Another FW 190A is reborn

Jan 05, 2012 2 Comments by

A reconstructed Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 fighter flew for the first time over its home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on October 9, 2011, thanks to an alliance with the German Flugwerk company that also manufactures full-size Fw 190A reproduction aircraft kits. Owners Don and Linda Hansen began the Focke Wulf’s restoration in 2000. Frank Hohmann of Flugwerk spent most of September working on this Focke Wulf with the aircraft’s local crew.
The Louisiana Luftwaffe fighter bears German Werk number 173056; it was built at Focke Wulf’s Marienberg factory in 1944, and ended its service in Rheims, France, where it was buried at the train yards after being stripped of parts. A dearth of original German BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder radial engines and spares made it prudent to power this Fw 190 with a reasonable ringer—a Russian Ash82T radial obtained from Flugwerk.
Aircraft restorers have long subscribed to the theory that the most important component for any restoration is the aircraft data plate; anything else can be fabricated. In the case of Fw-190A number 173056, Don Hansen figures “the original amount is maybe 10 percent or less” in his full-up Fw 190. “I fabricated some… but mostly they are Flugwerk repair parts.” He said there were few usable parts in his original Focke Wulf buried treasure from the train yards, making the availability of Flugwerk components a big boost to the project. He said he found the Flugwerk new-build components “of very good quality with ‘field trim’ material wisely added to achieve very good fits. Flugwerk made these parts from German drawings.”
On the aircraft’s first day of flying, pilot Klaus Plasa made an inaugural short hop to check basic flight characteristics and systems before going aloft a second time to perform additional maneuvers including stalls, with more envelope expansion to follow.
When the Dash-8 was introduced at the end of 1943, it carried 25 additional gallons of fuel internally over that of previous models; armament variations and even an optional autopilot made the Fw 190A-8 a flexible fighter. The Fw 190A-8 clocked its best speed of 408 miles an hour at 20,600 feet. It took just under 10 minutes to reach 20,000 feet. Its service ceiling of more than 37,000 feet theoretically put it 2,000 feet above a B-17G adversary, although actual combats were conducted lower.
Fw 190 number 173056’s combat history is at least partially understood. This Werk number was assigned to Squadron JG11 as “White 14,” but Hansen said he does not have more history than that.
Hansen’s future includes getting checked out in his German fighter. “I have 200 hours in our Harvard and have flown two P-51s, but need some serious training before getting into the 190,” he said. “Test pilot Klaus Plasa and American warbird instructor Mike Burke are my trainers.” When the warbird movement began, discussion about restoring an aircraft as scarce as an Fw 190A would have been pie in the sky; talk about flying one was unfathomable. Amazing strides in structural fabrication abilities such as those demonstrated by Flugwerk have changed the warbird scene forever, and enterprising restorers like Don and Linda Hansen are breathing life into aircraft that once were only scarce ground-bound relics. —Frederick A. Johnsen

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2 Responses to “Another FW 190A is reborn”

  1. Gerardo Escobedo-Sainz says:

    Would be great to have it flying around the Air Shows!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. REXLIBRIS says:

    Several years ago, while at a Collings Foundation B-24 & B-25 event at Baton Rouge airfield, I spotted the sihlouette of this warbird in a near by hanger. It was love at first sight! It is glorious to learn she is airborne. I hope to be able to witness a flight, if I could learn of her schedule. The restoration team was generous with their time and access to this magnificent aircraft. Many Thanks! Flight Journal for your coverage of these aviation treasures.

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