German aircraft designs in Argentina 1946-1960

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Senior Master Sergeant
Jan 11, 2005
Cordoba - Argentina
I've just polished off my third glass of red wine and continue to look at your last posting photographs in intoxicated awe. Wonderful photographs. The last one depicting the proposed finished product looks like something from the TV series 'THUNDERBIRDS'!. Certainly smaller than the Mirage 550. What an amazing collection of aircraft in a South American country influenced by fugitive? German designers.

I think that fugitive is not the right word, Those was people with little chances to work in his original country completely devastated by war.
Argentina was and is always being receptive to the Europeans who want to live and work here so no much difference with others.

You're doing your countries aviation history a valuable service.

Thanks I try my best. :D

Which brings me to the Horten brothers. One last request. As a junior member I don't know if the I.A 38 has been covered in this forum but I would appreciate any input you have on this aircraft. The only reference I have illustrating this peculiar and fascinating transport aircraft is a copy of 'Jane's Pocket Book 12-Research and Experimental Aircraft' (1976). It mentions that the project "was suspended in late 1960". Reasons?.apart from looking like a design straight out of Nazi Germany circa 1943-45. It would have fitted easily into Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Cheers, and thanks for the photos.

The IA-38 was a Horten desing indeed, it was a transport to carry cargo from the north eastern provinces of Argentina to the capital.




It suffered of a low priority material asignment ( the Kurt Tank working group always get more money) and lack of power (4 x 450 hp radials) so the performance were far of be impressive.



Powerplant: 4 x El gaucho 9 cilinders radials, 450 hp each coupled with two bladed variable pitch propellers.

Height:4,60 m

Wing surface: 133 m2

Empty weight: 8.500 kg

Payload: 7.500 Kg

Maximum take off weight: 16.000 kg

Max wing loading: 120 Kg/m2

Speed max: 352 km/h;

Crusing speed :255 Km/h;

Landing speed : 140 km/h

Range: 1.250 kilómeters.
Thanks for the reply and I apologize for steering you off your intended IA-58 course. I'm still fumbling through this site and computers are not my forte. I don't even know how you multi quoted my posting above. My teenage children tend to laugh behind me as I finger type, rather than help me out!
Are all the photos you've posted on these rare Argentinian aircraft from your private collection? How did you obtain them?.I 'Googled' most of the above aircraft a number of years ago and gave up..with no hits.
But now that you have kindly set up this 'Post/Thread'? my next inquiry would concern the I.Ae.24 Calquin. I don't know if it had any German influence in design but John Taylor's Combat Aircraft of The World describes it as "clearly based" on the Mosquito. Even made of wood. "Remained in first-line service until about 1960".
Would be grateful for your input on this one. Now I'm going back to your remarkable IA-38 photos.
Just press "quote" in my post and you ll see how I do it. :)

Google is good but in this case you will need to know exactly where to look for.

Just one of the pictures above is mine (the rear view) the others I ve taken from an argentine site and from:

Horten Nurflugels

The Ia-24 is an 100% argentine design, projected to use non-strategic materials. A little "bitchy" aircraft to fly. I found a very good article of it by Hernan Longoni.

A note of mine, the surnames of the aircraft in this period are not in spanish but in quechua, a native language from the north western Argentina.

The IA-24:

Traditionally, it has been taken for granted that the "DL" 24 "Calquin" ("Royal Eagle") is a derivative, a copy or was developed with inspiration drawn from the famous British DH 94 "Mosquito" airplane, and also that the Calquin was originally designed to be equipped with the Rolls Royce Merlin in-line engines, that the British airplane had.


This affirmation is not without basis, since in fact, in the National Aeronautical Magazine, Nr. 339 (September-October 1997) issue, researchers Ferretti and Giró presented a detailed report on the Fabrica Militar de Aviones (Military Aircraft Factory – FMA) up to that time, and they make reference to the IAe-24.

We hasten to make clear, that the study we refer to, is one of the most complete and better done of all that have been published to date, and its excellence transcends time, while at the same time, it is not deserving of any polemic. The idea is not to continue that study or anything like that.

Reading the document - a rich and interesting document, by the way - will be enough to corroborate what has been stated in the first paragraph that is, that the verbal tradition assumes the Argentinean product to be a copy of the British one, and destined to carry the same powerplant.

Not so much, and not so little. As we will see later, there are elements that could help to conclude that the similarity between both aircraft (aesthetically at least) it is due only to coincidences arising from the styles of that time, due to industrial influences and, why not, even due to "sympathy" for British products.

