FVA (Akaflieg - Aerodynamical Engineering Students Association Aachen)

 

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The FVA was founded by Prof. Kármán and his assistant Wolfgang Klemperer at the RWTH (Technical University) Aachen immediately after the First World War. Until today it serves as a place of applied flight science.

The first successes at the beginning of the 20s were the light gliders "Black Devil" and "Blue Mouse", which founded glider flying on the Rhön Mountains. The development work then faded out there, people were more occupied with practical flying.

The then student Hans Sander, later chief test pilot at Focke-Wulf in Bremen, in cooperation with Karl Dötsch built a glider as a diploma thesis, the FVA 9,  and called it Blue Mouse 2. For the first time wind tunnel research took place. Due to the lack of a pilot, not much became of it. It was the time to turn from slope wind flying to thermal flying.

Based on these experiences, Felix Kracht (later an Airbus executive) built the F.V.A. 10 A Rheinland, which crossed the Alps in 1936. The aim was to reduce the overall drag (closed canopies, greater wing extension, fuselage shape optimisation) and increase the glide ratios.

Around 1935 main developers were Artur Getto and Benno Sann  while the further development F.V.A, 10 B Rheinland was revised by Felix Kracht. He was assisted by the entrepreneur Schmetz, who operated a sewing needle factory. He later became well known in aviation circles when he, Haase and Kensche developed the high-performance HKS 1-3 gliders with which Haase achieved world beating performances at the end of the 1950s.

The 10 B showed all kinds of innovations: The transition between the wings and the fuselage was optimized and the fuselage was already slightly constricted behind the cockpit, as is common today everywhere. In addition, the aerodynamical efficient full-vision cockpit was introduced, so that the hull appeared club-shaped in profile. The  popular gull-like wing design was adopted. Also a retractable landing gear was developed, after a retractable runner did not prove itself.

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The (seagull-) kink-wing was three-parted, its middle part was firmly connected with the fuselage without a gap, reducing drag. The wing was single-armed with a torsion-resistant leading edge (introduced here in Hannover in the year 1920 at the Vampyr). All control elements were ball-bearing-mounted and thus smooth-running. The wing load was about 20 kg/m², the aspect ratio 21.9. These were excellent values which were only surpassed by the world-famous Schleicher Ka 6 in the 1950s. The Rheinland was a top product in its time! Kracht achieved best performances with it in Austria in 1937.

Some successes were achieved in the Rhön and other competitions. And a series production was organized at the company Schmetz. The exact number of airplanes is not known, maybe there were about 29. One flew in GB, one in CSSR, several were flown after the war in Germany by the RAF. One (D-12-354) can be seen today in the Brookland Air Museum/GB.

Technical data:

wingspan 16.00 m, length 7.04 m, wing area 11.70 m², aspect ratio 21.9, empty mass (with parachute) 142 kg, take-off weight 240 kg, payload 98 kg, lowest sink rate 0.60 m/s, glide ratio 1:28

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BFW (Messerschmitt) M 20
(Modell im Maßstab 1:72)

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The models are painted according to the LUFT HANSA design of 1928

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Here we come across a very interesting and far-reaching story: Willy Messerschmitt designed the M 20, the first metal Messerschmitt aircraft from Augsburg. (The M 18, also made of metal, was developed in Bamberg before moving to BFW in Augsburg). All his life Messerschmitt was an advocate for extreme lightweight constructions.

We anticipate something: After several crashes, Erhard Milch, the boss of the former LUFT HANSA, accused him of being more than dubious in his behaviour and his constructions being questioable. This resulted in a feud that lasted well into the war, when the Me 210 flopped and other problems burdened their relationship. In the meantime Milch had become the supreme client of the German aviation industry as chief of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Aviation Ministry) - on the other hand Messerschmitt could get along better with the "Führer".

The M 20 was a typical Messerschmitt construction - like the powered gliders and sports aircraft, which were still made of wood: shoulder wing airplanes with trapezoidal wings and box-shaped fuselage. From today's point of view it was a Dornier Merkur with Messerschmitt wings.

