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Author Topic: Ta-152H-6 at Duxford  (Read 403 times)

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Ta-152H-6 at Duxford
« on: January 29, 2021, 05:23:33 AM »

IWM Duxford 1999,

Since the acquisition of Werk 000-4, the teams that restore classic aircraft such as Spitfire's, Hurricane's, P-51's and so forth faced a massive challenge. With the airframe being with Duxford since 1990 the team didn't know where to begin in restoring this rare fighter. With most of the material and tools required lost in 1945 it was primarily about either guesswork or relying on what information about the Ta-152H-6 existed at the time.

Originally Duxford's plan was to restore the aircraft to flying condition and display it in front of the crowds showing off her awesome speed and capabilities. However this was not the case and due to the complexity of this aircraft the plan was sadly abandoned. So for 2 years the aircraft lay in Hangar 1 where most restoration projects were, then in 1992 the Fighter Collection got in touch with the Smithsonian Air Museum to find out about their Ta-152H-0 which they had in storage. The aircraft was complete but disassembled. The museum agreed to aiding the process in restoring the H-6, With many of the Ta-152's parts such as the wings, fuselage and tail being very similar in construction they sent technical documents that were salvaged at the end of WWII, even Farnborough which worked with the RAE in Britain came up with source material dating back to 1946 when she was last flown in allied hands.

Most of the specs of the H-6 complied with most of what the Ta-152H-1 and H-0 models were which to the relief of the IWM Duxford Restoration Team had proven this fighter may be able to be restored after all, so plans in 1994 surfaced after intensive work of how she was going to be rebuilt. In early March 1994 they proceeded to examine the aircraft, and despite being in storage and a disassembled state she wasn't in too bad of a condition. With corrosion on the main wingspar proving overall that cancelling the decision to make her a flying aircraft was a wise choice as the iron had somehow colluded with the steel in the spar causing a negative reaction and the executive chairman at Duxford saw for himself how bad the original wing spar was in. However with the documentation brought by the Smithsonian showed that a Ta-152H-0 wingspar would prove to be an adequate replacement for the type.

So in late August 1994 work began, the airframe was completely stripped and new panels had to be manufactured by 3rd party engineering companies in Germany and Sweden. The wingspar specs from the Ta-152H-0 was given to a steel manufacturer in Britain, namely the organisation Frank H. Dale which had been in existance since the 1980's and had the machines and knowledge to build such a structure. With the wingspar and documents all on the board, the final object to tackle the team was the engine... the Jumo 215C.

By September/October 1995 the airframe was nearing her final stages of being put back together, with the volunteers working around the clock and stripped down to bare metal with the replacement parts arriving as well as the wingspar the attention turned towards the powerplant of this fighter. The Jumo 215C was a real complex piece of engineering and was nearly twice the size of a Merlin 60 series which powered the Spitfire Mk.IX variants. Uncovering and dismantling of the engine was a challenge in itself, most of the rivets and bolts used in construction were used of the same criteria as the wingspar and rusted down to the extent that if a section was removed it did come off easily, however this damaged a number of components but mostly the one off ''Quad'' stage supercharger had taken the brunt of time that it was never looked at. The supercharger itself was proven to be un-repairable and unfortunately it was never going to return to it's place on the engine. Instead the supercharger with it's exposed interior was donated the Kent Battle of Britain Museum in Hawkinge where it'd join the section of Fw-190 exhibits in the Lord Dowding Memorial hangar.

A stroke of pure luck was going to be needed as in November 1995 the engine was proving to be a real burden and eventually the team decided that enough was enough with this powerplant. The engine itself would sadly be scrapped in mid November and this left the H-6 without an engine at all. This was especially worrying as most of the donations that were sent to Duxford to re-build this aircraft was going to certainly go down the drain despite over £30,000 being donated from the lottery fund and public donations. The airframe continued it's restoration but she still had no engine... but in early January 1996 they got their wish, excavators in Germany who were digging for wartime remains had come across the remains of the factory where the H-6 was being produced in 1945. Tunneling their way through they found a storage section that hadn't been destroyed and when it was opened, they found many interesting items which included larger caliber's of cannon, rockets and even engines. One crate though in where the engines were found was 2 to 3 times as large compared to the Jumo 213's, DB-605E's and remnants of other equipment.

The crate was cracked open and the wooden sections disintegrated away.. but wrapped inside this crate, was a brand spanking new Jumo 215C, it was clear from examining the engine that it had just been completed before Germany's surrender on December 15th 1945, however the cylinders were missing, the supercharger was incomplete but it did have it's engine mountings sealed in the underside of the crate. So in Febuary 1996 the engine was shipped over the the UK and despite the engine being incomplete it was decided that the engine would be mounted on the airframe with it's original propellers.

March 1996 would prove to be the final stage of completion of this one of a kind aircraft, the airframe was put back together and the engine mounted. The colours the aircraft originally came with was bare metal placed with primer panels but this was not what the IWM wanted. So taking a look at 1945 colour schemes it would be based on Werk 0003 which was a Ta-152H-0 but would retain her original Werk Nummer but her fuselage and for tribute to the second Ta-152H-6 her wing code would be CI+XT to appreciate the second H-6 which was destroyed in 1945 in an accident. The realistic use of paint shades was replicated and by June 1996 the aircraft was repainted complete with Balkan and Hakenkreuz on the fuselage, wings and tail. She was given a slightly worn look to be more authentic to the real aircraft's original prototype.

Then we come into August 1996, the same month that the original prototype first flew. A large gathering of enthusiasts, press and other museum volunteers and chairmen/women came to see the unveiling of the Ta-152H-6. She was rolled out of the hangar using a misty cloud to show off that she had returned to her former glory. The H-6 and her team were met with huge cheers and tearful enthusiasts who had come to see her in her completed state. The Chairman of Duxford said he'd never seen such an aircraft like it, emulating the statement from Adolf Galland made during her early flight tests, she looked intimidating and with her dual propellers she really looked futuristic for a piston engined fighter.

In September 1996 she was moved to the original Airspace Hangar alongside the Spitfire Mk.22 which stands as a testament to how far the evolution of piston engined power could go, then cut to 2 years later she was brought out as the Airspace Hangar was due a refit. In that time she attracted many visitors and even made appearances at Flying Legends being a static alongside other non flying types.

She remains the LAST Ta-152H-6 to be constructed and she is well respected in aviation enthusiasts' eyes, and will be so for many future generations to come...

Get this lady here ---> https://www.mediafire.com/file/8eur8a3ht2lefne/Ta-152H-6+Duxford+Skin.rar/file
Let The Victor, Be Justice.
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