DescriptionThe Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (English: Butcherbird) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft.
It was designed by Kurt Tank at Focke-Wulf in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe's Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force). The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.
The Fw 190A started flying operationally over France in August 1941, and quickly proved superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V, particularly at low and medium altitudes. The 190 maintained superiority over Allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX. In November/December 1942, the Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front, finding much success in fighter wings and specialised ground attack units called Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings) from October 1943 onwards.
The Fw 190A series' performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor. From the Fw 190's inception, there had been ongoing efforts to address this with a turbosupercharged BMW 801 in the B model, the much longer-nosed C model with efforts to also turbocharge its chosen Daimler-Benz DB 603 inverted V12 powerplant, and the similarly long-nosed D model with the Junkers Jumo 213. Problems with the turbocharger installations on the -B and -C subtypes meant only the D model entered service in September 1944.
For more information on the design concepts and the long list of variants, click here.
The specifications below are for the Fw 190A-8 model.
- Crew: one
- 8.95 m (29 ft 4 in)
- 10.506 m (34 ft 6 in)
- 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
- Wing Area:
- 18.3 sq m (197 sq ft)
- Wing Loading:
- 241 kg/sq m (49 lb/sq ft)
- Empty Weight:
- 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)
- 4,900 kg (10,803 lb)
- Fuel Capacity:
- 639 L
- 1 × BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine 1,700 PS (1,677 hp; 1,250 kW)
- Maximum speed: 652 km/h (405 mph, 352 kn) at 5,919 m (19,420 ft)
- 900–1,000 km (560–620 mi, 490–540 nmi) Combat range: 400–500 km (250–310 mi, 220–270 nmi)
- Rate of Climb:
- 15 m/s (3,000 ft/min)
- Service Ceiling:
- 10,350 m (33,960 ft)