Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3

Another well known German type, the Fw 190 is on anyone’s list of the very best fighters of World War II.

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So let’s look at an early version of this well known fighter.

I mentioned in a Spitfire V post how the first appearance of the Fw 190 in 1941 upset British plans.  It showed a clear superiority in everything except rate of turn.  It wasn’t until the introduction of the Spitfire Mk IX in summer of 1942 that the allies finally had a fully equal aircraft.

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This sort of back and forth momentum would be a regular feature of the war.  The Fw 190 did have limitations that would cause it problems later, in particular it wasn’t as good at high altitude as some of its contemporaries.  This became significant during the American strategic bombing campaign.  Although the Fw 190 could carry heavy armament for use against those bombers, it was outperformed at 30000 feet by Thunderbolts, and later Mustangs.  As a result, it was often escorted by older Bf 109s.

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The Fw 190 looks more tightly cowled than American fighters with radial engines typically do.  Because it was.  The smaller opening shows us a compressor fan instead of exposed cylinders. That makes for a smaller target and better aerodynamics.

The Fw 190 looks more tightly cowled than American fighters with radial engines typically do. Because it was. The smaller opening shows us a compressor fan instead of exposed cylinders. That makes for a smaller target and better aerodynamics.

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Fw 190s, flown by experienced pilots who knew their strengths and weaknesses would remain dangerous foes to the end.  This particular example is from the Tamiya kit.  It is an aircraft based on the channel front in early 1942.

The Spitfire Mk V was top dog on the channel coast until the Fw 190A was introduced late summer in 1941.

The Spitfire Mk V was top dog on the channel front until the Fw 190A was introduced late summer in 1941.

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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4 Responses to Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3

  1. Theresa says:

    It was a front line fighter for the Germans. It was outclassed quickly though and was never to attain superiority again.

    • atcDave says:

      There was always a back and forth momentum on these things. And the later Fw 190D came as a nasty surprise late in the war, especially since it fixed the type’s deficiency at altitude. But by then German pilot quality was starting to drop off pretty severely. Its a dangerous game to pick “bests”!

  2. Terry Brodin says:

    Ahhh, the 190.
    Strange how at some angles it looked awkward and from other angles truly a thing of beauty.
    The “stretched” D variants and even the “super stretched” Ta-152s retained most of the gracefully refined lines of the design.

    • atcDave says:

      It is very different looking than the American radial engine fighters. I think it gets awkward looking with the long nose. I should have one of those up in a few weeks.

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