Before entering into that discussion, we will attempt to concisely present the technical features of the airplane, as well as part of its history, and we will also be including some data, in reference with the Fuerza Aerea Argentina's (FAA) employment of the aircraft, at the beginning of its operational life.

* The Airplane

Twin engine, mid-wig, two-seat, tandem airplane. It was designed primarily for attack missions, although other roles were considered for the basic model. When it comes to the building of the airplane, we must keep in mind the scarcity of materials due to the Second World War. And for this reason, native woods were employed for its construction.


Construction techniques that had been successfully employed with the "DL" 22 were employed, and as an example we will mention the wing, built in one section, with a central wing box. Landing gear was retractable and folded backwards to store in the wing section of the engine nacelles and becoming completely enclosed by the integral wheel covers. The "conventional" landing gear arrangement, had a retractable rear wheel, but without having a wheel cover. All three wheels were equipped with pneumatic-oil shock absorbers.


Control surfaces were made of fabric-covered wood, their leading edges reinforced with plywood. Two adjustable tabs completed the control surfaces. Crew safety was by the means of armored shatter-proof-glass windshield and side windows, the nose cone was transparent, and the remainder of canopy greenhouse was built of Plexiglas. Engines were installed one per semi-wing, on nacelles supported by Cr-Mb steel mounts and covered with a traditional design cowling enclosing the 14 cylinder-double-row engines. The power plants were the Pratt Whitney R-1830-SCG "Twin Wasp", producing 1050 HP SAE @ 2300 RPM, driving variable pitch, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic E-50 propellers.

* Performance and Technical data

Wingspan: 16.30 mts.
Height: 3.40 mts.
Length: 12.00 mts.
Wing Surface: 38.00 sq. m.
Empty Weight: 5,340 Kg.
MTOW: 8,164 Kg.

Maximum Speed: 455 km/h.
Cruise Speed: 380 km/h.
Theoretical Ceiling: 10,000 mts.
Range: 1,140 km.
Continue from above...

* History

Born from the need to find a replacement for the veteran Northrop N8, model A2 that equipped the FAA, a request for a design was submitted to the Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA). As an aside, it is worth mentioning that at the time, the FMA was working on several locally designed models (prototypes and production examples) among which were: IAe-22 "DL" (the largest number of examples built in the country) and the FMA-20 "El Boyero" a design that eventually was given for production, to the civilian sector.

Design work on the airplane began on 25 August, 1944 and already by 25 February, 1946 the first test-flights were undertaken with the first prototype. Tests flights were considered satisfactory and were concluded on 8 June of the same year. The design adopted was so successful, that already during its development and construction phases, a more advanced variant had been ordered. It was the IAe-28 that from the onset had been designed to be equipped with the Rolls Royce Merlin 604. Another basic difference was that the propellers were to be Rotol, instead of the Hamilton Standard of the IAe-24.

This is what the study titled "Estudio, proyecto y construcción de un avión de ataque, bombardeo liviano, empleando maderas nacionales" (Study, project and construction of a light attack airplane, using native wood" suggests. We would like to recommend the article "IAe-24 Calquin, a la memoria de un guerrero" (IAe-24, a tribute to a warrior) by researcher Fernando Benedetto, published in ALAS magazine Nr. 44, January-February 1998 issue. From the 1946 report mentioned above, it becomes clear that the IAe-28 was the airplane destined to have British built engines, and we can conclude –taking into consideration that both the –24 and –28 models were identical, with the exception of the engines and other modifications that were indispensable for the installation of the in-line engines – that the "Calquin" was designed from the onset, for the Pratt Whitney engines.

Is for this reason that already in the 1947 Document, in the entry "Study of the Airplane IAe-28" the termination of that airplane project is decided, and this became the justification for the development of the IA-30. As Mr. Benedetto explains so well in his article, already mentioned, the construction of a second series of DL 24s would be the one corresponding to the improved model, but this did not take place. Something else to keep in mind is that the plans called for the construction of 300 examples of this airplane, of which the first series (and the only one to be completed) would be the IAe-24 "Calquin" (P&W engines) and the remainder, the IAe-28 (RR Merlin engines).

Regarding the airplane we are concerned with, several sub-variants had been contemplated, but these didn't show any improvement on the general flight performance or characteristics. The only major changes were related to their armament: The attack variant was armed with 4 x 12.7 mm (0.50 in.) machine guns.

The heaviest version was that of the light bomber, and as it is explained in the airplane's manual, it was to be armed with 4 x 12.7 machine guns, which could be locally built, and in that eventuality, the barrels would not protrude through the airplane's nose) or, Browning built, with the barrels protruding through the nose, and a variety of bombs and rockets of different weights and characteristics.

