Aviation of Word War II
Fl 282 "Hummingbird"
Data Sheet Fl 282
2. Designation: Fl 282 B-0 (with non-glazed cab), Fl 282 B-1 (with plexiglass glazed cab).
3. Crew: 1 pilot.
4. Construction: a single-seat helicopter and a gyrocopter of a mixed design with two crossed two-bladed counter-rotating main rotors.
(a) Fuselage: Welded steel tube truss. Front section with open (B-0) or closed (B-1) cab. There is a cut-out for the pilot's parachute * in the back wall of the seat. The central section of the fuselage is oval in section, contains a power plant with a transmission, the outer skin consists of opening hatches, hoods and panels. The rear part of the fuselage is rectangular, sheathed with plywood.
(b) Main rotor blades (HB): Tubular steel spar with riveted ** wooden ribs and plywood sheathing, additionally sheathed with fabric on top. Rectangular in top view with rounded tips. They are attached to the sleeve using horizontal and vertical hinges. At the end of the spar there is a connector for installing a balancing weight. The axes of both HBs are deflected by 12 degrees to the side from the vertical axis. When viewed from above, the right screw rotates clockwise and the left screw rotates counterclockwise. The length of the chord of the blade is 29 cm.
(c) Control surfaces: Elevator and ailerons are missing. The stabilizer consists of two parts, with a single spar. The spar is steel, tubular, with riveted wooden ribs. The toe of the stabilizer is sheathed with plywood, the rest of the sheathing is fabric. The installation angle varies from -15 to +5 degrees, the stabilizer control is located in the cockpit. The steering wheel has a wooden load-bearing structure, sheathed with fabric. Tilts to the sides by 40 degrees. The vertical stabilizer of a wooden structure, the toe is sheathed with plywood, the rest of the sheathing is fabric, bolted to the fuselage truss.
(d) Chassis: Fixed front support, with oil shock absorber VDM, swivel wheel, steering from rudder pedals. The nose wheel is 350 × 150 mm, the wheels of the main landing gear are 465 × 165 mm.
(a) Engine: 1 BMW 314E, (Siemens Halske 14а) 160 HP, compression ratio 6, reduction ratio 1:12. Installed horizontally, toe first. The launch was carried out with compressed air from a cylinder on board the helicopter.
(b) Transmission: The lower transmission drive assembly is located at the front of the engine, behind the cooling fan on the forward shaft. The upper gearbox is connected to the engine by a two-piece cardan shaft. There is a firewall above and behind the engine.
(c) Fuel tank: metal, not sealed, located behind the firewall, at the rear of the fuselage. Capacity 105 l.
(d) Oil tank: metal, not sealed, installed on the engine gearbox. The upper gearbox is filled with 5 liters of oil.
(e) Fuel: Aviation gasoline with an octane rating of 87.
(f) Cooling: Engine cooling is provided by a wooden eight-blade fan driven directly from the engine. The oil cooler can be switched off in cold weather.
(g) Control system: Control in all three axes is provided by periodic or constant changes in the angles of attack of the rotor blades from the control stick and pedals connected to the rudder. The transition from the helicopter mode to the gyroplane (autorotation) and reverse is carried out using a speed-sensitive hydraulic regulator controlled by a lever installed in the cab, the transition to the autorotation mode is performed automatically when the engine fails.
(a) Instruments: 1 airspeed indicator, 1 altimeter, 1 vertical speed indicator, 1 turn and roll indicator, 1 rotor rotor speed indicator, 1 NV blade angle indicator, 1 main compass, 1 clock.
(b) Emergency and rescue equipment: 1 parachute, 1 emergency kit (first aid kit), 1 single inflatable raft (in the ship's reconnaissance version).
(c) Radio equipment: 1 radio station FuG 19, 1 signal lamp installed on the fuselage (in a ship reconnaissance version).
(d) Bomb release: one, for 2 bombs of 5 kg each (in the ship reconnaissance version), one for two smoke bombs (in the ship reconnaissance version).
8. Special equipment: The deck landing equipment consists of a harness with one cable, released by means of an electric lock.
Length: 6150 mm
Width (including landing gear and tail assembly): 2400 mm
Height (with HB blades removed): 2400 mm
Air Screw diameter: 12000mm.
10. Technical data:
(a) Construction group: H 3; (b) maximum takeoff weight: 1300 kg; (c) load on the main rotor 8.84 kg / m2, (d) maximum speed: in helicopter mode: forward: 80 km / h, backward: 30 km / h, sideways: 20 km / h; in autorotation mode: 60 km / h; (e) minimum speed: in helicopter mode: no restrictions; on autorotation: 40 km / h; performing aerobatics is prohibited!
(a) Speed: The speed of horizontal flight in helicopter mode is temporarily limited to 80 km / h for structural reasons, in autorotation mode 60 km / h.
(b) Rate of climb:
The maximum flight altitude is temporarily limited to 1500 meters for safety reasons.
