From our friends at AeroAustralia Magazine comes news that Australia now has its first airworthy Focke-Wulf Fw-190. The aircraft arrived in Australia in July after a long sea voyage from her previous owner, Don Hansen, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It has been undergoing maintenance work at Hazair Pty. Ltd. in Albury, New South Wales since its arrival and flew first on November 9th with Klaus Plasa at the controls. Klaus Plasa, an experienced warbird pilot, and has made a name for himself performing test flights in FW-190s, having piloted the very first Flugwerk example and more recently Dan Kirkland’s FW-190 on its first flight in May after its restoration by GossHawk Unlimited in Casa Grande, Arizona (see HERE). Plasa also flew the Australian Fw-190 on its first post-restoration flight for its previous owner, Don Hansen back in October, 2011.
Don Hansen restored the ‘Butcher Bird’ over a ten year period starting with the remains of an original Luftwaffe airframe, Fw-190A-8 Wk.Nr.173056 in 2000. Most of the structure is new construction of course, with a large chunk of the structure coming from Flugwerk stocks in Germany. Back when this aircraft first flew in 2011, Hansen estimated that no more than 10% of the aircraft came from original Fw-190 material. Wk.Nr.173056 is understood to have rolled off Focke-Wulf’s production line in Marienburg, Germany during 1944 and flown as ‘White 14’ with 1/JG11 during WWII. It ended its days as a stripped carcass, buried at the rail yards in Rheims, France until rediscovery many decades later.
Powered by a Russian-designed ASh-82 engine, in place of the more traditional BMW 801, Klaus Plasa was apparently very happy with the way the aircraft performed on its November 9th flight. Hazair noted on their Facebook page that all systems performed properly. However, following a post-flight inspection, the maintenance team discovered an ‘electrical fault’ in the unlock mechanism. They have had to request a replacement part from Germany, and test flights will continue following its installation. We here at WarbirdsNews hopes she has a long and successful future on the air show circuit in Australia, and will be reporting more when further details arise.