Monday, 5 August 2013

Focke-Wulf Fw 189







Top and centre: slightly blurred but rather interesting photos of a Focke-Wulf Fw 189 A twin-engine tactical reconnaissance aircraft performing a low-level fly-past for the benefit of an unknown photographer.

Bottom: detail enlargement of second photo reveals what is likely a yellow fuselage band, along with hints of the aircraft's markings. Camouflage appears to be standard 70/71/65.

These images are part of a small selection of photographs depicting Luftwaffe training operations during the Second World War. Besides the above Fw 189 A, they show various individuals and Arado Ar 66, Focke-Wulf Fw 44, and Focke-Wulf Fw 58 aircraft. Unfortunately, in spite of the number of photos, it seems difficult to pinpoint exact location of the above scene. A determination of the exact date is equally difficult, as the photos appear to have been taken over an extended time period. (Fischer collection)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Arado Ar 76 Control Surfaces







Control surfaces of the Arado Ar 76 parasol-wing lightweight fighter/trainer, as featured in Das Flugzeug - Dritte Auflage [The Aircraft - Third Edition], edited by Theo E. Sönnichsen, published by Richard Carl Schmidt & Co., Berlin, Germany, 1942.

Top image provides rear view indicating aileron [Querruder], landing flap [Landeklappe], vertical tail [Seitenflosse], rudder [Seitenruder], trim tab [Bügelkante], horizontal stabiliser [Höhenflosse] and elevator [Höhenruder].

Centre image shows overview of control surfaces. Top: control column [Steuerknüppel], pilot's seat [Führersitz], vertical tail [Seitenflosse], rudder [Seitenruder], elevator [Höhenruder], and horizontal stabiliser [Höhenflosse]. Bottom: aileron [Querruder], trim tab [Bügelkante], elevator [Höhenruder], and horizontal stabiliser [Höhenflosse], landing flaps [Landeklappen], and control column [Steuerknüppel].

Lower image shows schematic of controls, indicating rudder pedal [Seitensteuerpedal], control column for pitch and roll control [Steuerknüppel für Höhen- u. Quersteuerung], vertical tail [Seitenflosse], rudder [Seitenruder], trim tab [Bügelkante], horizontal stabiliser [Höhenflosse] and elevator [Höhenruder]. (Fischer collection)

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Cologne Airport, 1937, Part 4







Selected images of the newly rebuilt Cologne airport, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXVI, issue no. 6, June 1937, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: parked aircraft inside the grosse Flugzeughalle [large aircraft hangar]. The aircraft in the centre is De Havilland D.H.86A (later D.H.86B), G-ADUG, operated by Imperial Airways.

The hangar was surrounded on the outside by an extension along three of its walls. This extension housed a variety of rooms used by Deutsche Lufthansa, such as workshops and storage facilities. Further rooms were used by the air traffic control.

Centre and bottom: enlargements of the main photo, showing Focke-Wulf A 47 D, D-IJTE, and, partially hidden behind a Lufthansa Heinkel He 70 and the Imperial Airways D.H.86 G-ADUG, an unidentified Junkers Ju 86.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cologne Airport, 1937, Part 3





Selected images of the newly rebuilt Cologne airport, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXVI, issue no. 6, June 1937, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: air traffic control tower and grosse Flugzeughalle [large aircraft hangar]. Enlargement of bottom right portion of image shows, once again, Junkers Ju 52/3m D-ANEN, Werknummer 5072, Fritz Puetter. The aircraft is in the process of being serviced, as evidenced by the open cowling of the starboard engine.





Top: front view of the large aircraft hangar and control tower. The building was shielded from the wind by the forward position of airport's main building. Subsurface refuelling stations were located in front of the hangar, underneath the apron.

Bottom: Enlargement of the bottom right corner of the above image reveals Junkers W 33 f D-OTAQ (originally D-2009), Werknummer 2580, Bosporus, operated by Deutsche Lufthansa. (Additional aircraft identity confirmation courtesy of the LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cologne Airport, 1937, Part 2







Selected images of the newly rebuilt Cologne airport, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXVI, issue no. 6, June 1937, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: according to the original photo caption, these are "festive" passenger facilities in the main building. The two towers of the Kölner Dom [Cologne cathedral] were visible through the glass doors.

