The National Air and Space Museum owns the only surviving
example of the German He 219 night fighter. The aircraft is an He
219A-2/R4, W.Nr. 290202.
The war trophy went through an extended restoration, lasting
several years. The aircraft’s restored components, fuselage,
engines and tail surfaces, were seen at the Udvar-Hazy Centre in
Maryland, near the Washington – Dulles International Airport. The
week of the 12th to 16th of August, 2019, saw the final assembly
of the airplane.
This was done in the main display area of the museum, and
required a list of accommodations that needed to be implemented.
Their Fw 190F-8 had to be temporarily relocated, and a section
of the museum’s WWII collection was less accessible to visitors.
Work was done, mainly for safety reasons, outside normal business
hours and typically began around 5:30 in the afternoon.
Monday saw the completion of the fuselage and the wing,
Tuesday was used to install the landing gear, the engines and their
gondolas were attached on Wednesday, and the tail surfaces were
planned for Thursday.
Thanks to the kindness of the museum staff, we had the
opportunity to witness the installation of both engines into their
gondolas and then the wings. For Second World War groundcrew,
this relatively routine operation required over five hours, with
a short break. Heavy equipment was used (a crane, lifting
equipment), as was the usual list of smaller items (hammers, Allen
Five hours or being around the Uhu and discussing the matter
with the personnel involved in its restoration resulted in some
interesting modelling information:
The aircraft, although it carries the W.Nr. 290202, is apparently
a combination of three aircraft. After storing three recently tested
He 219s after the war, some of the assemblies were scrapped with
no regard as to which specific aircraft they actually came from.
The aircraft carries two versions of RLM 02 visible to the eye.
The entire cockpit was not sprayed RLM 66 Black, but was
restricted to the instrument panel and side consoles. The rest of
the cockpit remained in natural metal, or, more accurately, in the
material from which they were made. RLM 66 was also used on
some components in the radar compartment in the nose.
The fuselage preserved some areas of the original camouflage
scheme. It is interesting to note how much the shade of RLM 76
changed, after its application in the snake pattern over the RLM
75 on the upper surfaces.
It was evident that the camouflage scheme, especially on the
fuselage, was applied prior to attaching the wings and tail surfaces.
We would like to extend out sincere gratitude to especially
Brian Nicklas and Ed Mautner, as well as Pat Robinson, for the
opportunity to witness this event.
The Eduard Team
INFO Eduard - November 2019