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rgkranias

Fa330 Bachsteize (Wagtail)

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Fa330.09.900.jpg
 
Fly Fa330 #32009
 
The Fa330 Bachsteize (Wagtail) always interested me as a unique aircraft with an equally unique mission.  This was towed aloft to about 400ft (120m) by the U-Boat so the pilot could see beyond the horizon view (25 nautical miles) and report any enemy activity.  Stored in 2 water tight compartments by the conning tower a team of 3 can assemble and disassemble the Fa330 in about 20 minutes. 
 
U-boat commanders disliked the Fa330 as the prolonged time on surface make their boat venerable to an air strike or detection by enemy ships.  The Fa330 was abandoned in the North Atlantic due to allied air superiority but continued use in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
 
The only recorded successful use of the Fa330 was 5 August 1943 by U-177 on the Indian Ocean off the coast east of Madagascar.  Greek merchant ship Efthalia Mari was observed by U-177's Fa330.  U-177 proceeded to intercept the Efthalia Mari and sink her with 2 torpedoes.  Efthalia Mari lost 1 crew of 43. 
 
U-177 did not survive the war and was sunk 6 February 1944 in Atlantic west of Ascension Island by an American P4BY-1 Liberator.  U-177 lost 50 crew of 65.
 
Fly's 1:32 offering is a challenging build at best there was plenty of angst and head scratching moments.  Almost 50 scratch built parts.
 
This build also gave me an opportunity to practice rigging as a WNW bird will be landing on my bench soon. 
 

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Edited by rgkranias

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That's a superb looking build of what appears to be quite the delicate assembly! Thanks for sharing the model and its history too!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Fantastic job on a very unique subject. Thanks for including some history on it.

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That's an awesome build.

I couldn't imagine being towed over the North Atlantic in something like this.  Too many variables there for a safe recovery.

Well done.

Bill

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That’s really, really cool!

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Beautiful work Rick! That is an exquisite model of a most interesting aircraft I knew nothing about. Thanks for the history with it as well as these awesome pics.

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On 1/11/2020 at 11:45 PM, ghodges said:

That's a superb looking build of what appears to be quite the delicate assembly! Thanks for sharing the model and its history too!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Thanks Gil.  Delicate is an understatement.  I broke off so many parts due to handling.

On 1/12/2020 at 11:16 AM, Bennetts said:

Fantastic job on a very unique subject. Thanks for including some history on it.

Thanks Rick.  Always love historical immersion with my builds.  It is the way.

On 1/13/2020 at 12:09 PM, WildBill50 said:

That's an awesome build.

I couldn't imagine being towed over the North Atlantic in something like this.  Too many variables there for a safe recovery.

Well done.

Bill

Thanks Bill.  Assumption wx conditions played a role in fly or no fly.

On 1/13/2020 at 12:32 PM, 66Foxtrot said:

That’s really, really cool!

Thanks James. PM me, let's talk yinzer!

On 1/14/2020 at 12:33 AM, Mark Deliduka said:

Beautiful work Rick! That is an exquisite model of a most interesting aircraft I knew nothing about. Thanks for the history with it as well as these awesome pics.

Thanks Mark.  It's a unique a/c indeed.

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Very interesting build, and well executed. The rigging makes the model “Pop”Thanks for posting.

Regards

Christopher

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