Centre: apron with air traffic control tower, grosse Flugzeughalle [large aircraft hangar], operations building, main building, and observation area. The entire assembly stretched across a distance of 400 m.

Bottom: enlargement of bottom left portion of the same image reveals Junkers Ju 52/3m D-ANEN, Werknummer 5072, Fritz Puetter, operated by Deutsche Lufthansa. Aircraft features aerodynamic fairings around its landing gear. (Additional aircraft identity confirmation courtesy of the LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Cologne Airport, 1937, Part 1







Selected images of the newly rebuilt Cologne-Butzweilerhof airport in 1937. The complete transformation of the old, obsolete airport was the first construction project of the new National Socialist government in Cologne upon attaining power in 1933. The project was realized in close cooperation between the city of Cologne and Deutsche Lufthansa. The requirements of the Luftwaffe (then still in its clandestine formation stage) were taken into consideration as well.

After two years of research and planning, Professor H. Merten's design for the airport was ready for construction in early summer of 1935. The new airport was opened for operations on August 1, 1936, just before the commencement of the Games of the XI Olympad in Berlin.

These photos were originally part of an 8-page feature titled Der neue Kölner Verkehrsflughafen [Cologne's New Civil Aviation Airport], published in the architectural trade journal Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXVI, issue no. 6, June 1937, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top photo shows the magazine's cover, featuring the main portal of the new airport. The massive eagle sculpture was designed by local Cologne artist Willi Meller and made from basaltic lava.

Centre photo shows the airport's main building as seen from the direction of the city. The building contained all passenger facilities as well as the airport's administration.

Lower photo shows the observation area and the patio of the airport restaurant on the south-western airside of the main building. This area was designed specifically to host a large amount of spectators during aviation events.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Flughafen Tempelhof - Chronik des Berliner Werkes der "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH, Bremen

 photo Wenz_FlughafenTempelhof.jpg

[Full title: Flughafen Tempelhof - Chronik des Berliner Werkes der "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH, Bremen - Einrichtung eines Flugzeugwerkes - Umbau von Flugzeugen und Produktion der Kriegsflugzeuge Ju 87-Stuka und Focke-Wulf Fw 190, 1939-1945] F.-Herbert Wenz, Stedinger Verlag, Lemwerder, Germany, 2000, ISBN 3-927697-24-9. Illustrated, hardcover, published in German.

Cover image © by Stedinger Verlag, 2000.


Although destined to perpetually remain in the shadows of other, more widely recognized companies such as Messerschmitt, Junkers, or Focke-Wulf, Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH was one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in Germany during the Second World War. While Weser’s own aircraft designs remained obscure or unbuilt, the company was contracted to convert, repair, and mass-produce aircraft of other manufacturers, such as the Junkers Ju 86 and Ju 87, Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Junkers Ju 388, or Focke Achgelis Fa 223. At its plant at Tempelhof airport in Berlin, for example, Weser eventually conducted two thirds of the entire Ju 87 production.

Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH’s Tempelhof facilities are the focus of F.-Herbert Wenz’ somewhat cumbersomely titled Flughafen Tempelhof - Chronik des Berliner Werkes der "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH, Bremen - Einrichtung eines Flugzeugwerkes - Umbau von Flugzeugen und Produktion der Kriegsflugzeuge Ju 87-Stuka und Focke-Wulf Fw 190, 1939-1945 [Tempelhof Airport - History Of The Berlin Plant Of The "Weser" Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation, Bremen - Establishment Of An Aircraft Manufacturing Plant - Aircraft Conversion And Production Of Ju 87 Stuka And Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Warplanes, 1939-1945]. The book is something of a companion volume to the same author’s indispensable Chronik des Lemwerder Flugzeugwerkes 1935-1963: Band 1 - "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH [History Of The Lemwerder Aircraft Manufacturing Plant 1935-1963: Volume 1 - "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH], released by the same publishing house in 1995.

Though only slightly more than half as extensive at 160 printed pages (versus the earlier publication's 256 pages), Flughafen Tempelhof is designed in a similar layout and style, and it serves to further complete the examination of Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH's various undertakings. It is actually rather unfortunate that Wenz' follow-up is a thinner book, as one might be drawn to imagine that the past existence of the massive manufacturing facilities at Tempelhof airport, including all related issues, would have warranted the inclusion of far more material and images (the book features 130 photos). Moreover, the book's design could be a bit more modern.

