Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Friday Flyby - 10 January

Focke-Wulf FW-190
(Note that the Flyby is coming to you a day early. It's finished and I have no other material for you this Thursday. Sure hope you don't mind!)

This bird is one of my favorites. The FW-190 Würger (Shrike) was also a favorite of many Luftwaffe aces. Wikipedia has an excellent article on this incredible fighter. Here's a sample:
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (English: Shrike) was a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Powered by a radial engine in most versions, the Fw 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The Fw 190 was used by the Luftwaffe in a wide variety of roles, including day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.

When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V, especially at low and medium altitudes. The 190 maintained superiority over Allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and manoeuvrability at low to medium altitude.

The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force), along with the Bf 109. On the Eastern Front, the Fw 190 was versatile enough to use in Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings), specialised ground attack units which achieved much success against Soviet ground forces. As an interceptor, the Fw 190 underwent improvements to make it effective at high altitude, enabling it to maintain relative parity with its Allied opponents. The Fw 190A series' performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor, but this problem was mostly rectified in later models, particularly in the Junkers Jumo 213 inline-engine Focke-Wulf Fw 190D series, which was introduced in September 1944. In spite of its successes, it never entirely replaced the Bf 109.

The Fw 190 was well liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe's most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.
So what does she look and sound like in her natural habitat?

Not the first time a 190 and a B-17 have shared the same sky!

There are some great painters out there in the world. While researching this post, I found this:

Painting by Nicolas Trudgian

Mr Trudgian has lots of fantastic artwork at his website. Check him out when you get the chance. An amazing talent!

Lately I've been trying to keep track of where all these photos I use in the Flyby come from. It's hard sometimes to track down the originals. But I try. If any of you readers recognize any photos or paintings, let me know. I love visiting the websites of the various photographers and artists when I can.

Here's a great painting that I cannot trace (at least not without spending more time than I can, I do have to sleep and work from time to time). I know this depicts an event which occurred in February of 1942. Which really embarrassed the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. I mean, after it is called the English Channel!
The Channel Dash, codenamed Operation Cerberus by the Germans, was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst-class battleships (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau), and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel. (Wikipedia, of course!)

There are those units of the Kriegsmarine being escorted by a schwarm (flight) of FW-190s. I do believe you can see the coast of Old Blighty off to port. Sneaky bloody Jerries!

But let's get back to the 190, shall we?

FW-190 Flightline
Luftwaffe mechanics wore black overalls.
I wish I had those back in my day!

The Focke Wulf was the reason I quit the Boy Scouts. Well, one of the reasons.

We had a model building competition. I built an FW-190. I thought it was gorgeous. My scoutmaster said the landing gear was wrong. "It needs to be straight!", he said. "No, it's canted perfectly! See how the tires line up..."

He said it was wrong. I may have made some comments vis-à-vis his education and parentage. Then again, maybe I didn't. It was a long time ago. I never went back. My Dad asked me why I quit the Boy Scouts. My answer? "Buggers don't know squat about the FW-190!"


FW-190 Cockpit, Portside

FW-190 Cockpit, Gunsight and Starboard Side

Under the Hood
2 × 13 mm (.51 in) synchronized MG 131 machine guns with 475 rpg

FW-190 In Russia

"Pips" Priller und seine FW-190

Who is "Pips" Priller you ask? Well, Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) Josef "Pips" Priller was a World War II German ace. He actually got a mention in the movie The Longest Day, well, let's go to Wikipedia (where else?) -
Josef "Pips" Priller (27 July 1915 – 20 May 1961) was a German World War II fighter ace. He has become famous because of the publicity regarding his Focke-Wulf's Fw 190A-8's single strafing pass attack on Sword Beach on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), accompanied by his wingman Heinz Wodarczyk. This act was first brought to the world's attention by the book, and then the film, The Longest Day. 
Contrary to popular belief, Priller and his wingman were not the only Luftwaffe forces to attack the beachhead on 6 June 1944. Both Luftwaffe Hauptmann (Captain) Helmut Eberspächer, leading a ground-attack four-plane element of Fw 190As of SKG 10 which was responsible for downing a quartet of RAF Avro Lancasters at 0500 over the invasion area, and the Luftwaffe bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 54 made several attacks on the British beachheads on D-Day. 
Priller was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Here's the scene from the film -

Pungo used to have one, which is where I took this photo -

I think they have a Dora now. Their website shows one. That would be the long-nose version of the 190 - 

Most of these warbirds ended up as charred wreckage, littering Europe from the Channel to Moscow and from the North Cape to the Med. A beautiful aircraft in the service of an evil cause.


  1. I wish they'd saved more of them. I wish they'd saved one for me. I've always loved that beautiful aircraft.

    1. According to Wikipedia, 16 "reproductions" were built in 1996. Not sure if they're full size though. I do know that there are a few 3/4 scale (I believe) versions of the 190 out there. Not the same as the real thing, but they look cool.

      I'll bet they don't handle like the real thing either.

  2. Nicely done, and a beautiful machine... And a deadly one too!

  3. Excellent choice! I hope to see one of these in person one day.
    Loved the clip from "The Longest Day". One of the great war movies.

    1. I'd love to see one in person.

      And The Longest Day is a classic. One of my favorite films!

  4. To HELL with the short-nose FWs or the long-nose TA series--I want that car "Pips" is driving!

    1. Heh. Good call Virgil, good call.

      That four wheeled conveyance is cool looking...


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