Fieseler "Storch" KR+QX landed in Sweden soon before the end of the war. A while afterwards he was refurbished and put into Swedish Air force service under the code FV-3822.

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One of the many Luftwaffe's Fi-156..

 

 

In use by the allies: Winston Churchill visiting the Normandy battlefield, 22.6.1944. The pilot is Air vice-marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst

 

 

In use by the French Air Force.

 

You can see on this picture Werke Nb 5503 while being stocked at Wing F17 Ronneby.

 
After many vicissitudes,Werke Nb 5503 arrived at the Air Museum in a sorry state.
 

 

Fuselage is fabric-covered, engine has been reinstalled (1997)

 

 

Behind the "French" team, somebody is valiantly battling against the odds to put in place one of the numerous plexi.

 

 

The aviation Hall is not warmed during the winte: big spots are used to warm up small area, allowing small fabric covering work to be carried on.

 

 

The bottom of the fuselage fabric is being put in place. This particula piece of fabric can be opened to allow maintenance work.

 

 

The time consuming task of masking.

 

 

Once painted, many sub assemblies still need to be re-installed.

 

 

In front of the Cinquantenaire during a "monument day".

 

 

The aircraft is nearly finished, apart a small detail: the wings.

 

 

Last flight for KR+QZ. The fuselage being hoisted on the first floor of the museum.

 

The "Storch"

The Storch (Stork) was designed in 1935, did his first flight in 1936 and proved to be one of the best A.O.P. communications aircraft used in the past war.

Outstanding characteristic of the Storch is its ability in a light wind to land in any sort of space about 50 ft. square and also to more or less hover, its stalling speed being about 20 m.p.h. or less.

Between 1937 and 1945, the Luftwaffe put into service more than 2900 Storch. Storches were to be used in every theatre of the war as gun spotters, light transports, and for air ambulance work.

During WWII, the Fi-156 was produced in Germany and in occupied countries. It was built at the MRAZ factory, in Tchecoslovakia, and in France in the Morane-Saulnier factory of Puteaux. After the liberation deliveries continued of two versions, the MS-500 with the Argus in-line, and the MS-502 with a Salmson radial.

The most famous Storch mission was the "rescue" of Mussolini in 1943 from a tiny rock-strewn plateau high in the Apennines Mountains. It's a Storch that was the last aircraft to leave Berlin, surrounded by the Soviet army at the end of the war.

The Storch was used as personal transport by high ranking officials from both sides like Field-marshal Rommel, during the African campaign, or British prime minister Winston Churchill during its visit to the Normandy in 1944.

History of Werke n°5503

The Museum's Storch has been built in 1941 at Kassel, Werke Number 5503.It received the Luftwaffe registration KR+QZ.

Its history (via Barry C. Rosch et Bo Widfeldt) between construction date and the 4/4/45, is the following  :

  • Flight test the 9th January 1942.
  • Assigned to 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr.12.
  • Emergency landing next to Wjasma, Russia, 19th January 1943 because of bad weather, dammaged to 15%.
  • Assigned to28./Fl.Verb.G.

The 4th April 1945, three Fieseler Storch coded GA+TY, BM+PL and KR+QX landed at Äkesholm (east of Ystad, in the south of Sweden).

They were part of a group of aircraft that, starting from Königsberg (Fischhausen)? Via Bornholm (Denmark), were relocated on an airfield not far of Berlin. Because of a heavy fog on the Bornholm area, they get lost and entered Sweden airspace.

The three planes will rejoin Malmö the 6th of April, then Ronneby the 26th to be stocked along with ten other Fieseler Storch till 1948. In 1948, KR+QX and other Fieseler Storch were restored to flying condition and served the Swedish Air Force under the denomination S-14b.

KR+QX was recorded in the Swedish Air force under the code FV-3822.

Sold later in Austria, it was re-registered OE-ADT.

After many vicissitudes, it entered the museum in a sorry state.

At the museum

Since its arrival, the fuselage has been completely refurbished by the various teams of benevolent that worked on the airplane.

Along the years, it was completely dismantled down to the primary structure of welded steel tubes. This structure had to be cleaned, treated and painted before the appliance, on strategic area, of the fabric tape that would allow the fabric covering application and the fixture of the many Plexiglas of the cockpit area.

The rudder, fin and tail plane were repaired and fabric covered. The engine was completely refurbished as the seats, cabin floor and the hundreds of small components used in the construction of a Storch.

Add to that the time consuming task of building from scratch the missing machine gun ring and mechanism.

As we had no pictures of the aircraft during its operational live, we painted the fuselage in a standard camouflage scheme more than certainly used during its flying career in the Luftwaffe.

Once the wings will be finished, it will rejoin the small collection of WWII German airplanes.

