Κυριακή, 10 Απριλίου 2016

The ME 323 Giant – The biggest transport Aircraft of WWII in Pictures




Flugzeug Me 323 Gigant
The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant (“Giant”) was a German military transport aircraft of World War II. It was a powered variant of the Me 321 military glider and was the largest land-based transport aircraft of the war. A total of 213 are recorded as having been made, a few being converted from the Me 321.
All images by the Bundesarchiv / Wikipedia, click on them for a larger version.
General characteristics
  • Crew: 5
  • Capacity: 130 troops or 10–12 tonnes of equipment
  • Length: 28.2 m (92 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 55.2 m (181 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 10.15 m (33 ft 3.5 in)
  • Wing area: 300 m² (3,228 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 27,330 kg (60,260 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 29,500 kg (65,000 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 43,000 kg (94,815 lb)
  • Powerplant: 6 × Gnome-Rhône 14N-48/49, 1180 PS for take-off (868 kW) each
Performance
  • Maximum speed: 285 km/h (177 mph (154 kn))
  • Cruise speed: 218 km/h (136 mph (118 kn))
  • Range: 800 km (500 mi)
  • Ferry range: 1,100 km (684 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3.6 m/s (710 ft/min)

The Airplane

Let’s walk around the airplane first so you will see how big it actually is!
Reichsgebiet, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantStanding on the wing of the Giant, looking toward the other wing, what a beast!
Russland-Mitte, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantA Giant in says Russia 1944
Reichsgebiet, Flugzeuge Ju 53 und Me 323 GigantThe ME 323 next to a Junkers JU 52, not small plane by itself as that could carry 17 paratroopers!
Reichsgebiet, Flugzeugwerft mit Me 323, Fw 58In front of the Giant is a Focke-Wulf Fw 58 “Weihe”, on the right a Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
Russland, Me 323
Russland, Me 323A Giant in Russia, 1943.

SHARES
389px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-331-3026-38,_Russland,_Me_323Working on the engine of a Giant, Russia, 1943
Grosseto, Flugzeug Me 323, MotorenA Giant in Italy, March 1932. In the background two Junkers Ju 290.
Italien, bei Pisa, Me 323 Gigant auf FlugplatzLuftwaffe mechanics observe the engines of a Giant in Pisa, Italy, 1943
Russland-Mitte, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantSoldiers sleeping in the shade of the wing of a Giant, note the 3 Gnôme-Rhône engines
Reichsgebiet, LKW, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantA Faun ZR 567 in front of a Giant
Tunesien, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantAnd the nose which are also the doors to load and unload the Giant

Inside the Giant

Tunesien, Flugzeug Me 323 Gigant, InnenraumIn the nose of the Giant, note the machine-gunner on the right.
Tunesien, Flugzeug Me 323 Gigant, InnenraumInside the cargo space of the Giant looking forward, the crew is wearing his lifejacket. December 1942


The cockpit of the Giant

Cargo

The Giant could carry massive cargo, almost 20.000kg, here are some examples of what it could carry.
Italien, Flugzeug Me 323 Gigant, Opel "Maultier"
Italien, Flugzeug Me 323 Gigant, KanoneUnloading a Giant, an Opel Maultier half track towing an artillery piece is driven out of the cargo bay.
Russland-Mitte, Flugzeug Me 323 GigantAn Opel Blitz inside the Giant.
Grosseto, Flugzeug Me 323, VerwundetentransportOn the way in it carried supplies or vehicles, on the way back wounded soldiers. Italy, march 1943.
Tunesien, Zugmachinen und  Me 323 Gigant
Two big German Vehicles, Zgkw. 12t and a Praga T6-SS are pulling a loaded Giant on an airfield in Tunisia 1942
~All images from the Bundesarchiv / Wikipeda, all caption by Joris Nieuwint for War History Online

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