Air Weapons

Fiesler

Fi 156 Storch

The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (Stork) was one of the most remarkable small aircraft of the war where it served in a plethora of battlefield roles including aereal observation, air ambulance, ground support but especially as a liaison aircraft. It's success lay in its excellent pilot visibility, as well as STOL capability which allowed it to land and take-off from practically anywhere. Nevertheless its performance figures were nothing spectacular, in fact, it was slow, frail, and had very little range yet it excelled at its intended roles and was used by practically every Axis nation as well as Sweden, Switzerland, the USSR who copied the design (post-war production continued in France and Czechoslovakia), and even Britain which took control of numerous captured units one of which ended up as Field Marshal Montgomery's personal aircraft. The Fi 156 was used to drop shock troops ahead of armor units at the beginning of the war but perhaps its most daring and memorable accomplishment was the rescue of Benito Mussolini from the Gran Sasso mountain range following the Italian surrender. Production continued by Morane-Saulnier in France and Mraz in Czechoslovakia after the war.

The Fi 156 prototype had its first flight in May 1936 and entered service as the Fi 156A. The main variant in combat use was the Fi 156C which entered service two years later in a myriad of roles such as the Fi 156C-1 liasion aircraft, the Fi 156C-2 recon and air ambulance, and the Fi 156C-3 and C-5 general purpose light transports. A casualty carrier was the Fi 156D and an enlarged Fi 256 model for anti-partisan duties was drawn up but never produced.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignFi 156C-1
NameStorch
TypeUtility
Year1937
Crew2
Dimensions
Length9.90 m
Height3.00 m
Wing Span14.25 m
Wing Area26 m²
Weight
Empty930 kg
Maximum1,320 kg
Wing Loading50.8 kg/m²
Performance
Speed175 km/h
Ceiling4,600 m
Range965 km
Powerplant
Engine1 x As 10C
Argus
179 kW
Thrust/Weight0.23
Armament
Guns1 x 7.92-mm
Payload-
Production
Built?
Total2,549

Gallery