Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Friedrich Etrich Taube

Friedrich Etrich Taube
Germany
pioneer era plane
1932



  • Technical data


Span 14.22 m
Length 9.85 m
Take-off weight 700 kg
Maximum speed 96 km/h
Ceiling
Range
Armament
Powerplant :
6-cylinder inline liquid-cooled Mercedes D II rated at 120 hp (82 kW)

 

Built by a German aviation pioneer, a replica of an aeroplane inspired by a palm tree seed.

A copy of a Taube aircraft, originally constructed in 1910 by an Austrian Igo Etrich. The shape of the Taube's wings was modelled after a winged seed of a palm tree of the species Zanonia macrocarpa. This design feature translated to excellent flying characteristics. The plane gained significant popularity and was manufactured by several German companies (facilitated by the fact that German patent office refused to issue a patent for the Taube). The aircraft was involved in many pioneering flights and following the outbreak of the First World War it had served prominently in the air forces of the Central Powers (notably in the defense of Tsingtao, 1914) until better aircraft became available. The Taube had made its combat debut even earlier, when an Italian pilot attacked Turkish positions with small bombs and pistol fire in 1911 during the war for Libya.

One of German pioneers of aviation who flew on Taube was Alfred Friedrich. He received his pilot license no. 149 from German Flyers' Union in 1912 after passing his exam on a Wright aeroplane over Berlin-Johannisthal airfield. Subsequently he took a position in a flying school run by the AFG aircraft manufacturing company. Friedrich's first major accomplishment as a pilot took place on 5 December 1912, when he set a German record in flight duration: 5 hrs 10 min. Next Summer he made a long distance flight from Berlin to Insterburg (East Prussia) with only two intermediate landings, a significant feat for the time. On 5 July 1913 a Taube aeroplane with Friedrich at the controls and dr. H. Elias (a popular balloon pilot) as a passenger took off from Berlin for a flight to Paris. After they had reached the capital of France, H. Elias was replaced by the plane's designer Igo Etrich himself and the crew took off for London. On 20 September they landed back in Berlin, having completed an impressive 'flight of five countries', stopping in Paris, London, Antwerpen, Nijmegen and Hannover on their way.

After the conclusion of World War I A. Friedrich established a small aircraft factory called Flugzeugbau Alte Adler based in Strausberg near Berlin. The company was into building copies of wartime aircraft answering demands from film industry, among others. In 1932 Friedrich built a copy of the 1913 Taube, however with a modified landing gear. The aircraft was certified as airworthy and registered as D-EFRI. It featured in various air shows before retiring to Deutsche Luftfahrtsammlung (German Aviation Collection). Damaged in an air raid, it was evacuated to Western Poland and abandoned there. Discovered by Polish army in 1945, it was subsequently moved to Krakow, where an aviation museum was being established. The Taube is displayed in its wrecked but purely authentic form, just as it has survived to this day. The engine is shown separately next to the plane.

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