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Piaggio P.149D / FWP.149

SAAB 91B Safir
D-EAXT Piaggio FWP.149D c/n 150 - "Luftwaffe 91+28" - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 7 April 2018 Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg (EDWF)

The Piaggio P.149 was a 4-seat touring development of the P.148, a 2-seat side-by-side all metal trainer with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. The prototype of the P.149 (I-PIAM c/n 171) with a 260 hp Avco Lycoming GO-435-C2 engine and a retractable tri-gear flew first on 19 June 1953. Two years later the P.149 was selected by the Federal German Air Force as a standard basic training and liaison monoplane. To meet their requirements a 2-seat military trainer version of the P.149 with glazed cabin roof, deeper rear fuselage and a 280 hp Lycoming GO-480 engine was developed, designated P.149-D. The Federal German Air Force (Luftwaffe der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) ordered 265 Piaggio P.149D for use as a 2-seat primary trainer and 5-seat liaison aircraft. Piaggio built 76, including one which was written off before delivery. In 1955 Focke-Wulf obtained a licence to build the Italian-designed Piaggio P-149D. Focke-Wulf built 190 under licence from Piaggio. The first Piaggio built P.149D (AS+401 c/n 250) was delivered to Memmingen Air Base in May 1957. In the mean time Focke-Wulf had started production in Bremen, Germany, and delivered its first example in November 1957. In 1963, Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG merged with Weser-Flugzeugbau GmbH to form VFW GmbH.

The 1960-built Piaggio FWP.149D s/n 150 was one of 190 built by Focke-Wulf under licence from Piaggio and was tested with the Luftwaffe registration KB+127. The aircraft entered Luftwaffe service as AS+084 with 2/FFS-S (Flugzeugführerschule „S“) at Fliegerhorst Diepholz. In service with the Luftwaffe, the aircraft was transferred to FFS-C (Flugzeugführerschule „C“) at Diepholz and re-serialed AS+402 and/or AS+464. Both registations AS+402 and AS+464 are given for the aircraft in service with FFS-C, but in the period that the aircraft was operated by FFS-C it was customary to re-serial the aircraft only when it was transfered to another unit. The next unit that operated Piaggio FWP.149D s/n 150 was JBG36 (Jagdbombergeschwader 36) at Fliegerhorst Hopsten, where it was re-serialed DF+392. In 1968 a start was made with the re-registration of the WGAF aircraft to the four-digit system as we know it today in use with the German Air Force: Piaggio FWP.149D DF+392 from Hopsten was re-serialed 91+28. The last known unit that operated the 91+28 is WS-50 (Waffenschule 50). After the FWP-149D 91+28 was withdrawn from use, the aircraft entered the German civil-register as D-EAXT. This was the second D-EAXT as this registration was used before by Piaggio FWP.149D s/n 171 (ex KB+147; BF+705; 91+49). On 7 April 2018, Piaggio FWP.149D D-EAXT was seen at Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg. The Jade/Weser Airport based aircraft was not only in Luftwaffe "91+28" colors, but also had a badge of JaboG 43 on the fuselage and a badge of Sportfluggruppe Oldenburg on the tail. Sportfluggruppe Oldenburg e.V. has its origins as a Bundeswehr sports flight group at JaboG 43 (Jagdbombergeschwader 43) based at the former Fliegerhorst Oldenburg. The D-EAXT is operated by Sportfluggruppe Oldenburg since September 2014 and as far as known the "91+28" was never operated by JaboG 43.

page last updated: 15-04-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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