Blohm und Voss Bv 142

The Blohm und Voss Bv 142 was a land-plane version of the Ha 139 float seaplane, also designed as a trans-Atlantic mail plane, and that was also taken into Luftwaffe service.

The Ha 139 was a twin-float seaplane with four engines mounted on the outer wings, and the floats attached to the base of the 'V' on each wing. Three prototypes were produced, and the Bv 142 was based on the largest of the three, the Ha 139V3.

There were relatively few changes between the types. The wings, fuselage and tails were essentially the same. The floats were removed, and a retractable undercarriage was installed, folding back into the inboard engine nacelles. The engines were changed from the Junkers Jumo 205 of the Ha 139 to four 880hp BMW 132H nine-cylinder radial engines.

The first prototype made its maiden flight on 11 October 1938, as the Ha 142V1. The second followed soon afterwards, but as the Bv 142V2, after a change in the designation for Blohm und Voss aircraft (Ha was taken from the name of their Hamburger Flugzeugbau subsidiary).

All four planned prototypes were tested by Lufthansa during the summer of 1939, but the type didn't impress, and unlike the Ha 139 the Bv 142 didn't enter service as a mail plane. All four aircraft were back at the Blohm und Voss factory by the outbreak of the Second World War. The first two prototypes were converted to act as reconnaissance aircraft, with the same modifications that were made to the Ha 139V3 - a new glazed nose was added for an observer, and the tail surfaces enlarged. The Bv 142 was given five 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns, one in the nose, one on each side of the fuselage, one in a ventral cupola and one in an electrically operated dorsal turret. The aircraft could also carry 880lb of bombs.

The two converted aircraft were used as reconnaissance aircraft, with the first one attached to the HQ of Luftfotte 3 in France. The unconverted aircraft were briefly used as transport aircraft, before all four were withdrawn from service in 1942.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 September 2010), Blohm und Voss Bv 142 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_blohm_und_voss_bv_142.html

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