Focke Wulf Fw 190

Brief History:

This aircraft design was meant to replace the first generation monoplane interceptors i.e.; (Bf-109). It was conceived in 1939 as a contemporary of the Hawker Typhoon. The FW-190 was developed under a contract for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium. The first design was tendered by Kurt Tank with two engine designs the DB 601 Daimler-Benz inline and the liquid-cooled BMW139 radial. The later engine was selected as it was already offering an excellent power to weight ratio. The FW 190 was an aggressive looking low-wing cantilever configuration; the fuselage was an all-metal construction, which was a lightweight alloy, with a stressed skin of Dural. With the design of the FW V5g, the larger engine and an increased wingspan, it was about 6mph slower, but was found to have a much improved rate of climb and to be more manoeuvrable than the shorter wing span version.

The first prototype FW-190V1 flew at Bremen on 1 June 1939. The test pilot was Flugkaritain Hans Sander. An overheating problem was experienced with the large ducted spinners designed to reduce drag by both the first prototype and the second prototypre FW-190V2. An NCAA cowling was installed eliminating this problem. It was decided at this time to replace the BMW 319 engine with the larger more powerful BMW 80.

The FW 190 went through many changes, as did all new aircraft. There were 40 FW variants, 30 Ta variants and many “R” and “U” variants. A total of almost 20,087 FW and Ta aircraft were built prior to the end of the War, including 86 prototypes. Fast, agile and well armed the FW 190 was a formidable foe.

Early 1941 the first aircraft were delivered to Erprobungskommando 190 at Rachlin-Roggenthin for evaluation. The first operational unit to receive the FW 190 was 6/JG 26th at Le Bourget, commanded by Adolph Galland. With 30 FW 190A-2s, JG/26 was the operational group that escorted the channel breakout of the battle cruisers the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in February 1942. It became very apparent that after the first combat engagements, that that the FW 190 was a far superior fighter, displayed more agility and was a better performer than the British Supermarine Spitfire V’s, which was the FW 190’s main adversary. The FW 190 virtually controlled the skies against the Spitfire V, it could outdive, out climb, outgun its opponent and it was faster. The Luftwaffe pilots could engage and break off combat at will, as the FW190’s performance was so superior. For eight months the Spitfire Squadrons took a thrashing, until the introduction of the Spitfire IX was made available.

One of the major production aircraft was the FW 190A-8, or the “Panzerbock”. It was powered by the mighty BMW810D-2 14 cylinder twin row air-cooled radial, which provided 2100hp. It was equipped with a 25gal water-methanol tank for extra boost for short periods. The armament was quite impressive with two 7.9 mm MG17 machine-guns, four 20 mmMG/20 cannons, one 1,100lb bomb and two 550 lb bombs. The cockpit offered good visibility once airborne but on the ground while taxing with the broad nose and in a taildown stance the visibility was very poor. Armour plates were installed behind and on both sides of the pilot. The canopy was designed with an explosive charge to jettison the canopy in case of an emergency. The cockpit was comfortable and roomy with exception of the lack of head and shoulder room.

It was soon discovered that the poor performance of the latest FW 190 in service could not compete with the long range P-51 Mustang or the P-47 Thunderbolt especially at altitudes above 20,000ft. To improve this performance it was decided to install a more powerful engine, the Jumo 213A in-line liquid cooled engine. After nearly two years of development the FW 190D-9 was coming off the assembly line. It was not until December 1944 that this aircraft saw operational service. The Junkers Jumbo 213A-1 engines produced an amazing 2242hp at sea level and had a methanol injection system as well. The speed at 20,000 ft was 426mph and at sea level it was 327mph. The climb rate was quite impressive from sea level to 32,000-ft it took only 7.1 minutes.

Even though the FW190D-9 “Langnasen-Dora” shared parity with many allied fighters, it also suffered heavy losses, both in the air and on the ground. Many inexperienced and poorly trained pilots, were no match and were at the mercy of the allied pilots with a great deal of flying time and combat experience.

Kurt Tank had designed this model to operate as a high altitude fighter but the cabin design was unable to provide adequate pressurization. The aircraft was used to replace The FW 190A at lower altitudes and coincidentally was sometimes humorously referred to as “Downstairs Dora” or “Maid”.

Pilots that flew the FW 190A were somewhat distrustful and apprehensive to switch over to the new FW 190D-9 with its liquid cooled engine. Once these seasoned and operational pilots became accustomed to this new breed of fighter, they soon regarded it to be the best piston-engine fighter to serve with the Luftwaffe in World War II.

