The Arado Ar 65 was the first front-line fighter to equip the fighter-squadrons of the Luftwaffe after Hitler's rise to power, although it was developed in the last years of the Weimar Republic.
The Arado Ar 65 was developed from the Arado Ar 64, which was itself a development of the Arado SD II and SD III. All four of these designs were single-seat sesquiplanes (with a much smaller lower wing), of conventional construction with a welded steel fuselage, wooden wings and fabric covering.
Most Ar 64s had been powered by the Gnome-Rhône Jupiter radial engine, but the two Ar 64b prototypes used a BMW VI 12-cylinder inline engine. This was the engine adopted for use on the Arado Ar 65.
The first prototype, the Ar 65a, was produced in 1931, and was followed by the Ar 65d (or B in some sources), which had a modified fuselage and extra interplane struts between the wings. Both aircraft were used for comparative trials in November 1932, after which the Ar 65B (D-1898) was selected as the first aircraft to equip the new fighter squadrons then being created as 'publicity formations'.
The first prototype was one of the last German aircraft to be tested at Lipetsk in the Soviet Union, arriving during 1933. This aircraft was armed with two machine guns and could carry six 10kg bombs in a vertical magazine mounted in the fuselage. It isn't clear if this magazine was included in production aircraft.
The Arado Ar 65E was the first production version of the aircraft and was based on the Ar 65d. It was followed into production by the slightly modified Arado Ar 65F which was slightly heavier than the E.
The Arado Ar 65 had a short life as a front-line fighter. From 1935 it was replaced by the Heinkel He 51, which was itself then replaced by the Arado Ar 68. The Arado Ar 65Es and 65Fs went on to serve in the pilot training schools early in the Second World War.
Engine: BMW VI 7.3 inverted V inline engine
Wing span: 36ft 9in
Length: 27ft 6 3/4in
Height: 11ft 2 3/4in
Empty Weight: 3,329lb
Maximum take-off weight: 4,255lb
Max Speed: 186mph at 5,415ft
Cruising Speed: 153mph
Service Ceiling: 24,935ft
Armament: Two 7.92mm machine guns