The Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri (“Hummingbird”) is a single-seat open
cockpit intermeshing rotor helicopter produced by Anton Flettner of
Germany. The Fl 282 was undoubtedly Anton Flettner’s most successful
helicopter development. Prototype testing finished by July of 1940 when
the helicopter entered service.
In 1942 German Navy began testing of FI 282. The FI 282 was found to
have good handling in good and bad weather, with stable flight
characteristics in all conditions whilst also being quite maneuverable.
Several tests involved rough conditions at sea including landing in
harsh conditions which the Kolibri proved itself a capable and reliable
In 1942 a total of twenty prototypes were in testing. Based on the
prototypes’ success, plans to manufacture 1000 helicopters were
approved; however these were never built in such numbers due to the
allied bombing of the Flettner and BMW factories.
By 1943, twenty-four Fl 282s were been built, with twenty used by the
Kriegsmarine for convoy protection in the Mediterranean and Aegean
seas. Unfortunately, little is known of the operational deployment of
the machine during that time. It is also known that
Luft-Transportstaffel 40had at least three Fl 282s (and also three Focke
Achgelis Fa 223s) at its disposal, based at Ainring in April 1945. It
was possibly one of this unit’s Fl 282s that flew gauleiter Hanke out of
besieged Breslau just before the capture of that city.
Only three FI 282’s were discovered by the Allies in a serviceable
condition at the end of the war. All of the others had been lost in
service or destroyed or disassembled to prevent capture of their
technology. Of these three machines Fl 282 V15 and V23 were taken to the
USA, with a third FI 282 V16 being claimed by the USSR. Examples known
to have survived are the Fl 282 (c/n 28368) at the Cranfield Institute
of Technology, and the Fl 282 V23 at the United States Air Force Museum,
Dayton, Ohio. The one which was captured by USSR is displayed in Moscow
at the Aviation Institute (National Research University).