Focke-Achgelis Fa 284 'Flying Crane'

The Focke-Achgelis Fa 284 was a design for a helicopter 'flying crane' designed to move heavy cargos suspended below the aircraft. It used the standard Focke-Achgelis system of twin rotors mounted side by side, but while the earlier Fa 61, Fa 266 and Fa 223 were single-engined twin-rotor machines, the Fa 284 would have been a twin-engined twin-rotor aircraft.

On the earlier designs the rotors were connected to the fuselage by a collection of struts. These were replaced on the Fa 284 by a more polished looking pair of outriggers. The two engines were mounted in nacelles carried about two thirds of the way along the outriggers, with the fixed undercarriage mounted below the nacelles. The Fa 284 was to have been powered by two 1,600hp BMW 801 engines, so would probably have been able to carry quite heavy cargos.

The fuselage would have had a fairly open framework, with the two-man crew setting towards the centre of the aircraft. The cargo would have been suspended below the fuselage.

Work on the Fa 284 was abandoned at some time in 1943, probably while work on a prototype was at an early stage. It was replaced by a plan to combine two Fa 223s by producing a centre section that would link two fuselages, with the tail removed from the front aircraft and the crew cockpit from the rear aircraft. This would have produced a twin-engined four rotor helicopter with two load carrying sections (one in front of the front rotors and one between the rotors). This aircraft would have had a great carrying capacity than the standard Fa 223, and would have been less complex to design than the Fa 284 (although perhaps more difficult to fly). One example of the central linking section was produced at the Focke-Achgelis factory at Laupheim, but no complete aircraft were built

Engine: Two BMW 801 engines
Power: 1,600hp each
Crew: 2
Rotor Diameter: 58ft 6in each
Span over Rotors: 122ft 4.5in
Length: 45ft
Empty weight: 17,860l
Maximum take-off weight: 26,460lb
Cruising speed: 129mph
Absolute ceiling: 20,828ft
Range: 248 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 June 2013), Focke-Achgelis Fa 284 'Flying Crane' , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_focke-achgelis_Fa_284.html

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