Lessons from the Owl


Everyone needs friends - even airplanes

As my Out in the Open article in the second tab indicates, I was at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum's old restoration building in 2002 in Silver Hill, Maryland when the Heinkel He-219 A-2/R4 Uhu (Eagle Owl) was undergoing restoration.  The Udvar-Hazy Center opened in 2003.  The fusalage of the Owl had been on display tat Udvar-Hazy for years when   the wings arrived at Udvar-Hazy from Silver Hill in 2014, just before my arrival in December of 2014.  It has remained in the state shown on the left since 2014 when I first visited Udvar-Hazy.  The picture at left is from my July, 2017 visit.  

The Owl display is right next to the Horten 229.  The irony is not lost on me, the fact that the Owl is so close to completion but....  A 2018 article in Air & Space Magazine gave hope as it said the wings may be attached in the next year.  With the fuselage now in the restoration hanger and the newly created antenna array attached to the front of the plane for the first time in October, 2018 (photos below) hopefully the wings will be attached and the plane put back on display soon.  

I would like to think that this effort by Horten229.org to raise the moeny to conserve and the wings for the Horten 299 and get them attached some day makes us the defacto Friends of the Horten 229.  Are there any Friends of the Owl?  Certainly at Air & Space, but if there were a similar Eagle Owl.org that had raised money to complete the plane, the Owl might have been displayed sooner as a complete aircraft.  

We do not want the Horten 229 to sit in limbo after the Transformation project on the mall and want the wings to go into the restoration hanger as soon as it open for business again. Then when the Horten wings are attached to the center section in the display it can join its friend and neighbor the Owl with its wings on.

Terry Coakley    

Photo Gallery

He-219 antennas 10-25-18


Long range picture before they were seen removed again 11-5-18

He-219 antennas 10-25-18


Telephoto picture showing the detail involved in creating the antennas by copying a recently found example

He-219 antennas 10-25-18


Another telephoto picture 

He-219 antennas in front 11-3-18


He-219 Park Ridge, IL after the war


He-219 after American paint job


11-3-18 Composite photo

 Here is a photo composite of the 219.

It was a little complicated, but Mike Milbourne was able to clear away the hand railings and wall columns to give a complete look at the top section of the aircraft.

11-3-18 Cockpit photos