Air Pictorial 1999-10
Fliegermuseum: Switzerland's famous Dubendorf collection
Tucked away in one of the side halls is a group of Second World War types with a Bf 108 suspended above a Bf 109E (below right), an F+W C-3603-1 reconnaissance/attack aircraft (centre), and a Morane-Saulnier MS.506C-1 (left) which was built in Switzerland under licence as the D-3801.
In 1947, Switzerland bought 130 ex-USAF North American P-51D Mustangs at the knock-down price of $4,000 per aircraft. The type served for nine years before being replaced by the DH Venom and one of the survivors is J-2113.
A full-size diorama showing an engine change on a DH Venom Mk 1R. The aircraft was one of 24 operated in the reconnaissance role for which it was equipped with underwing camera pods.
Entrance to the Museum der Fliegertruppen with the glass fibre DH Venom J-1126. Although supplies of this twin-boom fighter-bomber were plentiful when the type was withdrawn, the museum realised that, given Switzerland’s harsh winters, corrosion and deterioration would be a problem, so opted for this realistic model.
A unique exhibit is the FFA N20 Aiguillon (Sting) tailless fighter-bomber prototype. Power­ed by four Armstrong-Siddeley Mamba axial turbojets, which turned out to be woefully lacking in thrust, this sole example made some short hops at Emmen on April 8, 1952, but no actual flights were undertaken and the project was subsequently cancelled. The rear view shows the thrust-reverser slots in the top surface of the wing and the buried exhausts which incorporated additional outlets for reheat aimed at doubling the normal thrust to 3,300 lb per engine.
One of the fine replicas in the museum is the Hafeli DH-1 two-seat, twin-boom reconnaissance aircraft. The original was designed in 1916 by August Hafeli, a former engineer with Germany’s AGO company, hence the DH-1’s close similarity with the AGO C-I, but the aircraft was not a success, three of the six aircraft produced being wrecked within a few months of service-entry. The others had been retired by 1920.
Another replica of a little-known type is of the Hafeli DH-5. Built in two series, the example on display is the later variant with a 200 hp LFW 1 engine. Designed for recce and training, 59 were produced from 1922 and served until 1940.