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BV 138 C-1: Ship of the sky

The BV 138 is a German WWII flying boat, developed in the late 1930s as a replacement to the outdated Dornier Do 18. Being one of the most widely used German flying boats of the war, pilots will now finally have the chance to take control over this unique aircraft as it arrives to War Thunder as part of the major update "Direct Hit"!

BV 138 C-1, flying boat, Germany, rank I


  • Devastating defensive armament


  • Low payload

Briefly: A German WWII-era flying boat sporting rather modest payloads but impressive defensive capabilities. This model is brought to you by your fellow War Thunder player Daniil "Joy_Division__" Zaytsev.


Development of the BV 138 began in 1934, when the German Air Ministry issued a set of requirements for the development of a new flying boat which is to take advantage of the recently developed and highly economical Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engines. The task was given to Dornier as well as Hamburger Flugzeugbau, which later became Blohm & Voss.

Development of the aircraft ensued throughout the mid 1930s before the first prototype was completed and test flown in 1937. At the same time, Dornier’s design failed to impress the Air Ministry, leading to Blohm & Voss’ design being the only one still taking part in the competition. In the late 1930s, the first pre-serie aircraft were built and tested, resulting in the aircraft missing entering into service before the outbreak of WWII in September 1939. The first production model of the aircraft left the factory in 1940 and joined service with the Luftwaffe as the BV 138 A-1.

The aircraft of the pre-series were the first to see active service, being employed as part of the Operation Weserübung in April 1940. Subsequent versions of the aircraft, including the most produced variant - the BV 138 C-1 - were employed in the North Sea and Baltic regions as well as in the English Channel to perform maritime reconnaissance, rescue and minesweeping missions.

Production of the BV 138 ceased in 1943 with over 290 units being produced.


In War Thunder, the BV 138 C-1 will be a new flying boat arriving to the lower ranks of the German aviation tree with the release of the next major update. Further expanding the German seaplane lineup in the game, the BV 138 may not necessarily impress pilots with its flight characteristics or payload capacity, but its relatively small size and formidable defensive armament may make it ideally suited for capturing and defending strategic points in naval battles!

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The BV 138 C-1 is powered by three Junkers Jumo 205D diesel engines, with a pair nestled at the wing roots and the remaining engine being mounted above the wings. The engines generate 880 horsepower each and thus allow the aircraft to reach a top speed of roughly 285 km/h at sea level. This relatively modest top speed may make the BV 138 C-1 vulnerable to attacks from much faster fighter and interceptor aircraft, but at the same time, it also allows for much easier take-offs and landings from bodies of water.

Fun Fact: Due to the design of its fuselage, the BV 138 received the nickname “The Flying Clog”.

Having touched on the subject of vulnerability to hostile attacks, despite the BV 138 C-1’s relatively low speed, the aircraft is far from ‘toothless’ when it comes to defending itself from hostile attacks. In fact, the BV 138 C-1 has an unusually powerful defensive arsenal for an aircraft of its type! Armed with three defensive turrets, of which two are equipped with 20 mm MG151 cannons protecting the aircraft’s front and rear upper hemisphere while the remaining turret sports a 13 mm MG131 heavy machine gun, the BV 138 C-1 is not only well equipped to defend itself against hostile attacks, but particularly bold pilots may even employ the aircraft to actively hunt down other cumbersome opponents, such as bombers or other flying boats.

As far as the BV 138 C-1’s suspended weaponry is concerned, the aircraft is capable of carrying six 50 kg bombs into battle. While this is unlikely to suffice in destroying large and heavily armored targets, pilots may still be able to inflict serious damage to smaller and less protected targets, provided they can score a direct hit. Furthermore, once the suspended ordnance has been spent, pilots can still resort to utilizing their defensive turrets to strafe hostile surface and ground targets whilst loitering in the combat zone provided the airspace isn’t dominated by hostile fighters.

The BV 138 C-1 will soon become available to fans of German aviation with the release of the next major War Thunder update. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to the news as we continue showcasing what other exciting new additions await you in the upcoming update. Until then, clear skies pilots!

You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with:

This pack includes
  • SdKfz 140/1 tank (Rank 1 Germany);
  • He 112 B-1/U-2 fighter (Rank 1 Germany);
  • Premium Account for 7 days;
  • 120000 Silver Lions
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