(c) Takeoff and landing characteristics:
Vertical take-off and landing are possible. In case of engine failure, autorotation landing is possible. Landing distance from a height of 20 m: 50 m, braking distance 15 m (with a wind of 5 m / s).
12. Flight range:
The maximum flight duration at a speed of 80 km/h is 2 hours 5 minutes, a flight range of 168 km.
The above datasheet for Fl 282 B-0 and B-1 has been prepared using Fl 282 V12.
Data on the number of helicopters built vary, in early sources they call 22 machines, in later sources - up to 30.
Production of 1000 Fl 282 from BMW
As noted above, most authors mention this fact without specifying any details. The source of information for such a statement is the note in “B.I.O.S. Overall Report Number 8 ”, which refers to a batch of 1000 Fl 282 ordered by the BMW factories in Munich and Eisenach. The said report even claimed that tools and equipment for production were already being prepared.
The author *** was able to get acquainted with the BMW archives, including the records of the Eisenach plant. I also came across a report on aircrafts and airplanes built by BMW and equipped with engines of this company during the year. And not a single document testified to the appearance of 1000 such helicopters.
However, if it was not possible to find references to a contract for the construction of 1000 Fl 282, then there should be traces of an order for 1000 BMW 314 engines required to build such a number of helicopters (the Sh 14 A engine, often referred to as the Fl 282 power plant, according to it was essentially the same BMW 314 with a special transmission). Production of the Sh 14 A was discontinued in the summer of 1939. No mention of the resumption of production was found.
Examining the RLM documents and technical committee reports revealed a few things. Prototype delivery program # 221/1 dated September 1, 1942, mentioned 16 Fl 282 B prototypes supplied by Flettner. The production version of the helicopter was hiding under the name Fl 282 B, but these 16 machines were built as prototypes.
The next similar document, number 223/1, dated April 15, 1943, paints a different picture. It again lists 16 Fl 282 B from Flettner, but BMWE (BMW's Eisenach plant) is to join Flettner as the manufacturer of the 150 Fl 282 B series, the first of which was slated for delivery in January 1944. Ordering materials for the next 500 cars.
The author was also looking for the date when this large order appeared in aircraft building programs, which was not possible for previous researchers. An order for 1000 Fl 282 B from the army appeared in January 1943, but money was needed to complete it. If these machines were built, they would have been delivered to the army (Wehrmacht), and not the Air Force (Luftwaffe), since the latter did not pay for the order.
The new program numbered 224/1 of October 1, 1943, or six months after the previous one, contains a message with respect to Fl 282 that "All approvals for the selection of materials and preparation of production issued prior to this publication are revoked."
Program # 226/1 of May 15, 1944 canceled the supply of Fl 282, reducing the number of prototypes from 16 to 7. This became a documentary approval of the end of the supply of the helicopter, the production of prototypes of which actually ceased in November 1943.
Without going further into the details of the order documents, those interested in the issue can be sent to "Die Deutsche Luftvaffenf & uuml; hrung 1935-1945" from H. Boog - there are described some other points regarding plans to involve BMW factories in the production of helicopters.
Leaving aside some calculations, we just note that the BMW plant in Munich could not be involved in production because in 1943 he had no free space and resources. Subsequently, the production of BMW801 for fighters and the development of BMW003 received the highest priority. The Eisenach plant produced BMW132 A / T and since 1942 spare parts for BMW801 and BMW323. The production of parts for BMW003 was added to this production program in 1943.
This is, strictly speaking, the whole history of "1000 Hummingbirds manufactured by BMW" of which only 150 existed on paper, and even then in the form of a production plan. Allegations that preparations for their production at BMW factories were actually carried out have not been found.
The Kriegsmarine sailors, in conjunction with the Submarine Command Group (1./Skl.U/III), very quickly considered the advantages of the helicopter as a ship-based aircraft. The use of various types of ships was carefully considered even before the war. In addition to gyroplanes and small flying boats, the use of a short take-off and landing aircraft of the Fi.156 type was widely discussed, which was even tested with the so-called. use as a deck on the ship Greif in 1937. Reflections on the choice of the type of aircraft on July 24, 1937 were reflected on paper Leutnant zur See by Linder, the document was entitled "Airplane or helicopter?" This document very clearly outlined the advantages of a helicopter over a conventional ship-based aircraft. Later, the actual operation confirmed that the aircraft is a "limited use aircraft", depending on the weather. The letter contained the following interesting paragraph:
“We are not able to assess the significance of the commissioning of helicopters in the US Navy (Kellett KD-1A) **** and the establishment in the United States of the academy for the research of issues related to rotorcraft, where this type was tested for four years and its the tests gave very good results. If these actions of the US Navy give us a reason to think, then the technical superiority that Germany will gain from building helicopters may push us to study this issue as quickly as possible, in order to use technical superiority to gain tactical advantage. "
The sailors shared Linder's concern and considered it necessary to petition the Luftwaffe for an early development of the topic.
Fleet representatives provided a list of technical and tactical factors affecting the development of a military helicopter in a letter to the Naval Aviation Inspectorate on December 19, 1939. The factors were identified based on a study of the film about the Fl 265 tests conducted by the Kriegsmarine. The proposed development paths of the design led to the creation of a two-seater version of the Fl 282 and the version of the Fl 282U, intended for basing on submarines.
