Focke-Achgelis Fa 186
German helicopter development began with Focke Wulf’s acquisition of the rights to manufacture Cierva autogyros during the 1920’s. Over 30 Cierva C.19 and C.30 autogyros were built during the late twenties and early thirties, and from this experience, Heinrich Focke, the engineering half of the Focke Wulf organization, decided to develop an original autogyro design to compete in the Luftwaffe’s contest to provide a utility-liaison aircraft. The Fa 186 was a one-man autogyro built by Focke-Wulf in 1937 with backing from the RLM (ReichsLuftfahrtMinisterium - Reich Aviation Ministry).
The Fa-186 was essentially a FW-56 “Stosser” parasol wing advanced trainer, with the wings removed, tail unit and landing gear redesigned and configured for two seats in tandem. The engine remained unchanged, with a clutch arrangement installed to start the blades rotating for takeoff. An autogyro uses the main powerplant for forward thrust while the rotors freewheel in flight. The aircraft could take off and land in very short distances, but it could not hover or take off and land vertically. Although the Fa-186 was successfully flown it was beaten out by the Fieseler Fi-156 Storch for the Luftwaffe contract. Only one prototype of the aircraft was constructed, and the project was abandoned when the RLM preferred the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch over the Fw 186.
The ilmavoimat / Maavoimat team did evaluate the Fa-186 very early in 1938, and while it was considered not suitable for the intended role and was removed from consideration, one of the Maavoimat Officers on the evaluation team (who was also familiar with the Glider Program underway) considered the gyrocopter interesting enough to recommend further discussions with the FockeWulf company to his own immediate Command.
Engine: Argus As 10C, 240 hp
Maximum speed: 112 mph