BMW Flugelrad V.2 Luft '46 Nazi Flying Saucer Concept (1944)
About the Design
In the years following the Allies' victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, reports began to surface of numerous top-secret aircraft experiments having been conducted by the Germans in the closing years of the conflict. Some of these reports focused on the development of disc-shaped fighters, in effect compact autogyros with flat, fan-like blades spun by the exhaust of jet engines. Purportedly three flying disc prototypes were developed and tested by BMW at the Prag-Kbley aerodrome in occupied Czechoslovakia in experiments conducted between 1943 and 1945..
The second of these so-called "Flugelrads," the V-2, improved upon the crude, one-man V-1 by increasing its size to accommodate a second pilot, adding semi-retractable landing gear (The first version had fixed gear), and adding a tail rudder for stability. Reportedly flown briefly in the early autumn of 1944, the craft could only "hop" for a few yards at a time, and the tail proved functionally useless.
Development of the Flugelrads halted in 1945 as the Russian Army advanced on Czechoslovakia, and most of the documents pertaining to the project were destroyed. Whether those records that have surfaced since are authentic remains the subject of considerable controversy.
About the Kit
Planet Models produced both the V.1 and V.2 models of the BMW Flugelrad but not, unfortunately, the bomber-sized V.3. (That would ultimately be done by Unicraft several years later.) This multi-media kit featured a single circular wing, cockpit interior, tail, engine and landing gear, plus a clear vac canopy and undercarriage, and photo-etched brass engine details.
This model was built from an original issue.