The Focke-Wulf 190 was Nazi Germany‘s most important fighter. The aircraft is now fully restored in Bodø, and is the only one of its kind in northern Europe. (Photo: NRK)
– This is a rare jewel. There is only a handful left in the world of the Focke-Wulf 190, says Anders Utgaard at the Air Force Museum, the military part of the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø. After years of renovation, the aircraft is ready for the public.
– Luftwaffe produced 20 000 Focke-Wolf 190 during World War II. It was Germany‘s main fighter aircraft, and replaced Messerschmitt, says Anders Utgård, who heads the Air Force Museum to NRK.
For many years, and thousands of working hours, enthusiasts have worked on the rare plane. Today. the public for the first time is able to see the result.
– It will be very nice to see it completely finished. We hope that others also think the same, says Bjørn Meyer in Bodø Aviation Historical Society.
Together with his colleagues, he has been restoring the plane which during World War II was used in air attacks in The Battle of Britain, at the Eastern Front and in North Africa.
The new Fw 190 fighters were faster in both diving and climbing than RAF Spitfire Vb, and much better armed.
Fw 190 was in the latter part of World War II used on most fronts and in a variety of roles, even as a torpedo bomber in the Black Sea. (Photo: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force)
On board the plane, there also was a bomb rack able to carry up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of bombs.
– Focke-Wulf was a pretty advanced aircraft for its time. It had included two 20 millimetre machine guns and a huge 1600 horsepower BMW engine (Editors note: BMW 801 – 1,540-1,970 hp).
It also has an indicator that shows if the wheels are in the correct position.
– When the pilot was going to land, he could look out on the wing and see the position of the wheels, explains Anders Utgård.
Went Down in Finnmark County
The Fw 190 that now is fully restored went down in Finnmark County in 1943, and was found in the mid-1980s. For nearly 30 years, the Air Force Museum has worked on it to restore the historical plane to its original condition.
– It has been a painstaking process to obtain parts. The plane had crashed, and much was destroyed. There has also been a challenge to get competent people to do the job. Since we rely on volunteers, we also have worked in a “volunteer tempo”.
The job also turned out to be technically complicated.
– The progress was very slow. But now it’s finished. For enthusiasts and people with special interest – this is a jewel, says Utgård.
See the Focke-Wulf’s history:
Text modified by: Thor Lansskog, Thor News
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