Hobby Master HA7401 German Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 Fighter - Oberstleutnant Walter Dahl, Jagdgeschwader 300, Jutebog, Germany, January 1945 (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 190A-8 entered production in February 1944, it was either powered by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q (also known as 801TU). The 801Q/TU was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced with the Fw 190 A-8 also included the C3-injection Erhahte Notleistung emergency boost system to the fighter variant of the Fw 190 A (a similar system with less power had been fitted to some earlier Jabo variants of the 190 A) raising power to 1,980 PS (1,953 hp, 1,456 kW) for a short time. The Erhahte Notleistung system operated by spraying additional fuel into the fuel/air mix, cooling it and allowing higher boost pressures to be run, but at the cost of much higher fuel consumption. From the A-8 on Fw 190s could be fitted with a new paddle-bladed wooden propeller, easily identified by its wide blades with curved tips.
A new bubble canopy design, with greatly improved vision sideways and forward had been developed for the F-2 ground attack model, but was often seen fitted at random on A-8s, F-8s and G-8s. The new canopy included a larger piece of head armour which was supported by reinforced bracing and a large fairing. A new internal fuel tank with a capacity of 115 L (30 US gal) was fitted behind the cockpit, which meant that the radio equipment had to be moved forward to just behind the pilot. Externally, a large round hatch was incorporated into the lower fuselage to enable the new tank to be installed and the pilot's oxygen bottles were moved aft and positioned around this hatch. A fuel filler was added to the port side, below the rear canopy and a rectangular radio access hatch was added to starboard.
Other changes included an ETC 501 under-fuselage rack which was mounted on a lengthened carrier and moved 200 mm (8 in) further forward to help restore the centre of gravity of the aircraft. This fuselage would form the basis for all later variants of the Fw 190 and the Ta 152 series. The Morane "whip" aerial for Y-Verfahren was fitted as standard under the port wing, just aft of the wheel-well. Nearly a dozen Rustsatze kits were made available for the A-8, including the famous A-8/R2 and A-8/R8 Sturmbockmodels. The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon, the A-8/R8 was similar but fitted with heavy armour including 30 mm (1.18 in) canopy and windscreen armour and 5 mm ( in) cockpit armour. The A-8 was the most numerous of the Fw 190 A's, with over 6,550 A-8 airframes produced from March 1944 to May 1945. A-8's were produced by at least eight factories during its lifetime.
This particular 1:48 scale replica of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 was flown by Oberstleutnant Walter Dahl of JG-300, then deployed to the Eastern Front in 1945.
Wingspan: 8.5 inches
Length: 7.25 inches
Release Date: October 2009
Historical Account: "Multi-Purpose" - Walter Dahl was born on March 27th, 1916, at Lug in the Bergzabern region of Pfalz. He joined the army in 1935, initially serving in the infantry, before transferring to the Luftwaffe and becoming a pilot. He became a flight instructor in 1939. In May 1941, Dahl was transferred to the Geschwaderstab of JG 3. He gained his first victory on June 22nd during the invasion of Russia. On July 10th, Dahl was transferred to II./JG 3. By the end of October, Dahl had 17 victories to his credit, including three Russian aircraft shot down on September 13th to record victories seven through nine and a further three on October 23rd, all Russian fighters (15-17). Dahl was transferred to 4./JG 3 on December 13th, 1941, and accompanied the unit to the Mediterranean theatre. He claimed a Spitfire shot down over Malta on April 1st, 1942, although this claim could well have occurred on April 2nd. However, the victory was not confirmed and the Spitfire, actually a RAF Hurricane of 229 Squadron, managed to return to its base on Malta, albeit damaged. On April 10th, 1942, Dahl was appointed Staffelkapitan of Erganzungsgruppe/JG 3. At the end of April 1943, Dahl was transferred to the staff of the General der Jagdflieger. On August 15th, Dahl was appointed Geschwaderadjutant of JG 3 based on the Eastern front where, by mid-April 1943, he had raised his victory total to 51. Dahl shot down four Russian Il-2 ground attack aircraft on October 26th, 1942 (34-37). Oberleutnant Dahl was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold on December 2nd, 1942, for 42 victories. He shot down two Russian LaGG-3 fighters on April 16th, 1943 (50-51).
On July 20th, 1943, Dahl was posted as
Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 3, recently relocated to Munster from deployment around Kursk on the Russian Front. Here Dahl was to battle the bomber formations of the USAAF. He shot down two four-engined bombers on September 6th (52-53). He downed two more four-engined bombers and a USAAF P-38 twin-engined fighter on February 23rd, 1944 (59-61). Dahl led III./JG 3 against the Schweinfurt and Regensburg raid on August 17th but was intercepted by Spitfires of the RAF's 222 Squadron. Five III./JG 3 Bf 109s were shot down including the aircraft of Leutnant Hans Schleef (99 victories, RK, killed in action December 31st, 1944). Dahl himself had to make a belly landing near Capperath when his Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 18 842) suffered an engine failure. Major Dahl was awarded the Ritterkreuz on March 11th, 1944 for 67 victories. On May 21st, 1944, Dahl was appointed Kommodore of JG z.b.V. He led the unit until June 6th before taking command of JG 300 on June 27th. On September 13th, he brought down a USAAF B-17 four-engined bomber by ramming.
Despite the successes, achieved against the USAAF four-engined bombers with the use of Sturm tactics employed by JG 300, Dahl was to be relieved of his command by Goring on November 30th, 1944. On January 26th, 1945, he was appointed
Inspekteur der Tagjager. Oberst Dahl was awarded the Eichenlaub on February 1st for 92 victories. Despite his promotion, Dahl continued to fly operationally. He added 32 Russian aircraft to his tally flying over the Eastern front. He recorded his 100th victory on 28 February 1945. Oberst Dahl ended the war flying Me 262 jet fighters with III./EJG 2. Here he flew under the command of Heinz 'Pritzl' Bar (221 victories, RK-S). On March 27th, Dahl claimed two USAAF P-47 fighters shot down. He gained his 128th and last victory, a USAAF P-51 Mustang near Dillingen, on April 26th, 1945. Walter Dahl survived the war but died on November 25th, 1985, at Heidelberg, aged 69.
Walter Dahl shot down 128 enemy aircraft in 678 missions, including about 300 ground-attack missions. He claimed 30, possibly 36, four-engined bombers and 34 Il-2 Stormovik ground attack aircraft. Dahl also achieved two, possibly as many as nine victories, flying the Me-262. He recorded 84 victories over the Eastern Front.