The best for last:  The Fokker D VII

Fok DVII a

The Fokker D VII in 1/72 from Revell. The original 104 years, the model kit about half as old, and this example was built about 30 years ago...

From Original to the Modell

An independent part of the collections of the Aviation Museum Hanover-Laatzen are the more than 1,000 scale models, mainly of the international standards 1/72 and 1/48.

Such true-to-the-original miniatures enable viewers of museum technology history to get an "overview", not only of the individual exhibit (sometimes even as the only possibility of a three-dimensional display if there is no longer a preserved original), but also of lines of development in aircraft construction by means of the possible arrangement and juxtaposition here; sometimes they even close gaps in the presentation of the originals. Their craftsmanship alone is a pleasure to behold.

Today we present the Fokker D VII as "Model of the Month". Various miniatures of this probably best German fighter plane in World War 1 can be found in the showcases of exhibition hall 1.

Translated with (free version)

Fok DVII a

The black metal struts on Göring's machine were also painted white, at least at times.


The Model: Fokker D VII (Revell, 1/72)

This kit of the US-American Revell company with 29 parts and decals was part of the Californians' assortment since the 1960s. From time to time the kit, unchanged in casting, got a new decal set and a new cardboard image, while it accompanied generations of young modelers. The struts and wing profiles, which are clearly too strong by today's standards, ensured a high stability of the model and a low frustration rate of the customers.

Our example presented here in the picture was brought to the European market in 1993 by Revell AG in Bünde and offered two decorations to choose from: the colorful aircraft of First Lieutenant Rudolf Berthold and the all-white aircraft of the last Commodore of JG 1, Hermann Göring, both from 1918.

Fok DVII a

All in all, 680 kg of wood, fabric, metal and rubber - that, excellently combined, was enough to dominate the skies in 1918... The replica gets by with a few grams of polystyrene.

The original:                                    The best for last

After the first real fighter in service, the E I/ II/ III of 1915/16, Fokker Flugzeugwerke also built the most powerful fighter of the First World War: The Fokker D VII, winner of the German fighter competition in January 1918. This plane had been developed by chief designer Reinhold Platz with substantial participation of the founder of "Fokker Aeroplanbau" in Schwerin, Anthony Fokker himself, to equalize the air superiority gained by the Allies on the Western Front in late 1917.

The conventionally designed single-seat biplane with rigid undercarriage and 6-cylinder in-line Mercedes D IIIa engine, later also a BMW IIIa, was armed with two synchronized 08/15 machine guns. With a length of 6.95 m, it had a wingspan of 8.90 m; its top speed was 205 km/h with the BMW 6-cylinder in-line engine. The fuselage was fabric-covered over welded tubular steel frames, as had been done in previous Fokker designs. The wings were made of wood, also fabric-covered and braced to each other as well as to the fuselage. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers were fabric-covered tubular steel structures. This resulted in a remarkable structural strength of the aircraft, which manifested itself in superior stability with high maneuverability.

Fok DVII a

The wingspan of 8.90 m has been reduced in the model to just over 12.3 cm. The wings of the original were effectively cantilevered, but additionally braced among each

Technically mature

The first D VIIs reached operational units in April 1918 and by June were already considered by British and French pilots to be the most dangerous enemy. Superbly balanced, fiercely efficient and good-natured, the D VII was extremely popular with its pilots, who were still achieving considerable numbers of kills in the last six months of the war with what was probably the most technically advanced aircraft of its time.

In fact, the Fokker D VII was the only aircraft type explicitly mentioned at the top of the Allied list of armaments to be delivered by the defeated Reich. To prevent the complete dismantling and removal of the production facilities by the victorious powers, Anthony Fokker and his staff transported what was transportable by rail to his Dutch homeland, which had remained neutral. Here he reestablished the company in Amsterdam - and brought the D VII to the Dutch armed forces as an "inaugural gift". Production of the type then continued for another nine years until 1928, and by the mid-1930s the last of the approximately 3,300 built were in active service. Among the 19 countries that eventually used this type, besides Germany and the Netherlands, were Denmark, Switzerland and the United States. The British and French intensively tested their prey machines, and the knowledge gained from this was incorporated into the following designs.


