Rotorcraft of the Third Reich Book Review
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||April 2007||Title||Rotorcraft of the Third Reich|
|Author||Rysard Witkowski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||104 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) latest book, in the Red Series, tells the story of autogyro and helicopter development in Germany in the 30’s and 40’s. This was when they were leading up to the first operational helicopters in military service. All prototype and experimental types are covered, and there is a detailed description of the development and use of the FL 265 and FL 282, FA 223 and FA 330. Post-war developments, based on German designs, are also described and illustrated. The book is in a 6 ½” x 9” soft-cover format. It is 104 pages long.
It contains 104 black and white wartime photos, 14 1/72nd profile scale line drawings (two of which are three-views), 26 color profiles, an illustration of a German press pass that admitted newsmen to a demonstration of an autogyro and an illustration of a German postage stamp, issued in 1930 showing a TW61 helicopter on it. Included also are 25 color photos taken in museums (of the walk-around type).
The icing on the cake, in this book, is a large folded page of line drawings inserted into the book. These drawings are to 1/72nd scale and show a three-view of a Focke Achgelis FA 233E and side profiles of the FA 233V-1 and V-51 versions.
The technical problems involved in developing practical helicopters were studied and largely solved by German designers in the late 30’s and the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine used rotorcraft operationally in a variety of roles during WWII. This book describes the development and use of autogyros and helicopters in Germany up to 1945, plus the postwar use of German machines, and their influence on later helicopter designs in other countries.