Good interview, and interesting ! Thanks Albert And 'Avimimus'
B.t.w. Regarding the Felixstowe and the Hansa-Brandenburg:
" ... Probably the most accurate designation of the differences between these two planes is the fact that Hansa is a plane that is taught to swim and Felixstowe is a ship that is taught to fly
I am not sure whether i misunderstood that, or if it is a translation problem (?)*
This is a translation from Ernst Heinkel's book "Stormy life":
" [...] In 1916, the german naval branch near the channel was in a very difficult situation, the english were not only superior in numbers, their planes were faster, more agile and better armed. [...] So the "Seeflugstation Zeebrugge" (Brugge) needed better planes, and [Hansa-Brandenburg's engineer] Heinkel ordered to build a prototype and become one of the competitors, to create and present such a plane."
His design won the competition, if with a trick - the initial flight showed the plane was tail-heavy, and before the test pilot of IDFLIEG flew it himself the next day, Heinkel's crew "illegally" shortened the fuselage, in a hangar at night, secretly.Anyway, the W.12 was designed to start and land from, and on water, right from the beginning - it was never thought to be used as a land plane.
*Yes i know it was a joke
(Heinkel needed 8 weeks to build the W 12. He took the possibilities of lightweight construction to extremes (no wires, cantilever wings, aerodynamics), but the result was one of the best planes of WW1, and still one of the best seaplanes still in 1930 - then still used by Sweden and the Netherlands.
Pilot Christiansen already shot down 3 enemies on the transfer flight from Rostock/Warnemuende to Zeebrugge with its new W 12, and with the later W 29 mono-seaplane Germany was able to keep its naval aerial superiority around Zeebrugge for the rest of the war.)
Heinkel also reports that some of the seaplanes of the time were not able to start from very smooth water, due to the adhesion of the water surface. All planes had to be set "auf Stufe" in the starting phase, to be able to break this adhesion - but not all planes could. So Heinkel developed his special swimmer underside with staggered keel that overcame that problem.
Thanks for the interview,