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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.1,5 The Fieseler Storch was to meet a 1935 army requirement.2,3

The frame was built with steel tubing.3,5 Wood comprised the tail and wing.3 Everything was fabric covered except the tail which was covered in wood.3,5

Canopy

The canopy was under the high wing and protruded out over the fuselage making for excellent viewing.1 This however also made the plane vulnerable to ground fire.1

Wing

The wing had slotted ailerons and flaps which were advanced for its time.1,3 The outer parts of the wings could be folder for storage.4

Landing Gear

The undercarriage legs were long travel and could handle rough strips.1 It could land and take off in 200'.3 If the conditions were just right it could land in 50'.3

Since the landings were so short, a tailskid, instead of a tail wheel was used.1,3 If the wind was just right, a pilot could keep the Storch nearly motionless in the air.3

Prototype

The Storch prototype first flew on or around May 24, 1936.1

Production

  • Fieseler Fi 156-0: 102
  • Fieseler Fi 156: 2,8342, 2,9001,3
    • Manufacturer:
      • Gerhard Fieseler Werke GmbH3: 2,8342
      • Morane-Saulnier (France)3,5: ~1,9002
      • Mraz (Czechoslovakia)3: ~1502
    • Production: 1937 - 19451

Variants

  • Fieseler Fi 156-0: Service trial aircraft.2
  • Fieseler Fi 156A-1: First production model.2,3
  • Fieseler Fi 156B: Civil model.2
  • Fieseler Fi 156C: Wartime model.2,3
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-0: In the rear cockpit a 7.9 mm MG 151 was installed.3
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-1: Liaison and staff transport.2,3,5
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-2: Reconnaissance and ambulance.2,5 Carried photographic equipment.3
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-3: Light transport.2
  • Fieseler Fi 156C-5: Carried a drop tank under the fuselage or a camera.1,3 Had the Argus 10P engine.1
  • Fieseler Fi 156D: Ambulance.2,3 Had large side doors.2 Delivered in 1941.3
  • Fieseler Fi 156E: Had tracked tandem wheeled undercarraige.2,3 This would allow use on rough ground.3
  • Fieseler ??: Rigged to carry depth charges.1 Was tested against a U-boat.1
  • Fieseler Fi 256: Would have been a civilian plane.1,5 Would have carried five passengers.5
  • Fieseler Fi 256P: Civilian police model.2 Could carry bombs under wings.2

Usage

Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland used the Fi 156.2

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.1,3

Fleeing Berlin

The last known plane to take off from Berlin in May 1945 was a Storch.1

Postwar Production

Morane-Saulnier continued production and designated them the MS.500 and MS.502 Criquet.2

Mraz continued production and designated them the K-65 Cap.2

Specifications

  Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
Type Utility transport2
Crew 12,5, 24
Passengers 12,4, 25
Engine (Type) 1: Argus As 10C2,4,5
OR Argus As 10P2
Cylinders Inverted V 82,5
Cooling Air4
HP 10C: 2402,4
10P: 2602
Propeller blades 22
Fuel Capacity 64 gallons5
Fuel - Replacing 2 passengers 45 gallons5
Dimensions  
Span 46' 9"2,4,5
14.25 m2,5
Width - Folded 15' 7"5
4.75 m5
Length 32' 5.75"2, 32' 6"4,5
9.9 m2,5
Height 9' 2"4, 9' 10"2, 10'5
3 m2, 3.05 m5
Wing area 279.7 sq ft5
26 sq m5
Weight  
Empty 2,050 lb5
930 kg5
Loaded 2,770 lb4, 2,920 lb5
1,326 kg5
Performance  
Speed 105 mph4
Speed at Sea Level 109 mph5
175 kph5
Cruising speed 60 - 80 mph5
98 - 128 kph5
Climb to 3,000' /
915 m
4 minutes5
Service ceiling 16,700'
5,090 m5
Range with Crew of 3 at Sea Level at 60 mph /
96 kph
240 miles5
385 km5
Armament  
Cockpit rear 1: 7.9 mm MG2
1: MG5
  Fieseler Fi 156C Storch
Type Liasion1, Observation1, Rescue1
Crew 11
Pilot1
Passengers 21
Engine (Type) Argus As 10C-3 piston1
Cylinders Inverted V-81
Cooling Air1
HP 2401
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span 47'1
14.25 m1
Length 32'1
9.9 m1
Height 10'1
3 m1
Wing area 280 ft2 1
26 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 2,046 lb1, 2,050 lb2
930 kg1,2
Loaded 2,910 lb2, 2,915 lb1
1,320 kg2, 1,325 kg1
Performance  
Speed 108 mph1, 109 mph2
175 kph1,2
Cruising speed 60 - 80 mph2
97 - 129 kph2
Minimum speed 32 mph2
51 kph2
Service ceiling 22,300'1
6,800 m1
Range 236 miles2, 239 miles1
380 km2, 385 km1
Maximum range 600 miles2
965 km2
Takeoff run 213'2
65 m2
Landing roll 61'2
19 m2
Armament  
Cockpit rear 1: 7.92 MG 151
Ammunition 4: 75 round magazines1
  Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch
Type Reconnaissance3
Crew 13
Passengers 1 - 23
Engine (Type) Argus As 10C-33
Cylinders V 83
Cooling Air3
HP 2403
Dimensions  
Span 46' 9"3
Length 32' 5"3
Height 10'3
Weight  
Loaded 2,910 lb3
Performance  
Speed 109 mph3
Service ceiling 17,061'3
Range 240 miles3
Armament 1: MG3

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
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