BAMF project for the FI-156:

restoration of the original wings

The original German-built wood wings still exist but were heavily damaged: one of the main beam had been sawed, the leading and trailing edges were crunched and all the metallic components (steering, string…) heavily corroded.

We have a pair of French-built wood wings, but a common disease of the wood built components of the era affects those: the crystallization of the casein glue. This crystallization means that the wings fall in pieces once the fabric covering is removed.

A lot of work had already been done on the German-built wings, but the number of man-hours needed to finish the work was still very important, meaning that it would have been be some years before the work was done.

The BAMF contributed to accelerate the work by providing the funds needed to outsource all the woodwork:

  • The Ets Poncelet, well known for its production of unique airworthy airscrew, restored the two wings.
  • All the controls surfaces are currently being refurbished by Firmin Henrard, a member of the Vintage Glider Club

 

We still had to prepare all the metallic components (commands, strings, fuel tank, …) an exhaustive list of the woodwork to be carried on and the preparation of all the needed documents, drawings and information.

The finished wings are now being finished with the resinstallation of the various components.

References, links

 

 

Fi-156 "Storch" wing restoration pictures gallery

The following pictures have been taken at different phases of the wing restoration process. They give an idea of the work done in the  Poncelet workshop to put them back in good condition.

   

First wing being transported to Poncelet in May 2003. This wing is the most damaged of the two.

The  removal of  the too damaged plywood covering reveal the  leading edge structure.

   
   
 

Putting back plywood covering on the leading edge is all but easy. A jig had to be manufactured to form plywood sheet. 

This jig has the same form as he leading edge. By successive steps, the watered down plywood sheet is formed into the correct shape.

The plywood sheets, once formed, match the leading edge structure, enabling a perfect assembly.

   
   
 

Once the plywood forming process is satisfactory, it doesn’t took long before the complete leading edge repaired structure  is being covered.

In the meantime, numerous reparations are done on the rest of the wings and missing ribs are manufactured.

   
   
 

Once the leading edge is  completely covered, the trailing edge can be  repaired : missing ribs are replaced and plywood covering applied

The fuel tank bay structure has been installed and is ready for plywood covering.

End 2003,the long and painful restoration of this first wing reach its end. Some details still have to be documented before being fixed.

     
   
 

The wing is finally completed  in January 2004.

     
   
  Brought back to the museum mid February, the various components that have been prepared in the meantime are being installed. Control surface are temporarly mounted to properly install the control commands and verify the correct alignment.
     
   
 

March 2004, the second wing is in the Poncelet company workshop. The experience gained with the first wing will greatly facilitate the job..

     
   
 

October 2004, the second wing is nearing completeion. All the plywood covering is in place and the wingtip has been completely rebuilt. Only minor details have to be completed.

     
   
 

November-December 2004, the surface control of the Storch are in the workshop of Firmin Henrard.

If the two flaps were in fair condition, the ailerons with their sawed mass-control axle and damaged trim will take a lot longer to be repaired. Of the four slats, two need to be repaired and one to be completely manufactured.

     
   
  The ailerons receiveing much needed repairs. Most of the original parts are kept. Those pieces were french, built in 1944 according to markings. Sawed mass-control axle are repaired by soldering.
     
   
 

One of the slat being build from scratch. Two other slats needed some repair.

June 2005, all the surface control of the Storch are now finished and back to the museum.

With all the surface control repaired and back, we still had to prepair them for painting and fabric covering. In the meantime, reinstallation of various components in the wings continued.

   

June 2005, all the surface control of the Storch are transported back to the museum.

Once properly prepared, They are then painted and readied for fabric covering.

   
   
 

All control surfeces, including the slats, are now fabric covered.

Flaps and ailerons have been installed on the wings for adjustments.

The paintstaking task of installing all the various components inside of the wing is going at slow pace as some other urgent work has to be completed.

     

Re-assembly of the Fiesler Storch

The wings have been completed, fabric covered and painted over a long period of time, as other tasks had priority. The wing masts have been repaired and tested on the wings to avoid any “surprise” during the final assembly.

The fabric covering is quite interesting: only one part of the wing is covered, the method used to attach the fabric to the wing is very uncommon and it is incredibly time consuming. The wooden wings of the Storch were definitively not designed for mass production… it's not really surprising that the French decided to produce a metallic version of the wings soon after the war!

   
   
 
 
   

If the wings and all the ancillary equipment had been repaired and were ready to be assembled since many years, it is only now that we had the occasion to fully assemble the plane. That wasn't an easy task as the Storch had to be moved in a place where there was enough place for the assembly and where it could be displayed with its wings fully extended. For that, other planes had to be moved in a very short time.

Wings have been installed without major difficulties, despite the fact that the equipment available was anything but adequate. Slats, flaps, ailerons, pitot and landing light have been installed soon afterwards.

The Fiesler Storch is finally complete!

   


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