The seemingly fragile Fieseler Fi 156 Storch(or "Stork") does not seem to have a home in a global conflict as World War 2 was yet the little machine became a spectacular multi-purpose airframe to which the Third Reich put to good use throughout the war and on all fronts. The versatile performer allowed for just about any field or road to be used as a base of operations and the system could loiter in the skies for a time in the slightest of headwinds. These capabilities allowed the Storch to perform as an effective reconnaissance, mission liaison and air ambulance in its time during the war. When called upon, this stork delivered.
Design of the Fi 156 was almost utilitarian. Wings were of a monoplane design mounted high atop the fuselage with the smallish cockpit just underneath. The most identifiable feature of the Stork lay in the angled fixed landing gear, with its connecting struts making their way from fuselage to wings. The engine was mounted at extreme front and powered up to about 240 horsepower. The fuselage proved durable and capable of light-type sorties that in some cases saw single litters of wounded being brought aboard in the medevac role.
The basic yet competent construction allowed the Storch access to remote and sometimes unforgiving terrain. The aircraft was designed in such a way that the airframe proved to be a terrific short take-off and landing (STOL) performer. Such were its capabilities that the aircraft needed less than a football field's length take off and much less than that to land on. This was evident in the grand rescue of Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini from his Gran Sasso prison in 1943, playing a part alongside the German special forces units. In the end, the Storch appeared in a handful of variants through to the final days of the war.
Bulgaria; Cambodia; Croatia; Czechoslovakia; Finland; France; Nazi Germany; Greece; Hungary; Kingdom of Italy; Laos; Norway; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; South Vietnam; Soviet Union; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom; Yugoslavia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
32.5 ft (9.90 m)
46.8 ft (14.25 m)
10.0 ft (3.05 m)
2,050 lb (930 kg)
2,921 lb (1,325 kg)
+871 lb (+395 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Fieseler Fi 156C-2 Storch (Stork) production variant)
1 x Argus As 10C-3 inverted V8, air-cooled, radial piston engine developing 240hp.
OPTIONAL (Variant Dependent):
1 OR 2 x 7.92mm machine gun(s) in rear trainable gun position or side cabin windows.
Conventional Drop Bombs
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2
Fi 156 V1 - Initial Prototype; metal adjustable propeller; single example produced.
Fi 156 V2 - Prototype Model; initial flyable example; fitted with wood propeller; single example produced.
Fi 156 V3 - Prototype Model; based on the V2 prototype; testbed for radio communications equipment; single example produced.
Fi 156 V4 - Prototype Model; based on the V3 prototype; winter ski undercarriage; optional auxiliary fuel tank.
Fi 156 V5 - Prototype Model; A-series production standard.
Fi 156 A-0 - Pre-production examples based on the V3 prototype; 10 examples produced; unarmed.
Fi 156 A-1 - Initial Production Examples; between 6 and 16 aircraft delivered; unarmed.
Fi 156 B - Proposed Improved Production Model; fitted with automatic retractable landing gear slats; improved aerodynamics and speed; never mass-produced.
Fi 156 C-0 - Multi-role pre-production models based on A-series production models.
Fi 156 C-1 - Staff Transport/Liaison Role Designation; seating for three.
Fi 156 C-2 - Reconnaissance/MedEvac Variant; reconnaissance role fitted with single camera; accommodation for 2 personnel; MedEvac role has provision for single stretcher; reconnaissance model fitted a single MG 15 machine gun in rear cockpit.
Fi 156 C-3 - "Definitive" Storch; multi-purpose/multi-role model; powered up Argus As 10P engine; universal cockpit for various required roles.
Fi 156 C-3/Trop - Tropicalized Variant of base C-3 model; filtered engine air intakes; appearing in 1941.
Fi 156 C-5 - Fitted with Argus As 10P engine; provision for photographic reconnaissance camera in under fuselage position; provision for jettisonable fuel tank; winter ski undercarriage optional.
Fi 156 C-5/Trop - Tropicalized Variant of base C-5 model; filtered engine air intakes; appearing in 1941.
Fi 156 D-0 - Pre-Production Air Ambulance Model based on the C-production models; enlarged cockpit compartment; enlarged cabin doors; fitted with Argus AsP series engine.
Fi 156 D-1 - Production Model of the D-0 pre-production form beginning in 1942.
Fi 156 E-0 - Liaison Variant; based on the C-1 production models; at least 10 examples fitted with tracked undercarriage; production beginning in 1941.
Fi 156 F (also Fi 156 P) - Counter-Insurgency Variant; based on C-3 production model; appearing in 1942; fitted with general purpose machine guns in side cabin windows; provision for conventional drop bombs and smoke-laying devices.
Fi 156 U - Anti-Submarine Variant; based on the C-3 production model; provision for depth charges; appearing in 1940.
Fi 156 K-1 - Swedish Export Variant based on the C-1 production model.
Fi 256 - Five Seat Civilian Passenger Transport; at least two examples were produced by French firm Morane-Saulnier.
MS-500 - French Liaison Variant; fitted with Argus engine of 250 horsepower.
MS-501 - French Built Variant; fitted with Renault 6Q engine of 233 horsepower.
MS-502 - French Liaison Variant; based on the MS-500 production model; fitted with Salmson 9ab radial piston engine of 230 horsepower.
MS-504 - French Built Variant; fitted with Jacobs R-755-A2 radial piston engine of 304 horsepower.
MS-505 - French Built Observation Variant based on the MS-500 production model; fitted with Jacobs R-755-A2 radial piston engine of 304 horsepower.
MS-506 - French Built Variant; fitted with Lycoming engine of 235 horsepower.
Mraz K-65 Cap - Czechoslovakian Built Variant; post-war.
Antonov OKA-38 - Illegal Soviet Copy of Fi 156; fitted with illegal copy of French Renault MV-6 engine; production halted before deliveries by invading German ground forces in 1941.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Front left side view of the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch at rest; color
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Left side view of a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch aircraft on display; color
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Underside front left view of a suspended Fieseler Fi 156 Storch on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio; color
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