Udet U 12

The Udet U 12 Flamingo was an aerobatic sports plane and trainer aircraft developed in Germany in the mid-1920s.

U 12 Flamingo
D-EOSM of the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany. This replica has a Sh 14 engine, a later, more powerful version of the Siemens-Halske engines fitted to original U 12s.
Role Civil trainer aircraft
Manufacturer Udet Flugzeugbau, BFW and others under licence
Designer Hans Herrmann
First flight 1925
Number built ca. 300

Design and development

The U 12 was a conventional, single-bay biplane of wooden construction with the wings braced by large I-struts. The pilot and instructor or passenger sat in tandem, open cockpits. The U 12 proved extremely popular and sold well, due in no small part to Ernst Udet's spectacular aerobatics routines while flying the aircraft. One particularly acclaimed part of his act included swooping down towards the airfield and picking up a handkerchief with the tip of one wing.[1] The popularity of this aircraft was insufficient to rescue Udet Flugzeugbau from its dire financial position, but when the company's assets were taken over by the state of Bavaria to form BFW, production of the U 12 soon resumed in earnest. BFW-built U 12s were exported to Austria, Hungary and Latvia, and later built under licence in these countries as well.



  • U 12a: main production version with Siemens-Halske Sh 11 engine
    • U 12W: float-equipped U 12a (Wasser—"water")
  • U 12b: version strengthened for aerobatics and with improved wing design
  • U 12c: advanced trainer with reduced wing area
  • U 12d: U 12b with Siemens-Halske Sh 12 engine
  • U 12e: U 12c with Siemens-Halske Sh 12 engine


20 aircraft produced by Fliegerwerft Thalerhof

  • U 12H: standard U 12a (Holz—"wood")
  • U 12S: U 12a with redesigned fuselage of fabric-covered steel tube construction (Stahl—"steel").
    • U 12Ö: alternative designation for U 12S (Österreich—"Austria")


Forty aircraft produced by KRG and another 40 by Manfred Weiss Works. Some examples armed and used for fighter or bomber training

  • Hungária I: similar to U 12a with N-type interplane struts
  • Hungária II: similar to U 12a with N-type interplane struts
  • Hungária III: similar to U 12a with N-type interplane struts, propeller spinner and Townend ring
  • Hungária IV: similar to U 12a. Only Hungarian-built version with I-type interplane struts
  • Hungária V: similar to U 12a with N-type interplane struts




No original aircraft are known to exist. An airworthy replica was kept at the Deutsches Museum but crashed at the 2013 Tannkosh event.[2]

Specifications (U 12a)

General characteristics

  • Crew: two, pilot and instructor
  • Length: 7.4 m (24 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 24 m2 (258 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 525 kg (1,157 lb)
  • Gross weight: 800 kg (1,764 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Siemens-Halske Sh 11, 60 kW (80 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 140 km/h (87 mph)
  • Range: 450 km (280 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 3,700 m (12,100 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 2.3 m/s (450 ft/min)



  1. Air Trails: 49. Winter 1971. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=158981 Aviation Safety Net website
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