It possessed the characteristic three-part wing. The central main wing was strengthened by a typical Blohm & Voss cross-girder, which consisted of a large-diameter pipe. This transverse tube also contained the fuel, inside five inner divisions. The center wing was metal-covered, while the outer wings were covered with fabric. There were six hydraulically operated flaps in the mid-wing. The fuselage was of metal and had an approximately circular cross-section.
Each main landing gear had dual wheels and was fully retractable, as was the tailwheel. The landing gear was hydraulically lowered and retracted.
Only four prototypes (V1, V2, V3, and V4) were built. These aircraft were tested by Lufthansa and used in the postal service. However the outbreak of World War II prevented further development of the civilian project.
Soon after the start of World War II it was proposed to convert all four prototype BV 142 to long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The BV 142 V2, thus underwent a trial modification. It was fitted with an extended nose section with extensive glazing (like the Heinkel He 111 H-6), defensive armament (7.92 mm MG 15 in nose, twin-beam position, ventral cupola, and a powered dorsal turret), a compartment for ordnance in the fuselage, and navigation and military radio equipment. The BV 142 V2, was redesignated BV 142 V2/U1 while V1 was similarly converted. Both were used operationally from late 1940 and were posted to the Luftwaffe's second surveillance Group. This unit was assigned to the operations staff of Luftflotte III in France. However, their performance was disappointing and they flew few missions, and were withdrawn from service in 1942. The two other aircraft (V3 and V4) were used as transport aircraft for the occupation of Denmark and in the Norway campaign with the KGr.z.b.V. 105 (Special combat team) and could transport 30 fully equipped soldiers over 4,000 km. The ultimate fate of V3 and V4 is unknown. It was later planned to use V1 and V2 to carry the Blohm & Voss GT 1200C guided torpedo, but the plan was scrapped.