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1/72 Focke Achgelis 330 Fa-330

The first observation helicopter

by Tigre del Aire


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The Focke Achgelis 330 is considered the first helicopter for observation, the strange aspect of this model is that IT DID NOT HAVE AN ENGINE and rose by means of the action of the winds in the sea.

Since there is no availability of this type of model in Colombia, I built it with pieces of sprue, a chair that exceeded of a kit and a remaining pilot of another kit.

Click on images below to see larger images



The Fa 330 Bachstelze was a marvel of the design, simple and effective, all his structure weighed scarcely 81 kilograms and consisted of a lone pipe of steel to which all the parts were welded. The diameter of the disc of the rotor was 7,31 m. Supporting a load of 365 kg, including the pilot.

It relied on a exposed seat where there was a seated pilot and a tail unit that was included a stabilizer, a drift and a helm of direction.  In front of the pilot was a panel of instruments that included a compass, tacometer electrically and a telephone to communicate with the submarine that was towing this aircraft.

All this structure was resting on a few skids that allowed the helicopter to land on the submarine.  Nevertheless one of the most peculiar features they were the blades of the rotor that had an ingenious device that allowed thenm to incline to alter his angle of effect.

The flight of the Bachstelze happened when the submarine was sailing in the surface, the rotor was first spun by hand by the pilot to acquire the initial rotation, which then was continued by air flow produced by the moving submarine.  Next the device would rise as if it was a kite hanging at the end of a cable that was anchored to the submarine and was kept airborne by the movement of the ship.

Upon completion of the observation mission, the helicopter was lowered by means of a wheel and dismantled for storage.  Inside the bucket of the rotor, there was a brake in the center to immobilize the blades when it (he) was gathered and guarded.

On the other hand the Bachstelze relied on a device for emergency descent if the submarine needed to submerge quickly.  The pilot of the helicopter had a lever to release the rotor from the frame of the aircraft.  A parachute was located in the rear part of the mast and was activated automatically as the pilot gave up the safety belt and the whole fuselage was fell to the sea.

The pieces of sprue were cut away carefully bearing in mind the measurements of a photography diminished to scale 1:72, later assembled the whole set and it made up since like it appears in another image of the real device

Technical specifications

Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Bachstelze

  • Type: Helicopter of recognition and observation
  • Construction: Focke-Achgelis Flugzeugbau
  • First flight: 1942
  • Motive plant: it did not have


  • Diameter of the rotor: 7,32 m
  • Length: 4,42 m
  • Surface disc of the rotor: 42,00 m
  • Weight empty: 81 kg


  • Relative speed of the air flow: among 30 and 40 km/h
  • Roof: 120 m
  • Crew: 1.


Greetings from Colombia, the earth of Juan Valdez

Saludos desde Colombia, la tierra de Juan Valdez

Tigre del Aire

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Photos and text by Tigre del Aire


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