Focke Wulf Fw 189A-1
Focke Wulf Fw 189A-1 V7+1H Wrk Nr 2100 Aufk.Gr.32 Ponsalenjoki,
Unteroffizier Lothar Mothes (Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class), Finland, May 1943.
In 1937 the Reichsluftministerium issued a specification for a reconnaissance aircraft,
directed at Arado and expected to be single-engined; Focke-Wulf however thought that they
could fill the requirement better, and proposed a twin-boom, twin-engined design with a
central extensively-glazed crew nacelle for excellent all-round visibility. Blohm & Voss
devised an aircraft even more radical, the asymmetric Bv 141, The Fw 189 was twin engined and
designed by Dr. Kurt Tank (who also piloted its first flight). The Focke Wulf design was accepted and the Fw189 enterred production. 846 were
produced in several plants, including Bremen, Bordeaux-Merignac and Prague. Both its role
and its multi-faceted glazing earned the Fw 189 the nickname "Flying Eye", and its principal use
was on the Eastern front. Although slow compared with opposing fighters its greatest
defensive asset was its manoeuvrability, and its ruggedness enabling the Fw 189 to survive considerable damage.
Lothar Mothes was the pilot of Fw 189A-1 V7+1H on 4 May, 1943 tasked with photographing the Russian
airfield at Loukhi, when it was shot down by Russian Hurricane fighters behind their lines,
crashing in to nearby woodland. Mothes was knocked unconscious, and recovering found that
his gunner Gunther Albrecht was dead and his observer Kurt Lebrecht dying. He had decided
long before that he would not be captured by the Russians, and started his long trek back
to his home airfield; this was to take two weeks of walking, stumbling, wading and crawling,
and have to eat grubs and tree bark, but he did evade capture. He had to spend nine months
in hospital convalescing, from head wounds and severely frozen feet, and he had lost twenty kilos in weight.
He returned to flying, with more than 100 missions in the Fw 189, and survived the war.
The remains of Fw 189A-1 V7+1H were recovered by restorer Jim Pearce in 1991, and Mothes was reunited with it
at Biggin Hill in 1996. The airframe has since changed hands, but the restoration continues.
The model has been featured with an open canopy. The two figures featured are optional at extra cost.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 10.05" (255.4 mm)
Base size 9.33" (237 mm) square (No. 6)
Weight not including base 1lb 0.5 ozs (471 grams) Limited edition of 50 only
Price £130.00 plus delivery. Figures optional at £15 each.