Focke-Wulf A 16

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Focke Wulf A 16
Focke-Wulf A 16 Nachbau im Bremer Flughafen
Replica of an A 16 at Bremen Airport
Type: Light commercial aircraft
Design Land:

German ReichDeutsches Reich German Reich



First flight:

23. June 1924



The Focke-Wulf A 16 was a light passenger aircraft from 1924 and the first model of the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG, which was founded in the same year.


As early as 1919, Henrich Focke and Georg Wulf decided to build a small shoulder-wing monoplane in order to gain experience for the later construction of a light commercial aircraft. This aircraft, known as the A 7, flew for the first time in November 1921 and can be regarded as a direct forerunner of the A 16.

Immediately after the founding of Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG on January 1, 1924, work also began on the A 16. Construction of three A 16s was started simultaneously, which had been commissioned by Bremer Luftverkehr GmbH. The first was completed on 21 June 1924 and flown in by Georg Wulf on 23 June. On July 7 and 8, the type test of the A 16 took place in Adlershof in front of leading personalities of German aviation, where a speed of 136 km/h was measured by the DVL. After returning to Bremen, regular flight operations could be started on the Bremen-Wangerooge route flown by Bremer Luftverkehr GmbH.


The aircraft was of wooden construction with plywood planking, the rear fuselage being fabric-covered, and could carry three passengers. The take-off roll distance to take-off was 150 m, the roll-out distance only 50 m. Since the total flying weight of the A 16 did not reach the upper weight limit of the so-called “Calculation Group 5”, the calculation of the strength had to be carried out under conditions which were only required for single-seater fighters in the First World War, e.g. a vertical dive had to be survived without risk of breakage.

The closed cabin with basket seats for normally three passengers was located behind the pilot’s seat. In order to be able to compensate at least partially for the effect of the engine torque, the fuel tank was installed in the right wing.


A 16a
To increase operational safety, the 75 hp Siemens-Halske radial engine was later replaced by a more powerful water-cooled 100 hp Mercedes D1 engine. This meant that extensive modifications had to be made to the airframe as well. Due to the 200 kg increased flying weight, a reinforcement of the wing was necessary. The fuselage became wider and longer. Since the engine had to be moved further back, the pilot’s seat and the engine were now next to each other. Therefore the engine was moved 10 cm from the longitudinal axis.
For shorter flights, four passengers could be carried. The A 16a passed its certification test on 18 March 1925. Various examples were used by Badische Luftverkehrs GmbH,[1] junkers Luftverkehrs AG and Bremer Luftverkehr GmbH. In 1926, Luft Hansa also took delivery of five A 16 and A 16a aircraft. At the end of 1929, the two “Baden” (D-548) and “Borkum” (D-659) built in 1925 were still flying. One A 16 crashed in Silesia in 1933 while in Lufthansa service.
A 16b
A 78 hp Junkers engine was installed here.
A 16c
Use of the 108 hp Siemens Sh-12 radial engine.
A 16d
Use of a 120 hp Mercedes engine.

Further developments

Focke-Wulf Habicht

A number of other small transport aircraft were developed from the A 16. These included the A 20 “Habicht” in 1928, the A 28 “Habicht” and, as the last development, the taxi aircraft A 33 “Sperber”.

Replica from 1988

The A 16 was the cornerstone of the success of the Focke-Wulf company and its successor EADS Airbus Bremen. Since none of the original aircraft survived the test of time, Airbus decided to build a twenty-second non-airworthy aircraft in 1988 as part of its efforts to uphold tradition. After being on display at the Airbus plant in Hamburg for 20 years, the aircraft was donated to the Technikmuseum Berlin in 2008.

Technical data

Parameter Data
Crew 1
Passengers 3
Length 8,50 m
Span 13,90 m
Wing area
Height 2,30 m
Empty mass 570 kg
Take-off mass (for aerobatics) 970 kg
max. take-off mass
Drive a 7-cylinder radial engine Siemens & Halske Sh 7 with 56 kW (75 PS)
Maximum speed 136 km/h
Service ceiling 2500 m
Range ~ 550 km


  • Johannes Müller: Die Flugzeuge der deutschen Lufthansa 1926-1945 – Focke Wulf A 16. in: Flug Revue. June 1965, p. 90 ff.
  • Reinhold Thiel: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau. H. M. Hauschild, Bremen 2011, ISBN 978-3-89757-489-2, p. 19 ff.
  • Wolfgang Wagner: Der deutsche Luftverkehr – Die Pionierjahre 1919-1925. Bernard & Graefe, Koblenz 1987, ISBN 3-7637-5274-9, p. 180 ff.

Web links

Commons: Focke-Wulf A 16– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references