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Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Military Trainer Aircraft

The Focke-Wulf Fw 44 was a 1930's German fabric covered steel tubular framed tandem two-seater biplane aircraft known as the Stieglitz ("Goldfinch"). It was designed by Kurt Tank the famous Focke-Wulf designer as a fully aerobatic two-seat civilian training aircraft but was used by the Luftwaffe throughout WW2 as a pilot trainer, numerous other air-forces used the aircraft, a result of it's excellent flying performance and the media coverage of the aerobatics competition during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Military Trainer Plane


China purchased twenty Focke-Wulf Fw 44's, they were all lost in action during the Second Sino-Japanese War after being modified for combat missions. A cannibalised Focke-Wulf Fw 44 formed the basis of the Worlds first truly practical helicopter, the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the design retaining both the fuselage and engine of the Fw 44.

The pictures on this page are of a Focke-Wulf Fw 44j, the Export version, and the last variant of the Stieglitz, this aircraft currently forms part of the UK's Shuttleworth Collection.

Adolf Hitler wished to impress the world with the strength of  Germany's aeronautical industry, he therefore arranged for the 1936 Berlin Olympics to include an aerobatics competition, something which had never happened before or since, the flying event took place within the confines of the track and field stadium. The overall winner of the event was Count Hagenburg who flew his German built Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz to repeated victories (much of the judging was based on the response of the primarily German, stadium crowd...) Although the aerobatics competition was undoubtedly staged it a way to enhance Germany's potential results it was not really necessary , the German  built planes and their Pilots were truly exceptional.

Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Specifications:

  • Crew: Instructor and Student
  • Length: 7.30 m (23 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.0 m (29 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 20 m (215.2 ft)
  • Empty weight: 565 kg (1,243 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 770 kg (1,694 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 785 kg (1,727 lb)
  • Engines: Single 160 hp (118 kW) Siemens Sh 14 A-4 7-cylinder radial engine
  • Maximum speed: 185 km/h (115 mi)
  • Range: 550 km (340 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,900 m (12,790 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 17 m/s (56 ft/s)
Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz

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