Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Designed by Kurt Tank, the Fw 190 is considered Germany’s best single-seat fighter of World War II. When the first production model, the Fw 109A-1, entered Luftwaffe service in mid-1941, it took Allied
intelligence completely by surprise because its air-cooled BMW radial engine gave il the appearance of an American fighter rather than a German one.
Disturbingly for the RAF, the Fw 190 proved clearly superior to the Spitfire Mk V, which was Britain’s premier fighter at the time. It also outclassed the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in range and armament. The principal early version, the Fw 190A-8, carried two machine guns in front of I he cockpit and four cannon in the wings. The aircraft proved
exceptionally versatile, functioning in different versions as a fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft, torpedo bomber, or radar-equipped nightfighter.
It played a leading role in Germany’s defence against Allied bombers, while on the Eastern Front it was used primarily in support of ground forces. In later models, the radial engine was replaced by a Junkers Jumo 213A in-line fitted with an annular radiator. This allowed the aircraft to operate up to a ceiling of 39,370feet in its Fw 190D-9 form. Throughout the war, the Focke-Wulf remained the German fighter most feared and respected by Allied airmen.

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