210, it has excellent roll speed, but additionally it has decent yaw performance as well. Good speed and boost dynamics coupled with high altitude performance and great diving dynamics make it an exceptional “boom-n-zoom-er”. That’s not surprising: the P 212.03 has not two but three top-tier 20 millimeter cannons and 48 R4M rockets waiting for any unsuspecting enemy.

Finally, the Tier X Blohm und Voss P 215.02 is a heavy version of the P 212.03 with twin engines and defensive armament. This makes it even more reminiscent of a heavy fighter than its Tier IX predecessor. Excellent roll speed, good yaw and pitch speeds, great altitude performance and long boost that can be quickly replenished, exceptional diving — all these features make it great for strafing enemies, and quickly disengaging and re-entering the fight on favorable terms. Without boosting, the speed is average, but an eager bogey on your six will be surprised by the defensive fire from its twin 13 mm machineguns with good shooting angles. Four rapidly firing MG-213/20 cannons and an astonishing rocket armament that includes both 4 WGr-210 rockets with good damage and 56 R4M salvo-launched rockets for aerial targets make the P 215.02 capable of instantly dealing with any enemy when aimed correctly.

 

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