Arado E-377

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Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
BRS 144066
Company: Brengun - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hauler Brengun

This Mistelproject was one of the last glide bomb developments submitted to the RLM before the end of WWII. Arado, working with Rheinmetall-Borsig, designed a simple glide bomb that could be powered or unpowered, and carried beneath the Arado 234 or Heinkel 162. The purpose of this flying bomb, which could be guided by remote control or a target guidance system, was to attack targets such as ships or large fixed objectives.

Construction of the E.377 was wooden throughout the entire aircraft. The fuselage was circular in cross section and was cigar-shaped. Mounted in the nose was 2000 kg (4408 lbs.) of Trialen 105, a high-explosive especially suitable for ship attacks. In addition, 500 kg (1202 lbs.) of an incendiary liquid was stored in the rear fuselage which also acted as ballast to counterbalance the forward warhead. A standard SC 1800 bomb could also be fitted in the forward fuselage of the E.377 in place of the other explosive. The wings were tapered and shoulder mounted. They also served as auxiliary fuel tanks for the parent aircraft. Fuel was drawn from the E.377's tanks by means of jet pressure which drove a compressor in the powerplant of the parent aircraft. The tail unit was symmetrical on top and bottom with a horizontal tail mounted on the upper half of the fin.

Take off was accomplished by means of a releasable trolley which was similar to one that Rheinmetall-Borsig had designed for the Arado 234A. Since the Ar E.377 Mistel was heavier, an extra set of wheels were added to the new trolley. Once the aircraft reached takeoff speed, the trolley was released and slowed with a parachute and rockets. Assembly of this Mistel was carried out using a special trestle and frame to add each aircraft on top of the trolley.

Upon arrival at the target, the E.377 was released by means of explosive bolts and then was steered to it's target by means of a control device. This device made adjustments in the control and rudder movements from the carrier aircraft after launch, or the E.377 could just be set to glide straight after separation.

There was also a twin BMW 003 jet powered version to be used with the Heinkel 162, since the single jet engine of the He 162 would not have been powerful enough to carry the E.377. This version was known as the E.377a and was similar in all other aspects to the E.377. A piloted version was also planned, to be a suicide weapon, but was cancelled before the end of the war. The E.377 was never constructed due to the end of the war. [Courtesy of Luft '46]

As with most resin kits constructions begins with removing all the parts from their pour stubs. The resin used to cast the parts on my review sample is of a softer variety. That 'softer' resin may have contributed to the large number of curing holes/bubbles that needed to be dealt with a suitable filler. These are most notable on the wheels/tires but there are a number of them on the underside of the fuselage.

Brengun does provided you with the option to build the powered version of this craft (separate wings and engines) as well as the transport/takeoff trolley. Care will need to be exercised on some of the parts for the trolley as some flash needs to be removed during cleanup.

Once assembled the parts were primed from a rattle can and additional cleanup was completed. The painting guide provided would have you color the model with RLM 76 for the lower surfaces and RLM 81 for all others. There are some on-line images that appear to show this craft in overall gray. Brengun does not provide any markings but that’s OK as the test version of the 'glide bomb' had none. There are no color suggestions for the trolley but a dark gray would do nicely as would a black shade of paint, of your choice , for the tires. Finally assembly is just a matter of mating one item to the other. While that may sound simple, the wings and horizontal stabilizers are butt joints so you may wish to add some pins to either before joining those items to the fuselage.

This is a neat, little kit of an otherwise overlooked aspect of the final stages of Germanys’ efforts to stem the tide of WWII. Aside from the odd dodgy moment removing some flash it goes together well with CA glue. Due to the nature of this craft, painting is simplified and easy to accomplish with the absence of any markings being a real plus. Which is not to say that one couldn't add some, from your spares stash as this kit represents a developmental prototype. For the truly dedicated modeler, Brengun does offer this kit with the mother ship, He-162A. (Sold separately.)

My thanks to Brengun and IPMS/USA for the review copy.


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