Fok DVII a

What at first glance appeared somewhat angular on the D VII proved to be a compact force in action. This allowed the machine to fire stably "hanging from the propeller" upward

Fok DVII a

Bottom view of the Fokker D VII. This perspective also conveys the no-frills functionality of the design.  

Die Avia C-2

Avia C 2 01

The Avia C-2 in 1/72 scale. Here in service of the VZLU Letnany until 1958 - and without German MG 17 in the nose.


Avia C 2 01 

In front of the hangar... Besides the Czech Republic, France also produced the Arado 96 and exported it to third countries under its own name after WWII.


The Model: The Avia C-2 from KP in 1/72.

This was a solid 32 piece plus decal kit from Kovozávody Prostejov (KP) of the then CSSR in 1980. Neatly executed, finely detailed and quite accurate in fit, it gives a choice of three Czechoslovak aviation aircraft from 1948 to 1958. A detailed, multilingual assembly and color manual including a historical sketch round out the good overall impression.

The kit was part of a series of about 15 kits, which collected aircraft models in Czechoslovakian colors from the 1920s to the 1970s - both local development and licensed as well as assigned types.

Our photo series shows a model of an aircraft of the Czechoslovak Aviation Research and Testing Institute ("VZLU") from the second half of the 1950s - used for purely aerodynamic studies, but still in military colors, while the division into a civil and military branch of the institution had already begun. 

Avia C 2 01

The model reflects the elegant as well as functional lines of the design. The color scheme of this C-2 follows the Czechoslovak Air Force pattern of the time, and the nose MG is installed.


The original:             Arado 96B to Avia C-2: New "Papers"

In 1938, the two-seat Arado Ar 96 designed by Walter Blume took off from the ground for the first time, and the following year what was probably the most modern training aircraft of its time entered service with the German Luftwaffe. With design and performance features adapted to the operational models - all-metal low-wing with enclosed cabin, retractable landing gear, radio and various equipment sets - the aircraft allowed top-level training. It was even used for light frontline duties during the Second World War.



A few examples of the A-series were followed by more than 2,800 units of the B-series, which was more heavily powered with the Argus As 410 A-1. In line with general practice, large-scale production of these aircraft was outsourced to aircraft factories in the satellite states or occupied countries in order to relieve the German armaments factories.

Avia-Flugzeugwerke in Prague was designated to produce the Ar 96. Already experienced in building under license, the factories, founded in 1919, took up large-scale production of the Ar 96  from 1940 onwards,  supplemented by the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the course of the war.

Avia C 2 01
The kit from KP did not need to fear any comparison with western kits at that time.


Heritage item

After the war, production continued almost without interruption, but under a new name. A good 400 more of the design, now called the Avia C-2, were produced until 1949. Exports of this "heirloom" went to Bulgaria, Hungary and other owners in the then Eastern Bloc. In the CSR itself, the type was the standard type of the air force for training as well as for police, border protection and support tasks until 1955, gradually replaced by Soviet and own designs.


Avia C 2 01

Our Avia C-2 in sky blue. Note the pitot tube and landing light under the wings.

Boeing 707-400 Lufthansa

(Heller-Modell in 1:72 mit RR-Conway Triebwerken modifiziert)

(Heller model in 1:72 modified with RR-Conway engines)

In preliminary:

This time we have to go back a little bit, because the history of this model is very exciting: For years we were pondering  in the museum, how we could get a Rollce-Royce Conway engine for our engine department. We knew that a Boeing 707-400 with these engines was sitting in Berlin Tegel, rotting away. There were rumors that the DTMB had no use for it and that it would eventually be scrapped - that was the state of affairs in 1919.

