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Reviewed by James Hatch
The Focke Wulf Fw 56 St?sser (Goshawk) was a single-engine, high-wing monoplane advanced trainer, built in the 1930s in Germany.t was developed, in accordance with a request by the Reich Air Ministry for an advanced fighter trainer, by Kurt Tank, chief engineer with Focke-Wulf. It was also considered for possible use as a home defence fighter. The first prototype flew for the first time in November 1933. A second prototype had some modifications made to the fuselage, and metal rather than wooden wings for flight testing. The third prototype, which flew in February 1934, reverted to the wooden wing and satisfied the technical designers. After comparison flights in 1935 against its two competitors - the Arado Ar 76 and the Heinkel He 74 - the Air Ministry ordered production to begin. A few were sold for private use, for instance to Gerd Achgelis, who later founded the helicopter company Focke-Achgelis with Henrich Focke. Ernst Udet, an advocate of the use of dive bombers, tested the second prototype - Fw 56 V2 - in this role, and on his recommendation the development of dive bombers was given greater attention.
The Fw 56 was a high-wing aircraft with a fuselage of steel tubes, clad in metal at the front, and canvas elsewhere. The wing was of wood, clad mostly in plywood, while the trailing edge was covered with fabric. The three-point undercarriage was fixed and possessed a tail skid. Although only 1000 were built, the Fw 56 had numerous operators, including Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, The Netherlands, and of course her native Germany. (Wikipedia)
Inside the box, the resin components are protected by a sheet of bubblewrap, carefully wrapping around all parts. Within, the resin fuselage and engine cowl are dry-assembled with some nifty Lukgraph-printed tape pieces, and there are two zip-lock wallets. One of these contains the wing, aileron and wing connection parts, whilst the other holds the rest of the parts, neatly bagged into smaller re-sealable wallets. Decals are printed over two sheets and a narrow strip, protected by a plastic sleeve, and a single fret of PE parts is placed in a small packet along with a self-adhesive sticker for the instrument panel (to fit behind the PE fascia), and some small pieces of acetate for the windscreen. An attractive, colour-printed manual completes the contents….well, almost. Included in this pack are two of the schemes, printed on a high quality vellum-style paper, and each of them is personally dedicated to me! That really is a personal touch that I’ve never seen in any other kit release, ever.