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Fiesler Fi-156A-1 Storch

Video Description

Designed in 1935, The Storch (Stork) was widely used during WW2 by the German Military for reconnaissance, liaison and casualty transportation. Designed at the outset as a STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) machine, its ability to operate out of very small fields is legendary. A combination of leading edge slats, flaps and drooping ailerons give it an incredibly low stalling speed. However, the design creates a lot of drag, resulting in a very modest 93mph cruising speed. Burning 65 litres per hour, it uses more fuel per mile than The Collections Spitfire.

The Stork name, derived from its long shock-absorbing undercarriage, is highly appropriate.

The most famous Storch Mission was the hazardous rescue of deposed Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini from his 9000ft high mountain-top prison in the Gran Sasso Massif in Italy. The landing site was but a tiny, rock-strewn ledge. It is also noteworthy that Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel had a Storch as his personal plane in North Africa, operating routinely from improvised desert strips. The last act of fame by a Storch was a flight by Hanna Reisch to Hitlers bunker in the middle of Berlin 26 April 1945.

Fiesler Fi-156A-1 Storch (G-STCH) Werke No. 2088 was built in 1942 by Fieseler Werke GMBH. It is a rare survivor of the early A-model. Regrettably, as is often the case with Luftwaffe aircraft, details of its wartime career are as yet unknown. As was the case with many Storch, the aircraft had a long post-war career as a French glider tug. Acquired as a basket case by RLM Aviation Fairoaks, its restoration was well advanced when ownership passed to Peter Holloway in December 2006. After being fully restored the aircraft made its maiden flight on 11th March 2009.

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