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Germany's Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (Stork) observation, transport

Photos

  • Fieseler Fi 156 Storch observation
  • Fieseler Fi 156 Storch observation
  • Fieseler Fi 156 Storch observation

Design

Reinhold Mewes, Erich Bachem, and World War I ace Gerhard Fieseler teamed to design the Storch which could land and take off from just about anywhere. The Fieseler Storch was to meet a 1935 army requirement.

The frame was built with steel tubing. Wood comprised the tail and wing. Everything was fabric covered except the tail which was covered in wood.

Canopy

The canopy was under the high wing and protruded out over the fuselage making for excellent viewing. This however also made the plane vulnerable to ground fire.

Wing

The wing had slotted ailerons and flaps which were advanced for its time. The outer parts of the wings could be folder for storage.

Landing Gear

The undercarriage legs were long travel and could handle rough strips. It could land and take off in 200'. If the conditions were just right it could land in 50'.

Since the landings were so short, a tailskid, instead of a tail wheel was used. If the wind was just right, a pilot could keep the Storch nearly motionless in the air.

Prototype

The Storch prototype first flew on or around May 24, 1936.

Production

  • Fieseler Fi 156-0: 10
  • Fieseler Fi 156: 2,834, 2,900
    • Manufacturer:
      • Gerhard Fieseler Werke GmbH: 2,834
      • Morane-Saulnier (France): ~1,900
      • Mraz (Czechoslovakia): ~150
    • Production: 1937 - 1945

Variants

  • Fieseler Fi 156-0: Service trial aircraft.
  • Fieseler Fi 156A-1: First production model.
  • Fieseler Fi 156B: Civil model.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C: Wartime model.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-0: In the rear cockpit a 7.9 mm MG 151 was installed.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-1: Liaison and staff transport.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-2: Reconnaissance and ambulance. Carried photographic equipment.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-3: Light transport.
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-5: Carried a drop tank under the fuselage or a camera. Had the Argus 10P engine.
  • Fieseler Fi 156D: Ambulance. Had large side doors. Delivered in 1941.
  • Fieseler Fi 156E: Had tracked tandem wheeled undercarraige. This would allow use on rough ground.
  • Fieseler ??: Rigged to carry depth charges. Was tested against a U-boat.
  • Fieseler Fi 256: Would have been a civilian plane. Would have carried five passengers.
  • Fieseler Fi 256P: Civilian police model. Could carry bombs under wings.

Usage

Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland used the Fi 156.

Mussolini Rescue

On September 12, 1943, Benito Mussolini was flown out of capture by a Storch taking off in less than 330' / 100 m at high altitude.

Fleeing Berlin

The last known plane to take off from Berlin in May 1945 was a Storch.

Postwar Production

Morane-Saulnier continued production and designated them the MS.500 and MS.502 Criquet.

Mraz continued production and designated them the K-65 Cap.

Specifications

  Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
Type Utility transport
Crew 1, 2
Passengers 1, 2
Engine (Type) 1: Argus As 10C
OR Argus As 10P
Cylinders Inverted V 8
Cooling Air
HP 10C: 240
10P: 260
Propeller blades 2
Fuel Capacity 64 gallons
Fuel - Replacing 2 passengers 45 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 46' 9"
14.25 m
Width - Folded 15' 7"
4.75 m
Length 32' 5.75", 32' 6"
9.9 m
Height 9' 2", 9' 10", 10'
3 m, 3.05 m
Wing area 279.7 sq ft
26 sq m
Weight  
Empty 2,050 lb
930 kg
Loaded 2,770 lb, 2,920 lb
1,326 kg
Performance  
Speed 105 mph
Speed at Sea Level 109 mph
175 kph
Cruising speed 60 - 80 mph
98 - 128 kph
Climb to 3,000' /
915 m
4 minutes
Service ceiling 16,700'
5,090 m
Range with Crew of 3 at Sea Level at 60 mph /
96 kph
240 miles
385 km
Armament  
Cockpit rear 1: 7.9 mm MG
1: MG
  Fieseler Fi 156C Storch
Type Liasion, Observation, Rescue
Crew 1
Pilot
Passengers 2
Engine (Type) Argus As 10C-3 piston
Cylinders Inverted V-8
Cooling Air
HP 240
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 47'
14.25 m
Length 32'
9.9 m
Height 10'
3 m
Wing area 280 ft2
26 m2
Weight  
Empty 2,046 lb, 2,050 lb
930 kg
Loaded 2,910 lb, 2,915 lb
1,320 kg, 1,325 kg
Performance  
Speed 108 mph, 109 mph
175 kph
Cruising speed 60 - 80 mph
97 - 129 kph
Minimum speed 32 mph
51 kph
Service ceiling 22,300'
6,800 m
Range 236 miles, 239 miles
380 km, 385 km
Maximum range 600 miles
965 km
Takeoff run 213'
65 m
Landing roll 61'
19 m
Armament  
Cockpit rear 1: 7.92 MG 15
Ammunition 4: 75 round magazines
  Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 1
Passengers 1 - 2
Engine (Type) Argus As 10C-3
Cylinders V 8
Cooling Air
HP 240
Dimensions  
Span 46' 9"
Length 32' 5"
Height 10'
Weight  
Loaded 2,910 lb
Performance  
Speed 109 mph
Service ceiling 17,061'
Range 240 miles
Armament 1: MG

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site