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Blohm und Voss BV40
This aircraft was a radical idea, developed to be launched from a conventional aircraft a few thousand feet above a group of Allied bombers for one blazing pass.
The idea for a small, heavily armed glide fighter was conceived when it was found that the radial engine of the Fw 190 was a large target for Allied bomber gunners, and that engined fighters in general were easy targets as well. The frontal area could be reduced drastically by just removing the engine, and also the construction of such a machine would require very little strategic materiels.
It was designed as early as mid-1943, and could be built by 'carpenters, locksmiths, and welders,' who had no previous experience in aircraft building. There was to be two 30-mm cannon mounted beside the pilot with ammunition for only one fast pass at an Allied four engined bomber, which were big targets anyways. The pilot lay on a padded bench, protected by considerable armor plate. Indeed, this armor accounted for 20% of the fighters weight!
After the first pass, it was planned to have a cable being towed behind the glider with an explosive charge it its end. This could be used to destroy another bomber after the 30-mm shells had been expended at the initial target. After the cable bomb had been expended, it was reasoned that the glider should have enough speed to climb up to the bomber formation and, with a special steel-steadied nose, ram a third bomber in mid-air.
Fortuately for both Allied bomber pilots and German glider pilots, the BV40 was never put into action.
Type: Single seat glider Interceptor
Armament: two 30mm cannon and one Gerat Schlinge (cable bomb)
Performance: Max Speed in battle dive: 530mph