A very effective development in the Fw190 family, commonly known as the “long nose” version for its redesigned cowling, the Fw190D entered service in 1944 and served to the end of the war.
Join me for a look at this capable fighter.
The Fw190 was one of the best fighters of World War II. Especially at low altitude it was a match for almost any opponent. And unlike the more produced Messerschmitt Bf109 it was designed to be rugged and operate in a difficult wartime environment. But the initial version, the Fw190A, was equipped with a supercharged BMW801 engine that started to loose power above 20000 feet. This limitation became more obvious as high altitude American bomber raids gained in intensity during 1943.
But this problem had been recognized. Going back to 1942 Focke-Wulf’s head designer, Kurt Tank, had been experimenting with turbocharging and different engines to improve his fighter’s ceiling. The “D”, or “Dora” version was equiped with the supercharged Junkers Jumo 213 that could operate effectively up to almost 40000 feet. This type entered service in late 1944. By this point the tide had clearly turned against the Germans, but the 190 Long Nose would be a feared opponent to the end of the war.
This example is from the Tamiya kit with Aeromaster decals. It represents an aircraft that served with JG26 in the last months of the war. This was an easy and fun build and I’m pleased with how it looks, although the kit does have a few limitations. The landing gear and wheels are slightly under-scale, and the landing gear bay should be open and provide a view into the underside of the engine compartment. But I think this is a pretty minor defect, and it looks the part of a “Dora” to me.
Beautiful model Dave. Truly excellent work. The FW 190D was a superb aircraft and deservedly amongst the very best of the piston-engine types produced during World War II. It also looks great with your FW 190A.
Thanks. I think its one of those types that just looks perfectly deadly. Not quite beautiful, but like a well designed weapon.
Something I’m curious about. Your build has this plane equipped with a drop tank. Were they common on German planes this late in the war? I would assume that fighting primarily over their own territory in close proximity to their airfields they wouldn’t be necessary.
I’ve seen them on several late war types. I think the 190 and 109 both had really painfully short ranges. So the tank gave them a little extra flexibility for climbing to altitude and setting an ambush.
I couldn’t tell you how commonly they were used compared to rockets or canon add-ons though.
I checked the wiki on it and you are right, just over 500 miles, so if you are climbing to (to borrow a phrase) eight miles high I can see how you might want some extra fuel. Back of the envelope, climbing that high could use 15-20% of their range without extra tanks.