|Fieseler Fi 156 Storch|
Eye of the Luftwaffe
|Class||Unarmed Air Recon|
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (in-game: Storch) is Germany's essential aerial recon when terrain is too exposed and enemy units being too concentrated to risk sending in ground reconnaissance units. However, the single-engine Storch is unarmed and fragile, being not much more than a metal capsule with wings.
The Germans required a liaison and observation aircraft that could take off from a very short runway, and the Storch was built to meet this requirement.
When the Storch was not in use, its wings could be unhinged and folded alongside the aircraft, so that it could be towed behind a vehicle or on a trailer. In flight, the Fi 156's long oil-and-spring shock absorber landing gear hung below the plane, giving the plane the appearance of a large, gangly bird. These two features eventually led to the Fi 156's codename: Storch, the German word for Stork.
The Storch was designed as a STOL aircraft; that is, a Short-Take-Off-and-Landing plane. So much so, that with low landing speed, the Storch would occasionally appear to be landing vertically (or even backwards!) in a strong headwind.