11/30/2010. The Flugwissenschaftliche Vereinigung Aachen (FVA, Aeronautical Association Aachen), that was formed in 1920, has designed and built a number of aircraft and sailplanes, including the FVA-18 Primitivkrähe (Primitive Crow).
Design of the FVA-18 started in 1958, and construction of the prototype began in the following year. Registered D-EFVA and powered by a 36.5 hp Pollmann HEPU KFM 40/3500-48 (40 hp modified Volkswagen) engine, driving a Hoffmann fixed-pitch two-blade wooden propeller, the first flight was made on September 16, 1965. Certification in a restricted category was granted by the LBA (Luftfahrt-Bundesambt, Federal Aviation Agency) on September 23, 1968.
The FVA-18 tandem two-seat lightweight cabin monoplane had a fuselage of welded steel-tube structure with fabric covering. The tubular strutted wing was of all-wood I-section single-spar structure, with plywood skin extending back from leading-edge to spar, and fabric covering aft of spar. The conventional ailerons were of wooden construction with fabric covering, and had no flaps nor trim tabs. The wire-braced tail unit was of welded steel-tube structure, and had a fixed-incidence tail plane, with a manually-adjustable trim tab on elevators.
The Pollmann engine had a persistent overheating problem, eventually it was re-engined with a 60 hp Limbach. Redesignated FVA-18b Primitivkrähe, it was first flown on May 17, 1972. The lightweight aircraft had soaring qualities which were demonstrated to the public at an Oldtimer meeting at Dortmund-Wickede. While flying at 492 ft (150 m) the engine was switched off and the aircraft climbed, while circling the airfield, to a height of 1,476 ft (450 m). Soon thereafter the aircraft had an undercarriage mishap and was stored, its registration was cancelled June 9, 1972.
Subsequently the aircraft was sold to Albert Wettig, who started a rebuild in 1977. The wings received a new spar, extra tanks were fitted in the wings, and an 80 hp Limbach 2000 engine was fitted. Registered again as D-EFVA in December 1984, and redesignated FVA-18/3 Silberkrähe (Silver Crow) the aircraft wrecked its undercarriage and propeller on its first flight. Repairs took another half year until the aircraft could be flown again. Shortly thereafter Wettig's flying license wasn't prolonged, and the aircraft was sold. Subsequently it was stored, and its registration was cancelled April 16, 1993.
In 1996 the aircraft was bought by Joachim Mahrholdt who refurbished the aircraft with modern equipment, new seating and many other refinements. It finally flew again in 1998, and is still in use as of this day. View also photo