Roden scale model kit
Arado Ar 68F
In the mid-1930s, Germany began a program of rapid rearmament with the latest types of military equipment. This was especially true in aviation, as from 1919 until the early 1930s the country was prohibited from having military aircraft under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Numerous technical developments, which were mostly worked on in secret during the bans, were now converted into prototypes in a short period of time and, after testing, immediately put into production and then transferred directly to the military.
The 1930s were still a transitional stage in aviation technology. All-metal monoplane designs, which Germany was the first to use during the First World War in the battles on the Western Front, were still exotic and unusual to see even more than 10 years later in a wide variety of aircraft categories. This era was the "golden age" of biplanes, which, although passing through their twilight years, were nonetheless considered more reliable and therefore more acceptable to the typically conservative military leaders.
In 1935, when the famous He 51 biplane fighter was already tested and proven, another aircraft appeared, purposed for the same role and structurally similar, the Arado Ar 68. Despite the fact that in comparative testing of the two types, the development from Arado displayed better performance, the military still showed a preference for the He 51 and soon it joined the ranks of the Luftwaffe in large numbers. Nevertheless, the newly appointed Chief Inspector of Fighter Aviation and famous ace of the First World War, Ernst Udet, insisted to his longtime comrade and Luftwaffe commander, Hermann Goering, that the Arado design should also reach military units. He was confident in the excellent qualities of the aircraft and believed that for a trained pilot, this fighter would be superior to all other types.
Even during the aircraft's development, its designers provided a measure of standardization in areas of its design, which permitted the installation of several different types of engines. The BMW VI-7.3Z engine was chosen to modify the Arado Ar 68F. Compared to the E variant of the Arado Ar 68, which had a Jumo 210E engine, flight performance decreased slightly, but at that time the military leadership was generally satisfied and soon the Arado Ar 68F was being built in limited numbers.
These aircraft were already considered obsolete when they were delivered to the Luftwaffe and they were mainly transferred to training units, as then the famous Bf 109 was imminent, and it would surpass all previous developments. Nevertheless, the Arado Ar 68F was used not only as an aircraft for the training of novice pilots, but also in combat, mainly in secondary theaters, where the probability of a duel with a strong enemy was minimal. Some machines of this version were still in service in 1941, when the era of these archaic biplanes was coming to an end.