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Focke Wulf 152H

Focke Wulf 152H


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In the autumn of 1937 the German Air Ministry decided it needed another fighter aircraft to supplement the Messerschmitt Bf109. The design team was headed by Kurt Tank, the technical director of Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau. The Focke Wulf 190 flew for the first time on 1st June, 1939, but technical problems meant that it did not become fully operational until July, 1941.

The Focke Wulf 190 was superior to the Messerschmitt Bf109 and for the rest of the Second World War was the best fighter plane in the Luftwaffe. A total of 13,367 were built during the war. Even RAF pilots accepted that because of its speed and ease of handling it outperformed the Supermarine Spitfire.

Kurt Tank now began to work on a new aircraft that could fly at much higher altitudes. This was important because of the introduction of the B-29 Stratafortress that could fly higher than any other bomber in service.

The Focke Wulf 152H went into action in January 1945. It had a maximum speed of 472 mph (759 km) and had a range of 755 miles (1,215 km). It was 35 ft 2 in (10.71 m) long with a wingspan of 47 ft 5 in (14.43 m). The aircraft was armed with two 20 mm cannon and one 30 mm cannon. Its speed at high altitude was greater than any enemy fighter at the time. However, only 150 were produced and very few saw action before the end of the Second World War.


Focke Wulf 152H - History

Курт Танк (Kurt Tank) представил два предложения (Ra-2 и Ra-3) первого этапа на основе Фокке-Вульф FW-190D с двигателем Юмо-213, и третье (Ra-4D), — основанное, в целом, на развитии линейки 190-х, но с существенными конструкционными и аэродинамическими улучшениями. Хотя Мессершмитт тоже представил проект Me-155B, власти решили, что у фирмы уже слишком много проектов в работе, чтобы они смогли уделить новому заданию достаточно внимания.

Проекты Ra-2 и Ra-3 представляли собою тот же FW-190D-9, переонащённый Юмо-213E с трёхскоростным двухступенчатым турбокомпрессором и интеркулером для улучшения высотных характеристик, и применением системы впрыска водно-метаноловой смеси MW50. Гидравлика должна была заменить электроприводы закрылков и шасси, фюзеляж удлинялся для увеличения объёмов жидкостей и сдвигался назад на 40 см для компенсации смещения центра тяжести. Оба прототипа имели одну 30-мм мотор-пушку Mk 108 и пару 20-мм пушек MG 151 в корне крыла, а на прототипе Ra-2 дополнительно устанавливалась ещё одна пара синхронных MG 151s в капоте двигателя.

К этому периоду войны заслуги Курта Танка оценивали в Люфтваффе настолько высоко, что в его честь и по его запросу самолёт был назван Ta-152 вместо ещё одного обозначения из линейки FW-190. Прототип Ra-2 получил обозначение Ta-152B, а Ra-3 стал Ta-152H. Тем временем на основе проекта FW-190C начались разработки по предложению Ra-4D над прототипом Ta-153. Особенно примечательным было его крыло, которое, хоть и предполагавшее лишь незначительные аэродинамические усовершенствования, было гораздо проще по конструкции и технологичнее, да и предоставляло значительно больший внутренний объём для бензобаков. Ввиду таких преимуществ было решено применить это крыло и в проекте Ta-152, с обозначением литерой ‘H’ версии с увеличеным размахом крыла.

Сборочная линия для Ta-152H была налажена на заводе в Котбусе, и первые два серийных прототипа были выпущены в июне и июле 1944 г. К ним присоединились пять оставшихся прототипов FW-190C, разобранных для переделки в Ta-152H. Отладка и испытания этих прототипов затянулись до конца ноября, в то время как были уже изготовлены двадцать предсерийных Ta-152H-0, которые отличались от последующих серийных H-1s только отсутствием крыльевых бензобаков. Ta-152H были вооружены одной мотор-пушкой Mk 108 с 90 снарядами калибра 30 мм и парой синхронных 20-мм пушек MG 151 со 175 снарядами на ствол в корнях крыла. Запас бензина мог быть увеличен подвеской 300-литрового ПТБ на устанавливавшемся под фюзеляжем бомбодержателе ETC-503. Взлётный вес H-0 составлял 4726 кг, а у H-1 с дополнительными крыльевыми баками доходил до 5217 кг.

С января 1945 г. и до занятия Котбуса Советской Армией завод выпустил более 150 перехватчиков Ta-152H-1. Хотя ни одно истребительное крыло не было полностью перевооружено этими машинами, несколько истребительных эскадрилий применяли перехватчик параллельно с D-9, а штабная эскадрилья группы JG 301, как известно, прикрывала на Ta-152H-1 аэродромы базирования Ме-262. Большая же часть перехватчиков была, скорее всего, уничтожена на земле штурмовыми налётами Союзников в ожидании приёмки лётчиками Люфтваффе.


Focke-Wulf Ta 152H

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H was designed as a high altitude version of the standard Ta 152, but as a result of a series of poor decisions by the German Air Ministry it became the only version of the aircraft to actually enter combat, and only in tiny numbers and too late to have any impact on the course of the war.

Although the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 had proved to be an excellent fighter after its entry into service in 1941, its designer Kurt Tank soon realised that its BMW 801 radial engine had limited potential for development, with most increases in power coming from various boost systems that involved injecting various supplements into the engine. Most examples of the Fw 190A used the same BMW 801D-2 engine, which performed well at low and medium altitudes, but not at high altitude. On the Allied side the later versions of the Rolls Royce Merlin at least equalled the BMW engine, with better high altitude performance, while the Rolls Royce Griffon equalled it when new, and continued to improve. Tank began work on a replacement for the Fw 190 that would use inline engines with better high altitude performance, in a new airframe. The RLM (Air Ministry) gave this design the designation Ta 153 (one down from the existing Ta 154), before rejecting it in April 1943 on the grounds that it would cause too much disruption on the production lines.

Tank responded with an updated version of the Fw 190, which would use more components from the earlier aircraft, but with either the Junkers Jumo 213 or Daimler Benz DB 603 inline engine. This was given the designation Ta 152 in May 1943 and work began on two versions. The Ta 152A was to use the Jumo 213A and was the low and medium level version, while the Ta 152B was to use the Jumo 213E, which had a three speed two stage intercooled supercharger and was optimised for higher altitudes. Both of these variants on the engine were under development at the time, so the DB 603G was chosen as a back-up engine.

Work on the Jumo 213E progressed very slowly, so the Ta 152B never got beyond the prototype stage. The 213A was at a more advanced stage, and several prototypes of the Ta 152A were produced. This had a lengthened version of the Fw 190A-8 fuselage, with an extra 77.2cm in front of the cockpit to carry the larger inline engines and heavy cannon, and a 50cm section begin the fuselage and the wing moved 42cm forward to balance the weight of the heavier engines. The wing span increased from 10.5m to 11m. The first prototype of the Ta 152A made its maiden flight on 7 July 1943. The new design appeared to be promising, but in October 1943 the Air Ministry refused to give it high development priority.

In the meantime two Messerschmitt designs for a high altitude aircraft, the Bf 190H and the Me 209, were both running into problems. The Me 209 made its maiden flight on 3 November 1943 and the Bf 109H on 5 November 1943, but both designs were failures (as were all of Messerschmitt&rsquos attempts to replace the Bf 109).

With the rival team struggling, on 7 December 1943 Tank submitted a proposal for a high altitude version of the Ta 152 &ndash the Ta 152H. This used the same airframe as the Ta 152A/B, but with a pressurised cockpit and much longer wings, with the wingspan increasing from 34ft 5in (10.5m) on the Fw 190A-8 to 47ft 3in (14.4m) on the Ta 152H. It was to be powered by the Jumo 213E with both GM-1 and MW-50 boost systems as standard. The Air Ministry approved development of this model, and ordered six prototypes. It was to be armed with a 30mm cannon in the engine and two 20mm cannon in the wing roots. Unusually for a member of the Fw 190/ Ta 152 family there was no provision to carry bombs.

