BMW VTOL project around 1960


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12 July 2006
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This strange sketch was simply described as a 'BMW project' in a table of different built and unbuilt VTOL designs in the "Flugwelt" magazine 6/1961 (page 391). It's the only design inside the table which is totally unknown for us (vstol Mike, jemiba and me). The date (around 1960) indicates the possibility that Helmut von Zborowski is the designer because he worked at BMW until (circa) 1960 - and he was familiar with the VTOL problems due to his works on the Coleoptere. Further presumptions? More information is very welcome.


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I discovered this sketch last month in the same Flugwelt 6/1961 !
I allready had sketches of two very similar birds found in "Der Flieger " 7/1962 & 11/1962;
- patent DBP 110161 (Rettungshaube )
-patent DAS1119125 30.4.59 (VTOL)
both for Dipl.-Ing. Wilhelm Benz & Dipl.Ing. Helmut Zborowski ,BMW Muenchen.
have a nice day
Hello richard,

can you tell for these two mentioned patent the principles, used to avhieve VTOL ?
Helmut Zborowski was known for his tailsitter designs, but this one doesn't look
like a tailsitter, I think. Maybe a kind of vectored thrust ? Maybe the objects under
the wing tips aren't rockets or missiles, but outriggers for some kind of bicycle under-
carriage ? Pulling a line from the tail to the underside of the engine nacelle, with a
reasonably extended center wheel, would give a thrust line, that perhaps would make
extreme STOL possible, similar to the SNCASE X-114 (?) .
it seems to be a vectored trust ,trust line passing trought the C G; I can't tell more as I don't know the X 114
have a nice day
Late, very late and maybe there already was an answer somewhere....
In "Der Flieger", November 1962 a patent is shown for a VTOL aircraft, designed by
Helmut Zborowski, when working for the BMW Triebwerksbau München. This patent
was filed in 1959 and approved in 1961. Keypoint for this thrust vectoring principle
is, that multiple engines, here 3, are using just one common nozzle. So problems
with asymmetric thrust in the event of an engine failure are eliminated. Hover and
low speed control would be achieved with puffer jets.
The drawing matches the one posted by boxkite quite well, but a perfect match can
be found in the July issue of the same magazine, but this time the patent, again from
Helmut Zborowski and BMW describes a rescue system, where the whole after part of
the aircraft would be detached, including the tail surfaces and would form a kind of inde-
pendent air vehicle, enabling the pilot to glide back to earth, or mabe even to reach
friendly territory.


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Was this design meant as a competing concept to the zero-length launch fighter, I wonder? Certainly the Luftwaffe were interested in the ZEL concept. Although, from what we can see of the design, it seems have been intended as a (relatively lightweight) battlefront interceptor or the like rather than a strike aircraft.
ZEL, to my opinion, meant a kind of one-way-ticket, just to secure, that fighter bomber could be launched,
even if the airfields were already knocked down. Returning may have been difficult then. The VTOL
designs, which were en vogue then, offered at least the theoretical chance of being used the next day.

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