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.
The training aircraft were also supplied to the Third Reich’s allies: Bulgaria took a total of 29 Ar 96Bs (including aircraft with the rear gunner’s station) in the period 1940-44, and Hungary reportedly received some 110 aircraft.
Because of its persisting suitability to the training role, Arado 96 production was continued after the war in Czechoslovakia and the aircraft were also delivered to Hungary.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Arado Ar 96B-1, KF+CJ (W.Nr. 4034), FFS A/B 71, Luftwaffe, Prostějov (Proßnitz) airfield, Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate, 1942
2) Arado Ar 96B-3, TO+WO, Red 60 (W.Nr. 4393), unidentified training unit, Luftwaffe, Germany, summer 1942
3) Arado Ar 96B-1, Yellow G-927, unidentified training unit, Royal Hungarian Air Force, 1945
4) Avia C-2B1, B-0222 (s/n 832, ex-LH SNB Police Air Patrol Unit a/c), 2nd Sq., 51st Air Regiment (2. letka 51. lp), Czechoslovak Air Force, Plzeň-Bory airfield, summer 1951