Sunday 24 January 2010

Stark AS20 of 1942 -Rare Birds (6)

Not a captured aircraft, this machine was designed and flown under the German occupation and was painted with a swastika for flight evaluation only. André Starck started to design his first aircraft, the AS20, in 1938. It was to have the so-called Nénadovich biplane configuration with the tandem-mounted wings providing a continuous slot effect for exceptional c.g. travel and very low stalling speed. In 1941 construction commenced with the permission of the German occupation authorities. The first flight with André Starck himself as pilot took place on 23 October 1942. The aircraft reached speeds of more than 200 km/h. The flight evaluation resulted in some modifications. When the French pilot Finance failed in his 'escape bid' to Great Britain with the Holste MH20 (he had to make a forced landing) all flying of French-owned aircraft was prohibited by the German authorities. Minus its engine the AS20 was stored at Villacoublay where it still remained after the war.

A photo of this machine was published in the German magazine "Der Sportflieger" of 1942.