It is not very often you get a chance to take a closer look at what is under the engine cowling of an original World War Two, German Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-5 fighter known as the Würger or “Butcher Bird” (for its lethal reputation and heavy armament of MG151 20mm cannons and MG131 13mm machine guns). I was lucky enough to do just that this week at the Flying Heritage Collection (FHC are constantly maintaining their aircraft, especially leading up to the summer flying season). Look at that mighty and original BMW 801 D-2 radial engine!
This aircraft (Werknummer 151227) was manufactured in 1943 and is an Fw-190A-5/U3 variant which was used as a ground attack fighter (a Jabo). It could carry drop tanks and bombs along with its 2 x MG131 machine guns and 2 x MG151 cannons (instead of the 4 fitted to other fighter variants).
This Fw-190A-5 served on the Eastern Front near Leningrad with Jagdgeschwader 54 Grünherz (JG54 Green Heart – fighter wing 54) and crashed whilst attacking a Soviet supply train on July 9th, 1943. The pilot Feldwebel Paul Ratz became a prisoner of war but this aircraft sat deep in inaccessible marshlands, slowly being surrounded by a growing forest. It pretty much sat there untouched until rediscovered and recovered in the late 1980’s. Following a long restoration it was first returned to flight in 2010 and continues to be a hit at FHC Flying Days.