prebennorholm
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Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:05 pm

Yesterday the remains of a Heinkel He 219 WWII night fighter was excavated, buried in the sand on 8 feet deep water about a hundred yards from the Danish North Sea coast.

The wreak has been known by amateur divers for at least 25 years, but there are a great number of WWII wreaks in Danish waters, so no attention was paid (there are enough WWII wreaks around here to keep us busy digging for the next thousand years). Then the winter storms uncovered it to a greater degree, and is was noticed that it had a tri-cycle landing gear - unusual for WWII planes which crashed in Denmark. Therefore it was decided to retrieve this plane.

It is of course in very bad shape, but it is hoped that it can be restored for a museum.

It is not yet known which variant it is. But likely it is a He 219A-2 which is known to have been used from "Fliegerhorst Grove" (now RDAF Karup Air Base) some 100 miles south of where this plane was found.

Only one He 219 existed before this one was retrieved - at Smithsonian. At the end of WWII the US Army took three He 219A-2 from Fliegerhorst Grove back home for testing and investigation, and two of them were later scrapped making only one single survivor in the world. Until yesterday.

There are no records of what happened to this "new" He 219. Very likely it made an emergency landing on the beach in winter 1944/45 and soon disappeared in the sand.

Only 294 He 219s were produced, seeing limited service in the last year of WWII as the most capable Luftwaffe night fighter. It is often compared to the US P-61 Black Widow of similar configuration and performance.

During the last days of WWII a very large part of the remains of Luftwaffe fled to still nazi occupied Denmark. Countless quantities of all Luftwaffe types ended up here, including mile long rows of rail cars with brand new fighter planes, such as Fw 190, which only needed to have the wings mounted (there was no reason to mount the wings since there was little fuel). The British and US Armies took a few handfuls of the most advanced types such as Me 262 and He 219 back home, the rest was driven over by tanks and handed over to local scrap handlers.

Have a look at http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/EC...1/heinkel-he-219-found-in-denmark/

[Edited 2012-04-25 16:06:27]
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
DrStrange
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:07 am

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this info on the find of an "Uhu" (or Eagle Owl for our non-german speaking friends  ).
 
rfields5421
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:49 pm

According to Wikipedia the He-219 was the first German aircraft of the war with tricycle gear. Only about 300 were made so finding one in possibly restorable condition is a find.

There is apparently only one other of this aircraft - the US Smithsonian has partially restored one which was captured in Denmark in 1945 and transferred to the US after the war.
 
DanatFCM
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Thanks for sharing. Any word on where it might be eventually displayed?
"There's no sensation that compares with this- suspended animation, a state of bliss" -Pink Floyd
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:08 am

Quoting DanatFCM (Reply 3):
Any word on where it might be eventually displayed?

The present day plan is to put it on display at the Aalborg Defence and Garrison Museum. That's a 100,000 souls city in Northern Denmark, some 30-40 miles from where the plane was found.
http://www.forsvarsmuseum.dk/eng/information.html
http://www.forsvarsmuseum.dk/eng/information_files/brochure.pdf

That's at least where it has been brought now. But it will take years before restoration work can be considered finished, and I have no idea whether it will be accessible by the public during the restoration work. Maybe?

They have all sorts of military equipment, dating back to 18th century, and only a minor part is air force related. They do have some equipment which the Luftwaffe left back on the nearby Aalborg Air Base (an important Luftwaffe bridgehead for transports to Norway during WWII and also a fighter base), and a few RDAF planes which were operated from there during the "Cold War", Gloster Meteor NF-11, F-86H Sabre, and F-104G Starfighter.

That museum is, however, just as much a "kids' playground", which is probably not the perfect place for 50% of the world's population of He-219 Uhu's. So maybe it will find another place at a later stage?
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:05 am

Here is a 2 minutes video clip from the excavation... http://www.nordjyske.dk/webtv/forside.aspx?mediaid=26740

Sound is Danish language, but anyway the pictures give a good indication of its condition and what restoration work is needed.

Most of the tail and one engine has still not been found, so the excavation is still "work in progress". All search for any identification of the plane - serial number and such - has so far been unsuccessful.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
DanatFCM
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RE: Heinkel He 219 Excavated In Denmark

Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:46 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):
Quoting DanatFCM (Reply 3):
Any word on where it might be eventually displayed?

The present day plan is to put it on display at the Aalborg Defence and Garrison Museum. That's a 100,000 souls city in Northern Denmark, some 30-40 miles from where the plane was found.

Thanks again for the info- hopefully someday I can make the trip over and see it in person.
"There's no sensation that compares with this- suspended animation, a state of bliss" -Pink Floyd

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