The Ta 152H soon became the only version of the aircraft that had any chance of entering service. Although several more prototypes of the Ta 152A were completed, the project was cancelled in July 1944. Work on the Ta 152B had made little progress. Work on a DB 603 powered version, the Ta 152C, began in 1944, but only reached the prototype stage.

This just left the Ta 152H. In order to speed up development, Focke-Wulf took several existing prototypes that had been used to test the DB 603A with Hirth turbo-supercharger and gave them Jumo 213E engines, to produce V33/U1, V30/U1 and V29/U21. Another prototype was produced by modifying V32/U1, which had briefly been used as a Ta 153 prototype, turning it into V32/U2. V18/U1 was added to the plan in the spring of 1944 as V18/U2. In an attempt to speed up the development of the aircraft, work also got underway on putting the untested design into production, and the first Ta 152H prototype to be built from scratch, V1 W.Nr.150001, was completed in June 1944, before any of the development aircraft, although probably didn&rsquot actually fly for several months.

The first prototype of this design, Fw 190 V33/U1, was completed by the summer of 1944 and made its maiden flight on 12 July 1944, but the aircraft was lost on 13 July 1944 while it was being flown from the prototype construction site at Adelheide to the testing site at Langenhagen. The aircraft suffered 70% damage, making it difficult to investigate the causes of the crash.

The second prototype, Fw 190 V30/U1, made its maiden flight on 6 August 1944. This was used to test the Jumo 213E, which proved to be problematic. The supercharger wasn&rsquot reliable, and on 23 August, soon after the aircraft had been transferred to the RLM test sight at Rechlin it was destroyed after the engine caught fire in flight. The test pilot, Alfred Thomas, almost managed to land the aircraft but was killed while attempting to land. Once again the damage was too several to allow for investigation.

The third prototype, Fw 190 V29/U1, made its maiden flight on 24 September 1944 and went to Rechlin on 27 September. The initial test results weren&rsquot terribly positive &ndash the aircraft needed changes to its trim, was &lsquouncomfortable&rsquo around stalling speed and was unstable in the vertical axis. On the positive side the Jumo 213E was becoming more reliable.

The fourth prototype, Fw 190 V32/U2 (W.Nr.0057), was modified at Demlemhorst, then flow to Langenhagen on 15 August 1944.

The fifth prototype, Fw 190 V18/U2 (W.Nr.0040), made its maiden flight in this configuration on 19 November 1944.

There were two attempts to built a sixth prototype. The first aircraft, Ta 152 V25 (W.Nr.110025), was never completed, and its wings were then installed on Fw 190 V32/U2, which made its maiden flight in this configuration on 15 December 1944.

Despite these problems, the Ta 152H was ordered into production. The H-0 series was built at Cottbus in Brandenburg, dangerously close to Germany&rsquos increasingly vulnerable eastern borders. Work on the first production aircraft began in November 1944, and the first production aircraft, (W.Nr.150 001) made its maiden flight on 24 November 1944. There was a brief delay when the Luftwaffe decided to convert all existing aircraft into Ta 152E reconnaissance types, but this plan was soon abandoned. These aircraft were completed without either of the standard boost systems (MW 50 and GM 1). The aircraft was still not entirely reliable, and the first flight of the first production aircraft ended with a belly landing after the fuel system failed. Production was slow, and only 21 H-0s had been completed by the end of 1944.

As with many details of later German aircraft production there is little agreement on the number of Ta 152Hs that were completed. Aviation Classics 26 gives a total of 44 production machines (mainly H-0s, with some H-1s &ndash 21 in December 1943, 20 in January 1944 and 3 in February 1944) and 11 prototypes or experimental machines, for a total of 54. Other sources give higher figures &ndash as high as 26 prototypes and 67 production aircraft (perhaps giving figures for all variants on the Ta 152 &ndash this would appear to be the case in Close-Up No.24, which gives a total of 67 aircraft of all types between October 1944 and February 1945, with the peak only being 23 aircraft in January).

On 29 March 1945 the RLM decided to end production of the Ta 152H and concentrate on the Fw 190D, but by this point most of the production facilities had already fallen to the Soviets.

The first H-0s went to Erprobungskommando Ta 152 at Cottbus, arriving in October-November 1944. The tests showed the Ta 152H to be faster than the Fw 190, but with a slower rate of roll due to the larger wings. Faults were discovered with the right landing gear leg, the engine coolant cowl flap controls, loose controls, badly designed temperate designs and in some cases poor construction quality. The pressurised cockpit was ineffective, leaking in several places and without enough air pressure. When the compressor did work, it over-heated the cockpit. In combat most aircraft operated with the pressurization turned off.

Some of these aircraft reached III./JG 301 late in January 1945, so the type was briefly used in combat. It isn&rsquot entirely clear how successful it was, as the unit&rsquos victory claims don&rsquot always match up with Allied loses. Its pilots appear to have been impressed with the Ta 152H, but it&rsquos combat career only lasted from mid-February to the end of the war.

Other H-0s were used as test aircraft. The fifth production aircraft, W.Nr. 150005 was used for engine tests at Junkers.

The H-0 was armed with one engine mounted 30mm MK 108 cannon and two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots. It was to be equipped with the GM-1 boost system, but not the MW-50. In practise neither system was fitted. At least the first twenty of the Cottbus produced aircraft were completed as the H-0, although some were used as prototypes, somewhat confusing the picture.

The H-0 could be equipped with the R11 all-weather kit.

The Ta 152H-1 was to have been the main production version. Like the H-0, it was armed with one 30mm and two 20mm cannon and powered by a Jumo 213E engine. At least a dozen were completed.

The main different between the H-0 and H-1 was the addition of six extra fuel tanks in the wings, one carrying MW-50 boost and five carrying normal fuel. This increased the aircraft&rsquos maximum take-off weight by almost 500kg. The H-1 was to be built with both the GM 1 and HW 50 boost systems. However in practise the GM 1 system caused too many problems and was often missing. The standard H-1 was completed a low pressure MW 50 system, later replaced with a high pressure system in the R21 and R31.

Production of the H-1 was to start in January 1945 at Focke-Wulf&rsquos Cottbus factory, and in March 1945 at Erla and Gotha, but only Focke-Wulf ever completed aircraft.

Most H-1s were completed with the R11 Rüstsatz, to given them all weather capabilities. This gave them PKS 12 directional auto pilot, a defrosted windscreen, FuG 125 radio and LGW K 23 autopilot. The H-1 suffered from serious balance problems, caused by the extra fuel tanks. As a result from 9 March 1945 the H-1/R11 was completed without the GM 1 system.

The H-1/R21 gained a high pressure MW 50 system, but lacked the GM 1.

The H-1/R31 had ballast in the engine and limits on the amount of fuel that could be carried in the rear fuselage tanks, and had both the MW 50 high pressure system and the GM 1 system. However it is unclear if any of these aircraft ever reached combat.

The Ta 152H-2 would have been the same as the H-1, but with a FuG 15 radio in place of the FuG 16. Ta 152 V25 was to have been the prototype for this version, but it was cancelled in December 1944.

Ta 152H-3 to H-9

These probably had different engine and gun combinations, but were design studies only. .

