Fieseler Storch Military Aircraft
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch was an exceptional WW2 era Luftwaffe STOL aircraft designed in 1935 by Gerhard Fieseler the Chairman of Fieseler, Chief Designer Reinhold Mewes and Technical Director Erich Bachem. The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch featured a braced high-wing design with a fixed slot extending throughout the entire wingspan combined with slotted ailerons and camber-changing flaps occupying the entire trailing edge. The prototype Storch first flew on the 24th of May 1936 and the pre-production aircraft proved capable of taking-off in less than 148 ft and landing in under 66 ft even when fully loaded.
Following trials in mid 1937, the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch was widely adopted by the German armed forces and remained in production in Germany until October 1943. After 1943 the Storch was produced in occupied France and Czechoslovakia. Morane-Saulnier made the M.S.502 'Cricket' in France after the war and this aircraft was a direct descendent of the original Storch, the main difference was the use of a 230 hp Salmson 9Abc radial engine.
Probably the most famous mission tasked to the Fieseler Storch was the rescue of Benito Musssolini the deposed Italian Dictator in September 1943 from a hotel at the peak of the Gran Sasso Massif mountain, the hotel was thought to be accessible only by cable car but SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Otto Skorzeny, at Hiler's command, devised a plan using a Fa 223 helicopter, unfortunately for Otto Skorzeny the helicopter became unserviceable at the last minute and a Fieseler Storch had to be substituted, the operation was a success despite the very small landing and takeoff area, high altitude and the overloading of the aircraft once Musssolini had been rescued.
By the end of WW2 nearly 3,000 aircraft had been produced, it remains to this day arguably the best performing STOL aircraft ever produced in it's class, it's stall speed when correctly configured is so low that in a moderate to high wind it can actually fly backwards!.
Fieseler Fi 156 Storch Specifications:
- Crew: Pilot and up to three passengers
- Length: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in) Wingspan: 14.3 m (46 ft 9 in) Height: 3.1 m (10 ft 0 in)
- Wing area: 26 m² (280 ft²)
- Empty weight: 860 kg (1,900 lb)
- Loaded weight: 1,260 kg (2,780 lb)
- Engine: Single 180 kW (240 hp) Argus As-10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine
- Maximum speed: 175 km/h (109 mph) at 300 m (1,000 ft)
- Combat radius: 380 km (240 mi)
- Service ceiling 5,200 m (17,060 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.8 m/s (945 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 48.5 kg/m² (9.9 lb/ft²)
It is of not that of the 2,900 FI 156 Storch aircraft supplied to the Luftwaffe during WW2 at least 60 were captured and operated by the RAF, one being utilised by Field Marshal Montgomery as his personnel air taxi transport.
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Fieseler Storch Military Aircraft Picture & Information