The year was 1945. The 27th of April to be exact, the sun was beginning to set once again over the French countryside. Benito Mussolini had been captured by Italian partisans that day and would be hung the very next. As the sun settled on the horizon a young pilot, Captain Hans Klose throttled back the engine on his shot up fighter in a vain attempt to conserve fuel. The pilot was now winging his way over the French countryside at near treetop level trying to make it back to base. He had accomplished two succesful sortie’s earlier that day defending the fatherland against the seemingly unceasing waves of American bombers, but now after the latest battle, found himself too far from home to return. His craft had received a number of well placed hits by the Americans and precious fuel was leaking fast from the machines wing tanks. Although his person was not wounded, the aircrafts magazines were empty and he knew he could not survive another dog fight while the lifeblood of the craft leaked to the winds. The pilot quickly arrived at the realization that the only way for personal survive was to set the damaged fighter down as close to Germany as possible. A glimmer of hope survived that he could walk, or better yet steal a car, and make his way home to Germany.
A smooth open field presented itself ahead the spinning propeller so Hans started his descent. The stricken FW 190A bounced only once on the hard packed grassy field before settling down to a smooth roll and taxied up next to a low outbuilding near what looked like a small farmhouse. Hans pulled the throttle back to idle and switched off the magnetos... hardly needing to do so as the engine had already begun sputtering.
He parked the plane as close to the out building as possible and away from the road and the farmhouse.
The pilot slid back the canopy, removed himself from the cockpit for the last time taking maps, a jacket, a pistol and a picture of his wife Petra who waited patiently back home. As Captain Klose began to walk away, he glanced back one more time admiring his still proud fighting machine as it stood ticking quietly in the late afternoon sunlight, the engine slowly cooling. While sparrows flitted from tree to tree, the war at once seemed far away regardless of the bombers contrails that laced the blue sky above.
Hans pulled a small flask from his kit, removed the cap, held it high in a salute to the proud machine and drunk deeply. The cap to the flask was replaced and he headed for the nearest country road, then turned north toward Germany and home. Silently hoping to avoid an errant French farmer's sharp pitchfork during the trek.
4 months later the U.S. Army arrived at the farm of Hervé Thomas with the express purpose of decommissioning the now abandon fighter. The guns were removed and a few pictures taken along with noting the aircrafts serial numbers for historical record.
Hervé considered the aircraft to be a nuisance at first… but his sheep liked sleeping in the shadow of the wings so he figured he could let it be for now.
Years passed while the tires rotted to the ground while mice lived in the fuselage. Farmer Thomas tossed a tarp over the cowl thinking that the powerful engine might be worth something someday while wondering why his cat seemed to be so interested in the grounded aircraft.
Every surviving Warbird on this planet. be it in private ownership or a museum somewhere, owes its life to many many people down the years. Each has a story to tell and the tiny number of surviving German Focke-Wolf fighters that remain can be counted on slightly more than one hand. However it could happen! The above story is fiction of course but as my story goes... the aircraft was eventually sold and shipped to America where it began an annual campaign at Reno Air Races.
You see, the German FW 190 contained a mighty BMW 14 cylinder turbo supercharged radial engine capable of producing between 1560 and 2000 bhp. Just imagine what it could do today with modern fuel management technology? The engine was originally built under license to Pratt & Whitney beginning in the 30's, the Germans made many innovative improvements culminating in a beautiful powerplant! A parallel universe if you will.
I unfortunately did not get the model finished before the weather changed so these pictures were taken outside under a very cloudy and overcast sky. The pictures were shot against a blue backdrop, which I then replaced with swiped pictures from Google Images. The electric motor for spinning the propeller worked great and can spin at over 10,000 rpm without the prop running on 13 volts. With the prop a bit slower… but even so the darned camera still managed to stop the prop. So I simply left the blades off and applied a touch of photoshop.
So sue me, at least its done before the deadline!
Edited by Jairus, 08 October 2010 - 12:57 PM.