In spite of such desires, Wenz' Flughafen Tempelhof truly is a captivating compendium of information on the operations of a wartime German aircraft factory and the various special interests affecting it. Following brief descriptions of the establishment of Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH and the construction of the completely redesigned Tempelhof airport (see also Der Flughafen Tempelhof in Entwurfszeichnungen und Modellen), Wenz describes the actual repair, conversion, and production of aircraft at the airport. The switch to this new location was implemented because Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH's earlier facility at Lemwerder was utterly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work it was allocated. This is evidenced, for example, by two striking photos on pages 25 and 26 of the book, one of them showing an aerial view of the access road to Lemwerder. The road itself is barely visible due to the fact that it was used as an improvised parking area for numerous Junkers Ju 86 aircraft.

Flughafen Tempelhof contains countless interesting photos depicting the activities at the Tempelhof facility, from conversion work on Heinkel He 111s and Ju 86s to the series production of the Ju 87 and the repair of the Fw 190. Some of the photos show the damage caused by bombing attacks as well as the measures taken to limit such damage in the future. In addition to the narrative, floor plans and images depicting aircraft components and various manufacturing and assembly areas help the reader to gain a visual understanding of operations in a fairly typical German aircraft plant of the period. Unfortunately, the text is at times a bit generic. An example is the description of the intention to commence production of the Fa 223 helicopter; this is basically a brief summary on the aircraft and provides hardly any details regarding the intended production.

Wenz further portrays the individuals managing operations at the Tempelhof manufacturing facility and then, on nine pages, touches upon the omnipresent topic of forced labour. It is this latter point which has led certain circles to express criticism regarding the book. Wenz' account was blamed for being too cursory and too apologetic on behalf of the plant. The issue of forced labour at Weser Flugzeugbau GmbH is indeed of tremendous significance. To say that Wenz is trivializing this subject matter would be too strong, but it is certainly true that the brevity of the chapter in question means that many thoroughly drastic aspects of the topic are merely hinted at or even outright excluded. The utter arrogance and ignorance exhibited by the German leadership (from the highest to the lowest level) with regard to employing forced labour defies description, and this is exactly why attempts must be made to describe it.

Flughafen Tempelhof concludes with an account of the collapse of plant operations at the end of the war, and the occupation by American troops. Perhaps it is futile to expect a book with such a limited page count to provide a highly detailed study, regardless of whether this concerns aircraft manufacturing or forced labour issues. This is why it is somewhat frustrating that this book isn't a more extensive work and why the text actually included is at times slightly sketchy.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Heinkel He 177 Wrecks





The photos in this post show two unidentified Heinkel He 177 A bomber wrecks after their discovery by Allied troops. The location of these aircraft and the exact date currently remain unknown to me.

Top photo shows a He 177 A with its entire forward fuselage section missing. The tips of the spinners are painted in a different, lighter colour. An enhanced enlargement of the extreme right of the image (see photo above) reveals what is possibly exactly this missing forward fuselage and cockpit section, resting on its side in the background.





Top photo shows a still somewhat intact He 177 A at the same airfield. The aircraft's DB 610 engines are missing, and the bomb bay doors are open. The main undercarriage doors remain closed, unlike those of the aircraft heading this post.

Bottom photo shows another view of what appears to be the same He 177. Due to the inferior quality of these photos, it is difficult to determine the aircraft's code. Note removable portion of canopy of rear gunner's position lying on the ground, to the left of the horizontal stabilizer. The MK 151 tail gun has been removed.

Also apparent in these photos are the fir trees previously used in an attempt to camouflage the aircraft. (Fischer collection)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Dornier Delphin III





The BMW VI-engined Dornier Delphin III (Do L Bas) flying boat D-UBIF, Konstanz, Werknummer 152. The boarding pier for crew and passengers can be seen behind the fuselage. This aircraft was built at Dornier's facilities in Altenrhein, on the Swiss side of Lake Constance, and at one point in its existence also displayed the Swiss registration CH-178.

