The Flettner FL 282 Kolibri is stated to have been the first production helicopter put into operations. The helicopter was designed by Anton Flettner of Germany and was a single seat inter-meshing rotor type helicopter. Powered by an Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine, requiring maintenance every 400 hours, the first prototype was flown in 1941. This included takeoff and landings from a pad mounted on the German cruiser Köln. The proposed use for the FL 282 was to be a reconnaissance role and to ferry items between ships, but as the war progress it was seen that there could be a battle field use. The Luftwaffe did use three later variants with a spotter position added for artillery spotting. Unfortunately with BMW contracted for 1000 units the factory was destroyed by Allied bombing with only 24 helicopters delivered.
A new kit from MiniArt
, the first in 1/35 scale that I know of, has produced the Flettner FL282 V6, which is stated to have been a later prototype variant.
8 Plastic sprues
1 Clear Plastic sprue
1 Photo-Etched fret
1 Sheet of Decals
1 Instruction Sheets
Well thanks to the Royal Mail, my box arrived a little mangled, but inside the parts had survived, as all the sprues packaged together were off to one side. As the sprues in the box don't look to be much, but there are a lot of finer parts on them. A review of the sprues showed some good looking moldings, but I did find with some of the finer tube framing that there were prominent seams, almost like the molds were not completly aligned. Other then that all else looked good, with no sink marks or ejector marks that will show after assembly.
As stated, a lot of kit is made up of fine "tube" framing, and MiniArt
looks to have done a decent job replicating this. A lot of care will be need to remove from the sprue and clean up before assembly. The rear fuselage and tail parts look very nice with great looking doped fabric appearance.
does include a small fret of photo-etched parts, mostly for the transfer case and internal panel framing. Also there are seat belts for the seat, which is a nice touch, as it is a completely "open" cockpit.
The engine components look nice, with great looking rib details on the radial engine. What is not included is wiring for the engine, which would have been nice to include on the photo-etched fret.
has provided a color instruction booklet that looks to be well laid out with 12 pages. The assembly is spread out over 32 steps, including some sub-assemblies. These do look relatively easy to follow. The kit includes markings for four aircraft as follows:
- On Board Minelayter "Drache". Treiste, Adriatic Sea, November 1942
- Tests, Floating Base, Travemunde, Lubeck Bay, Baltic Sea, August 1942
- On Board Minelayter "Drache". Treiste, Adriatic Sea, January 1943
- On Board Anti-Submarine Ship KUJ 13, Baltic Sea April/May 1943
I did notice that all marking versions use the same identification lettering, of which I can only assume the is was the same helicopter based on different deployments. The decals look to be very well printed, and includes decals for the instrumentation.