No. 12886. Focke-Wulf Fw 55W (D-2711)
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Focke-Wulf Fw 55W

12/15/2015. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "When Focke-Wulf absorbed the Albatros Flugzeugwerke GmbH in September 1931 it took over several designs, one of which was the L 102 trainer and sporting aircraft. Two versions of the two-seat parasol wing machine were built, the Albatros L 102L landplane and the L 102W floatplane, both powered by a 240 hp Argus As 10C eight-cylinder air-cooled in-line engine.

The wings and tailplane of both aircraft were built of spruce with plywood covering and the fuselage and tailfin were mixed wood and steel tube structures with fabric covering. The wing of the landplane was supported above the fuselage by two sets of pylon-like struts and braced by V-struts. The tailplane and fixed undercarriage were also braced to the fuselage. Apart from the twin floats, the L 102W also differed in having a small lower wing and additional auxiliary fin and rudder surfaces which extended below the line of the fuselage.

The later well-known aeronautical engineer Kurt Tank had worked for Albatros as a test pilot and continued test flying aircraft for Focke-Wulf. Shortly after the takeover he demonstrated an Albatros L 102 to officials of the DVS. Showing the diving capabilities of the aircraft he made a serious crash, but escaped injury. The cause of the accident was later attributed to violent aileron oscillation which distorted the starboard wing. Therefore Tank undertook a redesign of the aircraft under the designation Fw 55.

Apart from the N-section struts which supported the wing above the fuselage, the Focke-Wulf Fw 55 was essentially similar to the Albatros L 102 (later designated Al 102) apart from some structural strengthening. A small production batch of both the Fw 55L landplane and the Fw 55W floatplane were completed, being delivered mainly to the DVS.

Created December 15, 2015