Focke-Wulf Fw 190

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Fw 190
Fw 190A-3 JG 2 in Britian 1942.jpg
Fw 190A-3 of Stab. 7./JG2, June 1942.[N 1]
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Primarily Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG, but also AGO, Arado, Fieseler, Mimetall, Norddeutsche Dornier and others
Designer Kurt Tank
First flight 1 June 1939
Introduction August 1941
Retired 1945 (Luftwaffe); 1949 (Turkey)
Primary users Luftwaffe
Hungarian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Produced 1941–45; 1996: 16 reproductions
Number built Over 20,000
Variants Ta 152

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (English: Shrike) was a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Powered by a radial engine in most versions, the Fw 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The Fw 190 was used by the Luftwaffe in a wide variety of roles, including day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.

When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V,[2] especially at low and medium altitudes. The 190 maintained superiority over Allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity.[3] The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and manoeuvrability at low to medium altitude.

The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force), along with the Bf 109. On the Eastern Front, the Fw 190 was versatile enough to use in Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings), specialised ground attack units which achieved much success against Soviet ground forces. As an interceptor, the Fw 190 underwent improvements to make it effective at high altitude, enabling it to maintain relative parity with its Allied opponents. The Fw 190A series' performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor, but this problem was mostly rectified in later models, particularly in the Junkers Jumo 213 inline-engine Focke-Wulf Fw 190D series, which was introduced in September 1944. In spite of its successes, it never entirely replaced the Bf 109.

The Fw 190 was well liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe's most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.

Early development[edit]

Genesis[edit]

In autumn 1937, the German Ministry of Aviation asked various designers for a new fighter to fight alongside the Messerschmitt Bf 109, Germany's front line fighter. Although the Bf 109 was an extremely competitive fighter, the Ministry of Aviation was worried that future foreign designs might outclass it, and wanted to have new aircraft under development to meet these possible challenges.[4]

Kurt Tank responded with a number of designs, most incorporating liquid-cooled inline engines. However, it was not until a design was presented using the air-cooled, 14-cylinder BMW 139 radial engine that the Ministry of Aviation's interest was aroused. As this design used a radial engine, it would not compete with the inline-powered Bf 109 for engines, when there were already too few Daimler-Benz DB 601s to go around.[5] This was not the case for competing advanced designs like the Heinkel He 100 or Focke-Wulf Fw 187, where production would compete with the 109 or Messerschmitt Bf 110 for engine supplies. After the war, Tank denied a rumour that he had to "fight a battle" with the Ministry to convince them of the radial engine's merits.[6]

Design concepts[edit]

At the time, the use of radial engines in land-based fighters was relatively rare in Europe, as it was believed that their large frontal area would cause too much drag on something as small as a fighter. Tank was not convinced of this, having witnessed the successful use of radial engines by the U.S. Navy, and felt a properly streamlined installation would eliminate this problem.[5]

The hottest points on any air-cooled engine are the cylinder heads, located along the outside diameter of a radial engine. In order to provide sufficient air to cool the engine, airflow had to be maximized at this outer edge, which was normally accomplished by leaving the majority of the front face of the engine open to the air. During the late 1920s, NACA led development of a dramatic improvement by placing an airfoil-shaped ring around the outside of the cylinder heads (the NACA cowling). The shaping accelerated the air as it entered the front of the cowl, increasing the total airflow, and allowing the opening in front of the engine to be made smaller.[7]

Tank introduced a further refinement to this basic concept. He suggested placing most of the airflow components on the propeller, in the form of a oversized propeller spinner whose outside diameter was the same as the engine. The cowl around the engine proper was greatly simplified, essentially a basic cylinder. Air entered through a small hole at the centre of the propeller, and was directed through ductwork in the spinner so it was blowing rearward along the cylinder heads. To provide enough airflow, a cone was placed in the centre of the hole, over the propeller hub, which was intended to compress the airflow and allow a smaller opening to be used. In theory, the tight-fitting cowling also provided some thrust due to the compression and heating of air as it flowed through the cowling.[8]

As to the rest of the design philosophy, Tank wanted something more than an aircraft built only for speed. Tank outlined the reasoning:

The Messerschmitt 109 [sic] and the British Spitfire, the two fastest fighters in world at the time we began work on the Fw 190, could both be summed up as a very large engine on the front of the smallest possible airframe; in each case armament had been added almost as an afterthought. These designs, both of which admittedly proved successful, could be likened to racehorses: given the right amount of pampering and easy course, they could outrun anything. But the moment the going became tough they were liable to falter. During World War I, I served in the cavalry and in the infantry. I had seen the harsh conditions under which military equipment had to work in wartime. I felt sure that a quite different breed of fighter would also have a place in any future conflict: one that could operate from ill-prepared front-line airfields; one that could be flown and maintained by men who had received only short training; and one that could absorb a reasonable amount of battle damage and still get back. This was the background thinking behind the Focke-Wulf 190; it was not to be a racehorse but a Dienstpferd, a cavalry horse.[9]

