Friday, 5 June 2015

Blohm & Voss BV 142

Rare image of a Blohm & Voss Ha 142/BV 142. Notes on the back of the photo reveal that it was taken at Neufchâteau, France, in late 1940. The dark spinners indicate that this might be BV 142 V2/U1 PC+BC, Werknummer 219, assigned to Luftflotte III. Before its conversion to a reconnaissance aircraft (encompassing, among other changes, an enlarged nose section with extensive glazing), the V2 flew in Lufthansa livery, as D-ABUV, Kastor.

The BV 142 V2's first flight took place on June 3, 1939. In part of the flight envelope, the aircraft's flight characteristics were somewhat deficient. Conversion of the aircraft from the Lufthansa configuration to a long-range reconnaissance platform for the Luftwaffe was ordered in December 1939, shortly after flight testing of the V2 had been completed. The V2 was the first BV 142 to be so converted.

The maiden flight of the newly configured aircraft took place already on May 13, 1940, marking the beginning of a second flight test program that comprised 20 flights. The weight of the rebuilt V2 had increased by one metric ton, but the maximum speed attained was only slightly below that achieved before the conversion.

It appears that the photo was taken from a moving vehicle or rail car, across what might be perimeter railroad tracks. (Fischer collection)

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