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German Experimental Aircraft - DFW T28 Floh (Flea)

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Komadant #1 Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:51 AM

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The DFW T28 Floh (Flea) was designed by the Chief Engineer of the Deutsche Flugzeugwerke GmbH of Leipzig-Lindenthal, Dipl.Ing. Hermann Dorner. The intent was to create a high speed fighter by eliminating drag through reducing the need for struts and rigging. The name Floh translates as "Flea" in English, and this is because it looks like a small fat blob with stunted wings.

The Floh was an all-wood construction biplane which had a wingspan of 6.5 meters and a fuselage length of 4.5 meters. it was powered by a 100 hp in-line Mercedes D1 engine and armed with a single machine gun installed over the engine inside the fuselage. Special emphasis was placed on streamlining that led to the aircraft's bizzare silhouette. The Floh was conceived as a strut and wire less aircraft. In this respect, the Floh was only partially successful, because when the T28 finally reached prototype stage it still needed some wing struts. However, it did not have the volume of rigging commonly seen on aircraft from its era.
The prototype Floh made a very promising first flight in 1915., During the test flight a speed of 180 Km/h was recorded, this was a feat at the time. The test flight exposed difficult landing characteristics in the design. This could be attributable to a narrow width of the landing gear causing instability and the high center of gravity. These flaws were compounded by the position of the pilot which reduced landing visibility. On the very first flight the prototype had an extremely hard landing which resulted in light damage to the wing cell.
It did not enter production due to a series of unresolved issues. In spite of being successful in achieving its goal of a high speed, the German military, was not in the mood to support such an unorthodox design. Because of this, the Floh is only remembered as another curiosity in military aircraft development.
  • Type: Fighter
  • Manufacter: Deutsche Flugzeugwerke Gmb
  • Designed By: Hermann Dorner
  • First Flight: 1915
  • Number Built: 2
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mercedes D-I water-cooled in-line engine, 100 hp (74 kW)
  • Wingspan: 21 ft 4¼ in (6.5 m)
  • Length: 14 ft 9¼ in (4.5 m)
  • Maximum Speed: 111 mph (180 Km/h)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: 1 × 0.312 in (7.92) LMG 08/15 Spandau machine gun

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