Kupper KR-1 Austria II
Страна: Австрия
Год: 1933

M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45

M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45


  At the 1932 Rhoen competitions on the Wasserkuppe, at which Kronfeld’s Austria flew and crashed, parts of a large two-seat sailplane designed by Dr Kuepper, were on display. This was the Kr 1 which became known as the Austria 2. In early 1933 Kronfeld began a series of publicity-seeking flight demonstrations. He took it on a tour of Italy, during which he soared over Vesuvius and visited Milan, Turin, and Rome. He carried out a number of long aero-towed flights to centres all over Europe, giving aerobatic displays.
  It is not known when the Austria 2 was retired, or scrapped. By May 1934 Kronfeld was flying the Kr 1A, the Austria 3. This was, to judge from the few photographs of the earlier type remaining, almost exactly the same although it must have been an improvement in some way. The most interesting feature was that the aircraft could be flown in two different configurations, with a span of either 20 or 14 metres. For aero-towing and demonstration aerobatics, Kronfeld used the small span, but for soaring the tips were fitted to extend the wing. The problem of transporting the outer wing panels was solved in a most ingenious manner and, so far as known, was quite unique. Inside the very broad and deep wing roots of the centre panels were built long padded tunnels, to carry the outer wings. The aileron had to be taken off, this was then slipped into the place made for it inside the plywood covered 'D'-nose of the main wing. The front section of the tip was then placed inside its own housing behind the mainspar. Enough aileron remained, on the inner wing, to give adequate control. In other respects the Austria 3 was of orthodox design and construction, although at that time there were very few high performance two-seat sailplanes with which to compare it. The second pilot sat in a cabin under the wing, with windows and access via a door. The front cockpit was neatly faired into the wing leading edge and was fully enclosed.
  Kronfeld was Jewish, which made life increasingly difficult as the National Socialists gained control in Germany and Austria. He left Austria for England, and took the Austria 3 with him. The Austria 3 apparently flew only once more, when Kronfeld was invited to a ceremony on the South Downs near Itford Hill, where the Southdown Gliding Club had opened a new clubhouse building. He gave passenger flights to visiting dignitaries, but then the sailplane was evidently retired for good. What became of it is unknown.
  Little technical information is known concerning the Austria 3, but in 1968 an apparently complete set of workshop drawings, consisting of many large sheets of plans for the Kr 1A, were discovered by the author among papers donated to the Russavia collection by Bill Kronfeld, Robert Kronfeld’s son. The general arrangement drawing given here is based on these.
KR-1a Austria 3