The Bücker Bü 180 Student was a commercially unsuccessful two-seat touring aircraft that was more significant as the direct precursor to the Bü 181 Bestmann, one of the most important training aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War.
The Bücker Company had been formed in 1932, and had immediately produced two successful biplane trainers, the two seat Bü 131 Jungmann and single seat Bü 133 Jungmeister. The company then moved into monoplanes, starting with the unsuccessful mid-winged Bü 133, of which only one example was built.
This was followed by the Bü 180 Student. This was a low wing monoplane of rather mixed construction. The forward fuselage used steel tubes covered in fabric. The rear fuselage was a wooden monocoque. The wings and tail surfaces had a wooden framework and mixed plywood and fabric coverings. The aircraft could carry two people in open tandem cockpits, and was designed for the civil market.
The first prototype made its maiden flight in the autumn of 1937, perhaps not a great time to be launching a civil aircraft into the German market. A small number of Bü 180s were sold, but Bücker then moved onto the somewhat similar Bü 181 Bestmann, built in the same way as the Bü 180, but with its two crew carried side-by-side in an enclosed cockpit. This aircraft was also originally designed for the civil market, but was quickly adopted by the Luftwaffe as its standard basic trainer.
Engine: Walter Mikron II inline engine
Wing span: 37ft 8 3/4in
Length: 23ft 3 1/2in
Height: 6ft 0 3/4in
Empty Weight: 650lb
Maximum take-off weight: 1,190lb
Max Speed: 109mph
Cruising Speed: 99mph
Service Ceiling: 14,765ft
Range: 404 miles