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Friedrichshafen FF54

Страна: Германия

Год: 1917

Fighter

Friedrichshafen - FF53 - 1917 - Германия<– –>Friedrichshafen - N.I - 1917 - Германия


O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)


Friedrichshafen D Type
  Built during 1917, this quadruplane (vierdecker) was a purely experimental machine and by no means successful, for it crashed on its first flight. The engine was a 160 h.p. Mercedes D III, and the three-ply skinned fuselage bore unmistakable Albatros resemblance.


W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


FRIEDRICHSHAFEN FF 54 Germany

  The Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen specialised in the design of robust seaplanes and sturdy bombers, proving unsuccessful in attempting to produce lightweight structures needed for small single-seat fighters. The FF 54, designed by Dipl-Ing van Gries, proved no more successful than preceding warplanes of this type from the Manzell factory, albeit less conventional in design approach. The FF 54 was conceived as a single-seat quadruplane powered by a 160 hp Mercedes D IIIa water-cooled engine and armed with two synchronised 7,92-mm MG 08/15 machine guns. The two narrow-chord middle wings were mounted on the centreline and baseline of the fuselage with little gap, interconnected between themselves and the bottom wing by broad, aerofoil-section interplane struts. On 31 October 1917, the FF 54 was in final assembly with flight testing anticipated within 3-4 weeks. When this began, however, the quadruplane arrangement proved unsuccessful and, in April 1918, the prototype was rebuilt as a triplane, changes being restricted to removal of the lower middle wing and redesign of the vertical tail surfaces. Flight testing of the FF 54 in its revised form began in May 1918, and continued until the following September, when a crash resulted in abandonment of further work on the aircraft. No data are available for the FF 54 in either quadruplane or triplane form.


J.Herris Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 21)


Friedrichshafen FF54

  The FF54 was Friedrichshafen's response to the Triplane Craze at Idflieg. Designed by Dipl.-Eng. van Gries, it was a single-seat fighter quadraplane powered by the typical 170 hp Mercedes D.IIIa engine and intended to be armed with the two machine guns standard for German fighters.
  The narrow-chord middle wings were mounted to the fuselage with a narrow gap, and the interplane struts between the lower three wings were of broad, airfoil section to reduce drag. The conventional interplane struts between the top wing and upper middle wing were doubtless used to avoid obscuring the pilot's field of view. Flight testing was planned for late November 1917 but the exact date is unknown.
  Flight testing soon showed the quadraplane configuration was not successful, and in April 1918 the FF54 was rebuilt as a triplane by removing the lower middle wing and revising the vertical tail surfaces. Renewed flight testing of the FF54 in triplane form began in May 1918, but after a crash in September 1918 the program was terminated. Friedrichshafen was successful designing bombers and floatplanes, but not single-engine landplanes.

Friedrichshafen FF54 Specifications
Engine: 170 hp Mercedes D.IIIa

J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF54 prototype in original configuration.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The FF 54 in its original quadruplane form as tested late 1917
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Friedrichshafen FF54 is shown here in its original quadraplane form. No doubt the narrow gap between the pair of middle wings created airflow interference between them and contributed to the aircraft's failure. The lower middle wing was then removed and the vertical tail redesigned for renewed flight testing as a triplane. However, the FF54 was not successful as a triplane either. There is some information that indicates the FF54 was also known as the D.III, but that is not confirmed, nor is there any information on an intermediate Friedrichshafen D.II design. No specifications or performance information on the FF54 has survived.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The FF54 after conversion to a triplane in April 1918. The revised rudder design is clearly shown.
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
The Friedrichshafen FF54 is shown here after the lower-middle wing was removed, converting it from a quadraplane to a triplane. (Peter M. Bowers Collection, Museum of Flight)
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF54
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF54
J.Herris - Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI /Centennial Perspective/
FF54