RAY WATKINS COLLECTION
No. 8892. Sud-Est S.E.3000 (F-WFDR c/n 001)
Photograph from Sud Aviation

Sud-Est S.E.3000

04/30/2009. Remarks by Ray Watkins: "Professor Heinrich Focke and Georg Wulf formed the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH in 1924 and produced a number of training and transport aircraft. When Wulf died in a plane crash in 1927, Focke hired Kurt Tank as chief designer. This allowed Focke to follow his interest in helicopters and autogiros, which led to the acquisition of a license from Cierva.

Differences with the Nazi regime resulted in Focke losing control of Focke-Wulf, but he was encouraged to pursue his work with rotorcraft and formed the Focke-Achgelis Flugzeugbau GmbH with Gerd Achgelis in 1933. The first helicopter produced by Focke-Achgelis was the twin-rotor Fa 61 that Hanna Reitsch later famously flew inside the Deutschland-Halle in Berlin.

This was followed by the Fa 266 Hornisse (Hornet) which was developed for military use as the Fa 223 Drache (Kite). The Fa 223 made its' maiden flight in August 1940, and thirty aircraft were ordered but only ten were completed before the factory in Bremen was bombed. Seven more were built at a new factory in Laupheim and a further order for 100 machines was placed. Of the next eight machines produced all but one were destroyed in bombing raids in 1944. After the war two were built from German components by Avia in Czechoslovakia.

Development of the design continued at Sud-Est who hired Professor Focke as a consultant. The sole S.E.3000 first flew in October 1948."

Created April 30, 2009