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Flight Fantastic ......... a 1930s Aerobatic Champion

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Thank you very much for this information, @Roger Holden.



Basically the method 'pioneered' by Harry Woodman in his classic 1970s book ' Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card'.


Should you be interested, Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card is available at the RCLibrary website, 'a collection of old-time modeller books and periodicals, held online as PDF files for free download.' Fabulous!

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On 09/04/2022 at 23:04, Roger Holden said:

Germany’s Gerhard Fieseler was one of the most important figures in the history of aerobatics. He dominated the formative era of European competition aerobatics from 1926-34, a period which saw it evolve into a disciplined sport, in which a series of pre-determined figures were performed and given scores by judges, according to degree of difficulty and precision of execution. 


Aerobatic competition was the second phase of Fieseler’s remarkable aviation career. He began as a fighter pilot in WW1, where he became the top scoring fighter ace in the Turkish theatre with 19 victories, where he acquired the nickname ‘Tiger of Macedonia’.  Some of his victories were scored in second-rate types like the Roland DII, which perhaps gives some indication of his proficiency as a pilot.


After the war, he became involved in sporting aviation, one of the few fields left open to German pilots after the limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty. He was test pilot for the small Raab-Katzenstein company and flew modified versions of their sporting biplanes in his early contests, winning the German aerobatic championship 4 times in the late 20s/ early 30s, as well as performing at demonstrations throughout Europe. A significant factor in this success was his pioneering development of an inverted fuel system which permitted sustained inverted flight and negative ‘g’ manoeuvres.


By the early 30s, Raab-Katzenstein was experiencing financial difficulties, so he decided to strike out on his own and build a new aircraft, optimised for aerobatics. To that end, he used his competition winnings to acquire a small maker of sailplanes in his home town of Kassel, along with the services of their designer, Emil Arnolt. The Fieseler F2 Tiger was the result, the first aircraft in the world designed specifically for aerobatics. It had an extremely robust structure, designed for the highest ‘g’ manoeuvres, but was consequently heavy and needed more power than was available from the low-powered German engines, leading him to select a 400 hp Czech Walter Pollux. The plane had marginal stability about all 3 axes and Fieseler refused to allow any other pilot to fly it on safety grounds. A cramped second cockpit behind the pilot was incorporated, in which Fieseler’s trusty mechanic rode with him to events across Europe, with his legs wedged on either side of the pilot’s seat. Another interesting innovation was the ‘sunburst’ marking used on the top wing, known at the time as ‘Fieselerstreifen’ (= Fieseler’s stripes) and widely copied by aerobatic or sporting aircraft the world over, ever since....


Fieseler used the Tiger to great effect, winning the 1932 & 33 German aerobatics championships, the 1933 European championship and finally, the crowning achievement of his career, the first World Aerobatics Championship held in Vincennes, France, in June 1934. His main competition in the international events came from Frenchmen Marcel Doret and Michel Detroyat, whom he usually managed to narrowly beat. After this victory, he announced his retirement from aerobatic competition to concentrate on aircraft manufacture, the final phase of his career, which lead eventually to his best-known creations the Storch and V-1 flying bomb. The F2 Tiger was retired to a museum in Berlin, which it occupied with many historic German aircraft from WW1 and the pioneer era. All were sadly destroyed by RAF bombing in November 1943.


Some nice films of the Tiger in action are seen here, with Fieseler executing some of his hallmark manoeuvres. Good also to hear the rather rare Walter engine :




Here is my 1/72 model in its 1933 season markings, scratchbuilt (apart from the modified resin engine) in plastic sheet. It's a small model, with a wingspan of around 4.5 in (11cm) :


































Some WiPs:









Walter Pollux IId and Schwarz propeller:




Fieseler and mechanic :




Very nice indeed



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  • 3 weeks later...

Absolutely eyecatching




Superb build and finish



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9 hours ago, ColinChipmunkfan said:

Thank you for all the fascinating history as well, none of which I knew.


Thanks Colin. Yes, I have a passion for the history, too and like to convey some of that....

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Highly impressive scratchbuild project Roger, looks perfect 👍. Inspirational to see such a good finish produced with raw materials and skill. 

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Absolutely stunning little beast and how great it is to see some of the olde scratch-building techniques being used to such effect. A beautifully built and finished model - well done!!

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Wow, and wow again.  Add top-draw finishing to first class scratchbuilding and you’ve got an absolute little gem like this.  Inspiring.

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