In a letter dated April 19, 1940, the high command of the Kriegsmarine noted the intensification of the enemy's submarine fleet in the North Sea and the fact that anti-submarine defense units were forced to work with maximum tension in order to somehow control the situation. The Fl 265 demonstrated was the most suitable type for solving problems. But with t. Air Force (LC 2) Flettner helicopters were in the development and testing stage, and at least a single copy could reach the readiness stage by the summer of 1940. A test report issued on June 24, 1940 showed that even this forecast is too optimistic:
Fl 265 V1 and V2 were factory tested, V3 was crashed on 08/21/1939 *****, and V4, V5 and V6 were available for testing from 06/16 to 08/15/1940, and no combat tests were planned.
Tests of the V1 began in September 1940. And the first flight of the Fl 282 (we are talking about the V2, since the V1 flew only on a leash) took place only on October 30, 1941.
The sailors wrote another request to RLM and Flettner in June 1941. Moreover, they asked to send a helicopter for testing as soon as possible.
The reasons for considering the Fl 282 as the most suitable type for a ship-based reconnaissance were as follows:
1) The helicopter takes up very little space. With the propeller removed, the fuselage length was 6.56 m, and the width along the landing gear legs was 2.4 m. When placed in a row, 10 helicopters took up as much space as 1 normal aircraft.
2) Preparation for the flight takes only a few minutes. It is easy to roll out a small light helicopter from the hangar; it does not take much time to attach the blades. The movement of the ship has no significant effect on flight preparation.
3) The rotor can be rotated to full power when the helicopter is tethered. As a result, after dropping the leash, the helicopter almost jumped forward.
4) After takeoff, the helicopter, if necessary, can climb 3500 meters almost vertically. The economical cruising speed is 60 km / h, the maximum cruising speed is 120 km / h, the maximum speed is 150 km / h, but it is not profitable from the point of view. fuel consumption. Depending on the speed, the flight can last from 1.5 to 3 hours.
5) The view from the helicopter is excellent, besides, it can hover in the air and easily turn in any direction.
6) In case of engine failure, the helicopter automatically switches to autorotation, which, if necessary, allows the pilot to jump with a parachute.
7) For landing at the stern, a halyard was thrown out of the helicopter from a height of about 10 m. The halyard was threaded through the pulleys and held by hands, which allows the helicopter to move up and down. In this case, the helicopter can land without risk of damage. ******
8) The ability to fly in bad weather and in any rough sea, repeatedly demonstrated during the tests, together with the ability to have a sufficiently large number of helicopters on board, makes it possible to organize constant aerial surveillance of ships regardless of weather conditions. As an illustration of the limited capabilities of onboard seaplanes in this matter, the raid of the Admiral Sheer ship is given, during which only 28 of the 180 days the aircraft could be used.
If these advantages are confirmed, then it is necessary to take all measures to equip all anti-submarine ships, and indeed all ships, with helicopters.
However, all the efforts of the Navy to speed up the design and construction of helicopters were unsuccessful.
After the RLM effectively ceased work on the design and construction of helicopters and gyroplanes, the Navy issued requirements for marine helicopters. The list included two variants of the Fa 223 (both armed, including torpedoes) land-based and the Fl 339 for basing on ships instead of the Ae.196 seaplanes. All three types were to be equipped with anti-submarine radars.
Apparently, the possibility of basing helicopters on submarines was also considered a little earlier. Among the conditions for the helicopter intended for this, the fleet required the ability to pack it in a relatively small cylinder (which is convenient in terms of ensuring the tightness of the container). As one of the measures to meet this requirement, it was proposed to introduce folding blades. Slightly disrupting the course of the narrative, we note that Flettner began testing a shortened version of the Fl 282 U (V9, without tail) modified to meet the requirements for helicopters for submarines in July 1942. However, tests showed that in the foreseeable future it would not be possible to get an anti-submarine helicopter. The simplest alternative was the Fa 330 towed gyroplane, which eventually managed to take part in the hostilities.
The Luftwaffe Naval Aviation Inspector held a conference on April 17, 1942, one of the goals of which was to determine how many helicopters to order for the Kriegsmarine, given that the Fl 282 was considered ready for production.
The Kriegsmarines have requested a batch of 50 vehicles to be based on ships. Additionally, they requested 40 helicopters for anti-submarine units and a quota of 5-6 Fl 282U per month for basing on large submarines. Thus, in total, the fleet requested 90 Fl 282, excluding Fl 282U. However, only 16 vehicles were planned for delivery.
The reason for this, most likely, was 2 bottlenecks in production: the production of engines and transmissions. Plants for the assembly of Sh 14 A (BMW 314) engines and transmissions were not allocated, moreover, the engine was discontinued in the summer of 1939. The only possibility for production was licensed assembly in a small enterprise in Hungary.
