Mystery Airplane: February 2014
Focke-Achgelis Fa-330 Bachstelze (Water Wagtail)
In 1933, Professor Heinrich Focke resigned as Technical Director of Focke-Wulf to purse his interest in rotary winged aircraft. Beginning by license building Don Juan de la Cierva's C.19 autogyro, he worked with aerobatic pilot Gerd Achgelis toward perfecting a practical helicopter. His Fa-223 Drache was one of the few helicopters, along with the Flettner Fl-282 Kolibri and the Sikorski R-4, to see WWII service.
In early 1942, the Kriegsmarine asked Focke-Achgelis to design a gyro kite to be towed behind a U-boat to extend the "eyes" of the submarine. Its competition was the Arado Ar-231, a...