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Year built: 1937
Wingspan: 46', 9"
Cruise Speed: 93 mph
Gross Weight: 2,904 lbs
Engine: 240 hp Argus
Armament: One rear mounted swivel machine gun


General History
The Storch or Stork was designed by Fiesler in 1935 as a slow flying liaison aircraft.  With its' high-lift wings and fixed slots it could take-off and land in very short distances.  With a stall speed under 25 mph it proved its worth throughout World War II.  Used on all fronts, it had a tendency to overheating and the side cowls were generally left off in hot climates.  Many famous events included this aircraft during World War II.  Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, “The Desert Fox”, flew in one throughout the North African campaign landing in troubled spots everywhere along the front lines.  It was this type that the Italian dictator Mussolini was rescued from a hotel atop a mountain peak and it was a Storch that transported the bomb that was used in an attempt on Hitler’s life in July of 1944.  Less than a year later, famous German woman test-pilot, Hanna Reich, flew into the heart of besieged Berlin and landed near the Brandenburg Gate in an attempt to rescue Hitler from the surrounding Russians.  During the occupation of France, the Germans set up a Storch factory and forced the French to build them.  After the war, the French found themselves with tooling and parts.  It was such a good airplane that the French continued to build them.

Personal History
Most of the Storches flying today are of the Morane French-built post-war aircraft.  This is one of only a few German examples left in existence and of maybe 3 original German ones still flying.  This aircraft was rebuilt by Jan Mueller in Detroit, MI.  It was purchased and flown down in 1998.  Jan was of German decent and meticulously rebuilt 5 of these aircraft from a cache of parts that he collected.  Two were German and 3 were French and several trips were made to Germany to acquire original parts.  Due to war shortages the German wings were made of wood and a rear machine gun while the French post-war aircraft made their wings out of aluminum and had no armament.

Kermit Comment
The ailerons on this aircraft begin to droop with the flaps as they are lowered to help create more lift at slow speed.  When an aircraft flies slower and slower, the angle of the wing to the air it is flying in to must increase to support the weight of the aircraft.  At a certain angle, the smooth flowing air over the top of the wing will become turbulent and the aircraft will stall.  The fixed slot on the front of the wing has a larger opening than exit and allows more and more air to be forced over the top of the wing as the angle increases.  This allows the aircraft to fly at a much slower speed than normally would be possible. During the promotion of the exhibit, “World War II through Russian Eyes” in San Diego, I flew the Storch in for the press, landing in the parking lot of the San Diego Zoo.