An identical machine was located in HH-Fuhlsbüttel, and we heard that it was also to be removed. Attempts were made to negotiate with the airports. It was like with authorities - no one knew exactly, no one felt responsible. Then at the beginning of 2020, Tegel got going and we were supposed to contact the scrapping company. Same game as before, likewise in Fuhlsbüttel. So at the beginning of 2021, we still didn't know any prices and what work might be coming our way. But then chance came to the rescue:

In April '21, we heard through unofficial channels that Lufthansa-Technik wanted to scrap its wonderful museum engines and other technical material that was not suitable for instant profit maximization (new economics graduated businessmen fresh out of university are said to have taken over the reins there). The next morning, one of our people well acquainted with this company was in Fuhlsbüttel and negotiated successfully. We got 2 turbines, a PTL and an APU in addition to many boxes of valuable technology. And we found friendly logistic companies that brought the "hardware" quickly to the museum at affordable costs. Wow, what luck! Thanks again to all involved !!!

707 001 707 001 

On the left the already cleaned LH-Technik-Conway, on the right our Conway, finished for our exhibition at its final location in hangar 2.

And this unexpected stroke of luck led to this consideration:

How about showing a model of a Lufthansa - Boeing 707-400 with RR-Conway engines in a showcase at or near this engine for a better understanding for our audience?

A short telephone call with Mr. Schorsch from Essen, Modellbaustudio Rhein-Ruhr, how we could accomplish this. And again it was a happy coincidence - he still had the old Heller kit in 1/72 scale and in addition a set of matching Conway-TLs  and the matching decals for everything. In addition, a large perspex canopy was still waiting for a new use in the depot, as well as a table, which only needed to be fitted with suitable legs. And then someone had the idea to place the beginning of a runway with surrounding meadows on this table. And as a "top treat" it was possible to find an (almost) matching VW-bus (M 1:87) with Lufthansa-painting from the 60s.

The model, its construction and the showcase

It is the 1/72nd scale model already built by Heller (France) with the P&W JT3C turbines, which have to be added for the planned 707-400 instead of those with 4 RR-Conway.

707 001

707 001

707 005

In addition there is a set of 4 (+ 1 in reserve) Conways from Hahen (see above) and a set of decals of the DLH-707(see right).

The assembly is regular, because there are quite accurate parts. Sanding is within the norm. The primer (gray) and the upper part of the fuselage (white) were sprayed before assembly, so as not to complicate the installation of the windows. After the wings were assembled, everything was put together and the lead weight for the center of gravity position in front of the landing gear was determined


707 006 707 007

Links die provisorisch zusammengefügte Rumpf-Tragflächen - Kombination im Vergleich zu einer DC-3 im selben Maßstab. Oben fast rohbaufertig ohne TL und ohne Leitwerk

Then everything was glued together and the joints filled and sanded.

Left, the provisionally assembled fuselage-wing combination, compared to a DC-3 in the same scale. Above almost ready to build without TL and without tailplane.

Then followed tailplane and the Resin-built Conway models. The latter needed special care because of thin walls in the exhaust area. The decals here are - as later also those of the 707 - of best quality, but cause some grief with large spherical curves in the nose area. The mounting with superglue-gel was problem-free, there was still some spackling and sanding to do. Then it was finally done: This is how the machine looked in the workshop in the Elbe-Weser triangle:

In the meantime, the crew in Laatzen had been busy and had prepared the showcase. Everything fit together and the 707 found its place under the rear of the Conway TL.

Diese Version der revolutionären Boeing 707 wurde von 4 x RR Conway angetrieben, die erheblich leistungsfähiger als die US-Turbinen JT3C von Pratt&Whitney der Original - 707 waren.

This version of the revolutionary Boeing 707 was powered by 4 x RR Conway, which were considerably more powerful than the US JT3C turbines from Pratt&Whitney of the original 707.

