Focke-Achgelis Fa 266 Hornisee (Hornet)

The Focke-Achgelis Fa 266 Hornisee (Hornet) was the first genuine transport helicopter in the world, and was an enlarged version of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61/ Focke-Achgelis Fa 61. Soon after making its maiden tethered flight the Fa 266 was taken over by the Germany military and became the Fa 223 Drache.

After the success of the Fa 61, Focke-Achgelis received an order for a six-passenger transport helicopter from Deutsche Lufthansa. The new helicopter was a scaled up version of the Fa 61, with the same basic layout and controls. The two counter-rotating rotors were mounted side-by-side on steel struts. The main fuselage resembled that of a conventional aircraft, although less so than on the Fa 61 (see Fa 61 article for details of the controls).

The fuselage was split into four compartments. The pilot and observer sat in a glazed cockpit in the nose. Behind them was the load carrying compartment, originally designed to carry six passengers and with an entrance door on the starboard side. This compartment also included the self-sealing fuel tanks and oil tanks. Next was the engine compartment, with cooling vents at the front and back to allow air to reach the engine. Behind that was the tail space. The tail itself had a conventional vertical surface and rudder, with the horizontal surface on top.

Power was provided by a 1,000hp BMW Bramo 323 Q3 Fafnir engine. This was connected to the rotors along long hollow shafts built into the struts that connected the rotor to the fuselage.

The prototype Fa 266 was completed in August 1939, and began a series of ground tests and tethered hovering flights. By the time these had been completed war had broken out, and the Fa 266 was taken over by the Luftwaffe. It was given the new designation Fa 223 Drache and eventually entered service in small numbers.

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage. Combines a good background history of the Luftwaffe with a comprehensive examination of its aircraft, from the biplanes of the mid 1930s to the main wartime aircraft and on to the seemingly unending range of experimental designs that wasted so much effort towards the end of the war. A useful general guide that provides an impressively wide range of information on almost every element of the Luftwaffe (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 May 2013), Focke-Achgelis Fa 266 Hornisee (Hornet) ,

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