FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016

The world’s only original flying Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 ground attack “Butcher Bird” had alluded me for years. Yes I had seen this fine aircraft recovered from a Russian swamp and returned to flight numerous times on the ground but never in the sky. In 2012 the Flying Heritage Collection Luftwaffe Flying Day at Paine Field, Everett was beset with mechanical issues and the mighty Fw 190A-5 didn’t fly, then most recently at this years Famous Fighters Flying Day poor weather and a low cloud ceiling kept all the fighters including the Fw 190A-5 on the ground (safety must always come first).

Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5

So finally August 13th, 2016 and the Flying Heritage Collection Luftwaffe Flying Day came around and it was a beautiful sunny day, even better the Fw 190A-5 had no engine troubles or the like and took off into the great blue yonder. Finally my wish came true and what a beauty she is to see fly. Accompanied in flight by a real Battle of Britain 1940 veteran Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil and a fellow Eastern Front compatriot in a 1943 Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch liaison and observation aircraft, the day was ideal!

FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 lineup - Fw 190A-5, Bf 109E-3 and a Storch
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 lineup – Fw 190A-5, Bf 109E-3 and a Storch
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 lineup - Fw 190A-5, Bf 109E-3 and a Storch
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 lineup – Fw 190A-5, Bf 109E-3 and a Storch

Luftwaffe Aircraft

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 with an original BMW 801 D-2 radial engine. The paint scheme is indicative of its Eastern Front livery as are the bright yellow flashes to indicate it was a friendly aircraft to German forces.

Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5
Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 “Butcher Bird”
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight
From my location the reflection of the sun was not my friend on this day…
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Butcher Bird pass
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
And away!
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Great looking camo livery!
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 – Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
It was fantastic to finally see the Fw 190A-5 fly!
FHC Fw 190A-5 post flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
FHC Fw 190A-5 post flight – engine lubricant dripping, this is the real deal!
FHC Fw 190A-5 Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
A beautiful but deadly “Butcher Bird”
FHC Fw 190A-5 Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Eastern Front yellow flashes
FHC Fw 190A-5
From a wreck to a flying legend
FHC Fw 190A-5 Flying Heritage Collection
A bucket list moment
Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 Sd.Kfz.8 Half-track Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Travel back in time to the Eastern Front 1943 – Flying Heritage Collection Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 & Sd.Kfz.8 Half-track

The Bf 109E-3 Emil was manufactured in Germany in October 1939. Operated in France with Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG.51) Mölders it was flown by Eduard Hemmerling (6/JG.51) who was credited with shooting down 2 RAF Spitfire fighters and a Blenheim bomber in July 1940 during the early stages of the Battle of Britain (the livery is as it would have appeared in JG.51 and tally markings are on the tail). During the engagement with one of the Spitfire’s on July 27th, 1940 west of Cap Blanc Nez, Hemmerling’s aircraft was damaged and he never made it back to France. Crashing off the coast, he died in the incident and the aircraft sat there for the next 48 years. It was rediscovered in 1988 by a man walking along the beach who noticed the wing tip sticking out of the sand! This lead to the recovery of the Bf 109E-3, it’s long restoration and finally a return to flight in 2003 with an original Daimler Benz DB 601Aa liquid-cooled, inverted V12 1159 hp inline engine.

Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil & Hetzer tank destroyer Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil & Hetzer tank destroyer
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil a 1940 Battle of Britain combatant
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil a 1940 Battle of Britain combatant
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 (1943) and Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil (1939)
Flying Heritage Collection Fw 190A-5 (1943) and Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil (1939)
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil at the Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
1940 revisited
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 & Fw 190A-5 Formation flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
With my location and the reflection I unfortunately couldn’t snag a great shot of these two together…
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 & Fw 190A-5 Formation flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Two of the Luftwaffe’s finest in WW2
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 & Fw 190A-5 Formation flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
There wasn’t much opportunity to get a second chance on a close formation pass unfortunately
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
The Bf 109E-3 of JG.51 flies again!
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
The scourge of Allied pilots in 1940 the Luftwaffe Bf 109E-3 Emil
Flying Heritage Collection Bf 109E-3 in flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
A rare top pass for the day
FHC Bf 109E-3 banks away sharply from the Fw 190A-5
The Bf 109E-3 banks away sharply from the Fw 190A-5
FHC Bf 109E-3 banks away sharply from the Fw 190A-5
History lives at the Flying Heritage Collection
FHC Bf 109E-3 post flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
FHC Bf 109E-3 post flight
The FHC Bf-109E-3 Emil post flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
The FHC Bf-109E-3 Emil post flight
The FHC Bf-109E-3 Emil post flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Almost looks like a shark the way the canopy shadow has cast it looks like gills
Flying Heritage Collection Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
The Flying Heritage Collection is a fantastic place!

The Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch (Stork – when in flight, with its long slender fixed undercarriage you soon see why it was called Stork) was deployed by the Luftwaffe across all fronts during World War Two. Known for its slow speed (it can almost stop in the air) and its incredible short field landing and take-off capability, the type was famously used to rescue Italian dictator Mussolini from his mountain top imprisonment in 1943. Pilot Heinrich Gerlach landed his Storch on a rocky area on the mountain within 30 metres / 100 feet and even though very much overloaded with Mussolini and German commando leader Otto Skorzeny aboard, took off in 80 metres /250 feet!

Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch and Hetzer tank destroyer
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch and Hetzer tank destroyer

The FHC Storch was manufactured in Germany in 1943 and deployed for use in occupied Europe and the Eastern Front. Somehow it survived the maelstrom of war and was found in a poor state in East Germany in the late 1980’s. Following an extensive restoration it was returned to flight and continues show off its slow speed handling today (the livery is as it would have appeared in the summer of 1943 including the bright yellow recognition flashes).

Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
No doubt on the suitability of the Storch (Stork) name
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
A nice display showing the slow handing capability of the Storch – perfect for low flying observation missions over the Eastern Front of WW2
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Don’t Shoot! Yellow = Friendly!
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Fieseler Fi 156 C-2 Storch Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
FHC Storch post flight Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
FHC Storch post flight
Storch and model Storch FHC Flying Heritage Collection Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Big Brother, Little Brother
FHC Storch and Fw 190A-5 Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
A Hetzer, Stork and a Butcher Bird

German Vehicles

The German artifacts kept coming on the ground too. There was a Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer (kind of like “troublemaker”) tank destroyer on the vehicle track. The Hetzer was designed using the base of the well proven Czechoslovakian Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) light tank and put into service in 1944 (over 2,800 were manufactured up to 1945). It was joined by a big Sonderkraftfahrzeug 8 (“special motorized vehicle 8”) or simply Sd.Kfz.8 heavy half track powered by a mighty V12 185hp Maybach engine. The Sd.Kfz.8 was  a prime mover for heavy artillery and the like, used on all fronts by the German Army throughout World War Two.

Flying Heritage Collection Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer
Flying Heritage Collection Sd.Kfz.8 half-track Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Sd.Kfz.8 half-track
Sd.Kfz.8 towing a Gotha Go 242 glider in 1943 - this big halftrack was used on all fronts by the German Army throughout World War Two
Sd.Kfz.8 towing a Gotha Go 242 glider in 1943 – this big halftrack was used on all fronts by the German Army throughout World War Two (Photo Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-561-1130-24A / Seeger, Erwin / CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Flying Heritage Collection Sdk.Fz.8 half-track & Hetzer tank destroyer Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Flying Heritage Collection Sdk.Fz.8 half-track & Hetzer tank destroyer

Inside the FHC Museum was a special visitor on loan from the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in the form of a 1956 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabin Scooter. Yes post war the famous manufacturer was not allowed to make aircraft again until the mid 1950’s,  so they made these little 2 seat,  3 wheeled commuter vehicles instead that were known as a “Kabinenroller” (hence the KR, which translates to Cabin Scooter). The KR200 was introduced in 1955 and had a top speed of 96.5 km/h / 60mph. By the time production stopped in 1964, some 16,000 KR200’s had been produced!

1956 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabin Scooter FHC Le May
1956 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabin Scooter – FHC Museum – August 2016
1956 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabin Scooter Bf 109E-3 FHC Le May
1940: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Emil a state of the art fighter plane in its day
1956: The cute little KR200! FHC Museum – August 2016
1956 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabin Scooter Me 163B FHC Le May
From a Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet rocket interceptor to the Cabin Scooter! FHC Museum – August 2016

Joining the KR200, former Luftwaffe aircraft  and German military vehicles were also numerous BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen cars from a local German vehicle motor club. They were all parked neatly outside the museum hangars and looked great in a big long row.

Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW
Volkswagen, Porshe, Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016
German motoring
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 post flight line-up
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 post flight line-up
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 post flight line-up - Bf 109E-3, Storch & Fw 190A-5
FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016 post flight line-up – Bf 109E-3, Storch & Fw 190A-5

A fun day! All that was lacking was a cold stein of German beer and a bratwurst topped with some sauerkraut to make it complete!

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7 thoughts on “FHC Luftwaffe Flying Day 2016

  1. A fabulous collection of warbirds (and vehicles) there. Looked like a great day out. The KR200 reminds me of the cockpit of the 109 on wheels, Wing stubs, but missing a fuselage and engine. Great photos too. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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