He 219

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

keys, screwdrivers).



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