Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fascinating news (if true) for warbird enthusiasts

It's reported that fifty Focke-Wulf FW-190A3 fighters dating back to World War II might have been found buried in Turkey.

Fifty of 72 warplanes that went missing 70 years ago have reportedly been found buried under the former airport of the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

A German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A3
after landing in the UK by mistake in June 1942
(image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - click it for a larger view)

Cooperation between Turkey and Germany continued after World War I and paved the way for production cooperation with German aircraft manufacturer Junkers. Afterward, Turkey’s first plane factory was founded, producing [Junkers] A-20 model planes.

To continue mutual production, a trade deal was signed between Turkey and Nazi Germany in 1941 following the efforts of former Chancellor Franz von Papen. Turkey sold iron and chrome ore to Germany and, in exchange, acquired 72 FW-190A3 warplanes.

The planes, whose pieces were produced in Anatolia, were brought to Turkey in 1943. The planes made their first flight on July 10, 1943, and were distributed to five provinces. A total of 50 of the planes were sent to Kayseri before disappearing in 1947.

According to newly surfaced documents, the U.S. wanted Turkey to destroy all German FW-190A3 warplanes in order to sell its planes that had remained unsold after World War II. As a result of lengthy talks with Ankara, the planes were never seen again.

There's more at the link.

If this report is true, it's likely to ignite a firestorm of interest in the warbird community.  If the aircraft can be excavated in even remotely restorable condition, I'm sure there'll be individuals and organizations falling over themselves to bid for them.  There are very few original FW-190's still in existence, and most of them are not airworthy, exhibited in museums.

I've not found any confirmation of this report from other sources, but here's hoping!



Ron Merrell said...

I saw the first flight of Werke # 836017, a D-13 Model, after it received a multiyear restoration in Everett Washington. Awesome to see these planes flying after all the decades on the ground. The mechanically fuel injected Jumo engine has a unique sound, very different from the D-B engine in the 109 or even the carbed rotary engines used by US fighters. It's the only 190 flying using it's own engine; we got a lecture by the team that worked on it, and no wonder. The engine rebuild took over two years.

Steve Diaz said...

Well, I hope this doesn't turn out like the buried Spitfires in Burma...

Old NFO said...

Here's hoping!!!

Jonathan H said...

I agree - amazing news, if true - and depending on storage conditions; even in dry climates, metal can deteriorate fast.
At least they will be a source of spare parts and knowledge even if they are not flyable.

TheOtherSean said...

Very cool if true.