The H-10 was a reconnaissance version of the H-0. The original plan had been to produce a dedicated reconnaissance version of the Ta 152, as the Ta 152E, with the E-2 using the long wings of the Ta 152H. One prototype was allocated to this project, Ta 152 V26 (W.Nr.110021?). This aircraft hadn&rsquot been completed when the Ta 152E was cancelled in mid-February 1945 in favour of producing reconnaissance versions of the Ta 152C and Ta 152H. It probably made its maiden flight as the H-10 prototype in March 1945. As with most reconnaissance versions of the Fw 190/ Ta 152 family, it carried a camera in the rear fuselage, in this case one of the Rb 20/30, Rb 50/30 or Rb 75/30 models. Ta 152 W.Nr.150167 may also have been chosen for conversion to the H-10 configuration.

The H-11 would have been a reconnaissance version of the H-1

The H-12 would have been a reconnaissance version of the H-2

H-1
Engine: Junkers Jumo 213 E/B twelve-cylinder inverted V liquid cooled in-line engine
Power: 1,880hp at sea level, 2,250hp with MW-50
Crew: 1
Span: 47ft 6.75in
Length: 35ft 5.5in
Height: 13ft 0in
Empty weight:
Loaded: 10,472lb
Maximum take-off weight: 11,508lb
Max speed: 431mph at 35,000ft 465mph at 30,000ft with MW-50 472mph at 41,000ft with GM-1 and MW-50
Climb Rate:
Service ceiling: 48,560ft
Normal range: 745 miles at 372mpg at 32,800ft
Armament: One 30mm MK 108 cannon in spinner, two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in wing roots


History Question: Never Heard of the Focke-Wulf FW-190? You're Lucky.

The Focke-Wulf FW-190 was widely believed to be the best fighter aircraft of World War II.

Key Point: The Focke-Wulf FW-190 not only was a superb daytime fighter but was also used extensively as a night fighter, interceptor, and ground attack aircraft on the Eastern, Western, and Italian Fronts.

On July 28, 1943, Luftwaffe Oberleutnant Erwin Clausen shot down another two B-17 Flying Fortresses to add to the two he had shot down the previous day. There were 15 other Focke-Wulf FW-190 pilots that claimed downing a bomber in defense of the aircraft works at Kassel and Oschersleben. It is believed that this was the first time that the Luftwaffe’s single-engined fighters had been able to employ under-wing rockets against the American bombers.

The following day, as 15 groups of B-17s attacked targets on the Baltic coast, it was the weather that provided the best cover for the bombers. The Luftwaffe response was relatively weak with only four Jagdgruppen FW-190s sent up to oppose the bomber force. The Focke-Wulf group was credited with four of the 12 claimed to have been shot down, which agreed with what the Americans stated they had lost.

The next day the B-17s were headed for a second strike against the aircraft factories in Kassel. On this occasion, the Luftwaffe reacted stronger than before. Among the planes sent up, there were at least five Focke-Wulf FW-190 units. The Focke-Wulfs of Jagdgeschwader 1 did not engage the bombers until after they had left the target area and were about to recross into Dutch territory. At that point, they would be under the protection of Allied fighters that would escort them back to the United Kingdom. Despite this development, the pilots of JG1 were able to claim six B-17s and two enemy fighters destroyed. The successes came at a high price: the loss of seven aircraft. Among the pilots killed were two Staffelkapitane and the campaign’s then-leading FW-190 four-engine bomber ace, Oberfeldwebel Hans Laun of 1.JG 1, who was shot down near Arnhem, Netherlands.

The Focke-Wulf FW-190 was widely believed to be the best fighter aircraft of World War II. As the war went on the FW-190 was manufactured in no fewer than 40 different models. The appearance of the new aircraft over France in 1941 was a rude surprise to the Allied air forces. The FW-190 was in service for the entire war, replacing a number of other aircraft including the Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber. Possibly the plane’s biggest influence on the Allies was that it served to spur on greater advances in technology and aircraft design to counter the threat of the FW-190.

The Focke-Wulf FW-190 not only was a superb daytime fighter but was also used extensively as a night fighter, interceptor, and ground attack aircraft on the Eastern, Western, and Italian Fronts. The introduction of the FW-190 changed the capability of the Luftwaffe’s combat operations. This was especially the case with the introduction of the FW-190D in 1944. This new model offered superior handling with a top speed of more than 400 miles per hour.

During the first two years of World War II, the Messerschmitt Me-109 was the preeminent German fighter plane, there was simply nothing else. But in 1941, during cross-Channel aerial warfare between the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe, a new challenger entered the fight on the German side. The Me-109 from that point forward would have a new partner in the air war.

Design History of the Fw-190

The development of the FW-190 began with a contract in 1937 from the Reichsluftfahrtministerium for a new single-seat fighter. The new plane was designed by Focke-Wulf engineer Kurt Tank, a German aeronautical engineer and test pilot. He was chief engineer in Focke-Wulf’s design department from 1931 to 1945. He was not only responsible for the development of the FW-190, but also the Focke-Wulf Ta-152 fighter-interceptor and the FW-200 Condor. The FW-190 was first developed as two different models, one using the water-cooled inline Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine and the other using the BMW 139 aircooled radial. The BMW 139 was selected for development in summer of 1938. The first prototype flew on June 1, 1939. The BMW 139 produced 1,550 horsepower, attaining a speed of 370 miles per hour. As the prototype was refined, the BMW 139 was replaced by the BMW 801, which was heavier but had greater potential for future development. Although the engine did have some problems to overcome, the FW-190 showed excellent handling characteristics and its wide undercarriage made takeoffs and landings less hazardous. Powered by the new BMW engine, which produced 1,600 horsepower, the FW-190A-1 was armed with four wing-mounted 7.92mm MG17 machine guns.

First impressions of the new BMW 801 engine were not good. “The new twin row, 14 cylinder, air-cooled radial engine gave us nothing but misery. Whatever could possibly go wrong with it, did. We hardly dared to leave the immediate vicinity of the airfield with our six prototype machines,” reported one pilot. This criticism of the new plane is sometimes credited with saving the FW-190 project from cancellation. Eventually, the problems were sufficiently corrected for the plane to be cleared for service in July 1941. One of the major changes made by Tank and his designers was in the FW-190’s armament. They replaced the inboard MG17s with two 20mm FF cannons. The modified fighter now had the designation of FW-190 A-2 and took the Royal Air Force completely unawares with descriptions of the plane being discounted by British intelligence.

In June 1942, a fortuitous event occurred for the Allies. A Luftwaffe pilot accidentally presented an intact FW-190A fighter to his enemies. Oberleutnant Armin Faber landed on what he thought was a Luftwaffe airfield on the Cotentin Peninsula that turned out to be the RAF airfield at Pembrey, Wales. As he slowly taxied to a stop, Faber was intensely surprised when someone jumped on the wing and pointed a pistol at his head. The pilot was so despondent that he attempted suicide.

The RAF quickly took advantage of its windfall by transporting the aircraft to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. The airframe and engine were dismantled and thoroughly analyzed before being reassembled. After being test flown the plane was delivered to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, where it was put through intensive performance trials and flown competitively against several Allied fighter types. The AFDU trials had proven what the RAF already knew, that the FW-190 was an outstanding development in fighter aircraft but was far from unbeatable.

The detailed examination of the FW-190 had a huge influence on fighter development in Britain. It resulted directly in the specification F.2/43 to which was designed the Hawker Fury, which incorporated numerous features directly copied from the FW-190A and F.19/43, which produced the Folland Fd.118 fighter project. There could be no higher praise than to have one’s enemies copy one of your designs. The FW-190A was one of the best models that could have come into the possession of the Allies. The FW-190A1 used the BMW 801C, 1600 horsepower engine, which powered a three-bladed variable pitch propeller that could attain a top speed of 388 miles per hour. The wide-track landing gear folded in toward the fuselage, which was extra strong to accommodate future weight growth and offered good stability on the ground. The FW-190A1 carried four rifle-caliber machine guns, two in the cowling and two in the wing roots, all of which were fired through the propeller arc. The event that resulted in the capture of the Focke-Wulf most likely contributed to saving the lives of countless RAF pilots.