The limited assembly capabilities at the Flettner enterprise (no more than 2 helicopters per month) made serial production impossible in 1942, at the same time the fleet's requests grew to 110 machines (60 for anti-submarine ships and 50 for other surface ships). But attempts to find factories to build under license ended in failure.
Due to the difficult supply situation (at the beginning of 1943 there were 12 prototypes in operation, of which 6 were used by Flettner for testing), OKM reduced the demand from 110 to 60 helicopters. The fleet could not help the release of Fl 282 by production facilities or trained workers. The search for enterprises capable of producing a car under a license was also unsuccessful.
Thus, the stories about 1000 released "Hummingbirds" are guilty to pass in the same category with stories about the German atomic bomb and the German flying saucer. Perhaps the reason for this was the cool attitude towards the project on the part of the Luftwaffe in general and Goering (who took control of everything that flew in Nazi Germany) in particular. Numerous requests from the ground forces and the navy, very interested in the helicopter, but did not have their own facilities for its production, remained unanswered, and production was limited only to experimental and pre-production vehicles.
Tests on board.
The first tests for landing Fl 282 on deck were carried out in August 1942 using the ship Greif, in Lubeck Bay. Used for this V6, and the tests were considered successful. During tests on basing on the Drache ship, the latter developed a speed of up to 14 knots (about 28 km / h), which allowed the helicopter to perform an accelerated takeoff. The first takeoff from the deck was made on September 9, 1942. On September 12, there was a proposal to test the helicopter on a larger ship in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean, being an important military theater, presented many opportunities to test the combat readiness of the Hummingbird, and the weather was conducive to testing. In addition, for two or three days, the fleet could allocate the U-617 submarine for testing.
Tests conducted at the choice of OKM focused on evaluating the Fl 282 as an anti-submarine helicopter and had the following objectives:
(1) Determination of the most suitable camouflage scheme for a helicopter in Mediterranean conditions. Especially when flying at low altitude.
(2) Determination of the best approach tactics with the detected submarines on the surface. The helicopter must remain unnoticed. The desirability of conducting separate tests in a thunderstorm to determine the visibility of a helicopter in lightning flashes was indicated.
(3) Determination of the ability to detect a submarine underwater in different weather conditions when flying at different altitudes. Determination of the maximum depth at which a submerged submarine is visible in good lighting conditions.
(4) Determination of the maximum range of radio communication with the ship using the FuG 19 radio station.
(5) Determine what the helicopter must be equipped with in order for it to overtake the submarine.
(6) Determine what the helicopter should be equipped with in order to detect a submarine in a submerged position.
(7) Determine the possibility of detecting a flying helicopter from a submarine in various weather conditions.
Fl 282 V6 and V10 (reserve) arrived in Trieste in October 1942. Drace had been in dry dock there since May 1942 for repairs and improvements. The Erprobungs- und Lehrkommando 20 formed for testing was headed by Klaus fon Vinterfeldt. Hans Fuisting (Flettner's pilot) and three technicians boarded with him.
Mining operations with the ship Bulgaria began in mid-November 1942 and continued until January 1943. Approval for testing two Hummingbirds in the waters north of Crete was obtained from the Naval Aviation Inspectorate due to the fact that British military aircraft were not seen there several months. Nevertheless, on January 3, 1943, both ships were sequentially attacked by bombers and torpedo bombers, but received no damage. "Admiral Aegen", from which the command was carried out, was requested to "obtain permission to test two valuable Fl 282 only in the absence of enemy opposition."
To determine the optimal landing method on a platform specially installed on the deck, two approaches to the ship were used:
(1) Direct approach against the wind towards a moving or stationary ship.
(2) Approaching from a direction perpendicular to the ship in a situation where the ship is going at an angle of 90 degrees to the wind.
The results of the tests at Draca were summed up at a conference held on February 10, 1943: "The Fl 282 can be used as a deck-based patrol and anti-submarine vehicle, even from small ships."
The next tests of the Fl 282 were planned at the beginning of March 1943. This took place in the Baltic from the anti-submarine ship KUJ 13. The purpose of the tests was to study the use of the helicopter as an anti-submarine in conditions other than the Mediterranean. Testing began on 24 April in collaboration with the 21st (Training) Submarine Flotilla as part of a Kriegsmarine exercise in Danzig Harbor and off the northern tip of Gotland that lasted until 15 May. The exercise included an attack on a "training" guarded convoy.
During one of the flights, Hauptmann Winterfeld was able to distinguish all 12 submarines sent against the convoy. Von Winterfeld died on May 10, 1943, when he was forced to land on the open sea due to the fact that his Fl 282 ran out of fuel. For his participation in helicopter tests, he was posthumously promoted to major.
Deck-based Squadron Boardfliegerstaffel 3/196 *******
To use the Fl 282, a military unit with the appropriate personnel and infrastructure was needed. For the formation of such a unit on March 13, 1943, a corresponding order was issued. The unit was to be based in Kiel-Holtenau. The basis of the Boardfliegerstaffel 3/196 was supposed to be Erprobungs- und Lehrkommando 20 based in Travemünde under the command of Klaus von Winterfeld, the order for the formation of which was issued in October 1942. The first task of Erprobungs- und Lehrkommando 20 was to test the rotorcraft and Fl2 Fa 330).
