Arado Ar 234 Blitz (Lighting) . The world's first jet bomber. It was designed as a reconnaissance aircraft and schnellbomber (fast bomber) for the Luftwaffe. This is one of the early models with a retractable skid instead of wheels, and it is seen in a couple of the photos carrying 2 bombs under the engines (it didn't have a bomb bay because it was so narrow). It also has the trolly that it takes off with. I only saw one other Ar 234 on MOCPages and I wanted to build my own, so here it is. I think this is my favorite model and I love how it turned out; however, I may make another one. Enjoy and please comment! .
The trolly is released from the plane right after takeoff. A parachute at the back slows it down so it doesn't bounce up and damage the plane.
To be both narrow and lightweight, early models of the 234 had a retractable skid and two outriggers for landing. This proved to be ineffective on the ground, so production models had a wider fuselage and a narrow retractable undercarriage. This made the plane slightly slower, but this was a small sacrifice as the plane could now taxi and was controllable on the ground.
When the plane landed, the skid was retracted and the outriggers deployed. After the plane had stopped, it toppled over onto one side, while it waited for a ground crew to jack it up back onto its trolley.
On all of the Arado Ar 234 bomber versions, the bombs were carried on pylons on the engines and wings. The bomb load was relatively low for a plane of its class, but it was twice as fast as typical German medium bombers.
And here is the trolley. While on the ground, the pilot steered the plane not by turning the nose wheel, but by changing the thrust output of the jet engines.
The twin Junkers Jumo 004 turbojets provided nearly 4,000 pounds of thrust together and gave the plane a great rate of climb and a top speed of about 500 miles per hour on earlier versions, like mine. Later versions had a slightly reduced top speed. For defensive armament, the plane had a small tail turret aimed using a periscope (yet another task for the pilot, as he was already the pilot, bombardier, navigator, radio operator, and flight engineer). Occasionally the 234 was escorted by Me 262s and a couple times by He-162s (please check that model out too!), WWII jet fighters.
Bonus! I found old pics of an earlier attempt at an Ar 234 with wheels. As you can see, this model is far too long and narrow.
Well, at least it had wheels. Maybe I'll try again to make a good one with wheels.