In 1943, the Luftwaffe was in need of a fighter with better high-altitude performance. The answer to this need was the long-nosed “D” model or “Dora.” The first production model was the FW-190 D-9 which attained production status in the early summer of 1944. The new plane’s purpose would be to face the Allied bombers, particularly the American Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which was known to be coming into service. The FW-190 D was the first production FW-190 to use a liquid-cooled engine and was a very good high-altitude interceptor equal to the North American P-51 Mustang or Supermarine Spitfire MK XIV without the altitude limitations of the FW-190 A. Deliveries of the FW-190D-9 began in August 1944. The first mission of the new fighter was to provide top cover for Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighters during takeoff when they were most vulnerable. The prevailing opinion among the FW-190D-9 pilots was that it was the best Luftwaffe propeller-driven fighter of the entire war and was more than a match for the P-51 Mustang. The D Model was the stepping stone that led to the high-altitude Focke-Wulf Ta 152.

In honor of Tank, the FW-190’s designation was changed to Tank, or Ta-152. The inline engine fighter was going to be the top version of the now famous fighter, but delays prevented them being manufactured in adequate numbers. In the final chaotic year of the Third Reich only a few Ta-152Hs and possibly a few Ta-152Cs got into combat.

The Bomber Killer

The FW-190 first saw action over the English Channel in 1941. In February 1942, it was providing cover for the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisinau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they tried to reach northern German ports. In one engagement, the 190s destroyed all six attacking Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers. The new fighter was a shock to the RAF, faster and more agile than the Spitfire. The FW-190 was a stout opponent in a dogfight with its extremely heavy armament. The FW-190 pilots tended to work in pairs, giving each other good tactical support in battle. The excellent visibility provided by the plane’s cockpit assisted the pilots in supporting one another. As time went on, the FW-190 became a terror to Allied aircraft in every region where the Luftwaffe was active. It inflicted huge losses on B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber crews, and was almost impossible to stop until the long-range P-51 Mustang came into service in 1944 and began escorting bombers to their targets.

One of the more important roles played by the FW-190s was in the defense of the Reich, a strategic defensive aerial campaign. The Luftwaffe had set up a chain of fighter bases in northwestern Europe. These stretched from the Bay of Biscay to the Kattegat. By late summer 1942, the American Eighth Air Force was beginning to make its first forays into northern France. The first attack by the Eighth took place on January 27, 1943. Despite all the time, effort, and resources put in by both sides, the first fighting in the defense of the Reich was inconclusive. The FW-190s’ first attack was on several Liberators of the 44th Bomb Group. Two of the Liberators went down into the shallows between the Dutch coast and the offshore island of Terschelling. One source suggests that one of the bombers was lost as a result of a mid-air collision with a battle damaged FW-190, which tore off the B-24’s port wing and tail assembly. This action, like many of the claims made by pilots during the 27-month campaign, was never confirmed. If anything, this problem worsened as the number of aircraft involved in the never-ending air battles in the skies over Germany grew from dozens to the hundreds and eventually thousands.

The first month of the air campaign ended with the raid on Wilhelmshaven on February 26, 1943. In this phase of the campaign, the fighting ended in favor of the Luftwaffe, which downed 15 heavy bombers from the U.S. Eighth Air Force while it suffered seven pilots killed and one wounded. On March 4, the FW-190s played a major role in attacking a group of B-17s whose target was the marshaling yards at Hamm in North Rhine-Westphalia. Four of the five bombers were shot down in the Eighth Air Force’s first appearance over the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland. On April 17, the Eighth Air Force returned to Bremen, but this time its target was the city’s Focke-Wulf aircraft factories. These were producing the very FW-190 fighters that the Americans were fighting in the air. During this raid the Americans lost 16 B-17s with 10 falling to the FW-190s. These losses were at least part of the reason that the Eighth Air Force did not reappear over the Reich for nearly a month. The attacks of June 25 brought to an end the first half of the fighting in the air campaign of 1943.

The opening rounds of the campaign had produced only mixed results. The overriding factor for this period was the absence of a fighter escort for the bomber formations. The final outcome was still far from certain. In the second half of 1943, the Eighth Air Force suffered catastrophic casualties, but the defenders’ losses would begin to escalate as the year wore on. In this period, the U.S. Army Air Forces lost 87 bombers and had more than 500 damaged mostly due to Luftwaffe attacks, many of which involved FW-190s.

The air campaign would soon become a different arena of battle entirely. The arrival of U.S. escort fighters in ever increasing numbers would dramatically change the situation. The Luftwaffe pilots would no longer have the luxury of remaining unmolested beyond the range of the bombers’ defensive fire and then deciding how to deliver the attack. Protected by their fighters, the bombers would be much more difficult to approach, and kills would become more difficult to achieve with losses inevitably becoming much higher.

The number of fighters escorting Eighth Air Force bombers was truly alarming to the Germans. The number would eventually exceed 500. One method which the Luftwaffe began to develop to counter the increased number of enemy fighters was to have the Me-109s keep the enemy fighters occupied while the FW-190s attacked the bombers. The Luftwaffe also transferred many of its most successful pilots closer to Germany to defend the Reich in the most critical campaign of the European air war.

By the end of 1942, the FW-190 was fighting in North Africa, on the Eastern Front, and in Western Europe. In the Soviet Union, the FW-190 was effective in low-flying ground attacks on vehicle convoys and tanks. In this theater, the FW-190 carried 250- and 500-pound bombs, either of which could knock out a tank. One major issue on the Eastern Front was keeping the FW-190s and other aircraft supplied. This was at a time when many of the planes were flying up to eight sorties a day. On the Eastern Front, the FW-190’s reliable air-cooled engine and wide-track landing gear were well suited for service in the extremely harsh conditions. Operations on the Eastern Front led to a number of changes that resulted in the FW-190F fighter-bomber designed with a special emphasis on ground attack. This particular version carried 794 pounds of armor, which included sections of steel plate located behind the pilot’s head, on the lower engine cowling, and in the wheel well doors. The F-8 version turned out to be the most important model of the “F” series. Frontline units, using kits supplied by the factory, could adapt these aircraft to carry various combinations of heavy cannons, bombs, rockets, and even torpedoes.

As the war went on, the different models of the FW-190 were in almost constant contact with enemy bombers. This led to improvements in the form of more cannons and underwing rockets. Later, bomb racks were fitted to the FW-190 airframe under the fuselage and under the wings to broaden the capability of the fighter for attacking ground targets. By the end of the war, German fighter airfields were forced back closer to Berlin for fear of being bombed, which resulted in the FW-190 becoming more of a ground attack and support aircraft as German air power dwindled in the final days of the war. In spite of this situation, the beleaguered German air crews fought on with their FW-190s despite mounting losses. The Allied bombing campaign reduced the number of FW-190s, and the added issue of pilot attrition only made the situation for the Luftwaffe much worse. In the end, the FW-190 had played its role well in defeat as the war came to a close.

20,000 FW-190s Built

By the end of the war, more than 20,000 FW-190s had been built for the Luftwaffe. At peak production, 22 FW-190s were being produced daily. When hostilities ended in Europe, the Luftwaffe had more than 1,600 FW-190s, of which more than 800 were ground-attack variants. After the war, Tank, the primary developer of the FW-190, negotiated with the United Kingdom, the Nationalist government of China, and the Soviet Union for his services. However, negotiations with all three countries proved to be unsuccessful. He later accepted an offer from Argentina to work at its Aeronautical Institute under the pseudonym Dr. Pedro Matthies. Tank spent two decades designing aircraft abroad, including work in India, before returning to Germany in the late 1960s to work as a consultant for Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm. The heavy demand for his services was a testament to his genius as an aircraft designer.