The prototype crashed after the tail unit broke at the beginning of 1928 and the pilot was killed. Four planes were sold to the DLH (one to the DVL). In 1930 the next accident with casualties happened in Dresden while landing in bad weather. In April 1931 there was a broken tail unit again. DLH cancelled all orders and did not pay, it was a coffin nail for the BFW.

But here it gets a bit mystical: despite non-payment the DLH used the M 20 again, chartered by DVL (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt), which took over the remaining aircraft. Who paid what, when, why and to whom and why the BFW went bankrupt nevertheless, these questions were never answered by the historians.

After that, no other incidents happened during flight operations. One plane went to Colombia and flew there without accidents for a long time. Some of these Lufthansa planes were still in service with the Luftwaffe until 1943 and were then scrapped. In total the DFLH had 14 aircraft (!).We don’t know if the one which went to Columbia is included in this number.

Technical data:

wingspan 25.50 m, length 14.90 m, wing area 65 m², height 3.75 m, empty weight 2600 kg, max. take-off weight 4650 kg, engine 1 x BMW liquid cooled standing in-line engine with 500 HP = approx. 370 kW. v/max 219 km/h, v/cruise 190 km/h, sevice ceiling 5500 m, range 880 km, crew 2 + 10 pax.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor in Soviet service from 1946 to the 50s

We have already reported several times about the Condor. A new model in scale 1:71, built by Stanislaw Peil, Hanover, which he handed over to our collection, gives us reason to report about a little known post-war career of the famous aircraft.

This is an interesting story that begins with the capture of Fw 200 during and after the war.

At the end of 1944, the Luftwaffe had some Condor bombers converted into airliners for DLH (Deutsche Lufthansa) at Siebelwerke in Leipzig-Schkeuditz. One of them remained in Spain in 1945. Due to constant bombing raids there were probably only vey few built.

When the Red Army took over after the end of the war, in 1945/46 at least tree aircraft were converted to cargo planes. The Soviet Union used them then in the far north at the Arctic Sea with the Polarnajs Awiazija.

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Pictures of the Fw 200 Condor at the Soviet polar aviators in the 40s (wikipedia.org).

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The three planes (there is also the possibility of a 4th one) had the following identifiers: CCCP -H-400, CCCP H-401 and CCCP H-500 (ex TA + AM). The "500" was the last plane, it was lost in Jakutsk in 1950.

The first loss was the CCCP H-400 in April 1946, when two of the very temperature-sensitive Bramo Fafnir engines failed. The pilot Titow had to make an emergency landing on a large ice floe, the plane was no longer airworthy (see photo). All 21 passengers were rescued after 16 days by a Lisinow Li-2 (licenced Douglas DC-3) which landed there.

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The Fw 200 CCCP H-400 1946 after an emergency landing in the Arctic Ocean on an ice floe

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The H-401 flew until 1950 mainly in the ice reconnaissance. What happened to her afterwards is not known.

The CCCP H-500, our model, joined the Polar Air Force in 1948. It had been prepared for its deployment in the aircraft factory no. 23 in Moscow. Among other things it supplied research stations in the far north. In 1950 there was a maintenance accident in which an oil cooler was destroyed. The Bramo Fafnir engines are said to have been replaced by Russian Schwetzow Ash-62IR engines (other sources say that this Condor had been flying with these engines since 1948). The aircraft was then damaged beyond repair in April 1950 in Jakutsk in a landing accident , thus ending the chapter of the Fw 200 in Soviet aviation.

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The CCCP H-500 as a model in 1:72 in the museum. The painting was obviously different than the H-401

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Focke-Wulf - Small Passenger Aircraft of the 20s

(Modell im Maßstab 1:72)

Henrich Focke and Georg Wulf have been working together on various projects in Bremen since the end of World War II. After the readmission of a (limited) production of aircraft in Germany they founded the Focke-Wulff Flugzeugbau A.G. in January 1924.

