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Fl 282
Flettner Fl 282 during flight trials
Role Helicopter
Manufacturer Anton Flettner, Flugzeugbau GmbH
Introduced 1942
Retired 1945
Primary user Luftwaffe

The Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri ("Hummingbird") is a single-seat open cockpit intermeshing rotor helicopter, or synchropter, produced by Anton Flettner of Germany.

Contents

Development

The Fl 282 Kolibri was an improved version of the Flettner Fl 265 announced in July 1940 which had the same intermeshing rotor configuration as the earlier helicopter. It had a Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine of 150-160 hp mounted in the center of the fuselage, with a transmission mounted on the front of the engine from which a driveshaft ran to an upper gearbox which then split the power to a pair of opposite driveshafts to turn the rotors. The Sh 14 engine was a tried and tested design with a proven track record which only required servicing every 400 hours as opposed to the Focke Achgelis Fa 223 which needed maintenance every 25 hours. The Fl 282's fuselage was constructed from steel tube covered with doped fabric, and it was fitted with a fixed undercarriage.

The German Navy was impressed with the Kolibri and wanted to evaluate it for submarine spotting duties, ordering an initial 15 examples to be followed by 30 production models. Flight testing of the first two prototypes was carried out through 1941, including repeated takeoffs and landings from a pad mounted on the German cruiser Köln.

The first two "A" series prototypes had enclosed cockpits; all subsequent examples had open cockpits and were designated "B" series.

Operational history

By 1943 over 20 B-1 models were in service in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Aegean. Their roles included ferrying items between ships and reconnaissance. However, as the war progressed, the Luftwaffe began considering converting the Fl 282 for battlefield use. Until this time the craft had been flown by a single pilot, but now a position for an observer was added at the very rear of the craft, resulting in the B-2 version. The B-2 proved a useful artillery spotting aircraft and an observation unit was established in 1944 comprising three Fl 282 and three Fa 223 helicopters.[1]

In 1944 the German Air Ministry issued a contract to BMW to produce 1,000 examples. However, the company's Munich plant was destroyed by Allied bombing raids after producing just 24 machines.

Towards the end of World War II most of the surviving Fl 282s were stationed at Rangsdorf, in their role as artillery spotters, but gradually fell victim to Soviet fighters and anti-aircraft fire.

Surviving examples

A single Fl 282 was captured at Rangsdorf by Soviet forces, and two which had been assigned to Transportstaffel 40 (TS/40) - the Luftwaffe's only operational helicopter squadron - at Mühldorf, Bavaria, were captured by US forces.[1]

Variants

Fl 282 V1/7
Prototypes.
Fl 282A-1
Single-seat naval reconnaissance type, for operation from cruisers and other warships. Tested in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.
Fl 282A-2
Single-seat reconnaissance type for submarines equipped with special deck hangar, project only.
Fl 282B-1/B-2
Two-seat land reconnaissance-liaison helicopter

Operators

 Germany

Survivors

Fl 282 V-10 28368 Midland Air Museum, Coventry, England. Partial aircraft, frame with rotor head & wheels.
Fl 282 V-23 was at one time to be found at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.[2]

Specifications (Fl 282)

Data from [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Payload: 383 kilograms (840 lb) ()
  • Length: 21 ft 6.25 in (6.65 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 39 ft 2 in (11.96 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 2.5 in (2.20 m)
  • Disc area: 2,418.6 ft² (224.69 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,676 lb (760 kg)
  • Useful load: 529 lb (240 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,205 lb (1,000 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bramo Sh 14A 7-Cylinder radial piston engine, 160 hp (119 kW)

Performance

Notes

  1. ^ a b Hyland, Gary (1999). Last Talons of the Eagle. Trafalgar Square Publishing. ISBN 074725964X.  
  2. ^ Smith and Kay 1978, p. 595.
  3. ^ Smith and Kay 1978, p. 596.

References

  • Coates, Steve and Carbonel, Jean-Christophe. Helicopters of the Third Reich. Crowborough, UK: Classic Publications Ltd., 2002. ISBN 1-903223-24-5.
  • Lang, Gerhard. Flettner Fl 282 (The Luftwaffe Profile Series , No 6). Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-88740-921-0.
  • Nowarra, Heinz J. German Helicopters, 1928-1945. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1990. ISBN 0-88740-289-5.
  • Smith, J. Richard and Kay, Anthony. German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1972 (3rd impression 1978). ISBN 0-370-00024-2.
  • Witkowski, Ryszard. Rotorcraft of the Third Reich. Redbourn, UK: Mushroom Model Publications, 2007. ISBN 83-89450-43-2.

External links

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

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