Tasks 3/196 also included the preparation of flight and technical personnel for the operation of helicopters.
According to reports, formation 3/196 ended on June 10, 1943. Hauptmann Johannes Polzin became the commander. The formation of the entire 196 group was completed in September. The group consisted of the following squadrons:
1/196 (Alborg, Ar 196)
2/196 (Orbitello, Italy, Ar 196)
3/196 (Kiel-Holtenau, Fl 282 and Fa 330)
Author's note: ***
Ship units 1/196 and 5/196 existed at the beginning of the war, however, due to the lack of a single command, there was no connection between them, and their supply and use in combat operations did not have centralized control. In May 1941, the command created a ship group (Boardfligergruppe), consisting of two squadrons (Boardfligergrstaffel) to eliminate this deficiency. In September of the same year, OKM responded that it did not consider such a reorganization to be timely. It was only in May 1943 that an order was issued on the formation of ship group 196. 2/196 (responsible for basing on ships and escorting convoys) was formed from 5/196. As noted above, the formation of the group was completed on September 1, 1943.
3/196 itself included:
a) Main base in Kiel-Holtenau
b) A glider training unit in Kiel-Holtenau with two own Kranich gliders, two Grunau-Baby gliders and two Fw 44 glider towers. Glider flights began on October 1, 1943.
c) Unit "Fa 330" in Kiel-Holtenau to train naval personnel for flights on the Fa 330. In addition, this unit conducted experiments in a wind tunnel in Chali-Meadown (France) and training on the ship Alsace in Pillau-Marshaven.
d) Unit "Fl 282", originally based at the Flettner plant at Berlin-Adlershof airport, where pilots mastered this type under the guidance of Flettner pilot Hans Fuisting.
Excerpts from 3/196 magazine.
Pilot training progressed very slowly due to the fact that there was only one Fl 282 in flight condition. The replacement of the head of the division also had an effect (instead of Fuishting, Wagner was installed). There were also difficulties with the training ship. The Alsace ship had an established platform, and training on it could be carried out immediately after ground training at Adlershof and moving to Kiel-Holtenau.
But this time the flights to Alsace on Fl 282 were never carried out. Two teams totaling 34 pilots and 12 technicians trained with the Fa 330 in Alsace from September 2 to November 15, 1943 and from February 1 to March 21, 1944. Excluding time spent at Schiehau docks (for repairs), the ship was based at Pilau-Marschefen, which allowed for training.
Training on Fl 282 resumed in Kiel-Holtenau. Research was carried out on high-altitude flights, training on landing on a platform installed on the ground, simulating a deck, flights over the ground, landings on new airfields and night flights (on moonlit nights). Technicians not only took part in all the training, but were also brought in to work at the Flettner plant to assist with the final assembly and expedite the delivery of the Fl 282.
The flights were carried out at a wind speed of 70 to 80 km/h (17-22 m/s), while it turned out that the high center of mass of the helicopter provoked a sharp change in speed during wind gusts.
At the end of November, the unit relocated to Kiel-Holtenau. Further training was carried out in the weather conditions typical for this area. As of December 15, the unit already had 5 Fl 282s. This was a record for the availability of materiel until the disbandment of 3/196, which took place in July 1944.
During the December flights, it turned out that when the ambient temperature is below zero, the oil temperature in the upper gearbox and engine gearbox does not reach the values required for normal operation. This resulted in increased vibration and a noticeable drop in engine speed.
Flights in low temperatures continued after the problems with lowering the oil temperature were studied, but other weather conditions (wind over 95 km / h, fog, low clouds) introduced the restrictions. Attempts to increase the oil temperature were put on hold on January 19 after Flettner decided it could overheat the engine's cylinders and spark plugs.
We continued training flights in bad weather over the ground, as well as practicing a "jump" takeoff from the deck. Landing on the deck and dropping small bombs were practiced.
The pilots flew gliders and normal aircraft (Bf 109, Ar 199 and Fw 44), which allowed them to maintain their skills. Plans to test the FuG 19 VHF radio this month have not been realized. The division received Vemag 2 cluster bomb racks, designed for vertical suspension of 5kg anti-submarine bombs, which were installed on the V20 prototype. After the tests revealed the bulkiness of the mechanical bomb release, changes were made to its design.
On February 5, the group sent a request for her transfer to Pillau. The fact is that Holtenau was too often bombarded by the Allies, so the destruction of the Fl 282 prototypes was only a matter of time.
Overland flights (including instrument) and practical bombing were carried out. Due to the lack of a bomb sight, the pilots were guided by the marks applied to the cockpit truss. An attempt to set the sight in the form of a crosshair was unsuccessful, because vibration of the structure made it difficult to use.
From February 1 to March 21, there were a total of 13 flight days, during which 113 take-offs and landings were performed with a total flight time of 44 hours and 21 minutes. The delays were mainly due to the need for maintenance and overhauls of the Fl 282.
