Largest flying-boat to achieve production
status during World War II, the
six-engine Blohm und Voss Bv 222
Viking was designed in 1936 to provide
Deutsche Lufthansa with a 24-
passenger airliner for the North and
South Atlantic routes, but it was not
until 7 September 1940 that the first
prototype Bv 222 VI was first flown by
Flugkapitan Helmut Wasa Rodig.
Flying characteristics were pronounced
good and the first operation
for the Luftwaffe was flown by a civilian
crew between Hamburg and Kirkenes,
Norway, on 10 July 1941. Usually
escorted by a pair of Messerchmitt Bf
110 fighters the Bv 222 VI, with six
Bramo Fafnir radials, then started
flying regular supply missions across
the Mediterranean for German forces
in North Africa. Several narrow
escapes from Allied fighters emphasized
the need for some defensive
armament and the second and subsequent
prototypes included a number
of gun positions, while the Bv 222 VI
was fitted with seven single 7.92mm and 13mm machine-guns,
and under each wing a gondola
mounting a pair of the latter. The Bv 222
V3 featured gun turrets on top of the
wing between the outboard engines,
each with a 20mm cannon. By March
1943 a total of seven transport prototypes
had been completed, all with
armament variations; all served with
Lufttransportstaffel See 222 (LTS See
222) in the Mediterranean, three being
lost (two shot down by fighters and one
sunk after striking a buoy while landing
at Athens). The remaining aircraft,
the Bv 222 V2, Bv 222 V3, Bv 222 V4 and
Bv 222 V5, were converted for maritime
reconnaissance and served with
Fliegerfuhrer Atlantik, some with FuG
200 search radar; the Bv 222 V3 and Bv
222 V5 were destroyed at their moorings
at Biscarosse by Allied fighters in
June 1943, and another aircraft was
shot down by an Avro Lancaster over
the Bay of Biscay in the following October.
The Bv 222 V7 was the prototype of the production version, the Bv 222C,
of which five examples were completed
with six 746kW
Junkers Jumo 205D or 207C diesel inlines
and a total armament of three 20mm and five 13mm guns. Of
these one was shot down by a British
night-fighter near Biscarosse and
another was hit by strafing Mustangs at
Travemunde; the Bv 222 V2 was destroyed
during the Allied reoccupation
of Norway; two others were sunk by
their crews at the end of the war, two
were flown to the USA and one was
ferried to the UK after the end of hostilities.
Blohm und Voss BV.222 Viking on YOUTUBE
6 x 746kW Junkers 207C 12-cylinder radial engines
151 ft 11 in
121 ft 5 in
36 ft 9 in
3 x 20mm cannon, 5 x 13mm machine guns
A three-view drawing (1322 x 710)
Stan Holmes, e-mail, 28.09.2012 19:01
In autumn 1946 I was attached to 201 Sqn at Calshot and the BV222 flown to UK by Capt Eric Brown RN was moored off Calshot Spit. The SNCO who was responsible for it took me out to see it and it was very impressive. The main spar was a metre diameter through the fuselage. The flight deck was huge and the navigator had a very large desk.Pilot's seats had thick moulded armour plating. I have a memory of seeing mechanics dismantling an engine out on the water. The Germans did use a BV222 to resupply one of their Arctic weather stations on Franz Joseph Land.
I would like to know if there is any BV-222 left, because I know that RAF captured one just at the end of ww II, and used it during some years. What was done with that plane? After 02 years of my first e.mail, no one ever answered me.
HM Archer the Bv222 had a total 40,418lb of diesel fuel.
There were trials in the baltic with a captured Dutch submarine transferring fuel to a Bv222 which failed miserably because as the fuel in the submarine's tanks were replaced by seawater, this was drawn up to the Bv222 which had to be towed to port. The technique may have been perfected but these are the only trials I am aware of. Bv222 aircraft did operate to fjords in Greenland where U-boats also resupplied German units so potentially it did happen.
Bv222 V-2 was test flown by Flugkapitän Möhring of Erprobungsstelle Travemünde and USN test-fligt Cdr. McNelly wearing US markings in Norwegian waters. The Americans lost interest in the aircraft quite quickly and handed it to the British Subsequent to it's testing by the US Navy, the RAF kept the aircraft in the autumn, and it was docked outside Skansen in Trondheim till October 1945. Due to engine trouble on October 10, the British decided to scuttle the aircraft near Trondheim. After having been filled up with surplus material from the German airbase in Ilsvika, it was towed and sunk between Fagervika and the Monk's Island. This aircraft has been relocated and may be raised for restoration.
Puzzlingly however another all white Bv222 was flown to the UK by RN test pilot Eric Brown and was given RAF registration and markings.
Can you confirm this aircraft was powered by diesel engines? During the war my father, in the Navy with FleetAirWing 7 operating PB4-Y1's (Navy B-24's) against the U-boats mentioned that these Bv222's would refuel at sea from U-boat "milchcows" and thus take on diesel fuel, not gasoline. This was a particular logistic advantage which I think your website should address.
The above mentioning of an Avro Lancaster is incorrect . My Oncle Simon Butz was a Flight engineer on V4 BV222 and on a reconnaissance flight over the Atlantic ,they shot down a Liberator Bomber.Video material about V4 BV 222 is in my possession .