Friday, August 14, 2020 About Us Terms of Service © Timera Media 2017–2020
 

Focke-Wulf 58 Weihe crashed in 1943, the wreck is fairly well preserved after 70 years

Jack Beckett

A Fw 58 C crashed on 30 March 1943 in the Lac du Bourget (France) after a low-flying training pass over the lake went wrong, two of the four airmen were rescued by local fishermen.

The local German command even freed four “terrorists” – local people jailed for suspected Resistance activities – as a goodwill gesture towards the local population.

Due to the dark and cold water it is fairly well preserved after 70 years, though the canvas over tube frame light structure is gradually deteriorating. All images Battlefield Relics Photography

The Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe (“Harrier”) was a German aircraft, built to fill a request of the Luftwaffe for a multi-role aircraft to be used as advanced trainer for pilots, gunners and radio operators.

The Fw 58 was a low-wing monoplane with two piston engines mounted in nacelles on the wing leading edges.

The crew sat in an enclosed canopy. Aft of the flight deck, the fuselage was open to form a moveable machine gun station. The tailwheel undercarriage was retractable.

Operational history

The Fw 58 was widely used for training Luftwaffe personnel. It was also used as VIP transport, ambulance, feeder airliner, photo reconnaissance, and weather research aircraft.

It was built under license in Bulgaria, Hungary and Brazil. It was also operated by several countries such as the Netherlands, Romania, Croatia and Turkey.

The only Fw 58 on display is at Museu Aeroespacial in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil used this airplane mainly for maritime patrols and the example on display was one of the 25 Fw 58B-2 units license-built in Brazil by Fábrica de Galeão circa 1941.

A Fw 58 C-2 is currently under restoration at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø.

This Fw 58 C  wreck is currently accessible to advanced divers with “tech diving” equipment as it lies at a depth of over 110 meters.

Video footage of the wreck was shown on various European TV channels. Due to the dark and cold water it is fairly well preserved after 70 years, though the canvas over tube frame light structure is gradually deteriorating.

Plans have been made for raising the wreck but local divers are strongly against it because of the ethical aspects (it is a war grave) and the risks of badly damaging the wreck with inadequate rising techniques (cutting the aircraft in parts with ROV’s before raising it).

13419269_516208878581766_6546732888561330185_n

Battlefield Relics Photography

13434772_516209671915020_7063331838135987001_n

Battlefield Relics Photography

13450132_516208875248433_6433150143736435180_n

 

13445698_516209615248359_3568835994493049210_n

Battlefield Relics Photography

 

13450761_516209571915030_1386211702449577424_n

Battlefield Relics Photography

 

13442221_516209625248358_7839314732293414870_n

Battlefield Relics Photography

 

13418839_516209618581692_6019505672628521151_n

Battlefield Relics Photography