The model shows an A 16 of the new LUFT HANSA after 1926

It was a plywood construction with plywood planking, the rear fuselage was fabric-covered. The aerodynamics of the wings were based on the good flight characteristics of the Indonesian pumpkin seed Zanonia, which was also used by Etrich on his „Taube“.

The regulatory authority DVL conducted the type examination and the first plane was operated by the Bremen Seaside Resort Service for flights to the island of Wangerooge, beginning in the  summer of 1924. Later the aircraft was equipped with more powerful engines than the Siemens radial engine Sh7 75 HP / 55.2 kW. This required reinforcements at the wings and the airframe. Altogether 21 planes were built between 1924 and 1926. These planes formed the basis of the later so famous company Focke-Wulf in Bremen, which, after re-foundation in the 50s, became VFW-Focker and then merged with MBB and EADS and finaly became AIRBUS.

In 1988 EADS-AIRBUS in Bremen built a replica, which can be admired in the Berlin Museum of Technology, next to the Arado Ar 96.

Postscript: It is interesting to note that at about the same time the Tupolev design office in the Sojwet Union was designing a very similar plane: the ANT-2 - but this one was made of aluminum sheet metal. 

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This picture: The Russian Tupulew ANT-2, very similar to the Focke-Wulf A 16, but made of aluminum sheet metal in 1924.

 

Technical data:

Length 8.50 m, wing span 13.90 m, wing area 27 m², height 2.30 m, engine 1 x

air-cooled 7-cylinder radial engine Siemens Sh 7 with 75 PS / 55,2 kW

v/max. 136 km/h, range 500 km, basic weight 570 kg, max. take-off weight 970 kg,

Crew 1 + max. 3 passengers.

 

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Klemm 25 / Klemm 26

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The company Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau in Böblingen originated from Daimler Flugzeugbau in Sindelfingen, where Klemm had been chief designer for a long time. This company was a classic "child" of the World War. When the war was lost and the Treaty of Versailles came into force, the basis of business was lost, as was the case with most German aircraft construction companies. Around 1925 Daimler gave up aircraft construction and had to merge with the Benz company in Mannheim to form Daimler Benz AG, which later again supplied ultra-modern engines for the aviation industry.

Klemm did not give up and saw market opportunities for his idea of light aircraft, which had already achieved its first success in his Daimler L 20. In 1926 he had set up his own business and his first design, the Kl 25, was directly linked to the Daimler L20. It was also made of a self-supporting wood frame with fabric covering and - like the Junkers F 13 made of sheet metal - had no struts any more, so it was self-supporting. (In our museum, both types hang directly on top of each other, so that the more or less identical construction principles of that time are easily visible).

It was developed by Robert Lusser at Klemm in 1927 (who also became responsible for the Messerschmitt Bf 108 and Bf 109 a few years later). The Kl 25 was developed for significantly stronger engines and thus had to be reinforced in its structure compared to the   L 20, which led to an increase in weight. If you look at it today, it appears to us like a motorized glider due to its large aspect ratio. The supporting surface consisted of a plywood-planked torsion nose at the front, everything else was fabric-covered. The fuselage was again completely covered with plywood.

Several series were produced, the Kl 25a, l, b, b VII, d II and D VII R, a total of 30 variants were produced between 1928 and 1939, without the licence constructions abroad. Here the company British Klemm has to be mentioned, which later became the BAC (British Aircraft Co.) and produced modified versions (BK Swallow) and other Klemm aircraft.  About 600 copies were produced, ours by Josef Kurz in the 70s as an accurate replica built on the Wasserkuppe.

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Already in 1928 the Kl 26 was derived from the Kl 25, basically it hardly differed from the Klemm Kl 25 except for a stronger engine Argus As 8 with 70 kW/95 HP or an even stronger version with 120 HP. Some radial engines were also used.

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Here you see the original KL 26 with which Elly Beinhorn flew around the world: The D-2160, just returned from the trip. We have a model of this plane, scale 1:5, it hangs under our Klemm 25. The design was penned by Hannes Dabrowski.

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