January 09, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (Blohm und Voss BV 141)

This week's cheesecake is a bit of an ugly duckling. Perhaps one of the most asymmetrical military aircraft ever flown, the Blohm und Voss B.V. 141:



Posted by JohnL at January 9, 2005 09:23 PM

That thing can fly? It looks like it's got a tumor growing on it.

Posted by: owlish at January 9, 2005 10:20 PM

What was the point of it? I mean, I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posted by: RP at January 10, 2005 07:08 AM

It is little known (since the original papers did not survive the war) that there were a large number of Luftwaffe pilot-candidates who were disqualified for having poor vision in their left eye.

Fearing that one of these candidates might feel slighted in his attempt to serve and, at the same time, have "connections in higher political circles", it was decided to create an aircraft that was uniquely suited to the League of One-Eyed Pilots.

No? How about this one...

There was a British Bomber Command raid on the factory which produced the right-hand fuselage/tailboom section. But nobody wanted to tell Hitler that they weren't going to make their quota of aircraft production so they built the 141 as shown in the picture. And, German aircraft engineers being the design gods that they were, the darned thing actually flew.

Stop me when you've heard enough.

Posted by: homebru at January 10, 2005 11:47 AM

The real story is almost as bizarre, but
much more interesting. Politics were
indeed heavily involved. Funny thing is
that despite it's ugliness, this design
has captured the imagination of many over
the years.


Posted by: Gary Hethcoat at February 6, 2005 08:38 AM

Um... that's all variously funny and mysterious stuff, but does no one one know the BV 141 was an attempt to build a maximum-visibility observation aircraft around a single engine? Apparently they flew just fine, but not many were finished by war's end.

Posted by: wendy m at May 6, 2005 01:52 AM
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