One of the main features of the Fw 190 was its wide-tracked, inwards-retracting landing gear, designed to withstand a sink rate of 4.5 meters per second (15 feet per second, 900 feet per minute), double the strength factor usually required. Hydraulic wheel brakes were used.[10] The wide-track landing gear produced better ground handling characteristics, and the Fw 190 suffered fewer ground accidents than the Bf 109 with its narrow-track, outwards-retracting landing gear hinged on its wing root structure.[10] The retractable tail gear used a cable, which was guided over a set of pulleys located in the vertical fin, to pull the oleo strut upwards into the lower fuselage. On some versions of the Fw 190 an extended oleo strut could be fitted for larger-sized loads (such as bombs or even a torpedo) beneath the fuselage.[11]

Most aircraft of the era used cables and pulleys to operate their controls. The cables tended to stretch, resulting in the sensations of "give" and "play" that made the controls less crisp and responsive, and required constant maintenance to correct. For the new design, the team replaced the cables with rigid pushrods and bearings to eliminate this problem.[N 2] Another innovation was making the controls as light as possible. The maximum resistance of the ailerons was limited to 8 lb (3.6 kg) as the average man's wrist could not exert a greater force. The empennage (tail assembly) featured relatively small and well-balanced horizontal and vertical surfaces.[12]

The design team also attempted to minimize changes in the aircraft's trim at varying speeds, thus reducing the pilot's workload. They were so successful in this regard that they found in-flight-adjustable aileron and rudder trim tabs were not necessary. Small, fixed tabs were fitted to control surfaces and adjusted for proper balance during initial test flights. Only the elevator trim needed to be adjusted in flight (a feature common to all aircraft). This was accomplished by tilting the entire horizontal tailplane with an electric motor, with an angle of incidence ranging from -3° to +5°.[13]

Another aspect of the new design was the extensive use of electrically powered equipment instead of the hydraulic systems used by most aircraft manufacturers of the time. On the first two prototypes, the main landing gear was hydraulic. Starting with the third prototype, the undercarriage was operated by push buttons controlling electric motors in the wings, and was kept in position by electric up and down-locks.[14] The armament was also loaded and fired electrically. Tank believed that service use would prove that electrically powered systems were more reliable and more rugged than hydraulics, electric lines being much less prone to damage from enemy fire.[12]

As was the case for the 109, the 190 featured a fairly small wing planform with relatively high wing loading. This presents a trade-off in performance; an aircraft with a smaller wing suffers less drag in most flight and therefore flies faster and may have better range. However, it also means the wing cannot generate extra lift as easily, which is needed for maneuvering or flight at high altitudes. The wings spanned 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in) and had an area of 15 m² (161 ft²). The wing was designed using the NACA 23015.3 airfoil at the root and the NACA 23009 airfoil at the tip.[15]

Earlier designs generally featured canopies consisting of small plates of perspex in a metal framework, and the fuselage running horizontally back from the top of the canopy frame. This design considerably limited visibility, especially to the rear. The introduction of vacuum forming led to the creation of the "bubble canopy" which was largely self-supporting, and could be mounted over the cockpit, offering greatly improved all-round views. Tank's new design included a canopy that used only a single perimeter frame — with only a single short centerline seam frame forward of the radio antenna fitting atop the canopy's highest point — where the three-panel windscreen and forward edge of the canopy met, just in front of the pilot.

Variants[edit]

First prototypes (BMW 139)[edit]

Fw 190 V1 in its original form with the streamlined engine cowling and ducted spinner. The pointed tip of the internal spinner can also be seen. Pilot is probably Hans Sander.
Fw 190 V1
(civil registration D-OPZE), powered by a 1,550 PS (1,529 hp, 1,140 kW) BMW 139 14-cylinder two-row radial engine, first flew on 1 June 1939.[16]
Fw 190 V2
Designated with the Stammkennzeichen alphabetic ID code of FL+OZ (later RM+CB) the V2 first flew on 31 October 1939 and was equipped from the outset with the new spinner and cooling fan. It was armed with one Rheinmetall-Borsig 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine gun and one 13 mm (.51 in) synchronized MG 131 machine gun in each wing root.[17]
Fw 190 V3
Abandoned
Fw 190 V4
Abandoned

Later prototypes (BMW 801)[edit]

Fw 190 V5k. This is the V5 with the original small wing. The 12-blade cooling fan and redesigned undercarriage and canopy fairings are visible.

