Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-1: “Bremen, we have a problem.”

Brainstorming around that troubled nose. The A-1 models still suffered from the overheating of their BMW 801C-1 engine already identified in the prototypes and A-0’s. The operational life of those engines was quite limited; around 30/40 hours, at much. The A-2 with its modification to the exhaust system and  added cooling slits later solved this serious teething problem. The rest is history.

One of the coolest, no pun intended, radial engine cowling affair.

Focke-Wulf Fw 61: Happy B-Day !!!

80 years ago today the Fw 61, the first really practical helicopter, took the skies. Designed by Henrich Focke and Gerd Achgelis after their involvement in the early 1930s with the La Cierva autogyros convinced them of that kind of aircraft limitations. Using La Cierva’s rotor technology as a basis just two of this helicopter were built. They not only proved the practicality of the basic concept but also achieved several speed, altitude and flight duration records along the way.

Noted German test pilot Hanna Reitsch is seen here in the tour-de-force indoors demonstration she performed in the Deutschlandhalle sport stadium (Berlin) Feb. 19, 1938.

Photo: Bundesarchive.

Aefer Ariete: Che bel culo!!

After experiencing with their Sagittario 1 and 2 (Archer) -the later was the first Italian aircraft to break the sound barrier in controlled flight- the Aefer company turned serious. Their Ariete (Ram) was a refined Sagittario 2; what they thought it was needed to produce a useful interceptor or light fighter. To no avail, only one of the two intended prototypes was completed and flown.

Seen here next to the Sagittario 2 at the AMI Museum (Vigna di Valle, Roma).  The Ariete was a peculiar twin jet fighter: a very mundane RR Derwent engine (its exhaust just seen under the fuselage) plus an “auxiliar”  RR Soar RS.2 in its tail to improve its climbing and speed performances. The Soar was fed by a dorsal retractable intake.

È proprio adorabile!!