With the purpose of starting with the construction of the 100 unit series planned for this model, hangar 90 at FMA was readied, since it was the one with the most available space. Ten (10) pre-series aircraft had already been built, and were destined for a special mission, that we will cover now.

* The Reputation of the Royal Eagle

The accident record of the Calquin is well known, however, some times quick conclusions are drawn from cold statistical data. We are not saying that the DL 24 was an easy to handle airplane, nor that it had noble flying characteristics, kind to the rookie pilots. But we will say that the great majority of accidents in which the airplane was involved, also involved young pilots or pilots with limited experience. According to test pilot Jorge Conan Doyle, who amassed around 3000 hours in the model, to fly the airplane, it was necessary " . . . to have experience . . . but I took it by the hand, and I never had any problems. It was unstable on its three axis, it crossed its controls, and inverted easily . . ." (See Aeroespacio, Nro. 52, November - December 1997, pgs. 68 / 70, note signed by Mr. Ricardo Burzaco). As can easily be seen, this pilot did not have any major problems with the airplane, but he recognizes that flying it required careful handling.

Its reputation as being "a little untrustworthy" played against it, and in a short time even the slightest of incidents were considered to be enough reason to declare an emergency. In this case, the antithesis to demonstrate against the bad reputation of the aircraft, was represented by the then Captain Carlos Bergaglio, who could undertake a series of aerobatic maneuvers and land and roll down to a full stop, with both engines stopped, a 'la Bob Hoover.

* The End

After serving with several units and being witness to many incidents, the Calquin's history would reach its end on the dates already mentioned. One lone example survived a few years, and after having been employed as a teaching aid, most of the 105 produced IA-24 were scrapped.

Of the many Calquins built, only a few pieces remain, jealously guarded by lucky collectors. That is all. Not even one complete example to remind the new generations about the gallant and sleek figure of the "false mosquito".

Two more of the IA-24.


Belly landing.


IA-36 condor II:


Probably one of the most weird designs ever by K. Tank. This was a intended fast jet passenger aircraft with 40 seats ( in the category of the Caravelle). The wingspan was 34 meters and it should by powered by 5 RR Nene in a "Stern ( star) layout.

Mock up in Wind tunnel


Projekt drawing.


All images of the Condor II extracted form "Las alas de Peron" by Ricardo Burzaco, Da vinci Publishing, 1995.
Kurt Tank, from what I've read, left Argentina shortly after completing the FMA.I.Ae.33 Pulqui II. Did he leave under amicable terms?. Chronologically his next project was for India?. The HAL HF-24 MARUT. Prior to the Pulqui there was the FMA I.Ae.30 Namcu. Did Tank have any input into this aircraft?. And I guess that if the Calquin was regarded as Argentina's Mosquito then the Namcu was its Hornet. I've read that it demonstrated a speed of 404mph using only 60% of available power. Any photos on this aircraft in your collection?.
Kurt Tank, from what I've read, left Argentina shortly after completing the FMA.I.Ae.33 Pulqui II. Did he leave under amicable terms?.

He did not, he left the country very obset with the antiperonist govermente wich take he power in late 1955.

Prior to the Pulqui there was the FMA I.Ae.30 Namcu. Did Tank have any input into this aircraft?. And I guess that if the Calquin was regarded as Argentina's Mosquito then the Namcu was its Hornet. I've read that it demonstrated a speed of 404mph using only 60% of available power. Any photos on this aircraft in your collection?.

I have, but acording to Burzaco the IA-30 is a work of the emigrated (another :rolleyes: ) italian engineer T. Pallavecino and some argentine technicians.

The Ia-30 was probably the most elegant and beautiful plane ever made by the FMA, it used two powerful RR Merlin and had a top speed of 745 km/h.

Hoping that it's not heresy to discuss civil aircraft in this forum, I wanted to ask you about the IA.45 Querandi. Unusual in appearance in having 'pusher' props and twin fins, I have no details as to whether it went into series production or if any still exist. Considering you mentioned Italian designers above, was there any 'Piaggio P.166' involved in this aircraft? I understand that the Macchi MB.308G was Manufactured in Argentina.
Well done Charles! Very interesting read.
What does it mean when Wagner mentions that the services of Emile Dewoitine were "acquired"?
Is this the first time that the subject of the Pulqui II has been brought up in this forum? I would have thought that your previous 'siggy' would have produced many questions.

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