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Focke Wulf FW-190 - WW2 Luftwaffe's Best Fighter

Is there really a cache of hidden and buried 190's in Turkey?

A report from Turkey is suggesting that aviation historians have discovered the previously secret location in which up to 50 WW2-era Focke-Wulf FW-190 fighter aircraft have been buried. Some pundits are suggesting the reports are unlikely and that the aircraft were scrapped after decommisioning in the late 1940's, while others believe they are perfectly preserved, wrapped in oiled canvas.

The Chariots Of Fire Fighter Collection's Focke Wulf FW-190 A/N is shown here during a display at Omaka Aerodrome, Blenhiem, New Zealand.  Photo: © Historical Aviation Film Unit

In 1941 Turkey signed an agreement with Germany that they would provide iron and chrome ore in exchange for a number of modern fighter aircraft, and in 1943 over 70 Focke Wulf FW-190's were delivered to Turkey. These aircraft were operated until 1947, with reports indicating that recently revealed documents from the time show that the USA was prepared to supply Turkey with some of its surplus WW2 aircraft, provided that the German FW-190's were destroyed.

It has been suggested that many (possibly up to 50) of these aircraft were shipped to an airbase in the central Turkish city of Kayseri, where they subsequently 'disappeared' from the inventory of the Turkish military forces. Some Turkish historians are of the belief that the aircraft were dismantled, wrapped in oil-soaked canvas to protect them, and then buried so that they could be later re-activated if it became necessary.

The rapid development of jet aircraft in the early 1950's would have meant that the radial powered WW2-era fighters would have become obsolete very quickly, and thus there was never any need for the Turkish military to uncover and reassemble the aircraft.

Other caches of buried WW2 aircraft have been speculated on for many years (most notably the recent 'Supermarine Spitfires Buried In Burma' theories), but none have yet come to light. If this cache of FW-190's turned out to be true it would be an aviation historian's dream come true. Watch this space.

The Chariots of Fire Fighter Collection's FW-190A is an airworthy aircraft and does fly (periodically). It's one of the reproduction 190's produced by the company FlugWerk in Germany - they built 12 aircraft. Most in the 'A' standard (radial engine) and 3 in 'D' standard with inline engine (the "long nose"). They used Allison engines for the "D" and Shevestov ASh-82 radials in the 'A' models. -- Copyright © 2014 Historical Aviation Film Unit This video material may not be reproduced in any form (except as an embedded video on any other website), without the written permission of the Historical Aviation Film Unit.

The Turkish newspaper site 'Daily Sabah' has reported:

...Researchers pressing on the government to recover the planes finally had the opportunity for excavation work at the site last year, but red tape delayed the process. However, the process is expected to resume soon, months after metal detectors detected traces of buried planes.

Other images of the Turkish FW-190's can be seen here.

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