Technische Daten

Spannweite          43,40 m            Länge                  46,60 m

Flügelfläche       226,30 m²          Höhe                    12,70 m

Reichweite          8700 km            v/max                 885 km/h

Besatzung          3 oder 4             Passagiere           bis 160

Here you can read the articel in PDF, please click here.


Steffen Bartels, Hildesheimer Str. 400, 30880 Laatzen OT Rethen 8. January 2022

Contribution to the website "Model of the Month" at the Aviation Museum Hannover-Laatzen

Andere Prioritäten…

The Heinkel He 178 V-1

He178 1 
Heinkel He 178, the world's first jet aircraft, here in 1/72 scale from Condor/ MPM.


From original to model

An independent part of the collections of the Luftfahrtmuseum Hannover-Laatzen are the more than 1,000 scale models, mainly of the international standards 1/72 and 1/48.

Such true-to-the-original miniatures enable viewers of the history of technology in museums to get an "overview", not only of the individual exhibit (sometimes even as the only possibility of a three-dimensional display if there is no surviving original), but also of the lines of development of aircraft construction through the possible arrangement and juxtaposition. Sometimes they even close gaps in the presentation of the originals. Their craftsmanship alone is a pleasure to behold.

In our series 'Model of the Month' this time we present the Heinkel He 178 V-1, the first jet in aviation history.

The original was destroyed during Allied air raids on Berlin in 1943. The Aviation Museum is displaying a 1/72 scale model made by its long-time scale model and diorama builder Siegfried Fricke in a display case in Hangar 2.

He178 2 

The wingspan of the small shoulder wing was only 7.20 m in the original.


The model: The Heinkel jet in scale 1/72

The Czech manufacturer Condor/ MPM released this model in 36 parts of very nice quality, including photo-etched parts in the mid-1990s. The kit is a jewel of any collection also due to the historical significance of its prototype.

The original: aerodrome rounds for eternity

Ernst Udet, Generaluftzeugmeister of the German Air Force, previously the most successful surviving fighter pilot of the First World War,  an aircraft designer and world-renowned aerobatic pilot, did not find it remarkably exciting what Ernst Heinkel enthusiastically told him on the telephone in the very early morning of 27 August 1939: his team had just put the world's first turbine air jet-powered aircraft into the air.

An understandable misjudgement on Udet's part, for hardly anyone in the world at the time had any idea that this launch into the jet age was the beginning of aviation as we know it today. Supersonic and eventually hypersonic flights, from modern world air transport to global military strategy: all this began with a small, 7.48 m short and single-seat shoulder-wing aircraft made of wood and steel with a jet engine in the fuselage, which Heinkel chief pilot Erich Warsitz had piloted twice that day over the factory airfield in Rostock-Marienehe.

The designer of the turbine air jet engine was the physicist Dr. Hans-J. Pabst von Ohain and his assistant Max Hahn, whom Heinkel had engaged in 1936. This HE S 3b, powered by petrol, developed around 500 kp of thrust, which could accelerate the He 178 to 700 km/h with its take-off mass of 1,998 kg.

He178 2
The He 178 completed all its flights with the wheels extended and the landing gear wells covered.


Other priorities

A handful of successful test flights followed, but they never left the vicinity of Heinkel Flugzeugwerke before the project was abandoned for lack of official interest. The war had begun and demanded front-line capable and combat-ready equipment, not visions.

Udet, as head of the Luftwaffe's Technical Office, saw this world record on the eve of the war, like the first flight of a rocket aircraft by Heinkel-Werke only two months earlier with the He 176, more as a technical gimmick. For him it was a pleasing but futile art but not a useful contribution to military (or even civilian) aviation. Especially since 14 months earlier he had flown the prototype of the He 100 A, a propeller fighter, to a land speed record of 635 km/h. Such aircraft of tried and tested technology were not only a technical gimmick, but also a piece of art. Such aircraft of proven technology were safe and met the demands of the coming war. This was the dominant view in the Reich Aviation Ministry. Jet aircraft were to be taken care of after the victory. A double mistake: Germany built the best jets after those first ones during the war, but these flew straight into surrender...