On March 8, the transfer of 3/196 to Pillau was approved, the relocation took place from March 22 to 30. During this period, flights were not performed.
Major Wingmink, the unit commander, was killed on March 24 while flying to Denmark. Junkers W 34 (T3 + CB, W. Nr. 1436), in which he flew, was shot down by Mosquito over Sonder Traverse. All 4 people on board were killed. The new commander was Major Schmitt, appointed on 24 April.
All flights this month were performed over the ground, because Alsace has been involved in mine laying in the Baltic since March 26. Mostly V14, V18 and V20 flew, the main goal was to fill the gap in flights to the ship. Rescue operations were practiced (lifting a person in a life jacket and delivering him to the shore), which ended successfully. Fl 282 has demonstrated the ability to lift 2 people out of the water at the same time.
The Naval Aviation Inspectorate filed a request to disband 3/196 on March 19, 1944. The discontinuation of production in November 1943 for Fl 282 and Fa 223 (as well as Fa 330 in March 1944) reduced 3/196 activity in April 1944 to training for those who remained in the ranks Fl 282 and the retrofitting of the remaining two type IX D submarines with Fa 330 gyroplanes. In view of this, the preservation of only 3/196 became impractical, and in the future it all came down to flights in the "Kommando 330", which became an appendage of 1/196.
There are no records of flights on Fl 282 in the diary, although, judging by the reports, during the whole month there were 4 aircraft suitable for flights.
On May 2, the new group commander, Schmitt, presented to management proposals for the reorganization and relocation of Boardfligergruppe 196.
1/196 was supposed to serve as a training unit for the crews of ship rotorcraft based on ships in the Baltic. In addition, it provided for the possibility of conducting limited convoy and anti-submarine operations from the base in Pillau.
2/196 was supposed to be part of the support for the naval aviation of the battleship Tirpitz in Norway. The training flights of the pilots of this unit were to be carried out in Aalborg. Provided for limited use in reconnaissance flights and convoy operations over the North Sea and Skagerrak.
3/196 was to be disbanded as a combat unit, its functions were reduced to conducting tests. For this, it was planned to form a detachment with a lower status.
After discussion, the reorganization plan was approved. The reorganization began on June 1st.
This month ended the disbandment of the unit as an authorized unit of the Luftwaffe. It happened on June 17th. As a result, the ship-based 3/196 ceased to exist. Some of the remaining Fl 282s were assigned to the E-Stelle in Travemunde (eg V18), the rest were returned to Flettner.
The "Fa 330" division continued its existence as part of 1/196, and until June 5, tests continued on board the ship Theodor Riedel. There were plans for the final tests, but they were abandoned on August 7. After this, the last element 3/196 was disbanded, and the remaining Fa 330 were transferred to Holtenau.
Helicopter squadron Transportstaffel 40 was formed in the last months of the war to provide transport, observation and special operations of the German mountain units. Some consider this squadron to be the world's first helicopter unit, but this is not entirely correct - the German sailors were ahead of the German mountain riflemen in this matter by a year, forming the above-mentioned 3/196, although the latter was not a purely helicopter formation.
Another common misconception is the claim that Transportstaffel 40 was involved in real combat operations. No official confirmation of this has been found. In reality, the squadron's few helicopters performed almost all of their flights with the sole purpose of trying to fly away from the line of contact with the rapidly advancing Allied forces. However, no official documents of this unit have survived, so all information about it is based on memories and interviews of its surviving members. Much of the story below is based on the book "Helicopters of the Third Reich" by Steven Coates
Unlike 3/196, Transportstaffel 40 squadron did not receive their own two-digit code. Accordingly, this code was never applied to the helicopters and they continued to fly with registrations obtained as prototypes. However, Boardfliegergruppe 196's own code was not applied to 3/196 helicopters either.
Squadron Transportstaffel 40 was created in February 1945 to conduct what we called military trials. The decision about this was made at the conference of the General Staff (OKL), held in Berlin on February 12 of the same 1945. The place of formation of the squadron was Mühldorf (M & uuml; hldorf). The first Fa 223s came directly from the production line at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport. According to the initial plans, it was supposed to receive 35 helicopters, and in the future to receive another 30 helicopters a month! Hauptmann Josef Stangl, who attended the conference, was appointed commander of Transportstaffel 40. Naturally, the squadron did not reach the planned size.
Almost immediately after the formation, the squadron relocated to Ainring.
The first two Fl 282s arrived at Transportstaffel 40 in early April. On April 10, 1945, the first Fl 282 (V12), flown by pilot Max Schmid, arrived at the unit's location. The next day, another helicopter (V11 or V22) was brought to Ainring by Hans Fuisting. Perhaps a third helicopter of this type was brought in by Heinz Lex.
There was very little time for training, however, in Ainring they managed to build a primitive device for tethered flights from cement blocks, which made it possible to start tethered flights.
