FVA - M 1a

Until today it cannot be said with 100% certainty which project received the designation FVA-7. It is most likely that the “M 1a” is meant, which was constructed based on the “M 1” by Hermann Mayers, who was not a member of the FVA at the time of the construction of the “M 1”, but a close collaborator.

The FVA returned to gliding towards the beginning of 1930. On the one hand, glider flight had made a decisive progress, which came not only from the technical side, but especially from the meteorological side:

By exploiting thermal updrafts, one had become free of geographical limitations. The FVA, whose gliding had formerly taken place on the western slope of Orsbach, was thus relieved of the disadvantage of its geographical location.

The second reason for the return to gliding was actually the decisive one. One day a young assistant appeared at the Aerodynamic Institute who designed and constructed a cheap glider with appropriate performance for the Luftfahrt-Verein Aachen. It was Hermann Mayer, who had already been to the Wasserkuppe in 1928 to learn gliding.

Hermann Mayer did not become an FVA member until much later, but because of his close ties to the FVA he became more and more involved in the group over time and was treated like a normal member.

The glider he designed in 1929 was given the designation “M I”. It was built by the glider group of the Luftfahrt-Verein Aachen in the workshop of the Aerodynamic Institute, and Hermann Mayer took part in the Rhön competition in 1929 with this design.

The “M I” was a strutted high-wing aircraft of deliberately simple construction, since it was intended as a practice glider. Nevertheless, this aircraft was only slightly inferior in competition to the highly developed gliders of the time. It proved to be excellently suited for reproduction in club workshops.

The “Flugsport” 1929, issue 16 reported about this glider:

“It was intended in the design to create a practice airplane which was not too difficult to fly even for advanced students, and which could be sailed well (therefore limitation in span, robust construction), and which should come close in its performance to the “Professor” type, without substantially exceeding the cost of the “Prüfling” type. (…)

The empty weight of the machine is 118kg and is composed of the following individual weights:

  • Wings: center section: 22.3 kg, outer sections: 23.6 kg each
  • Fuselage: 29.7 kg
  • Seat: 1.8 kg
  • V-stems each: 4.5 kg
  • Elevator: 5.6 kg
  • Rudder: 2.4 kg

The fuselage is planked with plywood up to the rear spar at the front and covered with fabric at the rear. The organic connection by means of straps, as used for sewing drive belts, has proved very successful.

The wing is three-piece with continuous airfoil (Göttingen 535), the center section is braced by V-stems.

The ailerons are designed with torsion-resistant plywood lugs, which made it possible to omit most of the diagonals. This moves the rudder center of gravity close to the axis of rotation and greatly reduces the risk of rudder oscillation.

  • Wingspan 14.52m
  • Wing area 17.0m
  • Aspect ratio l : 12,4
  • Wing loading at 70kg leader weight 11 kg/ m².

Hermann Mayer’s success at the Rhön competition in 1929 prompted the FVA to build an “M I” for its part. This machine was improved in details and bore the designation “M la”. The design improvements were probably made by Hermann Mayer and not by the FVA. The biggest change was an increase of the wingspan to 16.5m compared to 14.5m of the “M I”.

With the “M la”, which was finished just in time, the FVA appeared again after a long break in 1930 on the Wasserkuppe for the Rhön competition. Rudi Patz was entered as pilot. The Luftfahrt-Verein Aachen had entered the “M I” as well as Mayer’s new design “MS II”. After all, all Aachen participants were awarded with endurance flight prizes. Unfortunately, the “M la” was then damaged during a landing in the Rhön, so that the machine had to be repaired at Schleicher.

The remaining competition time was enough for a second 8-hour flight including a circumnavigation of the Milseburg. The prize offered for this flight had unfortunately already been flown by Groenhoff with “Fafnir”, while the “M 1a” was undergoing repairs.