Ahead of its time

Ernst Heinkel, who was not a sympathiser of National Socialism, but who, as a designer of both civilian and military aircraft with a worldwide reputation, had also become the main supplier of armaments to the Wehrmacht. He  was in fact initially pursuing purely scientific goals with the "He 176 and 178" project. The aim was to increase flight speed while at the same time significantly improving the mass/power ratio of the engines. This was only possible with new engines, the rocket engine and above all the turbine air jet engine.

But the knowledge gained here was ahead of its time and of course militarily groundbreaking. About three years later, the "turbo" Messerschmitt Me 262, the most powerful fighter of the Second World War, the Arado Ar 234, the first long-range jet reconnaissance aircraft and bomber, and the Me 163 rocket fighter, the fastest aircraft in the world, were flying, and both the British and the Americans were working feverishly to equalise the German lead in "jets". They - like the Soviet Union - only succeeded in doing so after the German defeat. However, after the intercontinental bomber, the victors then took care of world air traffic with this new technology, while the Germans were not even allowed to fly gliders until 1951.             

Were we able to arouse your curiosity? If so, we would be delighted to welcome you to the Aviation Museum in Ulmer Straße opposite the Hanover Exhibition Grounds! 


He178 2 

One of hundreds of fascinating models that the Aviation Museum and its visitors owe to the unforgotten Siegfried Fricke.

He178 5 
The construction plan of the Czech kit from the 1990s.

The Douglas DC-3/C-47 Skytrain/Dakota 
with the Germans

The DC-3, born in 1936 from the DC-2 of 1932 (DC = Douglas Commercial), became the most successful transport aircraft in the history of aviation. It was the first aircraft to actually earn real money in aviation. In the 1930s, Deutsche- Luft-Hansa bought a few examples of its predecessor, the DC-2, for testing. In anticipation of the even more powerful DC-3 (1936), the Fw 200 Condor was developed over here at Focke-Wulf. But the preparations for war demanded too much material and so only a few Condor could be built (see also the display case on the left at the entrance to Hall 2).


Douglas DC-3 with CW-R-1820 Cyclone Motoren. 

In 1939, after the Czech Republic was looted, the Czechs leased various DC-2s and DC-3s to DLH. When Norway and Holland were conquered, additional DC-3s came to Lufthansa and the Luftwaffe. In the early 1940s, Lufthansa was for a while the largest operator of a civil DC-3 fleet outside the USA. However, this was never made public in the 3rd Reich for propaganda reasons.

Only a few examples flew in the Luftwaffe and little is known about them, except for our 1944 model shown here, which flew for the Dutch KLM before the war. These DC-3s were powered by 9-cyl. air-cooled radial Wright Cyclone engines producing 652 kW/887 hp. Their engines had different cowlings than later ones and were shorter in length.      

C-47 mit P&W R-1830-Motoren


DC-2 und C-3  der CSA 1938 in Prag - für die DLH  ohne die damaligen Hoheitszeichen         

Die DC-3 der Lufthansa D- AAIE 1944 in Barcelona. Das Natur-Aluminium war der "Lufthansa-Tarnfarbe" RLM 02 gewichen, die Motorgondeln blieben schwarz

After the (West) Germans were allowed to fly again from the end of 1955, the new Lufthansa as well as the new Luftwaffe acquired the C-47 Skytrain/Dakota, the military version of the DC-3, from U.S. reserve stocks. After all, more than 15,000 such aircraft had been built by shortly after the war and even today, in 2021, some 500 such aircraft are still flying around the world, indestructible, so to speak. The C-47 can be quickly recognized by its missing tail rump.

