Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
|The Ghost Squadron's Fi 156D ambulance version over the desert of
West Texas -- not much different than North Africa in some parts.
Image source: The Confederate Air Force Ghost Squadron CD-ROM produced by Corel. Photos by Bill Crump.
The Fieseler Storch (pronounced "Stork") was a remarkable aircraft when it entered service in 1937, being one of the first successful short takeoff and landing (STOL) designs in the world.
Capable of flying at only 32 mph, the Storch could and did regularly operate from areas only two or three hundred feet long, less than the size of a football field.
The Storch is equipped with a very long-travel set of shock absorbers in its landing gear to handle rough terrain and hard landings. In flight, the landing gear hangs down, giving the aircraft the appearance of a very long-legged, big winged bird, hence its name, "Stork".
The wings are fitted with fixed leading edge slats to improve lift and control at slow speed. In addition to normal flaps, the ailerons are also designed to lower, or "droop" when full flaps are lowered, thus increasing the lift even more.
All of these high lift devices needed for slow flight also restricted the design's top speed. Normal cruising speed in the Storch is only about 87 mph, at best.
The wings can be folded back along the fuselage, allowing the Storch to be stored in a smaller space or transported on a trailer by road.
The first major production version was the Fi 156C, which began to reach Luftwaffe forces in 1939, and was fitted with the Argus As 10C, inverted, air cooled, V-8 engine of 240 hp.
The D model appeared in 1941 powered by the Argus As 10P engine of 270 hp, and was designed as an airborne ambulance, capable of carrying two stretcher cases. The stretchers with wounded soldiers could be loaded through large doors on the right side of the fuselage. The CAFs Storch is a D model, ambulance version.
Over 2,500 Storchs were built during World War II, and production continued in France and Czechoslovakia after the war.
One Pilot and Two Passengers
One Argus As 10P Engine
One 7.9 mm Machine Gun
Max. Speed 109 mph @ Sea Level
Climb to 3,000 ft in 4 minutes
Length 32' 6"
Max. Weight 2,911 lbs
Normal Fuel 77 gallons
Normal Range 240 miles
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