Focke Wulf 152H - History

    The Fw 190 was armed to the teeth. Four 20 mm cannon plus two machine guns. Later versions could carry a 30 mm cannon firing through the propeller boss. Early Fw 190s, powered by an air-cooled BMW radial, were Germany's first radial-engined monoplane fighters. Shown above is the FW-190 of I./JG 54 Feldwebel Karl Schnorrer.

    The BMW 801 engine tended to overheat, but this fault was rectified by improvements to the cooling fan and, in general, the Fw 190A was highly praised by the test pilots. They particularly favored the wide-track undercarriage which tremendously improved ground stability as compared with the Bf 109. One of the unusual features of the fighter commented on by test pilots was the fact that, at high altitude and high speed, the BMW 801 engine produced a pair of contrails which started immediately behind the exhaust exits and completely hid the wings.

    The Fw 190 prototype first flew on June 1, 1939 and production deliveries began in late 1940. Within a year, Fw l90s were making low-level sweeps over southern England in daylight, against which the Spitfire Vs, then in service, achieved little success. The situation did not improve until the Royal Air Force received more powerful Spitfire IXs, in partnership with four-cannon Typhoons.

    In the autumn of 1937, the Reichluftministerium (RLM) placed an order with the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau for the design development of a new single-seat fighter to supplement the Messerschmitt Bf 109. A second "iron in the fire" as RLM officials referred to the order at the time. The contract was placed with Focke-Wulf primarily because this company was not extensively committed to the development of other combat aircraft and possessed a highly qualified design team headed by Dipl.Ing.Kurt Tank. Tank's design team prepared two proposals one based upon the use of the Daimler-Benz DB601 liquid-cooled engine and the other upon the use of the BMW 801 air-cooled radial engine. At that time the radial engine was not favored as a fighter power plant owing to its drag and the restrictions that its bulk placed upon forward view during taking-off and landing and in consequence, General Ernst Udet's decision to proceed with the development of the radial-engined fighter came as a profound surprise to Tank and his colleagues.

The FW-190 of II./JG 1 Maj. Heinz Bar.

    The BMW 801 was a considerably heavier engine than its predecessor, although the overall dimensions differed little, and necessitated a stiffer engine mount and extensive structural strengthening. The re-design involved gave Blaser an opportunity to rectify one of the few faults that had manifested themselves in the first prototype. Test pilots had objected to proximity of the engine to the cockpit which resulted in extremely high cabin temperatures, sometimes reaching 55 degrees C. (131 degrees F.) which as Sander said, felt as though he had his "feet in the fireplace." In addition, exhaust gases found their way into the cockpit and necessitated the continuous use of an oxygen mask. Therefore in the next prototypes the cockpit was relocated further aft, a move also suggested by the c.g. problems presented by the heavier engine.

    Most of the Fw 190A-0s were sent to Rechlin Roggenthin for pre-service tests. During intensive flight testing, it was discovered that the engine cowlings frequently flew off at high speeds and internally stressed cowlings with stronger locks were requested. Some re-stressing was also proved necessary and it was found that above 250 mph, the cockpit canopy could not be released in an emergency. The latter problem was solved by fitting two standard 20 mm cartridges which blew the rear end of the canopy backward far enough to let the slipstream get under it and pull it away. Pilots also complained that there was a serious risk of hitting the tail assembly when baling out and requested the fitting of some form of ejector seat which would throw them clear. However, in view of the serious weight penalty imposed by an ejector seat, the engineers refused to install this equipment, resulting in a serious disagreement between the test pilots and the manufacturers.

The FW-190 of 9./JG 2 Haupt. Siegfried Schnell, Vannes 1943.

    The Focke-Wulf was not only faster but its superior handling and faster roll rate gave it an edge in the hands of even less experienced pilots. Such sparkling performance combined with the 190's superior armament presented Allied pilots with a real challenge until German pilot training began to drop in quality. The standard Fw 190A was quickly modified to perform a number of roles, particularly that of fighter-bomber in the F and G versions. These deleted the outer 20 mm cannon in favor of various combinations of bomb racks or cannon pods for the MK 103 30 mm cannon. Later versions of the FW 190A featured up to six 20 mm cannon (FW 190A6R1) the A-6/R-6 had two 210 mm (8.27 in) unguided rockets with which to attack US heavy bombers. The wide track landing gear assured ease of handling on takeoff and landing, unlike the twitchy Messerschmitt 109. The 190 was also one of the first fighters to feature a clear rear canopy, allowing pilots to keep an excellent lookout for enemy fighters.

    Meanwhile, the Fw 190 was also proving a good fighter-bomber carrying a reasonable bomb load or, in some cases, rocket projectiles. The new war started by Hitler on the Eastern Front resulted in most of the new production Fw 190s being thrown into the fighting against the Russians. Others were needed equally urgently by Rommel in North Africa to combat the Western Desert Air Force and Allied ground forces, who by the latter part of 1942, were pressing hard at Alamein.

    As RAF and USAAF bombing raids got heavier and heavier in Europe, new tactics were employed by some German fighter units flying Fw 190s. Against US heavy bombers on daylight raids, several Fw 190s would form a queue and approach from the rear of the bomber formation. At very close range, the fighters would then 'open up,' so giving the rear gunners in the bombers very little chance of firing methodically at all the attackers.

    During 1943, the Fw 190 was encountered frequently in Europe while performing night fighter missions. About the same time, the first Fw 190s came off the production line fitted with inline, rather than radial, engines. General appearance stayed the same, because of the use of an annular radiator at the nose.

    The long-nosed Fw 190D was also developed into the Ta 152 after its designer, Kurt Tank-in which the installation of a 2,300 hp (with boost) DB 603 engine pushed the speed up to 745km/h (463 mph). Had the Ta 152H been built in enough numbers and been flown by expert pilots it could have taken its place alongside the Me 262 as a near unbeatable air superiority fighter and bomber killer.

    The new Junkers Jumo 213 powerplant made the aircraft once again, the fastest Luftwaffe operational fighter and those pilots with the skill to use such advantages did very well. Unfortunately, excellent fighter designs could not compensate for poor production standards, lack of fuel, poor pilot training and overwhelming Allied numerical superiority.

    In honor of designer Kurt Tank, the Fw 190's designation was changed to Tank or Ta 152. This beautiful inline-engined fighter was to be the ultimate version of the famous fighter but delays resulted in the stopgap Fw 190D, in itself an outstanding aircraft. In the chaotic final year of the Third Reich, the D ended up being the major inline engine version with only a few Ta 152Hs, and possibly a few Ta 152Cs, getting into combat.

    The extended wing (14.5m), high altitude Ta 152H was indeed a sterling performer with a top speed of 755 km/h (472 mph) and a service ceiling of 15,000 m (49,215 ft). It was armed with a 30 mm cannon in the nose and two 20 mm cannon in the wing roots. Had it been built in enough numbers and been flown by expert pilots it could have taken its place alongside the Me 262 as a near unbeatable air superiority fighter and bomber killer. The lower altitude version, the Ta 152C, barely made it out of the test phase before the war ended. Between October 1944 and February 1945, when production ended, Focke-Wulf managed to roll 67 completed Ta 152 aircraft (H-0, H-1, and C-1 models) off the line. By the end of the war, more than 20,000 Fw 190s had been built about one-third as fighter bombers.

Specifications:
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8
Dimensions:
Wing span: 34 ft 5.5 in (10.49 m)
Length: 29 ft (8.84 m)
Height: 13 ft (3.96 m)
Weight:
Empty: 7,055 lbs (3,200 kgs)
Operational: 10,800 lbs (4,900 kgs)
Performance:
Maximum Speed: 408 mph (653 km/h)
Service ceiling: 37,400 ft (11,410 m)
Range: 560 miles (900 km)
Powerplant:
BMW 801D 1,700 hp 14-cylinder radial engine.
Armament:
Two 13 mm machine-guns plus four 20 mm cannon or
two 20 mm and two 30 mm cannons.

