Focke-Wulf Fw 186

The Focke-Wulf Fw 186 was a gyroplane that was developed in 1937-38 to compete with the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, but that never entered production.

In 1935 the RLM issued a specification for an army co-operation, casualty evacuation and liaison aircraft. The resulting design contest was won by the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. Focke-Wulf weren't officially asked to produce a design, but they came up with the Fw 186.

The Fw 186 was based on the Cierva family of gyroplanes. These used a helicopter rotor to provide lift and a normal propeller for forward motion. The first successful gyroplane was flown in 1923 and soon developed into the Cierva C 19. This attracted the interest of Professor Heinrich Focke. Focke-Wulf acquired a licence to construct Cierva gyroplanes. The Focke-Wulf C-19 was powered by a Sh 14b engine. It was followed by the improved Focke-Wulf C-30, based on the Cierva C-30.

The Fw 186 was designed in 1937-38. It resembled the C-30, but with a number of modifications. The main undercarriage was similar, as was the fuselage, which resembled that of a standard light aircraft. On the C-30 the rotor was carried on a pyramid of struts. On the Fw 186 it was carried on a single pylon. The somewhat complex tail of the C-30 was replaced with a more straightforward tail. As with most gyroplanes the vertical surfaces were long and low, to avoid clashes with the rotor blades. The horizontal surfaces were conventional.

Although the Fw 186 was a technical success, it wasn't adopted for production. The Fieseler Fi 156 went on to be one of the most remarkable aircraft of the Second World War while Professor Focke moved into helicopter design, starting with the Fw 61, the world's first truly practical helicopter.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 June 2013), Focke-Wulf Fw 186 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_focke-wulf_Fw_186.html

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