Fw 190 V5
Fitted with the larger, more powerful 14-cylinder two-row BMW 801 radial engine. This engine introduced a pioneering example of an engine management system called the Kommandogerät (command-device): in effect, an electro-mechanical computer which set mixture, propeller pitch (for the constant speed propeller), boost, and magneto timing.

[18]

Fw 190 V5k
(kleine Fläche - small surface) The smaller span initial variant re-designated after the longer span wing was fitted. The V5 first flew in the early spring of 1940. The weight increase with all of the modifications was substantial, about 635 kg (1,400 lb), leading to higher wing loading and a deterioration in handling. Plans were made to create a new wing with more area to address these issues.[19]
Fw 190 V5g
(große Fläche - large surface) In August 1940 a collision with a ground vehicle damaged the V5 and it was sent back to the factory for major repairs. This was an opportune time to rebuild it with a new wing which was less tapered in plan than the original design, extending the leading and trailing edges outward to increase the area. The new wing had an area of 18.30 m² (197 ft²), and now spanned 10.506 m (34 ft 5 in). After conversion, the aircraft was called the V5g for große Fläche (large surface). Although it was 10 km/h (6 mph) slower than when fitted with the small wing, V5g was much more manoeuvrable and had a faster climb rate.[19] This new wing platform was to be used for all major production versions of the Fw 190.[17]

Fw 190 A[edit]

