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Old 08-18-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
copeab
 
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Default [WWII] Flettner Fl 282 reconnaissance helicopter (Germany)

Flettner Fl 282 reconnaissance helicopter
Copyright 2011 by Brandon Cope

The Fl 282 Kolibri (Hummingbird) was a small two-man helicopter designed for observation and light utility duties. It was derived from the Fl 265, a late 1930's design of similar size and performance. The Fl 265 and Fl 282 both used an unusual (for the time) mounting for the twin two-blade rotors, both powered by the same engine. Rather than mounting them on outriggers (which would have greatly increased the width of the aircraft) they were an interesting design, each set at a slight angle. The pilot was completely exposed at the front of he helicopter, while the observer was partially exposed in a set behind the engine.

First flying in 1941, some 24 Fl 282's were built eventually (some sources claim up to 32) as prototypes or preproduction aircraft. Around twenty of these were operated from ships of the Kriegsmarine, from the cruiser Köln (landing on a pad atop one of her gun turrets) and smaller ships, in the Aegean, Baltic and Mediterranean. Their main use was in antisubmarine warfare (able to spot subs up to 130 feet under the surface in the Mediterranean) and radioing for a surface ship and shadowing the sub until it arrived (or marking the location if it was not able to remain). The Fl 282 was also used to run errands between ships. They proved reliable and agile, even in poor weather conditions. A least three were operated with Transportstaffel 40, along with Fa 223's (p.W:MP76). The B-2 was specifically designed for land use by the Wehrmacht; apart from reconnaissance, it was used for artillery spotting. An order for 1,000 Fl 282's was placed in 1944 but Allied bombing prevented this from being filled.

The Fl 282B-2 has a crew of a pilot and (optional) observer. The Fl 282 uses 5.4 gallons of aviation fuel per hour.

Subassemblies: Small Helicopter Chassis +2, 2 Medium Helicopter Rotors -1, three fixed Wheels -1
P&P: 119 kW HP gasoline engines w/119-kW MMR transmission, 15 gallon standard tanks [Body]
Occ: 1 MCS, 1 XCS Cargo: 1.5.

Armor
Body: 2/3
Rotors: 3/10
Wheels: 3/5

Equipment
Body: medium range radio receiver and transmitter, navigational instruments.

Statistics
Size: 22'x39'x7'
Payload: 0.27 tons
Lwt: 1.1 tons
Volume: 72
Maint.: 110 hours
Price: $3,300

HT: 12
HP: 112 [body], 16 [each rotor], 10 [each wheel]

aSpeed: 93
aAccel: 2
aDecel: 9
aMR: 2
aSR: 1
Stall: 0 mph

Design Notes
The design aSpeed was 117 mph and design loaded weight was increased 10%. Chassis cost, weight and HP were doubled (rotor DR was not doubled, however). Lift was increased 55% to the historical number.

The fuel is carried in two completely exposed tanks below and to the left and right of the pilot's seat. For design porposes, these two tanks took volume from the body, but do not get protection from the body DR. In the versions without an observer, there is a single fuel tank of 28 gallons fully enclosed in the body instead of these two smaller tanks.

The cargo space should be considered as part of the observer's position; there is at least one photo showing two men crammed into the observer's station.

Variants
The Fl 265 (1939) had the same stats. The pilot was completely enclosed in a cockpit and the engine was at the nose of the helicopter, rather than behind the pilot.

All 24 Fl 282's were slightly different from each other, testing various configurations. The first three Fl 282's (Fl 282A-1) did not carry an observer and the pilot was protected by a plexiglass and metal frame 'bubble' around his position. The A-2 (an unbuilt project) would have been similar to the A-1, but modified to be carried in a hanger on a submarine.

The B-1 was an improved A-1, but with a completely exposed pilot, with a long range radio reciever and transmitter and one-man life raft. It also included two magnesium flares or smoke bombs for marking the location of a submarine. To aid in ship landings in poor weather, a 33' cable was carried under the helicopter. The pilot would release one end of this over the landing pad, where the deck crew would secure it to a winch and slowly pull the Fl 282 in; the pilot would maintain just enough power to keep the cable taught.
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