According to the inscriptions on the back of these photos, they were taken at the Lake Constance shore promenade in Konstanz, Germany, in 1935 or 1936. (Fischer collection)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Zeppelins Flieger: Das Flugzeug im Zeppelin-Konzern und in seinen Nachfolgebetrieben

 photo Meighoumlrner-ZeppelinsFliegersm.jpg

Edited by Wolfgang Meighörner, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, Thübingen & Berlin/Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany, 2006, ISBN 3-8030-3316-0. Illustrated, hardcover, published in German.

Cover image © by Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, 2006.


Published to complement an exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Zeppelins Flieger: Das Flugzeug im Zeppelin-Konzern und in seinen Nachfolgebetrieben [Zeppelin's Aviators: Aircraft In The Zeppelin Group And In Its Successor Firms] is a compendium of highly intriguing essays by a variety of authors. Traditionally, the word "Zeppelin" has become a metaphor for large, silver airships and, inevitably, the image of airship LZ 129 Hindenburg as it perishes near its mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in May 1937. Somewhat less immediate, perhaps, might be the association of Zeppelin with the airship bombing raids over England during the First World War.

Far more unknown, however, is the fact that Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin and the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin [Zeppelin Airship Manufacturing] plant were also involved in numerous aircraft-related undertakings, following humble beginnings as early as 1899. Among the most notable were, perhaps, Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin's role in establishing Claudius Dornier's Dornier Metallbau [Dornier Metal Construction], later to be renamed Dornier Flugzeugwerke [Dornier Aircraft Manufacturing Plant], or Luftschiffbau Zeppelin's license production of aircraft and rocket components during the Second World War. The extent of the subject matter is astonishingly substantial.

In spite of the fact that a truly comprehensive study of all of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin's aviation activities would undoubtedly merit far more than just one book, Zeppelins Flieger is a truly formidable and wide-ranging study. At 320 tightly printed pages, and with 255 often striking images, Zeppelins Flieger is quite literally a heavy tome. The narrative is subdivided into 16 individual essays, which together form a fairly cohesive record of Zeppelin's non-airship ventures. Among the authors are a number of distinguished German aviation history specialists, such as Karl Kössler, Lutz Budrass, Günter Frost, or Hans-Peter Dabrowski. Each essay is completed by a list of explanatory notes and sources. By far the major part of Zeppelins Flieger covers the years up to 1945, with only comparatively few pages addressing events following the Second World War and up to today.

The content of some of the essays is stunning. Jürgen Bleiber's examination of the revolutionary E.4/20 airliner, for example, is riveting, not least due to the photo content. Equally captivating are Günter Frost's look at Dornier's aircraft of the 1920s, or Hans-Peter Dabrowski's descriptions of Zeppelin's affiliation with the Messerschmitt Me 323 and Luftschiffbau Zeppelin's later projects, such as the ZSO 523 transport, the Fliegende Panzerfaust, the Zeppelin Rammer, and the Zeppelin airliner. Further examples are Peter M. Grosz and Michael Schmeelke's Die Riesenflugzeuge des Zeppelin-Konzerns im Ersten Weltkrieg [Giant Aircraft Of The Zeppelin Group In The First World War], Lutz Budrass' look at Rohrbach and Dornier, or Karl Kössler's brief exploration of the evolution of Dornier's Do 17 design.

Among the most noteworthy essays is Christa Tholander's Ausländische Arbeitskräfte in der Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs bei den Dornier-Werken 1939–1945 [Foreign Labour At Dornier's Plants During The Second World War 1939-1945]. Tholander's contribution is based on a doctoral thesis, and it is exemplary that this drastic and all too often quietly excluded topic is an integral part Zeppelins Flieger. One of Tholander's most unexpected revelations is that Dornier explored all legal means at its disposal to improve the living conditions of the Ostarbeiter [eastern workers] in its service.

