“I flew only for approximately a month a late model of the FW 190 which we called “long nose”, it was February 1944. I have to say it was a wonderful aircraft, but if you have flown 1000 missions in a Me 109, you didn’t like the FW 190 particularly. There were many German pilots who have flown the 190 from the beginning but I personally didn’t like her particularly. About 1944 the 190s attacked the American bombers mostly and were much better in it as 109s since they had this radial engine which was a good protection against the tail gunners of the bombers.”
Luftwaffengeneral Walter Krupinski
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The Fw 190 is widely regarded as Germany’s best fighter aircraft of World War II. Its appearance in the skies over France in early 1941 was a rude shock to the Allies, as it was clearly superior to any other plane. For nearly a year, until the debut of the Spitfire IX, the Fw 190 was the unmatched champion of the air war.
As the war progressed, the Fw 190 was developed into many variants as a pure fighter, a ground-attack fighter/bomber, and as a close-support aircraft. No fewer than 40 different versions were produced, with different combinations of engines, armament, wings, systems, and roles.
First flown on 1 June 1939, the Fw 190 served for the duration of the war, largely replacing several other aircraft types in the process, including the Junker Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber. Allied bombers dreaded the sight of these potent aircraft, as did the fighters who provided cover for them. Arguably, the Fw 190’s greatest impact on the Allied war effort was to spur ever-greater advances in technology and aircraft design to counter its threat.
Specifications Fw 190A-8
One 1,776-hp Junkers Jumo 213A-1 inverted V-12 piston engine
Maximum Speed: 426 mph; Ceiling: 39,370 ft. Range: 519 miles
Empty 7,694 lbs., Max Takeoff 10,670 lbs.
Wing Span: 34ft. 5.5in. Length: 33ft. 5.5in. Height: 11ft. 0in.
Two 13-mm (0.51-inch) MG 131 machine guns; Two 20-mm MG 151; One 1,102-pound SC500 bomb