DFS Habicht

DFS Habicht

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DFS Habicht

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The DFS Habicht (German: "Hawk") was designed in 1936 by Hans Jacobs as an unlimited aerobatic sailplane, with support provided by the Deutsche-Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug. Four planes were made available for the Olympic Games of 1936, where the evolutions of the Habicht over and literally inside the Olympic stadium enthralled spectators.

The flight qualities of the Habicht were praised by pilots including Hanna Reitsch. It participated in many airshows abroad before the war, including the 1938 National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio.

Modified versions of the Habicht, dubbed the Stummel Habicht ("Stumpy Hawk") were used to train pilots to land the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered fighter. The Me 163 was designed to use its entire load of fuel to reach combat altitude and then return to the ground as a glider. However, the landing speed of around 200 km/h (125 mph) posed a special challenge for pilots. Trainees therefore began on a Stummel Habicht on which the original Habicht's 13.6-metre (44 ft 7 in) gull wings had been replaced with straight wings of 8-metre (26 ft 3 in) span, and then progressed to another version with a 6-metre (19 ft 8 in) span.

Few Habichts survived the II World War. There is one machine, flown by famous French aerobatic pilot Marcel Doret, in the Musée de l'Air in Paris. Another, with the...
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