The Arado 96B was a German training aeroplane, which formed the standard equipment of the Luftwaffe training schools throughout WWII. Evolved from the Ar 96A, the first re-engined Ar 96B development aircraft flew during 1939. The Ar 96B was produced in several variants – B-1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 – and utilised for advanced, night and instrument-flying training.
The Ar 96B was a low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction. It had a two-seat tandem cockpit enclosed by a long three-piece canopy and was powered by an Argus 410 inverted V-type in-line engine. Depending on the variant, it could be fitted with a forward-firing MG 17 machine gun and a CG 45 gun camera, and/or FuG 16ZY radio installation, underwing bomb carriers and/or fuselage mounted reconnaissance cameras.
The bulk of Ar 96Bs were manufactured under subcontract by AGO-Flugzeugwerke and later by Avia and Letov (from 1940 and 1943, respectively) in the then Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate, with about 2,370 machines coming from the latter two factories.
Because of its persisting suitability to the training role, Ar 96B production was continued after the war in Czechoslovakia at the Avia and Letov factories, the former suppliers of these trainers for the Luftwaffe. The aeroplanes were designated the C-2, C-2B and C-2B1, with the latter two types derived from the original German B-8 and B-10 variants. In total, 425 aircraft had been completed or built by 1950.
In the immediate post-war period, a handful of ex-Luftwaffe Arado 96B trainers also served in France.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) C-2 (Arado Ar 96B-7), Black UL-41 (s/n 10), 5th Training Regiment (5. lšp), Military Air Training Establishment (LU), Czechoslovak Air Force, Zvolen airfield, autumn 1952
2) Letov C-2B1, UB-38 (s/n 615), Pilot School II (Pilotní škola II), Military Air Training Establishment (LU), Czechoslovak Air Force, Prostějov-Stichovice airfield, autumn 1947
3) Avia C-2B1, Black MW-6, 2nd Sq., Air Regiment No.30 (2. letka LP 30), Czechoslovak Air Force, Trenčianské Biskupice airfield, autumn 1949
4) Arado Ar 96B, “Red Lightning“, Advanced Flying School, French Air Force, Cognac airfield (Base école 705), France, 1946-47