Fend Flitzer

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1950 Fend Flitzer 101

The Fend Flitzer was a three-wheeled invalid carriage designed and built by Fritz Fend. The Flitzer established many of the basic concepts on which Fend's later Messerschmitt Kabinenroller microcars were developed.

Background[edit]

In 1948, Fend, a former aeronatical engineer and technical officer in the Luftwaffe,[1] began production of a tricycle invalid carriage in his workshop in Rosenheim, Germany.[2][3][4] The tricycle had a front wheel that was steered by handlebars and powered by a mechanism actuated by pushing back and forth on the handlebars. Shortly afterward, it was offered with a 38 cc (2.3 cu in) Victoria two-stroke proprietary engine normally used for motorizing bicycles.[2]

Fend then designed the Flitzer, a larger, better-enclosed invalid carriage. It was designed from the start to be powered by a gasoline engine. Whereas the earlier tricycle was both steered and powered by a single front wheel, the Flitzer had a pair of front wheels linked to the steering mechanism and a powered rear wheel.[2]

Specifications and development[edit]

Flitzer 101 emblem

The Flitzer was made with aluminium panels over a steel frame[2] and was enclosed at the front, sides, and back.[citation needed] It had a hatch at the top that was hinged at the front and tilted forward for the operator to get in.[2] The first version of the Flitzer was open, with a hole and a windshield in the hatch for the operator's head and shoulders to stick through and be protected from the wind.[citation needed] Flitzers made from September 1948 into 1950[3] were powered by a 98 cc (6.0 cu in) Fichtel & Sachs two-stroke engine.[2][3][4] Suspension was by rubber springs loaded in torsion.[2]

In 1950 the engine was changed to a 100 cc (6.1 cu in) Riedel/Imme engine.[2][3][4] By 1951, in response to customer requests for passenger-carrying capability, a scooter-type saddle was placed above the rear enclosure with footrests on either side of the body.[2] A closed version, on which the hatch had an enclosure that covered the operator, was made available. The enclosure included the windshield and side windows.[2][3]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Right rear view of a Flitzer 101

About 250 Flitzers had been built when production stopped in 1951. Many of these invalid carriages had been bought by able-bodied individuals seeking basic personal transport.[2] This led Fend to believe that there would be a mass-market for a larger, transport-oriented version of the Flitzer.[5] Fend began to design and develop a two-seat vehicle similar in concept to the Flitzer.[3] He also began looking for a manufacturer to mass-produce this vehicle. He came to an agreement with Messerschmitt for them to build Fend vehicles in their factory at Regensburg[3][5] Part of the agreement was that the cars carried the Messerschmitt name, with Fend's new design being designated the Messerschmitt KR175.[3][6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wagner 1973, p. 163.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wagner 1973, p. 164.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cawthon 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Payne 2004.
  5. ^ a b Wagner 1973, p. 165.
  6. ^ Wagner 1973, p. 167.

References[edit]

External links[edit]