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 DAN DAVIS


Focke-Wulf "Rochen"

(1939)

Above. Illustration of Focke Wulf "Rochen".



Towards the last years of the Third Reich, Heinrich Focke started design work on the Rochen, also known as

Schnellflugzeug, as soon as he had the relevant data for the new German jet engines . In 1939, he patented the

idea of a circular aircraft with a large airfoil section and an open center that acted as a huge propeller duct for twin 

contra-rotating propellers, driven by a projected Focke-Wulf designed turbopjet engine via an axle and gearbox.

The Fw-Rochen would have achieved forward flight by vectoring the downwash from the propellers rearward 

through a series of louvers below them. The louvers themselves could also be completely closed for gliding flight

in the event of engine failure. The exhaust nozzle forked in two at the end of the turbojet engine and ended in two 

auxiliary combustion chambers located on the trailing edges of the circular wing. When fuel was added, the

auxiliary combustion chambers acted as primitive afterburners, providing horizontal flight. Control at low speed

was achieved by varying the power to each auxiliary chamber through two small nozzles.


The landing gear was very simple, consisting of the two main gear legs on either side of the central propellers and
a small tailwheel.


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Above. Illustrations of Focke Wulf "Rochen".