Side-view of Fw 190 A-0
Fw 190 A-0
The pre-production Fw 190 A-0 series was ordered in November 1940, a total of 28 being completed. Because they were built before the new wing design was fully tested and approved, the first nine A-0s were fitted with the original small wings. All were armed with six 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns — four synchronised weapons, two in the forward fuselage and one in each wing root, supplemented by a free-firing MG 17 in each wing, outboard of the propeller disc.[17]
Fw 190 A-0s or A-1s of an unknown unit.
Fw 190 A-1
The Fw 190 A-1 was in production from June 1941. It was powered by the BMW 801 C-1 engine, rated at 1,560 PS (1,539 hp, 1,147 kW) for take-off. Armament included two fuselage-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s and two wing root-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s (in all four MG 17s synchronized to fire through the propeller arc) and two outboard wing-mounted 20 mm MG FF/Ms.[20]
Side-view of Fw 190 A-2; the most notable change over the A-0 was the addition of three vertical cooling slits on the engine cowling, just forward of the wing.
Fw 190 A-2
The introduction of the BMW 801 C-2 resulted in the Fw 190 A-2 model, first introduced in October 1941.[21] The A-2 wing weaponry was updated, with the two wing root-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s being replaced by 20 mm MG 151/20E cannon.[22]
Fw 190A-3 of JG 1 in the Netherlands, summer 1942.
Fw 190 A-3
The Fw 190 A-3 was equipped with the BMW 801 D-2 engine, which increased power to 1,700 PS (1,677 hp, 1,250 kW) at takeoff.[21] The A-3 retained the same weaponry as the A-2.[23]
Fw 190 A-3/U1 - (W.Nr 130270) was the first 190 to have the engine mount extended by 15 cm (6 in), which would be standardized on the later production A-5 model.[24]
Fw 190 A-3/U2 - The A-3/U2 (W.Nr 130386) had RZ 65 73 mm (2.87 in) rocket launcher racks under the wings with three rockets per wing. There were also a small number of U7 aircraft tested as high-altitude fighters armed with only two 20 mm MG 151 cannon, but with reduced overall weight.[24]
Fw 190 A-3/U3 - The A-3/U3 was the first of the Jabo (Jagdbomber), using an ETC-501 centre-line bomb rack able to carry up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of bombs or, with horizontal stabilising bars, one 300 L (80 US gal) drop tank. The U3 retained the fuselage-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s and the wing-mounted 20 mm MG 151 cannon, with the outer MG FF being removed.[24]
Fw 190 A-3/U4 - The A-3/U4 was a reconnaissance version with two RB 12.5 cameras in the rear fuselage and a EK 16 gun camera or a Robot II miniature camera in the leading edge of the port wing root. Armament was similar to the U3, however, and the ETC 501 was usually fitted with a 300 L (80 US gal) drop tank.[24]
Fw 190 A-3a
(a=ausländisch - foreign) In autumn 1942, 72 new aircraft were delivered to Turkey in an effort to keep that country friendly to the Axis powers. These were designated Fw 190 A-3a , designation for export models and delivered between October 1942 and March 1943.[24]
A captured Fw 190A-4. Because the aircraft had been repainted while being tested by the USAAF, the Balkenkreuz and swastika are incorrect in size and proportions.
Fw 190 A-4
Introduced in July 1942, the A-4 was equipped with the same engine and basic armament as the A-3.
Fw 190 A-4/R6 - Some A-4s were fitted with a pair of under-wing Werfer-Granate 21 (BR 21) rocket mortars, and were designated Fw 190 A-4/R6.
Fw 190 A-4/U1 - The A-4/U1 was outfitted with an ETC 501 rack under the fuselage. All armament except for the MG 151 cannon was removed.
Fw 190 A-4/U3 - The A-4/U3 was very similar to the U1, and later served as the prototype for the Fw 190 F-1 assault fighter.
Fw 190 A-4/U4 - The A-4/U4 was a reconnaissance fighter, with two Rb 12.4 cameras in the rear fuselage and an EK 16 or Robot II gun camera. The U4 was equipped with fuselage-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s and 20 mm MG 151 cannon.
Fw 190 A-4/U7 - The A-4/U7 was a high-altitude fighter, easily identified by the compressor air intakes on either side of the cowling. Adolf Galland flew a U7 in the spring of 1943.
Fw 190 A-4/U8 - The A-4/U8 was the Jabo-Rei (Jagdbomber Reichweite, long-range fighter-bomber), adding a 300 L (80 US gal) drop tank under each wing, on VTr-Ju 87 racks with duralumin fairings produced by Weserflug, and a centreline bomb rack. The outer wing-mounted 20 mm MG FF/M cannon and the cowling-mounted 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 were removed to save weight. The A-4/U8 was the precursor of the Fw 190 G-1.
Fw 190 A-4/R1 - The A-4/R1, was fitted with a FuG 16ZY radio set with a Morane "whip" aerial fitted under the port wing. These aircraft, called Leitjäger or Fighter Formation Leaders, could be tracked and directed from the ground via special R/T equipment called Y-Verfahren. More frequent use of this equipment was made from the A-5 onwards.[25]
Fw 190A-5 with the under-wing WGr 21 rocket-propelled mortar. The weapon was developed from the 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 infantry weapon.
Fw 190 A-5
The A-5 was developed after it was determined that the Fw 190 could easily carry more ordnance. The D-2 engine was moved forward another 15 cm (6 in) as had been tried out earlier on the service test A-3/U1 aircraft, moving the centre of gravity forward to allow more weight to be carried aft.
Fw 190 A-5/U2 - The A-5/U2 was designed as a night Jabo-Rei and featured anti-reflective fittings and exhaust flame dampeners. A centre-line ETC 501 rack typically held a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb, and wing-mounted racks mounted 300 L drop tanks. A EK16 gun camera, as well as landing lights, were fitted to the wing leading edge. The U2 was armed with only two 20 mm MG 151 cannon.
Fw 190 A-5/U3 - The A-5/U3 was a Jabo fighter fitted with ETC 501s for drop tanks and bombs; it too featured only two MG 151s for armament.
Fw 190 A-5/U4 - The A-5/U4 was a "recon" fighter with two RB 12.5 cameras and all armament of the basic A-5 with the exception of the MG FF cannon.
Fw 190 A-5/U8 - The A-5/U8 was another Jabo-Rei outfitted with SC-250 centreline-mounted bombs, under-wing 300-litre drop tanks and only two MG 151s; it later became the Fw 190 G-2.
Fw 190 A-5/U9 - Test installation of the A-7 modifications.
Fw 190 A-5/U12 - A special U12 was created for bomber attack, outfitted with the standard 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 and 20 mm MG 151 but replacing the outer wing 20 mm MG-FF cannon with two underwing gun pods containing two 20 mm MG 151/20 each, for a total of two machine guns and six cannon.
Fw 190 A-5/R11 - The A-5/R11 was a night fighter conversion fitted with FuG 217 Neptun (Neptune) radar equipment with arrays of three dipole antenna elements vertically mounted fore and aft of the cockpit and above and below the wings. Flame-dampening boxes were fitted over the exhaust exits. 1,752 A-5s were built from November 1942 to June 1943.[26]
Fw 190 A-6
The A-6 was developed to address shortcomings found in previous "A" models when attacking U.S. heavy bombers. A structurally redesigned and lighter wing was introduced and the normal armament was increased to two MG 17 fuselage machine guns and four 20 mm MG 151/20E wing root and outer wing cannon with larger ammunition boxes.
Fw 190 A-7
The A-7 entered production in November 1943, equipped with the BMW 801 D-2 engine, again producing 1,700 PS (1,677 hp, 1,250 kW) and two fuselage-mounted 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131s, replacing the MG 17s.[27]
An Fw 190 A-8/R2 in American hands. "White 11" of 5./JG 4 was captured during Operation Bodenplatte after its engine had been damaged by American light flak.
Fw 190 A-8
The A-8 entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q (also known as 801TU). The 801Q/TU, with the "T" signifying a Triebwerksanlage unitized powerplant installation, was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced in the Fw 190 A-8 also included the C3-injection Erhöhte Notleistung emergency boost system to the fighter variant of the Fw 190 A (a similar system with less power had been fitted to some earlier Jabo variants of the 190 A), raising power to 1,980 PS (1,953 hp, 1,456 kW) for a short time.
Three-side-view of Fw 190 A-8
Fw 190 A-8/R2 - The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon.
Fw 190 A-8/R8 - The A-8/R8 was similar to the A-8/R2, but fitted with heavy armour including 30 mm (1.18 in) canopy and windscreen armour and 5 mm (.2 in) cockpit armour.[28]
Fw 190 A-9
First built in September 1944, the Fw 190 A-9 was fitted with the new BMW 801S rated at 2,000 PS (1,973 hp, 1,471 kW); the more powerful 2,400 PS (2,367 hp, 1,765 kW) BMW 801F-1 was still under development, and not yet available.[29][30]
Fw 190 A-10
Late in the war, the A-10 was fitted with larger wings for better maneuverability at higher altitudes, which could have allowed additional 30 mm (1.18 in) calibre, long-barreled MK 103 cannon to be fitted.[31]

