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Focke Wulf Fw-190

The Focke Wulf 190 was built to replace the new Messerschmidt Bf-109. With a blunt radial engine, many leaders of the Luftwaffe thought it wouldn’t be an effective fighter. Kurt Tank, the designer of the Fw-190, fitted a close fitting, aerodynamic cowling over the BMW engine to clean up the already slick airframe. With an armament of four 20mm cannons and two 7.92mm machine guns, the Fw-190 was extremely hard-hitting. It also had a top-speed over 400 mph and a roll rate matched by no other fighter of World War Two. Like the 109, the 190 could take droptanks, two 30mm underwing gun pods, or two 210mm rockets. The Fw-190G was a dedicated ground attack variant of the 190. The tow outboard 20mm cannons were removed from the wings. The 190G could carry bombs or one torpedo. One problem the 190 had was poor high-altitude performance, due to its engine. In the Fw-190D, pictured below, a longer inline engine replaced the BMW radial. Another version of the Fw-190 was the Ta-152, which utilized an even longer and more powerful inline engine. The Ta-152 was built to counter the very real threat of American B-29s being used agianst the Reich. Very few of the Fw-190D and Ta-152 were built. The Fw-190 is said by many to be the best propeller-driven fighter of the Luftwaffe and World War Two.

This is a Fw-190D , or long-nose 190. A new inline engine was installed to provide better high altitude performance.

The Fw-190G was a dedicated ground attack variant of the 190. The outboard 20mm cannons were removed to reduce weight. This example fought on the Eastern Front.

When the Fw-190 was introducted in the Western Front, it came as a suprise to the British. It totally out-performed the Spitfire Mk V, which was the best variant of the Spitfire at that time. Thus, a more powerful Merlin engine was fitted into the Spitfire Mk V airframe and the rest is history.