Hobby Master HA7409 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6 Fighter - General-Major Adolf Galland, Jagdgeschwader 300, Berlin-Templehof, March 1944 (1:48 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
Nicknamed the "Butcher Bird," the Fw 190 was Germany's best air-to-ground fighter. Faster and more agile than the British Spitfire, it dominated the skies over Europe as a fighter and was the Luftwaffe's most important ground-attack aircraft. Controlled by the skilled hands of aces like Oberleutnant Otto Kittel, the FW-190 gained the reputation of being one of the greatest fighters of all time. This fighter-bomber and anti-tank aircraft was almost impossible to defeat until the introduction of the long-range P-51 Mustang.
The Fw 190 A-6 was developed to address shortcomings found in previous "A" models when attacking U.S. heavy bombers. Modifications of the type to date had caused the weight of the aircraft to creep up. To combat this and to allow better weapons to be installed in the wings, a structurally redesigned and lighter wing was introduced. The normal armament was increased to two MG 17 fuselage machine guns and four 20 mm MG 151/20E wing root and outer wing cannon with larger ammunition boxes. New electrical sockets and reinforced weapon mounts were fitted internally in the wings to allow the installation of either 20 mm or 30 mm (1.18 in) ammunition boxes and for underwing armament. Because the outer wing MG 151s were mounted lower than the MG/FFs new larger hatches, incorporating bulges and cartridge discharge chutes, were incorporated into the wing lower surfaces. It is believed the MG 17s were kept because their tracer rounds served as a targeting aid for the pilots. A new FuG 16 ZE radio navigation system was fitted in conjunction with a FuG 10 ZY. A loop aerial for radio navigation, mounted on a small "teardrop" base was fitted under the rear fuselage, offset slightly to port, with an additional short "whip" aerial aft of this. These aerials were fitted on all later Fw 190 variants.
The A-6 was outfitted in numerous ways with various sets, Rustsatze (field modification kits); more flexible than the factory upgrade kits for previous versions, these field upgrade kits allowed the A-6 to be refitted in the field as missions demanded. At least 963 A-6s were built from July 1943 ending in April 1944, according to Ministry of Aviation acceptance reports and Focke-Wulf production books. In late 1943, the Erla Antwerp factory designed a simpler rack/drop-tank fitting, which was more streamlined than the bulky ETC 501 and could be quickly fitted or removed. Several A-6s, A-7s and A-8s of JG 26 were fitted with these racks (one such aircraft was A-8 W.Nr.170346 Black 13 flown by Obstlt. Josef Priller during the Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944.)
This particular 1:48 scale replica of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6 was piloted by General-Major Adolf Galland and deployed to the Berlin-Templehof Airport during March 1944.
Wingspan: 8.5 inches
Length: 7.25 inches
Release Date: September 2011
Historical Account: "Battering Ram" - By 1944, Adolf Galland pursued innovations with existing aircraft designs while waiting for the Me 262 to realize its true potential. The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft was formed into several Geschwader with distinctly upgraded fire power. Called the Sturmbock (Battering ram) these machines could inflict heavy damage on unescorted bomber formations. Galland supported the conversion of units such as Jagdgeschwader 300 to the Sturmbock role. The Sturmbock were heavily armed and armored which meant they were unmaneuverable and vulnerable without protection from escorting Bf 109s. Still, the tactics quickly became widespread and were one of the few Luftwaffe success stories in 1944. Galland said after the war, had it not been for the Allied landing in Normandy which increased the need for lighter fighter variants, each Geschwader in the Luftwaffe would have contained a Gruppe of Sturmbock aircraft by September 1944.
Galland himself flew on unauthoried interception flights to experience the combat pressures of the pilots. Galland witnessed USAAF bombers being escorted by large numbers of North American P-51 Mustangs. Nevertheless, on occasions the Sturmbock tactics worked. For example, on July 7th, 1944, Eighth Air Force bombers belonging to the 492nd Bomb Group were intercepted unescorted. The entire squadron of 12 B-24s were shot down. The USAAF 2nd Air Division lost 28 Liberators that day, the majority to a Sturmbock attack.