A total of 13,291 Fw 190 A-model aircraft were produced.[32]

High-altitude developments[edit]

The Fw 190C V18 prototype, with large ventral "pouch" fairing for the turbocharger installation and broader-chord vertical fin/rudder.

Tank started looking at ways to address the altitude performance problem early in the program. In 1941, he proposed a number of versions featuring new powerplants, and he suggested using turbochargers in place of superchargers. Three such installations were outlined

Fw 190 V12
(an A-0) would be outfitted with many of the elements which eventually led to the B series.
Fw 190 V13
(W.Nr. 0036) first C-series prototype
Fw 190 V15
(W.Nr. 0036) second C-series prototype
Fw 190 V16
(W.Nr. 0036) third C-series prototype
Fw 190 V18
(W.Nr. 0036) fourth C-series prototype
Fw 190 B-0
With a turbocharged BMW 801
Fw 190 B-1
This aircraft was similar to the B-0, but had slightly different armament. In its initial layout, the B-1 was to be fitted with four 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s and two 20 mm MG-FFs. One was fitted with two MG 17s, two 20 mm MG 151s and two 20 mm MG-FFs. After the completion of W.Nr. 811, no further Fw 190 B models were ordered.
Fw 190 C
With a turbocharged Daimler-Benz DB 603, the tail of the aircraft had to be lengthened in order to maintain the desired centre of gravity. Four additional prototypes based on the V18/U1 followed: V29, V30, V32 and V33.
Fw 190 D
The Fw 190 D (nicknamed Dora; or Long-Nose Dora ("Langnasen-Dora") was intended as the high-altitude performance version of the A-series.
Fw 190 D-0
The first D-0 prototype was completed in October 1942 with a supercharged Junkers Jumo 213 including a pressurized cockpit and other features making them more suitable for high-altitude work.[33]
Fw 190 D-1
Initial production
Fw 190 D-2
Initial production
A early production Fw 190 D-9 at the Cottbus plant. Note the early canopy and redesigned, simplified centreline rack carrying a 300 l drop tank.[34]
Fw 190 D-9
The D-9 series was rarely used against heavy-bomber raids, as the circumstances of the war in late 1944 meant that fighter-versus-fighter combat and ground attack missions took priority.[35][35][36][37]
This captured Fw 190 D-9 appears to be a late production aircraft built by Fieseler at Kassel. It has a late style canopy; the horizontal black stripe with white outline shows that this was a II. Gruppe aircraft.
Fw 190 D-11
Fitted with the up-rated Jumo 213F series engine similar to the Jumo 213E used in the Ta-152 H series but minus the intercooler. Two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons were installed in the outer wings to complement the 20 mm MG 151s in the inboard positions.[38]
Fw 190 D-12
Similar to the D-11, but featured the 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon in a Motorkanone installation firing through the propeller hub.
Fw 190 D-13/R11, Champlin Fighter Museum, Phoenix, Arizona (c.1995)
Fw 190 D-13
The D-13 would be fitted with a 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon found to be quite well suited for the aircraft and was already well known to be effective against allied bombers, as well as an effective ground support weapon.

