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Home > Vehicles> Aircraft > Military
The FW190 was initially conceived in 1937 when a fighter was required to supplement the ME/BF109. The Technical director of Focke-Wulf, Kurt Tank, prepared two designs based around the 12 cylinder inverted V Daimler Benz DB 601 and the BMW 139 radial engines. It came as a surprise to Tank and his team to learn that General Ernst Udet wished them to proceed with the BMW design.
Work started in 1938 and within ten months the first prototype was ready and was first tested on 1st June 1939 by Focke-Wulf`s chief test pilot who was highly impressed by the new fighter. All subsequent test pilots were enthusiastic over the well balanced controls, high maneuverability and excellent performance, in particular the impressive rate of roll which would have torn the wings off a contemporary fighter.
The production version replaced the BMW139 engine with the new BMW801 which needed the cockpit to be moved further aft to maintain center of gravity. Despite initial problems with overheating of the 801 engine, these were subsequently resolved by repositioning one of the lower exhaust pipes.
The FW190 quickly proved its superiority over the current Spitfire V which would only be matched by the the later Spitfire IV two years later. New tactics were developed against bomber formations to play to the FW190 strengths. Diving in from high altitude into the formation, firing a short burst through them and then climbing to altitude once again for subsequent attacks, the so called Boom and Zoom.
A captured FW190 also impressed the allied fighter pilots and Fighter Command, some features of which were incorporated into subsequent British designs, resulting in the issuing of several new specifications, eventually culminating in the Hawker Fury (the predecessor to the Typhoon and Tempest).
In all, over 40 variants were produced in its liftime and filled all roles from reconnaissance, night fighter, torpedo bomber and ground attack to name a few. The design was further improved with the D series (Dora) finally culminating in the Ta152.
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