Focke-Wulf 190-A8 werk nummer 173056 was manufactured in Cottbus, Germany in July 1944. The original data tag for the aircraft displays the letters “NAT” which suggest it was manufactured at the Focke-Wulf plant in Marienburg, Germany however this plant was destroyed in an air raid on the 9th of October, 1943. It is believed a number of aircraft sub-assemblies including w/n 173056 were rescued from the Marienburg ruins and transported to Cottbus, Germany for final assembly.
History suggests w/n 173056 joined Gruppe I of Jagdeschwader 11 (I./JG11) in late July/early August 1944 where it flew as “White 14”. Jagdgeschwader 11 was a German fighter wing operating under Luftflotte 3 (Air Fleet 3) – one of the primary divisions of the German Luftwaffe in World War II. On August the 17th 1944, Luftflotte 3 was ordered to withdraw to Reims after concentrating most of its efforts on attempting to hamper Allied tanks pushing on towards Paris. By August the 30th 1944 Reims was liberated by allied ground forces and almost immediately, the United States Army Air Forces IX Engineer Command 850th Engineer Aviation Battalion cleared Reims airport of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft.
Between the end of July 1944 and the end of August I./JG11 was based at the following airfields:
26/7/44 – 8/44 Mönchen-Gladbach
8/44 – 17/8/44 Bönninghardt
17/8/44 – 25/8/44 Dammartin-en-Goele
25/8/44 – 28/8/44 Reims-Champagne
In 1989 w/n 173056 was retrieved from Reims with the intent of being restored in France. In 2001 the wreckage was purchased by an American collector and in 2002 it was sold to Don Hansen of Louisiana USA who tasked PAI Aero with the restoration project. Major components were produced from original Focke-Wulf factory drawings and supplied by Flug Werk of Germany. The aircraft is fitted with a 14 cylinder 1900HP Ash 82T in place of the original BMW801D.
After a ten and a half year restoration Fw 190A-8, w/n 173056 took to the air on October 9th, 2011.
From 2011 to 2014 the aircraft completed its test flight regime at the hands of experienced test pilot Klaus Plasa. In late 2014 the aircraft was purchased by Raptor Aviation P/L of Australia and in July, 2015 the aircraft arrived in Albury NSW where it was re-assembled and once again test flown by Klaus Plasa.
This aircraft carries a standard scheme consisting of RLM 74/75/76 with a white spiral on the spinner. It also carries the markings of the Defense of the Reich (a blue band for JG 54), and a red vertical band on the rear fuselage denoting service with III. Gruppe. The red colour means 2. (or 10.) Staffel, and the number 1 belongs to the Staffel CO which at the time was Hans Dortenmann.
Hans was credited with 38 victories in some 150 combat missions, with 16 victories over the Eastern Front and 22 over the Western Front. He recorded 18 victories with the Fw 190 D-9 and was the most successful fighter pilot with this type.