© The Aviation History On-Line Museum. All rights reserved.
Created November 28, 2001. Updated October 18, 2013.


Focke Wulf 152H - History

Focke Wulf TA-152H 1/5th scale Plan Set

This is a full size printed set of Plans and other Documentation


For accessories needed to complete the model,

such as Cowls, Canopies, Gear etc., go to mnbigbirds.com


David's 1/5th Exact Scale Focke Wulf TA 152H goes beyond just enlarging his previous successful 1/6th scale version. This design is an exact scale version which brightens the aircrafts flight characteristics and incorporates several enhancements that allow you to use a broader range of equipment and transportation options.

The 114" wingspan allows for greater flight visibility, while the scale airfoil lets you feel why Dr. Kurt Tank's original design was considered to be the finest performing propeller driven aircraft ever delivered to the Luftwaffe!

The Set Includes All of David Andersen Focke Wulf TA-152H 1/5th scale Downloads Printed Full Size:


FlightLine Focke-Wulf Ta 152H 1300mm (51") Wingspan - PNP

FlightLine proudly presents the remarkable Ta-152H! Never before seen in foam electric format, FlightLine has once again delivered a rare warbird to expand its exciting line of premier affordable model aircraft.

Designed by Kurt Tank in 1944, the original Ta-152 was in many ways the ultimate version of Tank's famed FW-190 Wurger. One of the fastest piston engine aircraft of World War II, the sleek Ta-152H was optimized as a high altitude interceptor. Its stretched nose and fuselage, stretched wings, and iconic forward fuselage elements gave the Ta-152 a distinctive appearance that also showed Tank's inventiveness even as the war drew to a close.

FlightLine's 1310mm wingspan Ta-152H depicts the stark beauty of this deadly machine in 1/11 scale with the convenience of electric power. This model has quickly become one of our favorites at the flying field! Prepare to be amazed by the Ta-152's wide flight envelope, from vertical climbs to tall loops, from high speed passes at 80+mph to slow soaring like a glider. Carbon reinforcements strengthen the aircraft to withstand the rigors of sport RC flight. Screws assemble the model in minutes, and make wing removal fast for convenient transport.

As with all FlightLine model aircraft, the Ta-152H features many scale details to bring your model to life including an accurate outline, plastic cowl and intake, cannon, exhaust stacks, correct canopy shape and forward fuselage contours, and gear doors. Split flaps, large wheels, and a wide stance on metal trunion retractable main landing gear make landings predictable and stable. This is easily one of our best handling aircraft on grass under the 1350mm class size. A beautiful base paint job with 18 included tail number decals gives you multiple options to stand out at your flying field!

To further expand its versatility, our Ta-152H is the first aircraft from FlightLine specifically designed to accommodate a 3s or 4s battery. Fly at scale speeds with as small as a 3s 2200mAh battery, or enjoy spirited flying with the recommended 4s 2500 battery. We flight tested 3s 1800 batteries up to 4s 3300. On the recommended Admiral 4s 2500mAh battery, we fly a comfortable 5-7 minutes of mixed throttle sport flying on the stock PNP's three bladed scale power system with nearly unlimited vertical climbing power. The optional High Speed two blade power system requires the recommended 4s 2500 battery to achieve 90mph speeds.

Own a rare piece of aviation history by adding this Ta-152H to your fleet today!

Visit the Official FlightLine Focke-Wulf Ta 152H Discussion Thread on HobbySquawk.com for additional photos, videos, reviews, and customer Q&A.


Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger is a one-seat, one-engine fighter aircraft widely used throughout World War II and designed by Kurt Tank in the late 30s. Early development Genesis 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.

Though flown well before World War II this trim little fighter was unknown to the Allies and caused a nasty surprise when first met over France in early 1941. Indeed, it was so far superior to the bigger and more sluggish Spitfire V that for the first time the RAF felt not only outnumbered but beaten technically. Fortunately, a Fw 190 landed by mistake in England in June 1942, and the RAF was given a heaven-sent opportunity for testing the aircraft in direct comparison to their beloved Spitfire. However, the Fw 190 turned out to be even better than expected.

It was faster than any other Allied fighter in service at that time, had far heavier armament (at that time the standard on Fw 190’s was two 7.92mm MG 17’s on the engine, two of the previously unknown Mauser cannon inboard and two 20mm MG FF outboard), was immensely strong, had excellent power of manoeuvre and good pilot view. It was also a subtle target, much lighter than any Allied fighter and had a stable wide-track landing gear (unlike the Bf109). Altogether it gave Allied pilots and designers an instant inferiority complex. Though considered in most circles to have been a better aircraft than the Messerschmitt Bf109, it never supplanted the 109 but was subsequently made in a profusion of different versions by many factories.

The A series included many fighter and fighter-bomber versions, some having not only the increasingly massive internal armament but also two or four 20 mm cannon or two 30 mm cannon in underwing fairings. Most had an emergency power boost system, using MW 50 (methanol/water) or GM-1 (nitrous oxide) injection, or both. Some were two-seaters, and a few had autopilots for inclement weather and night interceptions.

The F series were close-support attack aircraft, some having the Panzerblitz array of R4M rockets for tank-busting (also lethal against heavy bombers). The G was another famous series of multi-role fighter/dive bombers, but by 1943 the main effort was devoted to what the RAF called the “long-nosed 190”, the 190D. This was once more the fastest fighter in the sky, and late in 1943, it was redesignated Ta 152 in honor of the director of Focke-Wulf’s design team, Professor Kurt Tank.

The early 152C series were outstandingly formidable, but the long span H sacrificed guns for speed and height. Tank himself easily outpaced a flight of P-51D Mustangs which surprised him on a test flight, but only ten of the H sub-type had flown when the war ended. Altogether 20,051 Fw 190’s were delivered, plus a small number of Ta 152’s (67, excluding development aircraft). It is curious that the Messerschmitt Bf109, a much older and less attractive design with many shortcomings, should have been made in greater quantities and also been the aircraft of choice of nearly all the Luftwaffe’s aces.

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 Production History

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 and two fuselage-mounted 13 mm mg 131s, replacing the mg 17s.

Fw 190 a-8 The a-8 entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard bmw 801 d-2 or the 801q.

The 801q/tu, with the &quotT&quot 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 on earlier models to 10 mm.

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, raising power to 1,980 ps for a short time.

Fw 190 a-8/r2 – The a-8/r2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm mk 108 cannon.

Fw 190 a-8/r8 – The a-8/r8 was similar to the a-8/r2, but fitted with heavy armor including 30 mm canopy and windscreen armor and 5 mm cockpit armor.

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 the more powerful 2,400 ps bmw 801f-1 was still under development, and not yet available.

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 calibre, long-barreled mk 103 cannon to be fitted.

