Home   |   Great Planes  |  Online Articles   |   Aviation Museums   |   Aviation Events   |   Links   |   FJstore


Focke-Wulf 190

 
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Captured FW 190 G-3 model.jpg
A captured G-3 model is test-flown.
dot_clear.gif - 43 Bytes
(courtesy of Peter M. Bowers)

The design of the Focke-Wulf 190 began in 1937 as a backup to the Messerschmitt 109 that had been selected as the standard German fighter. The design concept was entirely different and featured an air-cooled BMW radial engine and a wide-track, inward-retracting landing gear. The first flight of the Fw 190V-1 prototype was on June 1, 1939, but production models weren't in combat until September 1941.

As a fighter, the Fw 190A outperformed the older British Spitfire V's that had surpassed the contemporary 109s. The Spitfire didn't catch up to the Fw 190A until the July 1942 appearance of the Spitfire IX. Although it was designed as a fighter, the Fw 190 was readily adaptable to many other missions. It reached the -10 variant, with many subvariants that carried special equipment for specialized missions. These included aerial cameras for reconnaissance, batteries of up to six 30mm cannon for use against tanks and naval torpedoes for attacks against ships. There were even two-seat trainer versions.

In 1942 and 1943, twin-engine German bombers had difficulty in reaching targets in England, so some Fw 190A-5s were fitted with bomb racks and auxiliary fuel tanks. Normal bomb load was one 500kg (1,100 pound) bomb under the fuselage and two 250kg (550 pound) bombs under the wings, but some could carry a single 1,000kg (2,200 pound) bomb. This was so close to the ground that the lower fin of the bomb had to be clipped for the plane to take off. These long-range fighter/bombers were very successful in penetrating British defenses and completing effective raids.

FW 190 A-1.jpg
There were a couple of minor differences between the A-0 and the A-1 models: the A-1 had heavier toggle latches to lock the cowl in place, and it also had a cartridge system to help jettison the canopy when flying at more than 250mph.
dot_clear.gif - 43 Bytes
(courtesy of Peter M. Bowers)

The armament differed greatly in fighter versions, from the initial four 7.9mm machine guns (two in the nose and two in the wings), to a standard of two nose guns and a variety of up to four wing guns or four 20mm wing cannon. For attacks on Allied bomber formations, some Fw 190A-5/R6s were fitted with underwing pods for 210mm rockets.

Improved versions of the Fw 190 were tested with such features as cabin pressurization and a water/methanol injection that increased the normal 1,600hp of the engine to 2,100hp for brief periods. Other engines were tried: the 109's 1,750hp Daimler-Benz DB 603, used in the experimental Fw 190C, and the 1,776hp Junkers Jumo 213A, used in the production Fw 190D. Later Fw 190D variants were so extensively altered from the short-nose, radial-engine Fw 190A series that they were redesignated Ta-152 (for designer Kurt Tank). Altogether, some 20,000 Fw 190s were built in six Focke-Wulf plants, two Arado plants, one Ago and one Fieseler plant.

Peter M. Bowers

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
FW 190A-8.gif
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8
Wingspan:
34ft., 5 1/2 in.
Length:
29 ft.
Powerplant:
one 2,100hp BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder radial engine
Max Speed:
408 mph
Range:
500 miles
Service Ceiling:
37,400 ft.
Armament:
two .31 in. MG-17 machine guns, four 20mm MG-151 cannon, one 1,100-lb. bomb and two 500-lb. bombs
FW 190D-9.gif
Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9
Wingspan:
34ft., 5 1/2 in.
Length:
33 ft., 5 in.
Powerplant:
one 2,240hp Junkers Jumo 213A-1 12 cylinder in-line engine
Max Speed:
426 mph
Range:
520 miles
Service Ceiling:
32,810 ft.
Armament:
two 13mm MG-131 machine guns, two 20mm MG-151 cannon, and one 1,100-lb. bomb
Great Planes Index Page



SITE GUIDE
HOME PAGE | FLIGHT JOURNAL STORE | GREAT PLANES | ONLINE ARTICLES
AVIATION ART GALLERY | AVIATION MUSEUMS | AVIATION EVENTS | LINKS

THE MAGAZINE
CONTENTS | SUBSCRIBE | RENEWALS | SPECIAL ISSUES | BACK ISSUES
ARTICLES INDEX | CUSTOMER SERVICE | ADVERTISING & MARKETING
CONTRIBUTORS' GUIDELINES | STAFF

SEARCH THE SITE

This site designed for use with:
Microsoft Internet Explorer (4.0 or higher) and Netscape Navigator (4.0 or higher).

© 2002
Air Age Publishing
100 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877
(203) 431-9000
dot_clear.gif - 43 Bytes
Email: flightjournal@airage.com