On April 26, Fuisting drove a Fl 282 V23 into the Ainring. However, shortly thereafter, he flew to the Flettner production base, which was at that time in Bad Tölz, in the same car, together with another "firm" Flettner pilot Ernst Rehine, who had taken the 40 V12 previously transferred to Transportstaffel. After the flight, the V12 and V23 were thoroughly disassembled and hidden in anticipation of the arrival of the allied forces.
On April 30, the ground part of Transportstaffel 40 relocated to Aigen. The helicopters were supposed to fly on the same day. After the loss of Lux, only one pilot remained in the squadron, who could fly the Fl 282 (Schmid). He was supposed to overtake the V22 in Aigen on April 30, and then return by car in order to overtake the V11. But the V11 flew to Aigen only on May 2, in company with the Fa 223 V11 and Fa 223 V51.
The conditions for the base in Aigen were not the most suitable. Several more units were relocated there, so that at the airfield, designed for 600 people, there were about 2,500 of them. Despite the widespread looting, the commander of Transportstaffel 40 Stangl was able to provide supplies for his people, and the helicopters made a short flight to Seebacher on the northern shore of Lake Putterersee. From there, Schmid made several reconnaissance flights in search of suitable bases where he could fly away from the advancing Allied forces.
On May 7, Soviet troops were less than 19 miles from the unit's base, so an order was issued to fly west to avoid capture. On May 8, the ground train departed on the road to Zell in the See (Zell-am-See). Because the pilot for the Fl 282 V11 was not found, they tried to destroy him, simply drowning him in the Putterersee lake. The remaining Fl 282 V22, together with two Fa 223s, were ferried to Land, where the pilots learned about the surrender of Germany.
Schmid flew on Fa 223 V51 in order to try to find a convoy with a ground unit of Transportstaffel 40, and overtook him near Radstadt, but could not make contact, since the unit was already completely mixed with the mass of retreating German troops. So Schmid had no choice but to return to Schwarzach / St. Veit. The convoy with the ground unit led by Stangl reached Salzburg, where he was interned by American troops.
The pilots who remained in Schwarzach were faced with a choice of what to do next. Dumke and Gerstenhauer decided, using the remaining fuel, to return in their Fa 223 to Einring and surrender to the Americans. Schmid acted differently. In his Fl 282 V22, he flew to the village of Wallern, located 80 miles from Vienna, where his wife lived. On May 9, he landed on the family's farm and, with the help of his wife, hid the helicopter in a barn. The flight did not go unnoticed by the Americans, who soon descended on the farm. Schmid refused to fly his helicopter for the Americans. Instead, he helped them disassemble the Fl 282 for transport. The further fate of the Fl 282 V22 is unknown.
Fl 282 after the war.
According to data provided by Anton Flettner on June 29, 1945, two Fl 282s flew from Schwidnitz to Bad Tölz in March 1945. One of them was hidden in a barn near Tölz, the second - in a mill near Penzburg (about 15 km west of Tölz). After the arrival of the Americans, Flettner reported to the Tölz military administration about the places where the helicopters were hidden. The vehicles were taken to Munich and Stuttgart, where German pilots demonstrated their capabilities to the military administration. There is no data on the shipment of these two machines to the USA or England.
According to available data, the following were exported from Germany: prototype V23, which received registration in the United States FE-4613 (A-019), later renamed T2-4613 (stored at the Air Force Museum in Daytona, Ohio), V15, which received registration in the United States FE-4614 (A-011), and W.Nr.28368 whose fuselage is stored at the College of Aeronautics in Cranfield (England).
At first, the Americans assigned numbers to their trophies, consisting of the letters FE (Foreign Aircraft, foreign aircraft) and three or four digits. After September 1945, the FE prefix was changed to T2.
"It should be borne in mind that the above W.Nr.28368 is most likely incorrect. Perhaps this is a drawing design number, and an incomplete one. A-019 and A-011 are also not typical for German prototypes. These are gearbox numbers (or transmissions in collection), installed on helicopters. Moreover (judging by the photographs) on the gearbox these numbers were written as a two-digit number, without the letter "A." So the V12 had the number 03, and the V20 - 04. On the available color photographs of the Fl 282 fuselage stored in England, there is the number 0.4 on the cover of the upper gearbox. The same number is visible in the black and white images of the V20 taken at the end of the war.
From this we can conclude that the helicopter captured by the British, which is attributed to W.Nr. 28368 is actually V20 (CJ + SN) W.Nr. 282000020.
Another Fl 282 that has not survived to this day came to the USSR after the war. After the war, Fa 223 and Fl 282 were disassembled to the flight research institute. Modern Western sources indicate that V16 most likely ended up in the USSR, although it could have been V18. Focke-Akhgelis helicopters, without assembling, were transferred to the only helicopter design bureau of IP Bratukhin at that time in the USSR, which created a number of transverse machines. And they decided to assemble Flettner's Hummingbird and fly around.
