YouTube – Focke Achgelis FA-223
BMW Bramo 323 D9
1 x 1,000 hp
49 ft. 1 in.
14 ft. 4 in.
2- 39 ft. 5 in. ea.
800 fpm (est.)
Focke Achgelis FA-223
On August 3, 1940, the Focke Achgelis FA-223 flew for the first time. It was known as the Drache (Dragon). It went on to become the world’s first transport helicopter.
In October of 1940 Karl Bode flew a prototype Focke Achgelis FA-223, breaking records for helicopter speed, climb rate and ceiling. Based on the results of test flights, an initial order was placed by the military for 30 helicopters with materials ordered for an additional 70. Three prototypes were eventually produced.
Initial production was to be in five versions of the Focke Achgelis FA-223: Anti submarine, observation, recon, rescue, transport, and as a trainer. After further testing it was decided to produce the Focke Achgelis FA-223 in one adaptable version instead of the five as originally planned. As with many German WW II military projects, production was limited due to government indecision plus the Allied bombing of supplies and manufacturing facilities.
In December of 1944 Heinrich Focke began a new assembly line for the Focke Achgelis FA-223. Five helicopters were built before the factory was captured by the Allies. When the Red Army took over the factory they found three helicopters in production.
The Americans captured an operational Focke Achgelis FA-223 and turned it over to the British for evaluation. It had accumulated 170 flying hours, more than any other helicopter. The helicopter was flown from Germany to England on Sept. 6, 1945. This was the first time a helicopter had ever been flown across the English Channel. Unfortunately it crashed during its first test flight in England. The fate of the remaining captured helicopters is unknown. After the war, both Czechoslovakia and France built helicopters based on the Focke Achgelis FA-223.