The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch

The First STOL Aircraft

Jan Forsgren

The innovative Fi 156 was the progenitor of today's STOL aircraft. Operated in large by the German Luftwaffe, it also saw service with more than 20 other air arms. Post-war, the Fi 156 continued in production in Czechoslovakia and France. Many were used in French Indochina. Today, the Fi 156 is a highly valued vintage aircraft.
Date Published :
March 2021
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
160 color and black & white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558133
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9.76 X 6.77 inches
Stock Status : In stock


First flown in May 1936, the Fieseler Fi 156, or, as it was better known, Storch (Stork), was designed in answer to a request from the German Luftwaffe for a short range reconnaissance aircraft. For its time, the Fi 156 had amazing performance and flight characteristics, what today is known as STOL (Short Take Off and Landing). It could take off from a lawn considerably smaller than a football field. During the Second World War, the ubiquitous Storch was the airborne eyes of the German Wehrmacht (Army), also being used on daring rescue missions, including the rescue of the Italian dictator Mussolini. The last flight out of Berlin was made in a Storch. Many were sold to Germany's allies, while one was used by Churchill after D-Day to observe the progress of the invasion. Others were used by the RAF as squadron 'hacks', with one being flown off an aircraft carrier. The STOL concept was copied by many countries, including France, Japan and the USSR. Post-war, production continued in Czechoslovakia, France and Romania, with more than 3,000 being built. Some are still flying.

About The Author

Jan Forsgren has an MA in History and is the author of five books including two in English. He has written hundreds of aviation-related articles for various aviation magazines, including 'Aeroplane', 'The Aviation Historian' and 'FlyPast'. He has also written articles on the Air Forces in Southeast Asia that are available on For Fonthill he has written ‘Sink the Beast: the 1944 RAF Lancaster Raids’, a work on the demise of the battleship Tirpitz.


Preface; Gerhard Fieseler; Fieseler Fi 156C Technical Description; RLM Specification; Fieseler Fi 156 Variants; The Competitors; Trials and Tribulations; In Luftwaffe Service; The Fieseler Fi 256; Imitations and Look-alikes; Post-war Storch Influences; Modern Clones and Ultralights; Foreign Operators; Preservation; Flying the Storch; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.


"Forsgren is a skilled writer. His work is well organized, and his narrative style is smooth. The book is a high-quality product on high-quality paper that shows most images crisply. This book is a great tool for the researcher diving deeper into the Storch."

- Air Power History

"For anyone interested in one of Nazi Germany’s most overlooked success stories, this book provides a truly comprehensive treatment...a fascinating study of a fascinating airplane."

- Aviation History Magazine

More from this publisher