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

Video Documentary Footage of the Fw 190

Fw 190 Specifications

Full Name: Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Variants: Fw 190A series, D series, F series, Ta 152H

Type: Single-seat fighter bomber

Country of Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH

First Flight: (Fw 190V-1) June 1, 1939 (production Fw 190A-1) September 1940 (Fw 190D) late 1942

Engine(s): (A-8, F-8) one 1,700 hp (2,100 hp with emergency boost) BMW 801Dg 18-cylinder two-row radial (D-9) one 1,776 hp (2,240 hp with emergency boost) Junkers Jumo 213A-1 12-cylinder inverted-vee liquid-cooled (Ta152H-1) one 1,880 hp (2,250 hp with emergency boost) Junkers Jumo 213E-1

Wingspan: (A-8, F-8 and D-9) 34 ft 5.5 in (10.49 m) (Ta152H-1) 47 ft 6.75 in (14.5 m)

Length: (A-8, F-8) 29ft (8.84 m) (D-9) 33 ft 5.25 in (10.2 m) (Ta 152H-1) 35 ft 5.5 in (10.8 m)

Height: (A-8, F-8) 13 ft (3.96 m) (D-9) 11 ft 0.25 in (3.35 m) (Ta 152H-1) 11 ft 8 in (3.55 m)

Weights: Empty: (A-8, F-8) 7,055 lb (3,200 kg) (D-9) 7,720 lb (3,500 kg) (Ta 152H-1) 7,940 lb (3,600 kg)
Loaded: (A-8, F-8) 10,800 lb (4,900 kg) (D-9) 10,670 lb (4,840 kg) (Ta 152H-1) 12,125 lb (5,500 kg)

Maximum Speed: With boost: (A-8, F-8) 408 mph (653 km/h) (D-9) 440 mph (704 km/h) (Ta 152H-1) 472 mph (755 km/h)

Initial Climb: (A-8, F-8) 2,350 ft (720 m)/min (D-9, Ta 152H-1) about 3,300 ft (1,000 m)/min

Service Ceiling: (A-8, F-8) 37,400 ft (11,410 m) (D-9) 32,810 ft (10,000 m) (Ta 152H-1) 49,215 ft (15,000 m)

Range: On internal fuel: (A-8, F-8 and D-9) abot 560 miles (900 km) (Ta 152H-1) 745 miles (1,200 km)

Armament: (A-8, F-8) two 13 mm MG 131 above engine, two 20 mm MG 151/20 in wing roots and two MG 151/20 or 30 mm MK 108 in outer wings (D-9) as above, or without outer MG 151/20s, with provision for 30 mm MK 108 firing through propellor hub (Ta 152H-1) one 30 mm MK 108 and two inboard MG 151/20 (sometimes outboard MG 151/20s as well) Bomb load: (A-8, D-9) one 1,100 lb (500 kg) on centerline (F-8) one 3,968 lb (1,800 kg) on centerline (Ta 152H-1) none normally carried


The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152 Book Review

Valiant Wings is back with their third title - the Fw 190D & Ta 152. In their first title, the Me 262, Richard Franks pulled together all of the information useful for the modeler as well as aviation enthusiast into one book. This information ranged from the different versions of the Me 262, the visible details that distinguish each version, the camouflage used on these aircraft, versions that never left the drawing board, and then a look at the kits, details and decals available for this subject. Richard repeated this formula in the Typhoon/Tornado title and provided more excellent matieral all under one cover.

The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152 continues in the same footsteps of their previous titles and provides that one-stop knowledge inside one cover. Take a look at their coverage:

  • Airframe Chapters
    • Evolution: Fw 190D
    • The Fw 190D Series
    • The Ta 152C Series
    • The Ta 152H Series
    • Projects and Drawing Board Designs
    • Camouflage and Markings
    • Colour Profiles
    • Fw 190D & Ta 152 Kits
    • Building a Selection
    • Building a Collection
    • In Detail: The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Kit List
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Accessory List
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Decal List
    • Bibliography

    I have a particular interest in the long-nosed Focke Wulf/Tank designs as a friend of mine had flown the Mosquito during World War II and was never really concerned about Luftwaffe interceptors as their 'reconnaissance' Mossie could outrun anything the Luftwaffe could get up to their altitude - until the Ta 152H and they nearly bought it on their first encounter. The engineering that went into the interim design that would become the Fw 190D was impressive as was its performance but the Fw 190D was only an interim step toward what would be the Ta 152C. When you add the high altitude engine with the long wings of the Ta 152H, there was no better interceptor available over Europe. Fortunately these aircraft came online too late in the war to make a difference and there was insufficient time for the surviving Luftwaffe pilots to transition into this new type effectively.

    Coverage starts with a look at the later Fw 190V series which employed converted Fw 190A airframes with different Jumo 213 engine and propeller combinations until definitive variants were developed (Fw 190D-9 through D-15). The title continues through the Fw 190V and now Ta 152V series with different combinations of DB 603 engine and propeller combinations until successful combinations of powerplant and armament configurations defined the Ta 152C series. This coverage extends through the Fw 190V and Ta 152V variants that married up the Jumo 213E with a highly modified airframe with cockpit pressurization and long wings to render the ultimate high-altitude interceptor - the Ta 152H series.

    Next, the author walks you through the important aspects of these aircraft from a modeler's point of view before taking you through the kits and then those all-important details you'll want to capture or highlight in your own builds. In their 'Build a Selection' section, they review a number of kits in each scale that are currently available including the definitive Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Ta 152H and Hasegawa 1/32 Fw 190D series. This is followed by an innovative 'Build a Collection' concept which goes through the various prototypes, production, and drawing board projects, highlight the details/changes needed to replicate each variant, then provide recommended kits in each scale to get your started.

    In the 'In Detail' section, the title walks you through the differences in these aircraft from a modeler's perspective with nice photos either pulled from the history files or contemporary photographs of the National Air and Space Museum's Ta 152H in storage as well as Paul Allen's restored Fw 190D-11.

    While you might find much of this information online or in the various titles out there on the Fw 190D/Ta 152, getting to the information you might need quickly and efficiently may be like the optimistic child in the famous tale who is digging through the pile of poo looking for the pony. While I pride myself on having a great research library, digging through various titles to try to pull together some useful information takes time and that is time away from the hobby bench. Useful titles like this one gather all of that information useful to the scale modeler and transforms it into knowledge at your fingertips.

    This title is well done and should be on your bench before you undertake your next Fw 190D or Ta 152 build. I look forward to seeing what is coming next from this team as this format continues to be very useful as well as an excellent value.


    Focke-Wulf Ta 152

    Authored By: Captain Jack | Last Edited: 04/29/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

    The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a short-lived, high-level interceptor fielded by the German Luftwaffe in the latter part of World War 2. She was developed from the existing Fw 190 fighter series family and incorporated a new wing, lengthened fuselage, high-altitude/high-performance capabilities utilizing a nitrous oxide power boosting system (one of the first known uses of such a system) and powerful cannon armament to contend with the ever-growing presence of Allied bombers wreaking havoc against German interests across Europe. Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, the Ta 152 was rushed into service in January of 1945 before all of her developmental issues had been ironed out. That action, coupled with the deteriorating situation for Germany as a whole, ensured that only about 43 production examples (sources vary on the exact number) were ever delivered for the war for the Reich was over by June of 1945.

    Stopping the Blood Loss
    By 1944, German infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities were being ravaged on a daily basis by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of American bombers in the day and British bombers at night. Additionally, word of the new high-altitude, long-range Boeing B-29 Superfortress had soon spread throughout the German authority and a pressing matter for defense of its war industry soon became critical. As such, the Air Ministry (RLM) looked to fulfill a new requirement for a high-altitude interceptor and tapped both the proven Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf firms for a viable solution. To this point, Messerschmitt had proven their mastery of the skies with their Bf 109 single-seat fighter - one of the most produced military aircraft of her time - and, later, the Me 262 Schwalbe jet-powered fighter. Likewise, the Focke-Wulf bureau delivered a potential war-winner with their development and subsequent production of the excellent Fw 190 single-seat fighter.

    The Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9
    Taking the Fw 190D-9 as its starting point, Focke-Wulf and fabled German aircraft engineer Kurt Tank set to work. The Fw 190D ("Dora") was a long-nose production fighter of the base Fw 190 with improvements throughout and clearly identified from earlier Fw 190 forms by her streamlined design and annular cowling. The Fw 190D-9 became the definitive Fw 190 production fighter version for the German Luftwaffe in the fall of 1944 and was highly-regarded by both sides in the post-war years as Germany's best piston engine entry, reaching speeds of 426 miles per hour and armed with a pair of cannons and further backed by a pair of machine guns. Water-methanol was used to boost engine performance out of the Junkers Jumo 213A to an impressive 2,240 horsepower, allowing for high-altitude, high-performance work.

