Different from a more traditional warbird sort, the Fieseler Storch was a light aircraft used for communications, moving officers in the vicinity of the front, and a variety of miscellaneous missions where extreme short field performance was required.
Join me for a brief look at an all-purpose light aircraft.
The Storch was designed in 1935 to meet an order for a light liaison aircraft and ambulance. It quickly proved to be one of the most capable aircraft of its sort. The type’s best known exploit came after Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had been deposed and put under arrest; German commandos freed him from a mountain top ski resort and flew him to safety in a Storch that had less than 100 ft of usable runway.
Some other minor claims to fame being that the type was used as a personal transport by both Irwin Rommel and Bernard Montgomery. The only “kill” ever scored by a Piper Cub came when a pilot and passenger both opened up on a Fieseler Storch with their personal side arms. And a Storch made the last flight in and out Berlin before it fell to the Soviets when famed test pilot Hannah Reitsch flew Luftwaffe General Ritter von Greim in for a final meeting with Adolph Hitler.
As with many less critical pieces of hardware, the Storch was put into production by the Germans in occupied France. The Morane-Saulnier company continued to build Storchs until 1965.
This example is from the Tamiya kit. It shows an aircraft that served on the Eastern Front, ski equipped for winter service in early 1942.
It was not as useful a platform as the American Piper Cub but it did similar service.
Its actually a little bigger than a Cub and can carry more useful payload. But of course it had nothing like the US support infrastructure behind it; so it’s reliability and usefulness suffered in comparison.
Beautiful Storch Dave. It always reminds me of the daring failed rescue attempt of Adolf Hitler by Hanna Reitsch, when she landed her Fi 156 in the Tiergarten near the Brandenberg Gate, surrounded by the Soviet Army. Only the Storch could have achieved that! Great example of an iconic aircraft as always Dave.
Its short field abilities are amazing. When I worked in Jackson, Mi several years back we had a Storch based there, and I swear it could get airborne BEFORE the numbers. Its like a giant insect.
Excellent job on the Storch, showing it in its ski-equipped and Eastern Front winter camo. I, too, built the Tamiya kit and finished it in its traditional Luftwaffe splinter greens and hellblau unders. Using William Green’s “Warplanes of the Third Reich” for research, It wasn’t until I built the Storch model that I better understood its described capabilities. Truly amazing!
That often happens for me as I build models, I gain more understanding and appreciation of the subject. I was fortunate with the Storch, having seen one fly on several occasions.