Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Article

July 1, 2022

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (Czech "ťuhýk") is a German single-seat single-engine fighter designed in the late 1930s by Ing. Kurt Tank and used in large numbers during World War II. Together with the well-known Messerschmitt Bf 109 counterpart, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter forces. The BMW 801's two-star engine, which powered most versions, allowed the Fw 190 to carry a heavier load than the Bf 109, allowing it to be used as a day fighter, fighter bomber, fighter and, to a lesser extent, a night fighter. The Fw 190A began flying over France in service in August 1941, and it soon became apparent that in all parameters (except the radius of the turn) surpassed the then standard Royal Air Force fighter Spitfire Mk. V, especially at low and medium altitudes. He maintained his superiority over the Allied Fw 190 fighters until the arrival of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX. In November / December 1942, the Fw 190 underwent its first combat flight on the Eastern Front, and since October 1943 it has had many successes in fighter squadrons and specialized assault units on ground targets called the Schlachtgeschwader. The performance of the Fw 190A series decreased at high altitudes (usually from 6,000 m and above), which limited its effectiveness as a capture fighter. Since the introduction of the Fw 190, work has been done to solve this problem with the BMW 801 supercharged B-engine, the C-model with extended front fuselage and the Daimler-Benz DB 603 twelve-cylinder inverted inverter engine, and the D-model with extended fuselage and Junkers Jumo 213 engine. installations of turbochargers in versions B and C caused that in September 1944 only model D was put into operation. This development of the altitude type eventually led to the Focke-Wulf Ta 152, which was capable of extreme speeds at medium to high altitudes (755 km / h and 13,500 m). These "long-nosed" variants of the Fw 190 and the Ta 152 derivative were technically at least equal to the Allied opponents, but they came too late to influence the outcome of the war. The Fw 190 was very popular among pilots. Some of the most successful Luftwaffe fighter aces have won many victories, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer. The Fw 190 provided greater firepower than the Bf 109 and, in the opinion of German pilots who flew both fighters, had excellent maneuverability at low to medium altitudes. It is considered one of the best fighters of World War II. The Fw 190 with the BMW 801 star engine was produced in 18 basic variants. All Fw 190s equipped with star engines were largely similar, and older machines were often converted to newer variants during general inspections and repairs. The Fw 190 was characterized by massive armament, solid armor and views from the cabin, maneuverability and good maneuverability at low and medium altitudes. It was a universal aircraft, which was suitable for both fighter battles, for combat missions or for precise bombing. The disadvantage was the low altitude characteristics and long deployment time, because in 1944 already (especially the variant of the Fw 190 A) most Allied fighters surpassed him in their characteristics.

Development

Between 1934 and 1935, the German Ministry of Aviation (RLM) announced a competition for a modern fighter for the reborn Luftwaffe. The designer Kurt Tank entered the competition with the Fw 159 high-altitude aircraft against the Arado Ar 80, Heinkel He 112 and Messerschmitt Bf 109. The Fw 159 was hopelessly surpassed and was soon scrapped together with the Ar 80. He 112 and Bf 109 were generally in design similar, but light construction of the Bf 109 type set the power limit of He 112 ta