Falcon Models FA724001 German Fieseler Fi 156 Storch Reconnaissance Aircraft - Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, Deutsches Afrika Korps, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)
"The peril of the hour moved the British to tremendous exertions, just as always in a moment of extreme danger things can be done which had previously been thought impossible. Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas."
- Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, and French-built later variants often appear at air shows.
In 1935, the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium, Reich Aviation Ministry) put out a tender for a new Luftwaffe aircraft suitable for liaison, army co-operation (today called Forward Air Control), and medical evacuation, to several companies. Conceived by chief designer Reinhold Mewes and technical director Erich Bachem, Fieseler's entry was by far the most advanced in terms of STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) performance. A fixed slat ran along the entire leading edge of the long wings, while the entire trailing edge, inspired by earlier 1930s Junkers "double-wing" aircraft wing control surface designs, including the ailerons, was a hinged and slotted flap.
In a design feature rare for land-based aircraft, the wings on the Storch could be folded back along the fuselage in a manner not unlike that of the US Navy's F4F Wildcat fighter, allowing it to be carried on a trailer or even towed slowly behind a vehicle. The primary hinge for folding the wing rearwards was located in the wing root, where the rear wing spar met the cabin area. The long legs of the main landing gear contained oil-and-spring shock absorbers that compressed about 450 mm (18 inches) on landing, allowing the plane to set down almost anywhere. In flight they hung down, giving the aircraft the appearance of a very long-legged, big-winged bird, hence its nickname, Storch. With its very low landing speed the Storch often appeared to land vertically, or even backwards, in strong winds from directly ahead.
A total of about 2,900 Fi 156s, mostly Cs, were produced from 1937 to 1945 at the Fieseler Factory in Kassel. In 1942 the production started in the Morane-Saulnier factory at Puteaux in France. Due to the demand for the Bf 109 and the Fw 190, the Storch production was shifted to the Leichtbau Budweis in Budweis in 1943.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Fieseler Fi 156 Storch reconnaissance aircraft used to ferry Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel around the North African Theatre of Operations during 1942. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/4 inches
Wingspan: 7-3/4 inches
Release Date: July 2011
Historical Account: "Rommel's Ferry Service" - Air taxi services for Rommel were provided by the Luftwaffe, although he did not have a permanently assigned duty flight detail. When he had to go somewhere in-theater, aircraft were provided by the Flugbereitschaft/Fliegerfahrer Afrika, or by the Kurierstaffel Afrika, or by 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 14, or by any one of several Verbindungsstaffeln stationed in North Africa at various times.
When he needed transportation from North Africa to the mainland, he was usually picked up by a Ju 52, Do 217 or similar twin-engined aircraft flown over from Sicily or Italy by the Flugbereitschaft/Luftflotte 2 (Oberbefehlshaber Sad) or by Flugbereitschaft/X. Fliegerkorps.