Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch
Place in history: This bird-like plane with long over-hanging wings was aptly nicknamed the Storch (German for stork), because it featured folding wings to permit rail transportation to the front lines—necessary, as its top speed was slower than a train. In 1943 a Storch rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from his mountain-top prison. In the closing days of WWII, German test pilot Hanna Reitsch flew Goering's replacement into Berlin in a Storch, hoping to take Hitler out of the city.
This aircraft: This is a true combat veteran, one of the few airworthy Storches in existence. It was manufactured in Germany in 1943 was used by the Luftwaffe in Occupied Europe and on the Russian Front. It was found in derelict condition in East Germany in the late 1980s and restored to a very high standard. It displays the Summer, 1943 Luftwaffe markings: a medium and dark green splinter pattern on its upper surfaces, with a light blue underside. The fuselage and wings carry the Balkenkreuz (black crosses), with the tail carrying the Hackenkreuz (swastika).