The Blohm & Voss BV 141 was a World War II German tactical reconnaissance aircraft, notable for its uncommon structural asymmetry. Although the Blohm & Voss BV 141 performed well, it was never ordered into full-scale production, for reasons that included the unavailability of the preferred engine and competition from another tactical reconnaissance aircraft, the Focke-Wulf Fw 189.

Despite Blohm & Voss being a famed ship and seaplane builder during World War 2, it might be the creation of the BV 141 for which it is most remembered – despite only 20, in some form or another, having actually been built. The German airframe was easily distinguished by its unique structural asymmetry: a single engine on the main body of the aircraft, with a pod containing the pilot, an observer, and a rear gunner mounted on the starboard side.

The BV 141 was initially intended to be a reconnaissance plane and sought to offer unparalleled visibility from the pod compared to other single-engine cockpits where clear sightlines were greatly restricted. The Reichsluftfahrtministerium was reportedly aghast when the bizarre configuration was submitted as a proposal in a design contest, yet the plane won over a number of fans, most notably Luftwaffe Colonel-General Ernst Udet, after it satisfied nearly every mission requirement in testing. Hermann Göring, Luftwaffe Supreme Commander, remained unconvinced.

Competing against the BV 141 were the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu and Arado Ar 198. Even though the contest design requirements demanded a single-engine aircraft proposal, both submitted twin-engine designs.

Chief Designer of the BV 141, Dr. Richard Vogt, refused to be moved, however, and pushed forward with his unusual prototype…

Sources: YouTube; Wikipedia

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