|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Gotha Go 242 was a transport glider used by the Luftwaffe during World War II. It was an upgrade over the DFS 230 in both cargo/troop capacity and flight characteristics. Though it saw limited action, it appeared in multiple variants.
The Go 244 was the powered version of the Gotha Go 242 military glider transport. Studies for powered versions of the Go 242 began early in the design of the glider, with one early proposal being for modification to allow a single Argus As 10C engine to be temporarily attached to the nose of the glider to allow recovery back to base after use. This idea was rejected, but the alternative of a permanently powered twin-engined version was taken forward.
Three Go 242s were modified as prototypes of the powered Go 244, fitted with varying surplus radial engines. The first prototype, the Go 244 V1 was powered by two 660 hp (492 kW) BMW 132, while the second prototype had 700 hp (522 kW) Gnome-Rhône 14Ms — and the third 750 hp (560 kW) Shvetsov M-25 A engines, with this model of Shvetsov OKB engine design being essentially a Soviet-built Wright Cyclone American-based nine-cylinder radial. Although only the third prototype offered adequate engine out performance, the Luftwaffe had large stocks of captured Gnome engines, so this was chosen as the basis for the production conversion — usually fitted in counter-rotating pairs in production — although a few more aircraft were fitted with the BMW and Shvetsov engines.
The B series was the main production model, being based on the Go 242B with a wheeled tricycle undercarriage and with fuel and oil carried in the tailbooms. 133 were converted from Go 242 Bs while a further 41 were built from new before production reverted to the glider Go 242. Plans were also created for single-engined variants with a nose-mounted Argus As 10C or Junkers Jumo 211.
This is by no means a new kit. Released in the 1970s, it remains the only injected kit of this aircraft in this scale. It has raised panel lines with nice interior detail and the usual ejector pin marks. In fact, there are several on the wing halves that must be removed before you can assemble the wings.
All the the cabin windows need to be installed from the inside so it is recommended that one at least do preliminary exterior painting prior to installing these. A fairly nicely outfitted cockpit is provided and there is room in the nose for the 6 grams of weight needed, though it will be visible through the small windows placed there.
As with the real deal, it is a fairly straightforward job of doing the powered version. All one has to do is remove the small wedge that normally fits in front of the tail booms and replace it with an upper and lower engine nacelle. Each engine is two cylinder banks over which a cowling is placed and then a prop with spinner. The rear is separate so you can pose it open if you so wish.
There are small pieces in this kit in the form of the aileron, flap and elevator hinges so care will be needed when cleaning these up. Two kinds of landing gear are offered. One is a set of fixed main and nose wheels while the other is skids for which a wheeled trestle is provided for ease of take-off. You can get the chance to use either of these on the two glider options with the powered version using the fixed gear.
Instructions are bit cluttered showing the full build and options in just three construction steps. All paint references save the interior are generic colors, but it breaks down to RLM 74/75/76. I'm not sure that is correct as I've thought transport gliders were in RLM 70/71/65. Anyway, decals are nicely printed and mine have not yet yellowed despite their age and may still be viable.
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