Bucker Bu 181 Bestmann

The Bu 181 was a two-seat trainer used by the Luftwaffe beginning in 1939. It featured side-by-side seating for the teacher and student, with a large baggage compartment behind the cabin. The seats accommodated parachutes for the crew.

The Bu 181 burns 4.35 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel costs $6.


Bucker Bu 181A Bestmann

Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +2; Recon Fighter wings; 3 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 87-kW HP gasoline engine with 87-kW prop and 30-gallon fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 2 CS Body

Cargo: 3.4 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



Body: Medium radio transmitter and receiver, navigation instruments, backup driver.



Size: 26'x35'x7' Payload: 0.3 tons Lwt.: 0.83 tons

Volume: 96 Maint.: 166 hours Cost: $1,443

HT: 7. HPs: 15 Body, 25 each Wing, 2 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 134 aAccel: 3 aDecel: 11 aMR: 3 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 46 mph. Take-Off Run: 265 yards. Landing Run: 212 yards.

gSpeed: 164 gAccel: 8 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: High. 1/6 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 145 sf. The fuel capacity was based on the historical disposable load minus crew weight; this made design payload and historical payload identical. Design loaded weight was increased 3% to the historical. Design aSpeed was 123 mph. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight.



The Bu 181D was a later production version with minor differences.

The Sk 25 was the Swedish-built version. 708 built.

After the war, the plane was produced in Czechoslovakia as the Zlin Z-281 and Z-381 (for civilian use) and the C.6 and C.106 (for military use).


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic