Phönix C.1 Dront (Reconnaissance Aircraft, 1919-1935)
Page 1 (of 3)


In the spring of 1919, two clever Austrian aviators, Edmund Sparmann and Max Perini, were invited to come to Sweden with an aeroplane each and show their abilities in aerobatics.  Behind the invitation stood the newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Swedish Aeronautical Society. Sparmann was First Pilot and designer at Phönix Fleugzeugwerke in Wien. He was later to have a career an aircraft designer in Sweden. Perini was a pilot with great experience from WWI.  

One of the aircraft was a single-seat fighter type Phönix D.III, later purchased by the Army but also copied and built in Sweden by FVM. The other was a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, Phönix C.I.  

The two pilots gave an show which highly impressed the present senior officers from the Army. Both pilots demonstrated loopings, rolls and spin. The faster D.III made attacks against the slower C.1. The audience was really showed the state of modern military aviation.  

The two Austrian aviatiors made a new show at Malmen. It stood clear that these two aircraft were better than any of the types used by the Army Aviation Company. On of the major problems was the lack of a good reconnaissance aircraft. Captain Ernst Fogman, since 1917 chief of the Army Aviation Company, soon arranged that the C.1 could be license-built in Sweden. The aircraft was regarded as ugly; therefore it was nick-named ”Dronten” (the Dront), a name that more or less became official.

The original C.1 was measured and construction drawings were made out. Engines of Benz make, although not strong (220 hp) and also heavier than the original ( 240 hp Hiero) were bought.  

Three batches of ten aircraft each were ordered from FMV at Malmen. (1920, 1921 and 1923). The ”Dront” was given the designation ”E 1 (E = Escort)”.

 In 1924, FVM bought about 30 engines of type Hispano-Suiza of 300 hp for the planned own design J 24. When J 24 was cancelled, a test was made with fitting of one of these engines at a ”Dront”. It was a success. This new variation was usually called ”the Hispano-Dront” and was given the designation E 2. Ten new aircraft were built by FMV.  

Photo at top: Dront # 0128 (220 hp Benz engine) with a Phönix D.III fighter in the background.

Photo below: Model by Mikael Carlson, displayed at the Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum) at Malmen/Malmslätt in Linköping.

Series 121: Length: 7,51 m. Span:11,0  m.  Maximum take-off weight: 1.340 kg. Max. speed:154 km/h.



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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-12