Ground attack versions[edit]

The National Air & Space Museum's restored Fw 190 F-8 in late war markings
Fw 190 F
The Fw 190F configuration was originally tested in a Fw 190 A-0/U4, starting in May 1942, fitted with centre-line and wing-mounted bomb racks.
Fw 190 F-1
Early converted aircraft designated A-4/U3
Fw 190 F-2
Renamed A-5/U3s, of which 270 were built according to Focke-Wulf production logs and Ministry of Aviation acceptance reports.[citation needed]
Fw 190 F-2
Based on the Fw 190 A-5/U17, which was outfitted with a centreline mounted ETC 501 bomb rack, and in the Fw 190 F-3/R1, with two ETC 50 bomb racks under each wing.
Fw 190 F-3
The F-3 could carry a 66-Imp gal (300 liter) drop tank. A total of 432 Fw 190 F-3s were built.[39]
Fw 190 F-4 to Fw 190 F-7 - designations used for projects.
Fw 190 F-8
The A-8 model re-designated, having a slightly modified injector on the compressor which allowed for increased performance at lower altitudes for several minutes. Armament of the Fw 190 F-8 was two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots and two 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns above the engine.
Fw 190 F-8/U1 - long range JaBo, fitted with underwing V.Mtt-Schloß shackles to hold two 300 L (80 US gal) fuel tanks. ETC 503 bomb racks were also fitted, allowing the Fw 190 F-8/U1 to carry one SC 250 bomb under each wing and one SC 250 bomb on the centreline.
Fw 190 F-8/U2 - torpedo bomber was fitted with an ETC 503 bomb rack under each wing and a centre-line mounted ETC 504. The U2 was also equipped with the TSA 2 A weapons sighting system that improved the U2's ability to attack seaborne targets with a 1,543 lb (700 kg) BT 700.[39]
Fw 190 F-8/U3 - heavy torpedo bomber was outfitted with an ETC 502, which allowed it to carry one BT-1400 heavy torpedo (3,086 lb/1400 kg). Owing to the size of the torpedo, the U3's tail gear needed to be lengthened. The U3 also was fitted with the 2,000 PS BMW 801S engine, and the tail from the Ta 152.[citation needed]
Fw 190 F-8/U4 - created as a night fighter, was equipped with flame dampers on the exhaust and various electrical systems such as the FuG 101 radio altimeter, the PKS 12 automatic pilot, and the TSA 2 A sighting system. Weapons fitted ranged from torpedoes to bombs[citation needed]; however, the U4 was fitted with only two MG 151/20 cannon as fixed armament.
Fw 190 F-9
based on the Fw 190 A-9, but with the new Ta 152 tail unit, a new bulged canopy as fitted to late-build A-9s, and four ETC 50 or ETC 70 bomb racks under the wings. According to Ministry of Aviation acceptance reports, 147 F-9s were built in January 1945, and perhaps several hundred more from February to May 1945. (Data for these months is missing and probably lost.)[citation needed]
Fw 190 G-1 showing the ETC 250 bomb rack, carrying a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb, and the underwing drop tanks on VTr-Ju 87 mounts.
Fw 190 G
The Fw 190 G was built as a long-range attack aircraft (Jagdbomber mit vergrösserter Reichweite - abbreviated JaBo Rei). Following the success of the Fw 190 F as a Schlachtflugzeug (close support aircraft), both the Luftwaffe and Focke-Wulf began investigating ways of extending the range of the Fw 190 F. Approximately 1,300 Fw 190 Gs of all variants were new built.
Fw 190 G-1
The G-1 was based on the A-4/U8 JaBo Rei's. Initial testing found that if all but two wing root mounted 20 mm MG 151 cannons (with reduced ammunition load) were removed, the Fw 190 G-1 (as it was now called) could carry a 250 kg (550 lb) or 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb on the centreline and, via an ETC 250 rack, up to a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb under each wing.
Fw 190 G-2
The G-2 was based on the Fw 190 A-5/U8 aircraft, similar to the G-1; the underwing drop tank racks were replaced with the much simpler V.Mtt-Schloß fittings, to allow for a number of underwing configurations.
Fw 190 G-3
The G-3 was based on A-6 with all but the two wing root mounted MG 151 cannons removed. The new V.Fw. Trg bombracks, however, allowed the G-3 to simultaneously carry fuel tanks and bomb loads
Fw 190 G-3/R1 - The G-3/R1 replaced the V.Fw. Trg racks with WB 151/20 cannon pods, giving the G-3/R1 a total of six 20 mm cannon.
Fw 190 G-3/R5 - The G-3/R5 was similar to the R1, but the V.Fw. Trg racks were removed, and two ETC 50 racks per wing were added.
Fw 190 G-8
The G-8 was based on the Fw 190 A-8, using the same "bubble" canopy as the F-8 and fitted with underwing ETC 503 racks that could carry either bombs or drop tanks.
Fw 190 G-8/R4 - The G-8/R4 kit was a planned refit for the GM 1 engine boost system, but never made it into production.
Fw 190 G-8/R5 - The G-8/R5 kit replaced the ETC 503 racks with two ETC 50 or 71 racks.

