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The Henschel company was a factory for trucks and railroad engines in Kassel. Anticipating a demand of aircraft for the new Luftwaffe they founded an airplane division in Berlin Schönefeld. The buildings of this factory still exist today on the ex-GDR passenger airport Schönefeld and house offices and aviation engineering  operations.

After building a few small aircraft they constructed a dive-fighter and low-level attack plane in 1933, designed with an open cockpit. The aircraft engine was supposed to be an air-cooled 9-cyl. BMW 132Dc with 648 kW/880 hp.

The idea behind the design of a dive-fighter was to hit the target precisely without much effort, just the opposite of carpet bombing.

On several trips to the USA Ernst Udet, a famous WW I fighter pilot and stunt pilot, had seen Navy dive bombers. He bought two of these planes, Curtiss-Hawk biplanes and brought them to Germany, where he demonstrated this technique in air shows.

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Series production began in 1936 and several planes were put to a test in the Spanish Civil War, flying for the „Legion Condor“. In the fall of 1936 the first Luftwaffe units were supplied with these aircraft. Although this equipment was already dated when the war started it rendered good service, especially at the eastern front. Not a single plane survived.

Technical data:

upper wing span 10.50 m; lower wing span 8,00 m; length 8.33 m; height 3.20 m;

wing area 24.85 m; weight empty 1500 kg; take off weight 2215 kg;

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Maximum speed 340 km / h, speed of march 315 km / h in 2000 m, service peak 9000 m, range 855 km; engine: 1 x BMW 132 




Focke WulfFw200KA 1 Condor v

In 1938 the Danish airline DDL (Det Danske Luftfartselkab) was the first foreign company to buy two Fw 200, followed by the Brazilian „Sydicato Condor“, which also bought two planes.

Bear in mind: already in 1934 there were two airplanes operating in regular sevice: the Boeing 247 (12 passengers) and the Douglas DC-2 (14 passengers), two smooth sheet steel  aircraft with retractable gear and variable pitch propeller. These planes were clearly superior to the German Ju 52 with its corrugated steel fuselage and fixed gear.

When it became known that Douglas developed a replacement for its DC-2, the DC-3 for 24 passengers, the Lufthasa had to react and find a similar plane.

In 1936 the Deutsche Lufthasa made contact with the Focke-Wulf company and Kurt Tank, one of its engineers. Tank proposed a passenger aircraft with four engines for 28 passengers. This plane was supposed to have a long range and be more economical than the omnipresent Ju-52.

After a year the plane was finished, equipped with four air-cooled BMW Hornet nine cylinder rotary engines (like the Ju 52), built under license of Pratt & Whitney – but with metric measurement. The aircraft was a success, flew records and crossed the Atlantic from Berlin to New York, thus proving that landplanes could successfully negotiate the oceans.

The Danish airline was quite satisfied wit the performance of these planes and deployed them in their regular sevice in Europe. The identifications were OY – DEM Jutlandia (formerly D – ADHR Saarland) and OY – DAM Dania (newly built). When Denmark was occupied by the Germans in 1940 the civil use of the Condor nearly ended. The British confiscated the OY – DAM in GB and from then on this booty flew for BOAC. After a landing accident the plane was scrapped. It is important to know that for the Germans Denmark was an „occupied neutral country“ and was able to carry on her airline activities.

After the war the British compensated the DDL with a captured Condor (the formerly D – ASVX Thüringen), but this plane never entered service again. In 1946 the British even wanted to re-assign a second Condor, the Fw 200 C-U/U1 from Farnborough, but this aircraft was in such a condition that they did not dare to fly it across the North Sea.

The remaining Condor OY – DEM Jutlandia was oprated until 1945, servicing Central Europe: Copenhagen, Vienna, Malmö, Berlin and Munic. Initially it was painted like the model, later it carried the inscription „Danmark“ and was painted orange-red-


Technical data Fw 200 A:

Focke WulfFw200KA 1 Condor s

Commercial aircraft with four engines, carrying 28 passengers and a crew of four.

wingspan 32.84 m; length 23.85 m; height 6.00 m; wing area 118 m2

construction weight 9200 kg; take-off weight 14000 kg;

cruising speed 355 km/h at 1000 m; maximum speed 375 km/h; sevice ceiling 6100 m;

power plants: 4 x BMW 132 G air-cooled 9-cylinder rotary engines with 537 kW/720 hp;(further development of the P & W Hornet)




U 12a Udet Flamingo 2

Here we deal with a highly complex story of war and peace, Weimar Republic, allied victories, famous names, and Bavarian industrial policy. We deal with individuals who later were to play an important role in aviation.

