Moraine-Saulnier MS-500 Criquet (Fiesler F1 156C Storch)
The Fiesler Storch was introduced in 1936 as a short take-off and landing liaison aircraft and battlefield scout for the German Luftwaffe. The Storch, or Stork, proved to be one of the best aircraft of its type in any air force during World War II and was used extensively wherever German troops fought. Factories in both France and Czechoslovakia built Fi 156s for the Luftwaffe; in fact, more were produced in France than in Germany. After the liberation of France, the Moraine-Saulnier Company continued to produce Storks, under the designation MS-500. Production of these aircraft continued until 1949.
The aircraft in the collection of the Pima Air & Space Museum appears to have been built in 1947 and served with the French Air Force in Vietnam. For some time after that it carried the French civilian registration F-BJQH. In 1974, Geert E. Frank imported it to the United States along with several others. It was sold to the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation of Chino, California in 1975. The aircraft was loaned to the Air Heritage Museum in Texas in 1990 for restoration and in 2004 MARC transferred the aircraft to the Pima Air & Space Museum for completion of the restoration and display. Pima purchased the aircraft from MARC in 2015. The aircraft has been restored to represent a Storch flown by the Italian Regia Aeronautica in North Africa in 1940.
|Wingspan||46 ft 9 in.||
|Length||32 ft 6 in.||
|Height||9 ft 10 in.||
|Weight||2,910 lb (loaded)||
|Max. Speed||109 MPH||
|Service Ceiling||15,000 ft||
|Engines||One Argus As-10C, eight cylinder with 240 horsepower||
Italian Air Force, North Africa, 1940