Military Wiki
Doblhoff/WNF 342
Role Tip jet research helicopter
National origin Austria
Manufacturer Wiener-Neustadter Flugzeugwerke
Designer Frederich von Doblhoff
First flight 1943
Number built 3

The Doblhoff/WNF 342 was the first helicopter to take off and land using Tip jets to drive the rotor.


The WNF-342 was designed for a German Navy requirement for an observation platform for use from small ships and submarines.[1]

The conventional piston engine drove both a small propeller (to provide airflow across a rudder) and an air compressor to provide air (subsequently mixed with fuel) through the rotor head and hollow rotor blades to a combustion chamber at the rotor tips. As a research helicopter it was a simple design to allow modification.


V1/V2: The first helicopter was initially powered by a 60 horsepower (45 kW) engine (V1) and then a 90 horsepower (67 kW) engine (V2)—both by Walter Mikron. It first flew in 1943,[2] and was captured with V4 at Zell am See.

V3: The second WNF 342 had a larger rotor and was destroyed during testing.

V4: The last unit produced was a two-seat variant with new collective and cyclic controls.[Clarification needed] After 25 flight hours it was captured by United States forces[3] and on July 19, 1945, shipped to the US under Operation Lusty on the HMS Reaper (D82).[1]

Aircraft on display

  • V4 is held by the Smithsonian Institution in the United States.

Specifications (V4)

Data from Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Main rotor diameter: 10.00 m (32 ft 9¾ in)
  • Main rotor area: 78.54 m2 (845.42 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 430 kg (948 lb)
  • Gross weight: 640 kg (1411 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × BMW-Bramo Sh.14A radial piston engine, 104 kW (140 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 48 km/h (30 mph)

See also

  • List of helicopters


  1. "Doblhoff". Hubschrauber Museum. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Orbis 1985, pp. 1454–1455
  3. Apostolo, Giorgio. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters, pp. 18, 126. Bonanza Books, New York, 1984. ISBN 0-517-43935-2.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 

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