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Focke-Wulf "Triebflügel"




Planet Models


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 075
Scale: 1/48
Price: USD$49.96 from Squadron.com
Contents and Media: 41 parts in cream coloured resin, 1 x vac form canopy
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Its different! Simple construction; minimal cleanup for major parts; major characteristics are present.
Disadvantages: Sketchy instructions; some soft detail; challenging alignment for some parts (eg getting five wheels to sit flat on the ground); solid clamshell doors for stabilising wheels.
Recommendation: Recommended for experienced resin modelers with an interest in "Luftwaffe '46".


Reviewed by Brett Green




The very existence of models of projected German WWII aircraft seems to get some people worked-up. 

Even so, there is a strong market for these "Luftwaffe '46" kits. Taking a flight of fancy with a unique-looking model that is not subject to the same reference scrutiny as production aircraft is certainly an appealing idea. It is also fascinating to see some of these amazing designs leap from the draftsman's table to a three-dimensional model.

Planet Models have firmly planted their flag in the Luftwaffe '46 camp. Their latest 1/48 scale offering is the remarkable Focke-Wulf Triebflügel design. 

The Triebflügel was a concept for a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) high-speed fighter originating in September 1944. Three wings ringed the mid-fuselage. These acted as a giant propeller for the fighter, with initial rotation provided by one Walter rocket on each wing, and controlled thrust then applied from three Ramjets. The pilot sat in a fully reclined position when the aircraft was on the ground and during take-off and landing. Putting this aircraft on the ground would have required a remarkable amount of skill and nerve!

Although the concept seems fanciful, the 1954 Convair VTOL XFY-1 "Pogo" possessed many of the characteristics of the Triebflügel, and did undertake extensive testing before being abandoned due to piloting difficulties.





Planet Models' 1/48 scale Triebflügel comprises only 41 parts in yellow resin, and one vacform canopy. The resin is flawless. The major parts include a one-part rear fuselage, one-part forward fuselage and a central ring to mount the rotating wings. These large castings are almost ready to use straight from the box. Virtually no cleanup is required, although I had to thin down the inner sidewalls of the lower fuselage to permit the insertion of the central ring.


Main components dry-fitted only. The parts should align perfectly


The cockpit is spurious, so it is unfair to judge it for accuracy. However, I found the omission of a gunsight surprising. I also thought the detail was also a little soft and understated on side consoles and the instrument panel. A trip to the spares box will address these issues for anyone who wants a busier cockpit. 

The cockpit tub fits perfectly inside the forward fuselage once a small casting plug has been sliced off the left side console. The tub includes an integrated rear bulkhead that plugs the back of the cockpit.



Each "wing" is supplied as a single part. These are also perfectly cast and demonstrate a subtle twist at the trailing edge. The locating stubs will need to be trimmed of waste before they are inserted in the fuselage mid-section, but the holes are adequately deep for a secure bond. The pitch of the "wings" was variable, so the modeller can suit himself as to the angle of attack - just make sure all three are at the same angle!

The Ramjets are a simple three piece assembly that butt-join to the end of the wings. The four stabilisers are equally simple, but alignment of these parts will be tricky as they are also simply butt-jointed to the bottom of the fuselage. These stabilisers have to align with each other at 90°, and also must be perfectly level at the bottom or the aircraft won't sit flat on the ground.

The stabiliser wheels are cast in one piece with the legs. That is good news for stability but a little oversimplified from the detail viewpoint. However, careful painting should disguise this shortcoming. 

I strongly recommend completing the four stabiliser wheel assemblies before adding the central main wheel. It will be far easier to adjust the height of the main gear leg last than to fiddle with the smaller fixed stabiliser legs. The connections between the rods on the stabilisers and the legs are very flimsy. I'd also recommend two-part epoxy glue to provide the strongest possible bond. The clamshell doors for these four wheels are disappointing. They are moulded solid, which will be very obvious as the doors are wide open. 

The final major assembly will be the main gear leg, separate main wheel and (thankfully separate) clamshell main gear doors. Add the vacform canopy (but be careful - there is no spare), the DF loop and antenna and you have your 1/48 scale Triebflugel.



The instructions are marginal. They comprise a short history and marking guide on one side of the sheet and a single exploded view diagram on the reverse side. Granted, the kit is simple but there are a few pitfalls (as discussed above) that would be nice to note in the instructions.

Markings are supplied, and even information about the pilot and units during late 1945 and 1946 but these are, of course, fictitious. Planet Models have even attached one of these fast fighters to a bomber unit, KG 200! 

Planet Models' 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Triebflugel will appeal strongly to "Luftwaffe '46" enthusiasts and is appropriate for modellers who have already built a few resin kits.


Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Planet Models 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf "Triebflugel"
is available online from Squadron.com

Review Copyright © 2001 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 May, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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