Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
First Albuquerque Visit: 1977
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch was a German observation aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II. Production continued into the 1950s for the private market. The aircraft was known for its excellent short field performance and low stalling speed of 31 mph. Post war French-built Storch’s can still be seen at air shows around the world. About 2,900 Fi 156s, mostly C versions, were produced from 1937 to 1945. The primary production facility was at the Fieseler Factory in Kassel, Germany. In 1942 production began at the Morane-Saulnier factory in France. By the end of 1943, the demand for the Fw 190 was growing and Fieseler, as a subcontractor, had to shift production of the Fi 156’s to Leichtbau Budweis in Budweis, Germany. For the rest of the war, factories in other countries under German control also manufactured the Fi 156 along with other aircraft for Germany.
This German Fieseler Fi 156 “Storch” observation aircraft was built in occupied France during World War II by the French aircraft firm Morane-Sautier. The aircraft was being flown from California to a museum in Kansas in 1977 when it landed in Albuquerque due to maintenance problems. The aircraft remained in Albuquerque at the former west side 7-Bar Airport for several weeks while a new wooden prop was being fabricated. Once repaired, the aircraft crashed on takeoff northwest of the airport suffering the loss of the landing gear, the propeller, and sustained damage to one wingtip. The aircraft was eventually trucked to Kansas for restoration on October 4, 1977. The photo below is of a similar Fieseler Fi 156 flown by the Commemorative Air Force.
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