|Arado Ar 196|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|General Ingame Information|
|Debut||Debut in FH mod|
|Used by|| Germany|
|Guns|| 2x 20 mm MG FF|
1x 7.92mm MG 17
|Special abilities||Catapult Launch|
|Seat 2||1x 7.92mm MG 15|
The Arado company was awarded a contract for reconnaissance aircraft that would operate off of water and be capable of sustaining catapult forces from being launched from German warships. The resulting design was the Ar 196 which was the only monoplane design submitted to the RLM, the rest being biplane floatplanes. Arado built the aircraft around the specific BMW 132 engine which would be a reliable engine and wasn't competing for the same resources that the RLM's fighter developments were seeking.
As designed, the aircraft could operate effectively off the water allowing for basing on lakes and coastlines. The aircraft was equally at home aboard ships, like Bismarck or Tirpitz, and could be shot off a catapult, conduct its mission, then land alongside the ship where it could be hoisted back aboard for its next cat shot. While much of the Ar 196 production was centered around floatplane configurations, the Ar 196 was also built with a conventional landing gear (tailwheel) for land-based operations. By the time the war was in full-swing, the land-based Arados were relegated to other duties or retired, while the floatplane Ar 196 aircraft served through the end of World War 2.
The Ar 196s were also used in the English Channel for air-sea rescues. In 1940 two Ar 196s helped in the capture the HMS Seal submarine. The submarine had been damaged by a mine off the coast of Norway. Two Ar 196s based in Aalborg, Denmark attacked the submarine and prevented it from submerging. The Kriegsmarine then captured the submarine.