Flying Heritage Collection's Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5 first flight on 12.1.10 (photo: FHC)
The last time this airplane flew was July 19th, 1943. What that means is this is a 'real' German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 rather than the replicas that have surfaced in the last several years. Any Fw 190 is amazing, but to know that there is an actual example that's been faithfully restored is pretty phenomenal. The first flight actually took place about a month ago, with veteran race and warbird test pilot Steve Hinton at the controls, but since I somehow missed it when it happened, I thought you may have too. (if you're an Fw 190 fan, check out my other Fw 190 posts)
Paint scheme of the lost 1943 Fw 190 (image: FHC)
The airplane is owned by Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection, and it will make an awesome compliment to the already stellar collection of historic World War II combat aircraft from around the world. These restored aircraft are brought back to flying condition, and done so at the highest level. The Flying Heritage Collection, which is based on Paine Field in Everett Washington, honors the amazing technological leaps that took place during the WWII aviation era.
I've been fascinated with the Fw 190 since I was a kid, so this is pretty exciting stuff to be sure. Even more, I've recently been gathering a far greater understanding of the events of WWII than I'd ever had before. The more you understand about the people, the battles and the motivations involved in WWII, the more significant artifacts like this Fw 190 become.
Here a three videos of interest related to this specific Fw 190:
This video shows the aircraft in Russia sometime between when it was found in 1989 and when it was recovered from that location in 1991. The following info is from the YouTube page for this video:
THE LOSS OF FW190 A5 W.Nr 1227.
On Monday 19th July 1943 Fw190 A-5 W.Nr 1227 'White A' went on a mission carrying a SC250 (550Ib) bomb. Taking off from Siwerskaja, on what was probably a hot summer day, 'White A' headed for the Front line which was only fifteen or so minutes flight time away. Crossing the front line over the Dvina River, the Fw190, flying with another crossed it and headed East. Whilst behind enemy lines, in an area called Voibakala, the 'Rotte' attacked an armoured train and reportedly suffered damage from flak. The loss report indicates the Fw190 crash landed due to this damage, although none was located on the airframe. It Fw190 suffered a catastrophic failure of the BMW801, caused by a rag -sabotage is suspected as it was a new engine was fitted a few days before. The Fw190 was recorded as being 100% lost in the map reference co-ordinates of Pl.Qu.20124. This grid system based on 1:200,000 maps was used to identify crash sites, possibly for salvage, recovery of missing pilots or as the best way of identifying an area consisting of unpronounceable Russian towns, villages and large areas of forests and lakes. The more numbers the Pl.Qu. reference gives, the smaller the area of the location. A key to this 'code', would help identify literally dozens of possible recoveries within Russia!!
The pilot Feldwebel Paul Rätz survived the crash landed behind enemy lines. He removed his leather flying helmet and retrieved the first air kit from the rear fuselage and is thought to have headed West back to the front line only a dozen or so miles from the crash site. He was undoubtedly captured by the Russians and interned although the Luftwaffe loss report still class him as 'Vermißt' (missing) in action.
Found in silver birch forest 1989.
Recovered in 1991
Owners = Doug/David Arnold and now Paul Allen.
The restoration revealed that this Fw190 most likely crashed from engine sabotage. The engine was newly installed and the oil lines were found to be blocked. The engine factories often used prisoner labor, so sabotage sometimes happened. The restoration is nearly complete, including a new wing spar to replace the cracked original.
A partial restoration was started in the early 90s, then it was sold to the Flying Heritage Collection. Much of the restoration was competed in the UK and the aircraft is now in the US for final work and paint. It's expected to be completed soon.
Check out other recovered WWII aircraft videos at YouTube user ritchiewinter
This video shows the original style BMW 801 engine that is installed on the FHC Fw 190 being run after being rebuilt from components of several engines by the people at VintageRadials.com. It is believed to be the first BMW 801 engine to run in about 60 years.
This video shows the BMW 801 on the Fw 190 airframe being started. Amazing stuff all around!