The innovative Flettner Fl 282 was one of the first (if not the first) operational helicopter that was used on board of ships. Being the successor of the Flettner Fl 265 which first flew in May 1939, the Flettner 282 was only build in small numbers, 30 prototypes and 15 pre production vehicles were completed. The prototypes were build in different variants, one or two seater, closed or open cockpit, and other modifications.
Unlike today's helicopters, the Fl 282 did not have a tail rotor to compensate the drag of the main rotor. Instead it had a twin interlaced rotor system, similar to a "kitchen mixer". These synchronized, side-by-side, rotors were typical for Flettner helicopters.
In 1941/1942 the Kriegsmarine used a Fl 282 for tests on board of the CL Köln
. With a landing platform mounted on turret Bruno, several operational patterns were successfully tested. The Kolibri proved to be very maneuverable, reliable and a stable platform even at bad weather conditions.
As a result of this test, 20 of the prototypes were used on board on Kriegsmarine ships operating in the Mediterranean for reconnaissance and escort duty. Over 1000 helicopters were ordered, but because of the damages caused by heavy allied air attacks, the production was never started.
At the end of the war, only three Flettner Fl 282 were still operational and none of this remarkable aircraft survived until today.