Zeppelins Flieger can be recommended without hesitation. It is a detailed and expertly researched publication with very high production standards. Its appeal may conceivably be limited only by the fact that it has been published in German. Nonetheless, the fact that Peter Schmoll's various German language works on certain aspects of Messerschmitt's aircraft production have been translated and compiled into the English-language Nest Of Eagles (Classic Publications/Ian Allan Publishing Ltd., England, 2010) leaves room for hope that Zeppelins Flieger, too, might one day be granted a competent English translation.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Junkers Ju 52/3m Floats







Design and interior struture of floats for the Junkers Ju 52/3m transport, as featured in Das Flugzeug - Dritte Auflage [The Aircraft - Third Edition], edited by Theo E. Sönnichsen, published by Richard Carl Schmidt & Co., Berlin, Germany, 1942.

Top image shows struts [Schwimmergestell], floats [Schwimmer], and bracing wires [Verspannungskabel].

Centre image shows light alloy float with a water displacement of 9500 litres [Leichtmetallblech-Schwimmer mit 9500 Ltr. Wasserverdrängung]. Details include wooden grating [Holzrost], frames [Spanten], bay for provisions [Proviantschacht], manholes [Mannlöcher], nautical horn cleat [Seehaltegriff], anchor [Grundanker], and mooring rope [Halteleine].

Lower image shows cross section of float [Schwimmerquerschnitt] with waterline. (Fischer collection)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Arado Ar 96







Arado Ar 96 B Luftwaffe standard trainer, photographed in 1945. Aircraft rests on jacks and is finished in typical 70/71/65 scheme. Visible are both the number "yellow 20" and what appears to be the faded code TG+TN. Also visible are a partial yellow fuselage band and a noticeably bright port wing root fairing.

Enlargement of left background (see bottom photo) reveals a burned-out Messerschmitt Bf 109 wreck. The aircraft's spinner, with white spiral, can be seen on the ground, in front of the Ar 96.

Also of note are the two massive and apparently still intact camouflaged hangars in the background. Location and exact date of photo currently remain unknown. (Fischer collection)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

DKW und die Erla Me-Flugzeuge 1926 bis 1945

 photo Seifert_DKWunddieErlaMe-Flugzeuge.jpg

Karl-Dieter Seifert, Sutton Verlag GmbH, Erfurt, Germany, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86680-852-2. Illustrated, softcover, published in German.

Cover image © by Sutton Verlag GmbH, 2011.


Karl-Dieter Seifert's DKW und die Erla Me-Flugzeuge 1926 bis 1945 [DKW And Erla Me Aircraft 1926 To 1945] is a true gem. A relatively thin book (at 128 pages), it sheds light on an important but thus far somewhat insufficiently covered and therefore largely unknown facet of German aviation history - the inception of the Erla aircraft factory, and that company's difficult path towards becoming one of Germany's most important aircraft manufacturers of the Second World War. It is notable, for example, that Erla built roughly one third of all Messerschmitt Bf 109s produced. Erla's average daily output of Bf 109s in 1944 was 12 aircraft, in spite of massive supply problems and constant bombing of its manufacturing plants.

Erla was established in 1933 as a small joint venture between sports and sailplane designer Franz Xaver Mehr and Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen's DKW car and motor factory. Erla was originally intended to simply produce the small, single-seat Erla Me 5 sports aircraft, designed by Mehr (hence the "Me" designation). With the rise of the Third Reich and the increasing efforts to re-arm Germany in anticipation of a new war, Erla began to be involved in the license production of military aircraft. By the end of the war, Erla was scheduled to produce Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H fighters. Production activities were by then widely dispersed and/or undertaken by disguised manufacturing facilities operating under code names.

By necessity, the focal point of Seifert's DKW und die Erla Me-Flugzeuge 1926 bis 1945 often lies on Mehr's personal biography, as he remained one of the most noteworthy individuals involved with Erla throughout the company's existence. Mehr found it difficult to relinquish his aspirations to improve upon his early sports aeroplane designs in favour of the demands of the German air ministry (RLM). He even financed some of the work on his later designs from his own salary. Still, the realities of Germany's political course meant that these designs remained prototypes and never entered mass production. Unfortunately, much of Mehr's life is still shrouded in mystery.

DKW und die Erla Me-Flugzeuge 1926 bis 1945 mainly investigates the uneasy balance between Mehr's visions and Erla's inexorable conversion from a small aircraft company to a hugely important military aircraft manufacturer, in the timeframe from the company's inception to the outbreak of the war. This includes the complex and often questionable personal and financial machinations employed to force Erla to align with the RLM's intentions. Erla's further destiny during the war and immediately after the cessation of hostilities is only fleetingly covered on a few pages.