Ernst Udet, famous fighter pilot of world war one and aerobatics pilot after the war in 1921 called together ex-military pilots in order to found an aircraft production, although this was strictly prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles. The engineer Hans Herrmann designed the sports airplane U 1, funded by William and Heinz Pohl. In October 1921 they started the Udet Aircraft Construction in Munic and Udet let them use his name as figurehead. The company built many airplanes but soon went broke.

It was at the end of 1924 when they designed a simple and robust trainer bi-plane, named Udet U 12 Flamingo. It was a plywood construction, for a natural fuel flow the tank was in the upper wing. The plywood wings and the tail had light alloy ailerons and rudders stringed with fabric. For training purposes the twin controls could be unlocked by the flight instructor.

The engine was a Siemens & Halske air-cooled seven cylinder rotary engine SH 11 with a performance of 71 kW/96 hp.

The construction of the plane got along fine and the maiden flight took place in April of 1925, with Ernst Udet at the controls. There is a really big difference if you compare the admission of an aircraft and the check flights at that time with the professional procedures of today: during the maiden flight Udet did all kinds of aerobatic maneuvers at low level and landed the plane with the engine shut down. He was perfectly satisfied with the plane and took part in an airshow with it five days later.

The plane sold well and improvements were continuously made. The plane was also built under licence in Hungary. In spite of this success the Udet company did not well financially and went bankrupt in 1926. The State of Bavaria established a rescue company called BFW which turned out to be the forerunner of BMW and the successor of the Bavarian Otto- and Albatros Company. This company was

U 12a Udet Flamingoto build the Flamingo in greater numbers for the (at that time) secret flight training schools which were needed for the rearmament. In the city of Bamberg there was another company which built aircraft: the Messerschmitt GmbH. At that time Messerschmitt was a young but unknown design engineer. He became the chief engineer of the BFW and in 1938 he founded his own company: the Messerschmitt AG.

But the Flamingo was a big success and Udet made this plane well known due to his outstanding aeronautical abilities and the  bright red color of the plane.

Technical Specifications

wing span 10,00 m, length 7,50 m, height 2,80 m, basic weight 500 kg, take-off weight 800 kg, maximum speed 140 km/h, landing speed 75 km/h, service ceiling 3300 m, endurance 3,5 h, engine: one Siemens & Halske SH 11, seven cylinder aircooled rotary engine with 71 kW/96 hp


In 1916 the UK was thinking about getting rid of th „Fokker pest“, the Fokker E-fighters of the Germans. The idea was to design a new agile single seater pursuit plane. In the past years the German Fokkers had been so succsessful that hardly an allied plane was able to cross the German front lines. This was not only due to the maneuverbility of the Fokker E, but also

due to the fact that the machine guns of the plane fired through the orbit of the propeller. In addition those pioneer pilots like Boelke and Immelmann developed and executed new air combat tactics.

The engineer Barnwell of the British company Bristol designed a single seater monoplane powered by an air-cooled rotary engine built by the Clerget company. In the beginning these engines had 110 hp, later on 130 hp. The engine had a cicular sheathing and a spinner was mounted on the hub. The right hand upper spar carried a 7.7mm Vickers machine gun.

As early as 1916 the first two planes were tested. But the landing speed of 79 km/h was considered too high so that they did not deploy the plane on French airfields





Besides the two prototypes supposedly 125 planes were built, seven of them were exported to Chile. All the other planes served in different outfits, there is no information about their combat achievments. One of the planes took part in air races in Australia in 1920.