The cockpit of a Focke Wulf Fw 190F-8

Nicknames: Butcher Bird; Dora; Kangaroo (Fw 190 V18/U1 variant)

Specifications (Fw 190A-8):

Engine: One 2,100-hp BMW 801D-2 radial piston engine
Weight: Empty 6,989 lbs., Max Takeoff 10,802 lbs.
Wing Span: 34ft. 5.5in.
Length: 29ft. 1.5in.

Height: 13ft. 0in.

Maximum Speed: 408 mph
Ceiling: 37,400 ft.
Range: 500 miles

Two 7.92-mm (0.31-inch) machine guns in nose.

 Up to four 20-mm MG 151 guns in wings.
Wide range of underwing and under-fuselage bombs, guns and rockets.

Number Built: 20,051 (All variants)

Number Still Airworthy: None, but several are under active restoration to flight status.

Specifications (Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9)

Type: Single Seat Fighter Bomber

Design: Dipl Ing Kurt Tank

Manufacturer: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH, extremely dispersed manufacture and assembly and parts subcontracted to Brandt (SNCA du Centre) in France.

Powerplant: One 1,776 hp (1324 kw) Junkers Jumo 213A-1 12 cylinder liquid cooled, inverted Vee pistion engine (2,240 hp with MW-50 methanol/water injection in emergency situations).

Performance: Maximum speed 426 mph (685 km/h) at 21,655 ft (6600 m); climb to 19,685 ft (6000 m) in 7 minutes 6 seconds; service ceiling 39,370 ft (12000 m).

Range: 519 miles (835 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty 7,694 lbs (3490 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 10,670 lbs (4840 kg).

Dimensions: Span 34 ft 5 1/2 in (10.50 m); length 33 ft 5 1/2 in (10.2 m); height 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m); wing area 196.99 sq ft (18.30 sq m).

Armament: Two 13 mm (0.51) in MG 131 machine guns and two 20 mm Mauser MG 151/20 cannon plus one 1,102 lbs (500 kg) SC500 bomb.

Variants: Fw 190D-9 (modified Fw 190A-7s with the Jumo 213A), Fw 190D-10, Fw 190D-11, Fw 190D-12, Fw 190D-13.

Avionics: FuG 16 ZY radio set.

History: First flight (Fw 190D) late 1942; (production Fw 190D-9) June 1944, (first delivery) August 1944 to III/JG 54.

(Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8)

Specifications (Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8)

Type: Single Seat Fighter Bomber

Design: Dipl Ing Kurt Tank

Manufacturer: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH, extremely dispersed manufacture and assembly and parts subcontracted to Brandt (SNCA du Centre) in France.

Powerplant: One 1,700 hp (1268 kw) BMW 801D-2 14 cylinder air cooled radial engine or 2,100 hp (1566 kw) with MW-50 methanol/water injection in emergency situations. Later models were to be equipped with the GM-1 Nitrous Oxide Boost for high altitude use only.

Performance: Maximum speed 408 mph (653 km/h) with boost on; initial climb rate 2,350 ft (720 m) per minute; service ceiling 37,400 ft (11410 m).

Range: 560 miles (900 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty 7,055 lbs (3200 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 10,800 lbs (4900 kg).

Dimensions: Span 34 ft 5 1/2 in (10.50 m); length 33 ft 5 1/2 in (10.2 m); height 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m); wing area 196.99 sq ft (18.30 sq m).

Armament: Two 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 machine guns above the engine, two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots and two MG 151/20 or MK 108 cannon in outer wings plus one 3,968 lbs (1800 kg) centerline bomb or one 1,102 lbs (500 kg) SC500 centerline bomb and two 551 lbs (250 kg) bombs on wing racks.

Variants: Fw 190E (abandoned), 190F-1/F-2/F-3/F-8/F-9 (specialized ground attack version), 190G/G-1/G-2/G-3/G-8 (ground attack), Fw 190S (two seat trainer), Mistel Sets.

Avionics: (F-8) From April 1944, the FuG 16 ZS radio set, FuG 101 radio altimeter and the TSA 2A sight system and other devices to aid night navigation and flight, (F-9) FuG 16 ZE/ZS radio set was replaced by the FuG 15 radio, (G-8) PKS 12 Autopilot device.

History: (Production Fw 190F-8) March 1944.

Operators: Germany (Luftwaffe), Hungary (80 aircraft).