Were There Helicopters In WW2?

Were There Helicopters In WW2? | World War Wings Videos

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When you think about helicopters used in warfare, WWII is probably not the first thing that pops up in your mind. That’s because the use of helicopters in combat wasn’t really seen until the Korean War. But did you know the German forces actually utilized helicopters during the war?

Germany’s Early Helicopters

In 1936, the Germans introduced the Focke-Wulf Fw 61. It featured two large rotors that were mounted on either side of the fuselage, and the engine also had a traditional propeller like other aircraft of its era.

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Only two of these ended up being built and would be used during the war a few years later. 

Then, in 1940, the Fa-223 Drache (Dragon) was introduced. It featured two three-bladed rotors, 40 ft in length, and a fully enclosed cabin.

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Its main use was transportation, able to carry loads up to 1000 kgs.

Flattener Fl-282

Another interesting design was the Fl-282, and unlike the previous design, featured a single rotor above the fuselage. The Fl-282 would eventually be used to ferry items between ships.

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However, similar to the Dragon’s fate, its initial large orders would only see around 25 being built because of heavy Allied bombing.

Focke-Achgelis Fa 330

This one is not technically a helicopter, but a rotor-wing kite! It featured a single large three-bladed rotor.

It was specifically designed for the Kriegsmarine for U-boats. It was stored in the submarine and then brought on deck once it surfaced. 

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The Fa 330 had no traditional fuselage and once the single pilot climbed aboard, the airflow generated would guide it into to sky much like a kite.

This was tethered to the boat and reached heights around 120 ft.

Sikorsky R4

The Sikorsky R4 is a US design featuring a modern design of a large main rotor and a smaller tail rotor for stability. It had a maximum speed of 120 km or 75 mph.

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Only 130 of these helicopters were built, but they were used during the war, most of its flights taking place in the Far East.

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