Technical data:

wingspan 9.37 m; length 6.24 m; height 2.37 m; wing area 13.47 m2;  weight empty 406 kg; take-off weight 611 kg;

power plant: one 82 kW/110 hp Le Rhone 9 cylinder air-cooled radial engine

performance: maximum speed 209 km/h; service ceiling 6.1 km; endurance 1:45 h;



Dieses ist ein Flugzeug aus Deutschlands schwerer Zeit: Rohrbach war im Weltkrieg Leiter der (Berlin-) Staaken Abteilung des Zeppelin-Konzerns. Nach dessen Auflösung nach dem vom Deutschen Reich verlorenen Weltkrieg gründete Dr. Ing. Rohrbach 1922 in Berlin die  Rohrbach Metallflugzeug GmbH.

Vorauszuschicken ist, dass Rohrbach noch bei Zeppelin ein viermotoriges Ganzmetallflugzeug, die E 4/20, mit tragender Funktion der Außenhaut entwickelte und 1920 zur Erprobung brachte, das konstruktiv allen anderen Maschinen seiner Zeit weit voraus war. Beweisen konnte er das Konzept aber nicht mehr, denn die Alliierten bestanden via  "Versailler Vertrag" auf Zerstörung - und waren unliebsame Konkurrenten los.

Die nach 1926, dem Jahr endlich geänderter Baubedingungen durch die Sieger,  konzipierte  Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland (I) übernahm dann dieses bereits 1919 projektierte Konzept der (Zeppelin-) Staaken E 4/20: In einem geschlossenen Rumpf mit Fenstern und beinahe quadratischem Querschnitt saßen neben einem Mittelgang 10 Passagiere. Dahinter war ein von innen und außen zugängliches Gepäckabteil, die beiden Flugzeugführer saßen vor dem Passagierraum oben in der Tragfläche im Freien, nur durch kleine Windschutzscheiben vor dem Fahrtwind geschützt. Das war in der Zeit so üblich und gewünscht. Die Roland erflog mehrere Weltrekorde.


Das Foto zeigt die Ro VIII Roland I - mit oben offener Kabine. Der Ingenieur Kurt Tank, später schillernder Chef der Focke-Wulf-Werke in Bremen, entwickelte bei Rohrbach eine geschlossene Kabine für die Roland, mit einem Geschwindigkeitsplus von etwa 30 km/h - und für die Piloten fahrtwindfrei.

Aber: Die Firma Rohrbach saß lange auf den vorproduzierten Teilen, weil die DLH sie nicht wollte! Die dann folgende Roland II bekam eine völlig neue Haubenkonstruktion.








Unser Modell der Ro VIIIa Roland II ist nicht aus einem vorgefertigten Bausatz sondern "scratch" gebaut, also aus dem Nichts!   

Beide Typen nahmen 10 Passagiere auf. Die offene Version hatte auch eine andere Motorisierung: sie wurde von 3 BMW IV zu je 236 kW/320 PS wassergekühlten 6-Zylinder Reihenmotoren angetrieben, die Ro VIIIa Roland II mit je 3 x BMW Va zu je 280 kW/380 PS. Die DLH flog 9 solcher Roland Verkehrsmaschinen.

Übrigens: Einer der damals prominentesten Fluggäste war ein Politiker aus Österreich, der in München lebte, und den Lufttransport als Wahlkampfhilfe für sich entdeckt hatte. Den ihn damals fliegenden Flugkapitän Baur machte er auf dem Höhepunkt seiner Karriere zum Chef der Regierungsflieger des sich dann nennenden "3.Reiches". Sein Name: Sie haben es geahnt: Adolf Hitler, der sich inzwischen die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft "besorgt" hatte.

1928 wurde ein Roland provisorisch zu einem Nachtbomber umgebaut und in der Sowjet-Union in Lipezk bei der "schwarzen Reichswehr" erprobt.


Technische Daten:

Länge 16,40 m, Spannweite 26,30 m, Höhe 4,50 m, Tragfläche 89,00 m², Leergewicht 4450 kg, Zuladung 3150 kg, Kraftstoff 1560 l, Schmierstoff 60 l. Flugdauer 8 h, Reichweite 925 km, Dienstgipfelhöhe 4600 m, Reisegeschwindigkeit 200 km/h, Höchstgeschwindigkeit 225 km/h, Landegeschwindigkeit 105 km/h.