Gotha Go 242
The work of Dipl. Ing Albert Kalkert, the Gotha Go 242 assault glider was developed with the approval of the Reichs-luftfahrtministerium since it offered almost three times the troop-carrying capacity of the DFS 230 then in use.
The fuselage pod was of steel tubular construction with fabric covering, and carried jettisonable landing gear and two retractable skids. The wings were made of wood with fabric and plywood covering.
The aircraft could carry 21 fully-equipped troops, or equivalent weight in military loads, such as a Kubelwagen utility vehicle, loaded through the hinged rear fuselage.
Two prototypes were flown in 1941 and production followed permitting entry into service in 1942.
The type's operational debut was made in the Mediterranean and Aegean theatres, Go 242 units being based in Greece, Sicily and North Africa. Heinkel He 111 tugs were usually employed and rocket-assisted take-off equipment could be fitted, the variety of propulsion units including four 500kg Rheinmetall-Borsig RI-502 solid fuel rockets.
Production totalled 1,528 aircraft.
133 were modified into Go-244.
Max take-off weight: 6800-7300 kg / 14992 - 16094 lb
Empty weight: 3200 kg / 7055 lb
Wingspan: 24.5 m / 80 ft 5 in
Length: 15.8 m / 51 ft 10 in
Height: 4.25 m / 13 ft 11 in
Wing area: 62.4 sq.m / 671.67 sq ft
Armament: 4 x 7.9mm machine-guns