Trainer versions[edit]

Fw 190 S-5 side view, showing the rear cockpit and extended canopy structure.
Fw 190 A-5/U1
Several old Fw 190 A-5s were converted by replacing the MW 50 tank with a second cockpit. The canopy was modified, replaced with a new three-section unit that opened to the side. The rear portion of the fuselage was closed off with sheet metal.
Fw 190 A-8/U1
A similar conversion to the A-5/U1.
Fw 190 S-5
A-5/U1 trainers re-designated.
Fw 190 S-8
A-8/U1 trainers re-designated.An estimated 58 Fw 190 S-5 and S-8 models were converted or built.[40]

Combat history[edit]

The Fw 190 participated on every major combat front where the Luftwaffe operated after 1941, and did so with success in a variety of roles.

Luftwaffe pilots who flew both the Fw 190 and the Bf 109 generally felt that, with the exception of high altitude capability, the Fw 190 was superior.

Production[edit]

A 0.40 km² (100 acre) Focke-Wulf plant east of Marienburg was bombed by the Eighth Air Force on 9 October 1944.[41] In addition, one of the most important sub-contractors for the radial-engined Fw 190s was AGO Flugzeugwerke, which from 1941 through to the end of the war produced enough Fw 190s to earn it major attention from the USAAF, with the AGO plant in Oschersleben being attacked at least five times during the war from 1943 onwards.

Survivors and modern builds/reproductions[edit]

Some 28 original Fw 190s are in museums or in the hands of private collectors around the world.

In 1997, a German company, Flug Werk GmbH, began manufacturing new Fw 190 models as reproductions. By 2012 almost 20 had been produced, most flyable, a few as static display models, with airworthy examples usually powered by Chinese-manufactured Shvetsov ASh-82 radial powerplants,[42] which have a displacement of 41.2 litres, close to the BMW 801's 41.8 litres.

The nearly intact wreck of an Fw 190 A-5 / U3 (Werknummer 151227) that had crashed in a marsh in a forest near Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1943 was located in 1989.[43] After restoration in Arizona, the Fw 190 flew again (with the original BMW 801 powerplant) on 1 December 2010.[44] Following the successful test flight, the aircraft was then trucked up to the Flying Heritage Collection, where it was reassembled in April 2011 and returned to airworthy condition.[45]

At least five surviving Fw 190A radial-engined aircraft are known to have been assigned to the Luftwaffe's JG 5 wing in Herdla, Norway. More German fighter aircraft on display in museums in the 21st century have originated from this unit than from any other Axis Powers’ military aviation unit of World War II.

Operators[edit]

 Czechoslovakia
 France
  • French Air Force - The French Air Force ordered 64 aircraft post-war from the SNCA aircraft company. The Fw 190 A-5/A-6 model that was chosen carried the designation NC 900. The aircraft were used operationally for a short period and withdrawn due to problems with the BMW 801 engine.
  • French Navy (Postwar)
 Nazi Germany
 Hungary
  • Royal Hungarian Air Force received a total of 72 Fw 190F-8s starting in the November 1944. They were operated by the 102. vadászbombázó század, later 102. csatarepulö osztály (102nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, later Wing) engaging in close-support missions on the Eastern Front in 1944–45.[46]
 Japan
 Spanish State
  • Spanish Air Force - The Spanish Air Force operated Fw 190A-2,3,4 among Fw 190 A-8 and Gs with volunteers of Escuadrilla Azul (15ª Spanische Staffel, JG 51 "Mölders" VIII. Fliegerkorps, belonged in LuftFlotte 4) on the Eastern Front (from Orel during September 1942 to Bobruisk, during July 1943) and Defense of the Reich over Germany.
 Romania
 Turkey
  • Turkish Air Force - The Turkish Air Force, beginning in mid-1942, received 72 examples of the Fw 190 A-3a (export model of A-3, a stood for ausländisch—foreign) from Germany to modernize their air force. These aircraft were basically Fw 190 A-3s, with BMW 801 D-2 engines and FuG VIIa radios and an armament fit of four MG 17s, with the option of installing two MG-FF/M cannon in the outer wing positions. The export order was completed between October 1942 and March 1943. The Fw 190 remained in service until 1948–49.
 United Kingdom
A captured Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3 at the Royal Aircraft Establishment.
 Yugoslavia

Specifications (Fw 190 A-8)[edit]

An Fw 190 A-8 (W-Nr:733682) at the Imperial War Museum showing faired-over gun ports and a belly-mounted ETC-501 bomb rack.

Data from Fw 190 A8[citation needed]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: * 2 × 13 mm (.51 in) synchronized MG 131 machine guns with 475 rpg
  • 4 × 20 mm MG 151/20 E cannon with 250 rpg, synchronized in the wing roots and 140 rpg free-firing outboard in mid-wing mounts.

