Fieseler Fi 156C-3 (Trop) Storch: “Did I Do That? (IX)”.

This Storch (WNr 5837 DJ + PC) was employed as a communications aircraft by the II SS Panzer Corps. Its pilot, SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser, was the artist who put it on the roof of the Haus Wörnerblick, Mittenwald, 16 Aug. 1943.

The Storch was renowned for its outstanding STOL qualities, but this is hilariously ridiculous.

Pfalz D.VIII: On a hyperbolic trance.

The D.VIII was produced by the Pfalz company near the very end of WW1 as one of their latest and greatest fighter aircraft. With their usual tradition of fine workmanship, it had a lovely streamlined light wooden fuselage tailored to house the 200hp Siemens-Halske Sh.III The latter was a splendid geared 11-cylinder rotary engine which gave the D.VII outstanding performances, specially a 120 mph top speed. Ordered into production by the Idflieg, only a token number (circa 40) entered service prior to the end of the war.

One of them wearing the colourful markings of the Jasta 14. By the way, a sublime replica made yesterday its maiden flight thanks to the great Mikael Carlson. That “Wotan” four-bladed bolted propeller….

Albatros Dr.I: It didn’t add up.

The Dr.I was the very pragmatic way the Albatros Flugzeugwerke tested the qualities of the Triplane configuration in the middle of the craziness. They just took one of their D.V and replaced its two wings with three and compared it with the standard D.V. That’s it. The results were negligible; no production followed.

What an awfully uninspired wing structure. A real sin.

Pfalz Dr.I: Well-nigh irresistible.

This neat Dr.I was Pfalz’s contribution to the “Triplane Craze”. In essence the Pfalz company took on of their D.VII biplane fuselages and added triplane wings. They chose to power the result with the imposing 160 hp Siemens-Halske rotary engine enclosed in a very decorative aluminium cowling. The aircraft was tested in Oct.1917 by, among others, Von Richthofen as a possible Fokker Dr.I‘s replacement. The Pfalz Dr.I displayed adequate performances, but not an easy handling and the engine was also suspect. No large scale production was ordered, although the Bavarian government acquired a limited number (10?) which saw some service with their units.

Pretty nifty design through and through. Those twelve cooling vents on the cowling sure gave it real character.

Lippisch Delta IM: Alpha of the Deltas.

Alexander Lippisch coined the name “Delta” and also had the honour of building the first practical delta wing aircraft. His Delta IM flew in 1931 as an evolution of his previous work on tailess gliders, and in particular as a powered version (30 hp Bristol Cherub III) of his Delta I. The result was both nimble and easy to handle as we can observe in this charming video. The only example built was destroyed in a 1933 crash, but the seed was already sown.

Photo: ©Alex Stocker.