No. 7424. VFW-Fokker VAK 191B (D-9563, D-9564, D-9565)
Photograph from VFW-Fokker

VFW-Fokker VAK 191B

02/28/2008. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Federal German Ministry of Defense specification VAK 191B (Vertikal startendes Aufklärungs- und Kampfflugzeug, V/STOL reconnaissance and strike aircraft) initiated the Focke-Wulf design study Fw 1262. In 1963, Focke-Wulf started the development, that was continued by the new Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW) company, when Focke-Wulf and Weser Flugzeugbau merged later that year (to be joined by Heinkel on January 1, 1964).

In July 1965 an agreement was signed by the Defense Ministers of Germany and Italy, and VFW and Fiat joint forces to further develop the VAK 191B. By the time the first untethered hovering trial took place at Bremen on September 10, 1971, Italy had withdrawn from the project in February 1968, further the VAK 191B was destined to continue as a research aircraft when funds for the program were diverted to the British/German/Italian MRCA (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft), while on January 1, 1969 VFW had become VFW-Fokker. The second aircraft made its first free hover on October 2, 1971, also at Bremen.

Slung beneath a Sikorsky Skycrane, the first prototype was ferried to the Federal Armed Forces Test Center at Manching near Munich. There the first transition from vertical flight to horizontal and vice versa took place on October 26, 1972. Only 35 days later (November 30) the Federal German Ministry of Defense terminated the support for the program.

One prototype is preserved at the Wehrtechnischen Studiensammlung der Bundeswehr in Koblenz, a second is preserved at the Deutsches Museum at Schleißheim near Munich."

Created February 28, 2008