Specifications (Fw 190 D-9)[edit]

Orthographically projected diagram of the Fw 190 D-9
A side view of the NMUSAF's D-9. One can easily distinguish the D-9 model from earlier variants by the extended nose and tail sections.

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10.20 m (33 ft 5½ in)
  • Wingspan: 10.50 m (34 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 3.35 m (11 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 18.30 m² (196.99 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 3,490 kg (7,694 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 4,270 kg (9,413 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 4,840 kg (10,670 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Junkers Jumo 213 A-1 12-cylinder inverted-Vee piston engine, 1,287 kW, (1,750 PS) , 1,544 kW (2,100 PS) with boost

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: (all synchronized to fire through propeller arc)
  • Bombs: 1 × 500 kg (1,102 lb) SC 500 bomb (optional)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This A-3 was landed by mistake by Oblt Armin Faber at RAF Pembrey on 23 June 1942, becoming the first Fw 190 to be captured and tested by the RAF.[1]
  2. ^ Pushrods had been used for the ailerons and elevator surfaces of the all-metal German Junkers D.I low-winged monoplane fighter which flew near the end of World War I.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Ramsey 1990, p. 147.
  2. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p. 225.
  3. ^ Delve 2007, p. 80.
  4. ^ Shacklady 2005, p. 25.
  5. ^ a b Green and Swanborough 2001, p. 13.
  6. ^ Price 2009, p. 3.
  7. ^ Hansen, James. "Engineering Science and the Development of the NACA Low-Drag Engine Cowling", Chapter 1. The NACA and NASA Collier Trophy, NASA, 1998.
  8. ^ Price 2000, p. 6.
  9. ^ Price 2009, p. 1.
  10. ^ a b Caygill 2002, p. 6.
  11. ^ Wagner, Ray; Nowarra, Heinz (1971). German Combat Planes: A Comprehensive Survey and History of the Development of German Military Aircraft from 1914 to 1945. New York, NY: Doubleday. p. 237. 
  12. ^ a b Spenser 1987, p. 12.
  13. ^ Price 2009, pp. 3-4.
  14. ^ Stephenson, Robert and E. Brown Ryle III. "Fw 190 Undercarriage." HyperScale—An Online Magazine for Aircraft and Armour Modellers, 2003. Retrieved: 14 February 2008.
  15. ^ Lednicer, David. The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage. Urbana, Illinois: UIUC Applied Aerodynamics Group, 2010. Retrieved: 18 May 2011.
  16. ^ Shacklady 2005, p. 30.
  17. ^ a b c Page 2002, p. 579.
  18. ^ Spenser 1987, p. 56.
  19. ^ a b Smith and Kay 1972, p. 175.
  20. ^ Page 2002, p. 581.
  21. ^ a b Page 2002, p. 583.
  22. ^ Page 2002, pp. 582–583.
  23. ^ Page 2002, pp. 583–584.
  24. ^ a b c d e Page 2002, p. 284.
  25. ^ Page 2002, p. 587
  26. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 34–38.
  27. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 40–41.
  28. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 41–43.
  29. ^ Page 2002, p. 593.
  30. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 43–45.
  31. ^ Joineau and Breffort 2007, p. 25.
  32. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 66–67.
  33. ^ "Focke-Wulf Fw 190D." csd.uwo.ca. Retrieved: 23 August 2010.
  34. ^ Arthy, Andrew. "Fw 190 W.Nr. list." hobbyvista.com, 24 December 2010. Retrieved: 23 August 2010.
  35. ^ a b Rodeike 1998, p. 381.
  36. ^ Caldwell 2007, p.89.
  37. ^ Caldwell 1998, p. 421.
  38. ^ Forsyth 1996, pp. 200, 204–205.
  39. ^ a b Mondey 2006, p. 72.
  40. ^ Janowicz 2001, pp. 55–56.
  41. ^ Gurney 1962, p. 219.
  42. ^ "Die FW 190 aus dem Flugwerk" in German). flugwerk.de. Retrieved: 9 September 2012.
  43. ^ Matt. "A Real Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is In the Air!" Airpigz.com (blog), 13 January 2011. Retrieved: 31 October 2012.
  44. ^ Cohen, Aubrey. "Restored German WWII fighter set to fly Saturday." Hearst Seattle Media, LLC, 16 March 2011. Retrieved: 25 November 2012.
  45. ^ Cohen, Aubrey. "Unique WWII German fighter reassembled in Everett." seattlepi.com, 21 April 2011. Retrieved: 31 October 2012.
  46. ^ Bonhardt et al. 1992, p. 358.
  47. ^ Caygill 2002, p. 34.
  48. ^ Dénes 1999, p. 45.
  49. ^ Axworthy 1995, p. 279.
  50. ^ Dénes 1999, p. 29.
  51. ^ Axworthy 1995, p. 320.

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External links[edit]