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Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor

This time our story begins way back when air travel was still relatively new and only for the rich. Although after World War 1, most countries had developed their own air forces and commercial airlines, it was still an industry in its infancy. In the 1930's that would change as more and more aircraft in various countries were being designed to go a step further and higher, from military bombers and fighters to commercial airliners with ever more passenger capacity that would be able to fly much further than ever before. In Germany the company Focke-Wulf was designing a new commercial airliner for the German Luft Hansa and came up with an aircraft capable of transporting 26 passengers over a distance of up to 3000 km. The world was still at piece at this time and the first prototype flew in 1937 and for a moment when it was in service with the German Luft Hansa, it was the most modern aircraft in service.


Of course World War 2 would change the destiny of this remarkable bird, Japan was the first to request military versions to be made from a Condor and this would result in Condors being used as transporters, commerce raiders and patrol aircraft. Hitler also changed his Junkers 52 for a new FW200 as his personal transport, this aircraft called Immelmann III was destroyed in an allied bombing in 1944. After the war there were still a few of these intact and in service, even in Brazil 2 of them were still flying and some commercial airliners were also still operational. However ... by now none of them are still surviving as most of them were taken over by allied forces and ended up in various roles around the world.

Aircraft recognition card in my collection


One specific aircraft was built in 1941 and had to ditch in the Trondheim fjord in 1942. The wreck was raised in 1999 and with some parts of the wings of another wreck taken to Germany to be restored. This aircraft was fully restored and by 2021 it was transported to the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport for display. This one is now the only intact FW200 in the world. Some parts of other aircraft still survice to this day, a part of the cabin of another one was found in use a small garage and was aquired by the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin for display.


Link to video about this project here!


In early 2024, JGADV received a request to photograph this sole surviving aircraft in Berlin in full detail. Link to the trip here.


The first thing to photograph was the instrument panel in the Deutsches Technikmuseum.








Followed by some recovered pieces of the wreck itself.


And the section of cabin from another aircraft that has been restored to look like a full passenger cabin when the aircraft was in service as a commercial airliner.


Next was a short drive to Berlin Tempelhof Airport (closed in 2008) to get to the only surviving restored FW200, located in hangar 6 at the moment. This aircraft has been almost completely restored to its former glory, however ... only as a display model, she will never fly again as her real instruments are in the instrument panel in the Technikmuseum. The aircraft is otherwise about 90% intact and sitting on its own wheels with her real BMW engines.



At the end of the day the guardians of this aircraft showed me some pieces of the wreck that are not on display and a large diagram of the cockpit that they recovered from the archives.


THE END!

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