Fw-190 Nears First Flight After Engine Run
October 14, 2010 — The BMW 801 engine of the Flying Heritage Collection’s (FHC) Fw-190A-5/U3 restoration project recently had its first run by Vintage V12s in Tehachapi, California, according to a report on the Meier Motors website. Although official news regarding the project has been hard to come by, EAA learned that FHC plans to fly the 190 for the public at Paine Field in time for its “Luftwaffe Day” during the 2011 May-September flying season next year. When complete, this will be the only airworthy original Focke-Wulf 190 in the world, according to the Meier Motors website.
A brief history of the airplane: According to the FHC website, the plane was built in Bremen in April 1943, and by mid-May that year was on the Eastern Front, assigned to 4./JG 54; Jagdgeschwader (fighter wing) 54, Staffel (squadron) 4. It was lost in combat within about seven weeks, brought down by flak after a fighter-bomber sortie in the area of Voibakala near Leningrad.
The pilot, Feldwebel Paul Ratz, was a prisoner of war until the 1950s, when he was released and repatriated to Germany. He died shortly before the aircraft was recovered in 1990. (See video.) The fighter was shipped to the UK and later (1999) sold to the Flying Heritage Collection, owned by Paul G. Allen and based at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.