Focke-Wulf Trainer Restoration Making Progress
By Dan Ritter, EAA, WOA 594414
A Focke-Wulf P.149D, serial number 70, is currently undergoing rebuild/restoration at Centennial Airport (KAPA), just south of Denver, Colorado. The aircraft was originally built in 1959 at the Focke-Wulf aircraft manufacturing plant in Bremen, Germany. It served as a flight trainer for the German Luftwaffe for several years, then was sold to Swissair, and used as an instrument trainer from 1987 to 2000.
The aircraft was one of about 10 of the type purchased from Swissair and imported to the United States by Chuck Gehrmann of Atlanta, Georgia, where I live as well. In 2002 I purchased the aircraft, and I flew it for business and recreation until a nose wheel failure resulted in prop, engine, and sheet metal damage.
Serial number 70 was transported to Denver in November 2009, where T.J. Radway and Derek Ritter have taken on the task of completely rebuilding the aircraft, which will include new paint and interior, along with many other upgrades and improvements. The team plans to have the aircraft ready for flight testing later this year and anticipate a first major show appearance at the 2012 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida.
Currently there are only about 30 FWP 149s flying worldwide, so watch for updates as N149DR is sure to be one of the finest examples of the type once the rebuild is complete.