Nonetheless, the book is an extremely absorbing read, and the text further benefits from the inclusion of some 70 mainly unpublished photos and facsimile documents. For anyone truly interested in German sports and paramilitary aviation of the 1920s and 1930s, even these photos alone are reason enough to purchase this little book - as evidenced, for example, by its very cover image.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), Berlin-Adlershof, 1936, Part 5







Selected images of new facilities of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) [German Research Institute for Aviation] in Berlin-Adlershof, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXV, issue no. 10, October 1936, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: fractional view of the Versuchsfeld [test area] of the DVL. The partially visible dark structure to the extreme left is the large wind tunnel, a concrete structure built using the Zeiss-Dywidag-System. It had a diameter of between 8.5 and 12 m, and the airstream was created by an eight-blade fan with a diameter of 8.5 m. The oval building left of centre is the Trudelturm [spin tower] vertical wind tunnel, used for spin trials. The structure in the centre is an assembly hall. The cooling towers of the engine test facility can be seen right of centre. The two reinforced concrete towers to the right were designed to supply air and dissipate acoustic noise to and from the engine test rig. This rig could accommodate engines with propellers up to a diameter of 5 m. The interior of the test rig was furnished with concrete armour in order to withstand the disintegration of airscrews during high-rpm tests.

Centre: close-up view of the then highly innovative Trudelturm vertical wind tunnel. This building, too, was constructed from reinforced concrete.

Bottom: workshops and assembly halls, built from steel frame, infilled with clinker brick. The lower windows provided light to the workbenches, the upper windows illuminated the halls.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), Berlin-Adlershof, 1936, Part 4







Selected images of new facilities of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) [German Research Institute for Aviation] in Berlin-Adlershof, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXV, issue no. 10, October 1936, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: front view of the large DVL aircraft hangar at Berlin-Adlershof. The multi-storey extensions on each side of the building housed offices.

Centre: magnified detail view of the above photo, showing Focke-Wulf A 17 D-UBOT (left) and, barely visible, Junkers Ju 160 B-0 D-UBON, Werknummer 4217 (right).

Bottom: rear view of the same hangar. The low, multi-window extension visible along both sides and rear of the hangar contained repair workshops. (Additional aircraft identity confirmation courtesy of the LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), Berlin-Adlershof, 1936, Part 3







Selected images of new facilities of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) [German Research Institute for Aviation] in Berlin-Adlershof, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXV, issue no. 10, October 1936, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: the large DVL aircraft hangar at Berlin-Adlershof. The utilizable interior of the building measured 70 m wide by 40 m deep. A Junkers Ju 52/3m can just be seen parked on the apron.

Centre: magnified detail view of the above photo, showing Junkers Ju 160 B-0 D-UBON, Werknummer 4217, assigned to the German air ministry (RLM).

Bottom: another magnified detail view of the above photo. In spite of the somewhat deficient quality, it is possible to identify the aircraft in the rear as Junkers F 13 ge D-ONYX (formerly D-1563), Heidelerche [wood lark], Werknummer 2031, assigned to the DVL. The aircraft nearest to the camera, D-OHOT, is likely a Junkers W 33. (Additional aircraft identity confirmation courtesy of the LEMB Stammkennzeichen Database Project)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), Berlin-Adlershof, 1936, Part 2







Selected images of new facilities of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) [German Research Institute for Aviation] in Berlin-Adlershof, originally published in Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXV, issue no. 10, October 1936, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top: observation platform "for scientific purposes" on top of the DVL main building.

Centre: DVL materials laboratories. The ground floor of the main building housed offices and individual laboratory units, the top floor contained the chemical laboratories. The protruding section in the centre of the building was a two-storey hall for mechanical research.

Bottom: the dedicated fuel laboratories featured small and large fuel test facilities. The photo shows the large test facility with its five exhaust stacks.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL), Berlin-Adlershof, 1936, Part 1







Selected images of the facilities of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) [German Research Institute for Aviation] in Berlin-Adlershof, 1936.

