The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with a simple square-section fuselage ending in twin booms linked by a tail, with the fuselage constructed from a framework of steel tubing covered with doped fabric. The flight characteristics of the design were much better than those of the DFS 230.
Cargo versions of the glider featured a hinged rear fuselage loading ramp that could accommodate a small vehicle such as a Kübelwagen or loads of similar size and weight.
The glider was tested with rockets for overloaded take offs, a rack of four 48 kilogram Rheinmetall 109-502 take off rockets mounted on the rear of the cargo compartment. A second rocket called the "R Device" was also used with the glider - it was a liquid-fuel Heinkel rocket engine R I-203 (HWK 109-500A) which was mounted beneath the wing on either side of the body and was ejected after takeoff, parachuting down to be recycled.
Two prototypes flew in 1941 and the type quickly entered production. A total of 1,528 were built, 133 of which were converted to the Go 244, with two 700hp Gnome-Rhone engines fitted to forward extensions of the tail booms.
A few gliders were constructed with a flying boat-style hull allowing water landings land on water, the Go 242C-1 variant. It was proposed that some carry a small catamaran assault boat with a explosive charge suspended between its hulls. The proposed mission profile was for the pilot to land near an enemy ship and transfer to the assault boat, setting off at high speed for the enemy ship and locking the controls before baling out.