Helicopter (the word "helicopter" was not yet in circulation) department at LII was formed in 1946 and headed by Viktor Pavlovich Lapisov (later ML Mil's deputy). Nikolai Ivanovich Smorodin was appointed the lead engineer for the F1 282 assembly. The bosses at the LII were skeptical of seemingly frivolous rotorcraft, and the flight department of the institute refused to take the Fl 282 to itself. Therefore, the operation mechanic was enrolled in the staff of the helicopter department, and Smorodin had to combine the work of a leading engineer and an operation engineer.
Unfortunately, due to the destruction of all kinds of rubber oil seals and gaskets, oil was running out of the helicopter gearbox with might and main. Currant had to develop sketches of new seals and order their casting at the Kauchuk plant. Finally the helicopter was assembled and, after a series of tethered tests in the winter of 1947, made its first flight. It was piloted by pilot V.V.Tezarovsky, who in 1945 also flew into the air the first coaxial helicopter of the A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau. On the second flight came to see M. M. Gromov, then the head of the flight service of the aviation industry, head of the flight research institute A. V. Chesalov and his deputy on the flight department D. S. Zosim. When big bosses show up, something always has to happen. And so it happened. On takeoff, from a gust of wind, the helicopter tilted and hooked one propeller to the ground (due to the peculiarity of the scheme on the Fl 282, the ends of the blades passed quite close to the ground). The blades immediately flew to pieces, nearly hitting high-ranking observers. In the snow, very close to the leadership, the traces of the scattered fragments were clearly visible. The pilot was not injured either. All is well that ends well, and the work continued. Only now new blades were needed, since there was no spare set. Lapisov, together with Andrei Andreevich Dokuchaev, developed drawings of the blades based on the German model, according to which they made a new set.
Soon Dokuchaev was appointed the leading engineer for the car, since Smorodin had by that time been engaged in research on the Tu-4 and Tu-2. Helicopter Fl 282 with new blades performed a number of flights. The feedback from the pilots was generally satisfactory, the car turned out to be obedient and well controlled. But due to the complexity of the scheme, helicopters with criss-cross propellers did not develop in the USSR. The Mil Design Bureau designed the Mi-1 according to a single-rotor scheme, and NI Kamov preferred coaxial machines.
It has not yet been possible to establish the number of the prototype that ended up in the USSR and its further fate, but judging by the absence of hanging tanks, it was a one-seater car. Another interesting point is the presence of a venturi tube and a full pressure receiver installed on the upward-downward protruding rods in the pictures. Perhaps they were installed after the accident, but in any case, there is nothing like this in the pictures of helicopters with German identification marks.
* So in the original text. No niches or cutouts are noticeable in the photographs, so perhaps we are talking about a "bucket" in the lower part of the seat or a "gap" between the side protruding parts, in which the pilot's seat is installed. (Approx. Transl.)
** According to other sources, the ribs were attached with clamps.
*** Unfortunately, it was not possible to find out who the author of the source text was. In the book "Flettner Fl 282", ed. Shiffer Publising, there is only an indication that the original German edition of Flugzeug Profile Flettner Fl 282 “Kolibri” Varianten was translated from the German by David Johnston. In the original source, the author is also not indicated, there is only the name of the editor-in-chief (Teodor Mohr) (Approx.transl.)
**** This is actually a gyroplane, not a helicopter. Used in limited quantities by the US Army. No mention of its use in the US Navy could be found. Interestingly, the author of the quoted message missed the adoption of autogyros in the USSR. Was the secrecy high? (Approx. Transl.)
***** Most likely just damaged, albeit seriously enough, but not written off, because according to the same publication, the last entry in the on-board log of this helicopter is dated 1944. (Approx. Transl.)
****** Apparently, the technique used later for towed gyroplanes was used to land the helicopter on a limited area. Among other things, this minimized the chances of missing the site, thereby significantly increasing the safety of the process. (Approx. Transl.)
******* Here it is worth dwelling in more detail on the "classification" of units in the Luftwaffe. If you believe the articles about the organizational and staff structure of the German Air Force and the identification markings of Luftwaffe aircraft (the authors, unfortunately, are not indicated) from the collection "Monograph, History, Graphics" published by Exprint (1994, ISBN not specified):
The group (Gruppe, 30-40 aircraft) consisted of 3 squadrons (Staffel) and a command link (Stab Kette). The assault squadron groups had floor 4. The group number was indicated by a Roman numeral in front of the slash.
The squadron (Staffel) consisted of 3 flights (Kette) of three cars and the plane of the squadron commander (Staffelkapitan). In fighter aviation, it had a different organization - three flights (Schwarm), two pairs (Rotte). The squadron number was indicated by an Arabic numeral in front of the slash.
In reconnaissance and naval aviation, the group was the highest organizational unit. In reconnaissance groups, the number of squadrons could reach five to seven. (end of quote).
In this regard, it is worth noting that the designation 3/196 does not correspond to the squadron (Staffel), but to the flight. The Staffel would have been designated III / 196. But taking into account the fact that the original source was in German, in the English version they could simply replace III with 3, not bothering too much with historical accuracy. So in the text, the unit is designated as 3/196 without specifying whether it was a squadron or a link. (Approx. Transl.)
Translation and editing of the text by Petr Klunduk