    The Focke-Wulf Ta 152
    The Fw 190D-9 was reconstituted by Focke-Wulf for the new RLM requirement in three distinct prototypes - a fighter, high-altitude fighter and a ground-attack platform. Only the high-altitude prototype survived further evaluation and evolved into the Ta 152C prototype. The fighter and ground attack versions were cancelled outright and the Messerschmitt submission - the Bf 109H (based on the Bf 109G with a pressurized cockpit and lengthened wings) - was not accepted by the RLM and dropped from consideration on July 18th, 1944, the Ta 152 and upcoming Me 262 proving the better high-altitude alternatives.

    The Ta 152 received its "Ta" designation from the first two letters of designer Kurt Tank's last name to honor his earlier contributions to the Focke-Wulf company (the "152" portion of the designation was rather generically assigned by the RLM). From the outset, the Ta 152 family would, itself, have encompassed three distinct production variants - the Ta 152C lower-altitude fighter, the Ta 152E fighter-reconnaissance platform and the Ta 152H high-altitude fighter.

    At its core, the Ta 152 was nothing more than a heavily modified Fw 190. The fuselage was kept largely intact though noticeably lengthened to adapt the revised airframe to its new center of gravity. The wings were also noticeably altered and lengthened beyond the original Fw 190's 35 feet, 5 inches (H-model was 48 feet, 6 inches while the C-model was 36 feet, 1 inch). All tail surfaces were increased in area and the flaps and undercarriage were now hydraulically-controlled (as opposed to electrically). Additional features included a pressurized cockpit (H-model) upgraded radio equipment, navigation systems, an autopilot and heated forward armored windscreen (the latter to combat the freezing temperatures to be encountered at higher altitudes). Within the wings resided tanks to hold fuel, the MW 50 methanol-water solution (for lower-altitude work - this rated under 32,800 feet) and GM-1 nitrous oxide (required for high-performance, high-altitude flight).

    Ta 152 Power
    Kurt Tank had initially wanted the Ta 152 to be powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 603 series engine but a previous mating of said engine with the Fw 190C proved too temperamental in the eyes of the German Air Ministry, forcing Tank to put his design efforts into using the Junkers Jumo 213E series liquid-cooled, inverted V12 engine that could deliver up to 1,750 horsepower. The Junkers Jumo 213E series was a high-altitude version of the Jumo 213A/C series already being utilized by the Fw 190D models. This powerplant worked off of a two-stage, three-speed supercharger that relied on an MW 50 methanol-water mixture to boost overall engine performance, particularly at high-altitudes where air ran thinner. Top speed of the Ta 152 was a reported 472 miles per hour, a grand increase from the 426 as exhibit by the similar Fw 190D-9 - putting her on par with, or beyond, anything the Allies could field by this time. Range was equally impressive at 1,240 miles and the Ta 152's service ceiling could top 48,550 feet when using the integrated GM-1 boost. Rate-of-climb was approximately 3,445 feet per minute allowing the aircraft to speed up to height quickly to counter incoming bombers and fighters. In the end, the Ta 152 design proved to be one of the fastest piston-powered aircraft of the entire war.

    Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Armament
    As the Ta 152 was intended to kill enemy bombers, she would require a heavy "punch" in the armament department. As such, armament centered around a 30mm Mk 108 series cannon mounted in the propeller hub and set up to fire through the center of the spinning propeller. This was further backed by a pair of 20mm MG 151/20 cannons, one mounted at each wing leading edge and located at the wing roots. This complement of armament ensured that the Ta 152 pilot need only a quick burst of all cannon against a critical component of an enemy bomber (the cockpit or engines for example) and the target would be knocked out of the fight or outright destroyed.

    Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Operational Service
    With the deteriorating war effort across the German realm, the Ta 152 was pressed into production and operational service as quickly as humanly possible. Of course this lent itself poorly to the Ta 152 project as a whole for numerous vital issues in her design soon arose - the complicated engine setup and cooling system proved generally unreliable and the pressurized cockpit was not always pressurized due to leaks in the seal. Nevertheless, a desperate Luftwaffe took delivery of at least 20 pre-production models in November of 1944 with Erprobungskommando for operational evaluation. III./Jagdgeschwader 301 was changed over to Ta 152s in January of 1945 (the only Luftwaffe squadron to field the Ta 152) but only operated them in limited quantities and with limited success, generally charged with protection of air bases for the developing jet fighters. JG 301 proved to be one of the last top-flight Luftwaffe squadrons to be fielded and was comprised of the advanced Ta 152 along with a collection of aces to include Walter Loos, Joseph "Jupp" Keil and Willi Reschke.

    Many factors ultimately worked against Ta 152 and her pilots, with combat proving elusive for a time. In one such instance, a Ta 152 flown by Reschke was forced to abandon pursuit of a twin-engine Royal Air Force de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito when engine trouble took the Ta 152 out of the fight. Further action did net at least one speedy New Zealand Hawker Tempest fighter for Reschke at a later date, however, and Ta 152s were used in a support role during the critical Battle for Berlin against invading Soviet forces, where Reschke downed a pair of Soviet Yak-9 fighters in the process. Keil is credited with the downing of a North American P-51 Mustang and a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and at least three other kills while flying a Ta 152 - though some sources limit Keil's tally to just four aircraft while flying the Ta 152.

    It is believed that, in all, Ta 152 airmen amassed a fairly meager amount of total aerial victories (sources vary but range between 7 and 10 enemy aircraft) to the loss of four of their own. By the time of Germany's formal surrender, just two Ta 152 examples were known to be operational. Spare parts, trained pilots and fuel/oil supplies proved a hard commodity to come by as Allied forces gained ground, conquered airfields, covered key bridges and owned vital supply routes. It is said that Ta 152 airmen barely received 20 minutes of flight time in a Ta 152 before being pressed into active service with their new mounts - hardly a recipe for success but such was the situation for the Luftwaffe.

    Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Variants
    The Ta 152 was produced in a few versions of note - prototypes included. This began with the Ta 152 C-0 pre-production model of which only a single example was built. This model was fitted with a Daimler-Benz DB503LA engine of 2,100 horsepower. The Ta 152 C-1 followed and sported a 30mm engine-mounted cannon with 4 x 20mm cannons - one pair in the engine cowling and the other in the wing roots. The Ta 152 C-2 was given improved radio equipment. The Ta 152 C-3 was similar to the C-1. The Ta 152 E-1 was a dedicated photographic reconnaissance platform based on the Ta 152C production fighter model. The Ta 152 E-2 was a high-altitude variant fitted with a Junkers Jumo 213E series engine and longer wingspan for high-level work. In the end, only a single product was completed. The Ta 152 H-0 model appeared in twenty pre-production forms featuring the high-altitude long wing. The Ta 152 H-1 remained the only official production model of the Ta 152 family. Again, this model was given the high-altitude long wings and armament consisted of the centralized 30mm cannon with only 2 x 20mm cannons.

    The Japanese Ta 152
    Like other German creations throughout the war, ally Japan was keen on obtaining the latest and greatest military arms that the Germans had to offer to better their own deteriorating situation in the Pacific. In April of 1945, the Empire purchased a production license to undertake the new Kurt Tank fighter on Japanese soil. However, no known production of a Japanese Ta 152 is thought to have occurred for the war was over for Germany in May of 1945 and Japan soon followed in August. As such, Germany remained the only real active operator of the Ta 152 during the whole of the aircraft's tenure.


    Watch the video: Revell 1:72 Focke-Wulf Ta 152H Kit Review (October 2022).

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