Douglas C-47 (DC-3) der DLH um 1958

Douglas C-47 (DC-3) der DLH um 1958

The German Luftwaffe flew 20 of them as cargo planes or VIP planes. Lufthansa had about 10 aircraft, which flew until the beginning of the 1960s in domestic German traffic and were later sold. The engines of these aircraft were 14-cylinder air-cooled twin radial engines from Pratt & Whitney, Twin Wasp with 880 kW/1200 hp. They could carry 28 passengers or a more than 3 tons of cargo (in the GDR they flew a further development of the Soviet DC-3 = Lisinow Li-2, this was the Ilyushin Il-14, which was built under license in Dresden).

C-47 der Bundeswehr LTG´s im DMM/Oberschleißheim
im Profil gut zu sehen die Frachttür unten eine Maschine der Regierungsstaffel



Eine Iljuschin IL-14 der DDR-Lufthansa

C 47 Berlin C 47 Berlin   2
Die Berliner C-47 Maschine vor ihrem Flugunfall - damals  noch in Tempelhof

It should be added that the main load of the initial Berlin Airlift in 1948 was carried by the C-47/Skytrain of the Americans and C-47/ Dakota of the British until the larger Douglas DC-4/C-54 Skymaster took over; both were called "Rosinenbomber", raisin bombers.     

But this is still not the end of the story of the Douglas DC-3/C-47 Dakota under German management: The US company Basler in Oshkosh/Wisc. turns old DC-3/C-47s into new ones: The fuselage is cut up, two new frames are inserted and 2 powerful propeller turbines replace the piston engines (2 x P&W Canada PT6A each 955 kW/1281 hp). These PTL are considerably lighter, and so they were installed further forward for center of gravity reasons, making the fuselage 1 m longer.

And two of these Dakotas converted in this way replaced the Dornier Do 228s used until then at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven (AWI- the marine and polar researchers). They are better suited for flying in the Arctic and Antarctic because of their "old" configuration. They are the Polar 5 & 6.


The Basler BT-67 Dakota at the AWI in Bremerhaven (EDWB). Due to the lack of a German type certificate, they fly with Canadian registration. You can clearly see the fuselage extended by 2 frames and the PTLs installed further forward. 


Comments: Precise data on performance with Wright-Cyclone could not be determined. It must be pointed out that with the good 15000 airplanes produced, various sub-types with different power levels of the engines used, significant differences in the performance values can occur.


The models of the DC-3 / C-47 in M 1:72.

The basic kit is the C-47 from Italieri, a basic kit that came on the market decades ago. It forms the basis of the 5 different models: 2 x DC-3 of the "old" Lufthansa and Luftwaffe of 1944 with the Wright Cyclone engines and 2 x Bundeswehr aircraft of the LTGs and the Government Squadron with the P&W Double-Wasp engines...

Finally and for comparison with the DC.3 DLH of 1944 a C-47 of the "new" LUFTHANSA of about 1958. We would like to point out that these shown machines will all be on display in the showcases of the military transports on the gallery. These vitrines show from the Ju 52 over the Me 321 & 323 up to the A 400M which planes were operated in the German transport aviation from the beginning to the present. More such models can be found in the Bundeswehr and Lufthansa showcases.


DC-3 der Luftwaffe 1944


Die Unterseite der Lufthansa DC-3 von 1944


Alle 5 DC-3/C-47 beisammen


Die C-47 der "neuen" Lufthansa um 1958

dc3 A 001 dc3 A 002 

Alle 5 DC-3/C-47 beisammen

dc3 A 002 dc18

Alle 5 DC-3/C-47 beisammen


Die C-47 der "neuen" Lufthansa um 1958

dc3 A 005 
"alte" und "neue" Lufthansa - 1944 und 1955

dc3 A 005
Luftwaffe 1944 und Bundesluftwaffe 1958