These photos were originally part of a lavishly illustrated, 32-page feature titled Die Neubauten der Deutschen Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt in Berlin-Adlershof [The New Buildings Of The German Research Institute For Aviation In Berlin-Adlershof], by Hermann Brenner and Werner Deutschmann, published in the architectural trade journal Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXV, issue no. 10, October 1936, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

The centre photo shows the main entrance of the DVL on Rudower Chaussee [Avenue], with the main building on the left and the materials laboratories in the background.

Lower photo shows the main building with observation platform as seen from the laboratories.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Der Flughafen Tempelhof in Entwurfszeichnungen und Modellen, 1939-1944

 photo Dittrich_DerFlughafenTempelhof.jpg

Elke Dittrich, Lukas Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2005, ISBN 3-936872-52-X. Illustrated, softcover, published in German.

Cover image © by Lukas Verlag, 2005.


There are numerous books dealing with Berlin's now closed Tempelhof airport and its changeful and often uneasy history. The airport's location within the city of Berlin, combined with its very distinctive architecture and the fact that it played an important role in the Third Reich (both as an airfield and aircraft manufacturing centre), have long made it a unique research project for historians and authors.

Built on what originally were military drill grounds then still outside of Berlin, Tempelhof airfield first became operational in 1923. By 1933, it had become a more substantial facility. It was only in the course of the architectural planning for Adolf Hitler's vision for a rebuilt Berlin, however, that Tempelhof airfield was earmarked to be expanded and developed into a massive airport, clearly designed to radiate power and progress. The new Tempelhof airport was to be an integral part of Berlin's projected north-south axis, itself an utterly revealing expression of the megalomania which had infected the ruling political class.

As it happened, the rebuilt Tempelhof airport was among the very few components of the plan for a new Berlin that were actually completed and, perhaps even more astonishingly, survived the war relatively intact. To this day, the airport's city-facing, curved buildings indicate the once intended circular shape of the large open space in front of the facility. As it proved to be impossible to finish the circular plaza before the end of the war, however, the airport buildings now lack context and thus appear somewhat like lone pieces of a long-lost puzzle.

Tempelhof is probably the most extensively documented German airport of the period before 1945, by means of both magazine articles and books. Its history and operations as an airport have been covered, for example, in the lavishly illustrated Tempelhof - Der Flughafen im Herzen Berlins (Helmut Trunz, GeraMond Verlag, Germany, 2008) or in Flughafen Tempelhof - Berlins Tor zur Welt (Frank Schmitz, be.bra verlag GmbH, Germany, 1997), to name but two of many. The truly excellent Flughafen Tempelhof: Chronik des Berliner Werkes der "Weser" Flugzeugbau GmbH, Bremen - Bau der Kriegsflugzeuge Ju 87 Stuka und FW 190, 1939 - 1945 (F.-Herbert Wenz, Stedinger Verlag, Germany, 2000), on the other hand, is an exhaustive look at wartime aircraft production at the site.

Notwithstanding the large number of publications on Tempelhof airport, Elke Dittrich's Der Flughafen Tempelhof in Entwurfszeichnungen und Modellen, 1939-1944 [Tempelhof Airport in Design Drafts And Models, 1939-1944] is a fascinating little booklet. In spite of containing a mere 36 pages, it's crammed full of information, drawings, and photos. Following a brief introduction and a look at the plans for the rebuilding of Berlin, Dittrich chronicles the evolution of the designs for the new airport in the capital of the Third Reich. An abundance of drawings and photos illustrates the text (some of them previously unpublished), further enhanced by beautifully detailed captions.

Dittrich's text is partially based on her earlier extensive research on Tempelhof airport's architect Ernst Sagebiel, and it also investigates the impact of the involvement of the German air ministry (RLM) and the General Building Inspector for the Capital of the Reich, Albert Speer. While highlighting the correlation between the desires for functionality and political representation, she thankfully refrains from delving into the usual stereotypes. Instead, the reader is provided with facts and information.

Elke Dittrich's Der Flughafen Tempelhof in Entwurfszeichnungen und Modellen, 1939-1944 focuses almost exclusively on the planning and design of Tempelhof airport during the Third Reich, leaving the exploration of its subsequent operations and history to works by other authors. As such, however, it is simply magnificent.