-The Focke Wulf FW-190-
The 190 first flew on December 1, 1939. The FW 190V was powered by a 1,660 hp BMW
801 radial engine. Having overcome some problems in the begining with the powerplant, the
service debut of the FW 190A took place in in August of 1941. The FW 190 proved to be very
alarmingly superior to the RAF's fighters. For this reason the Focke Wulf's pilots could
choose when and where to fight the enemy and on their terms. The FW 190 was soon thrown
into a a broad scope of role changing from a bomber interceptor, fighter, and fighter bomber.
Up against the USAAF despite the success of the 190 the B-17's were very tough targets.
When US fighters became available to escort the B-17's and B-24's like the P-51 Mustang
and P-47 Thunderbolt, the FW 190's numbers and pilots started to gradually whittle down.
Special heavily armoured models like the FW 190F & G even failed to beat the odds stacked
against the Luftwaffe.
On the Eastern front in 1942 were more succesful. The wide track landing gear gave the
Focke Wulf an advantage operating from rough forward fields. This made the FW 190 well
suited for the conditions in Russia. The Focke Wulf was also a effective ground supprt fighter
bomber. The Focke Wulf was the fighter that replaced the JU 87 Stuka dive bomber. Fighting
in the East slowly drained the Luftwaffe of its best pilots and aircraft. There was simply not
enough 190 aircraft to cover the thousand mile front. In the meantime the designs of the
Focke Wulf were revised to keep the fighter ahead of Allied development. The FW 190D was
what designers came up with. The long nosed 190D was powered by a Junkers Jumo 213A
liquid-cooled engine in a annular cowling. The FW 190D or "Dora9" entered service in in the
fall of 1944. The methanol injection boosted engine power to 2,240 hp for short periods.
Armament consisted of 2 MG 151/20 cannons in the wings as well as 2 MG 131 machine
guns in the engine cowling. Despite the changes the pilots of the Dora 9 were not able to get
the best out of it due to heavy Allied opposition at the time. The FW 190A's and D's remained
in service until the surrender of Germany.
The Focke Wulf FW-190A Stats
Type: Single-seat fighter
Span: 34' 5.5"
Weight empty: 7,055 lbs.
Engine: 1,660 hp BMW 801 radial engine.
Armament: 2 X 13-mm MG 151 machine guns in upper engine cowling plus 2 X 20-mm
MG151/20 in wing root and 2 X MG 151/20 in outer wings. Up to 1,100 lb of bombs on
Maximum speed: 408 mph
Range: 560 miles
Surface ceiling: 37,400 ft