Five prototypes of this new and improved single-seat fighter biplane appeared in 1933, powered by BMW VI or Junkers Jumo 210 engines. The first version to enter production and service (1936) was the Ar.68F, powered by the BMW engine, followed after a small production run by the superior 514kW Jumo Da- or Ea-engined Ar.68E. Prototype Ar.65G and H versions were subsequently built, of which only the supercharged 533.4kW BMW 132 Da-engined 'H' was fully developed. But even this failed to enter production despite having four machine-guns and an enclosed cockpit for the pilot. A few Ar.68 remained operational as night fighters during the first months of World War II and were the Luftwaffe's last operational biplane fighters.
| ENGINE||1 x Jumo 210Ea, 505kW|
| Take-off weight||2020 kg||4453 lb|
| Empty weight||420 kg||926 lb|
| Wingspan||11.0/8.0 m||36 ft 1 in / 26 ft 3 in|
| Length||9.5 m||31 ft 2 in|
| Height||3.3 m||11 ft 10 in|
| Wing area||27.3 m2||293.85 sq ft|
| Max. speed||335 km/h||208 mph|
| Cruise speed||280 km/h||174 mph|
| Ceiling||8100 m||26600 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||500 km||311 miles|
| ARMAMENT||2 machine-guns, 60kg of bombs|
|A three-view drawing (1000 x 708)|
The choice of engine was influenced by the availability. Rethel wanted the Jumo 210 but other manufacturers had claims before Arado so they had to settle on the BMW VI until supplies of the former were more readily available. The advent of the Bf109 was the writing on the wall for the biplane fighter and thus the Ar68 was the last such type to fly with the Luftwaffe. Just prior to this decision the Ar68H was flown using the BMW 132Da radial, a license built Pratt and Whitney Hornet, this engine offered a very much improved performance (max speed 400 km/h)but it was all too late.
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