Allegedly designed by Ernst Heinkel one night on the back of a cabaret wine list, the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was essentially an earlier Hansa-Brandenburg biplane W.12 design with the top wing removed. This is a simple enough thing to sketch on the back of a wine list but an altogether different proposition to put into production. The advanced monoplane design, with improved performance due to the reduction in drag afforded by the 50% reduction in wings, was achievable because of the highly rigid nature of the float and strut arrangement. It was a worthy successor to the W.12 in its task of patrolling the North Sea and harassing RNAS flying boats and British surface vessels.
Three prototypes (numbers 2204,5 & 6) were started in January 1918 with each powered by a different engine for comparison purposes, 2204 with a 150hp Benz Bz.III, 2205 with a 185hp BMW IIIa and 2206 with the 160hp Daimler-Mercedes D.III. When production began in April 1918 it was the 150hp Benz Bz.III that was chosen, most likely due to priority being given to land based fighter aircraft for the higher performance engines. Produced in 2 versions, 156 C3MG (aircraft equipped with 3 machine guns) and 43 C2MGHFT (C type, 2 machine guns and wireless equipment) the W.29 was powered by 3 different engines during its production, the aforementioned 150hp Benz Bz.III and 185hp BMW IIIa as well as the 185hp Benz Bz.IIIa (a very different design to the Bz.III). The majority of W.29s (121) were powered by the 150hp Benz Bz.III as depicted in our kitset, 66 with 185hp Bz.IIIa and just 11 with the 185hp BMW IIIa engine. An order for 30 160hp Daimler-Mercedes D.III powered aircraft placed in September 1918 was cancelled after the armistice. The advanced design of the W.29 ensured that it saw a lengthy post war service with the Deutsche Luft-Reederei (German Air Carrier) and Norway as well as being license built in Denmark, as the H.M.I (15 aircraft), and Japan, as the Hansa-Shiki Suijo Teisatsuki - Hansa Type Reconnaissance Seaplane (between 156 and 310 aircraft). A slightly larger and more powerful version of the W.29 was the W.33, only 7 of which were completed in Germany before the armistice but post war they were license built in Finland, as the IVL A.22 (102 aircraft) and in Norway (30 aircraft). The final IVL A.22 was retired from Finnish service in 1936. Any history of this aircraft here is of necessity very brief, therefore we encourage you to seek any or all of the references listed below for a more thorough understanding of this fascinating aircraft.