[Lone Sentry: The Present Version of the FW-190, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"The Present Version of the FW-190" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on the FW-190 fighter-bomber appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 27, June 17, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Some interesting modifications have been reported from examination of crashed Focke-Wulf 190s, used as fighter-bombers.

The engine is the fully rated BMW 801 D-2, equipped with doping pipes running to each of the 14 cylinders instead of only to 7 as in the previous model. This system is used to increase the power of the engine for a limited time during an emergency. The tank for the doping of gas or fluid is removed from the cockpit to behind the seat, and is of larger capacity, presumably in order to effect the doping of all 14 cylinders. The three fixed louvers at each side of the rear end of the engine cowling on the original design have been replaced by three adjustable gills, which are controlled by a small rotating handle on the upper instrument panel.

Various armament combinations have been found on FW-190s. The original aircraft had as regular equipment two 7.9-mm machine guns mounted above the engine and two MG-151 20-mm guns mounted in the wing roots, all four firing through the propeller arc, and two outboard Oerlikon FF 20-mm cannons. Recent crash reports from England have not included the outboard cannon in the armament. The reason for the omission of the Oerlikons has not been given, but it is possible that the use of these cannon was either experimental or limited to special types of operations. In one crashed plane, only the MG-151 20-mm guns were found, the 7.9-mm machine guns having been removed from the mountings, and the firing channels in the top of the cowling having been blanked off.

A bomb carrier labeled E.T.C. 501 is mounted under the center line of the fuselage. This can carry either a 550- or 1100-pound bomb. There is no fairing around the carrier, but long streamlining is fitted behind, stretching far back along the underside of the fuselage.

The armor, which appears to be unchanged, consists of a 13-mm steel plate behind the head and shoulders of the pilot, 8-mm armor back of the pilot's seat, strips between the seat and the sides of the fuselage, 5 or 6 mm thick, and a bullet-proof windshield 1 3/4 inches thick. The engine is protected by the foremost ring of the engine cowling which is 5-mm armor, and by a second ring, of 3-mm sheet steel. The bullet-proof glass windshield is fitted with a gasoline spray which can be turned on by a small control on the lower instrument panel. This spray washes away oil that may be deposited on the windshield from the engine.

The normal fuel tanks are now of the fully flexible type, with a capacity of 139 U.S. gallons, and, in addition to these, there are two jettisonable fuel tanks carried under the wing, each holding 80 U.S. gallons. These are jettisoned mechanically by pulling a small T-shaped handle in the cockpit.

Modifications have been made to the airframe, but the main dimensions are unchanged. There is internal stiffening in the wings and in the rear end of the fuselage. The new type of boost gauge, already found in the Do-217, is fitted, and also a modified fuel-flow indicator for the two main tanks and the outboard jettisonable tanks. A red bulb above the indicator lights when the fuel supply is down to 20 minutes flying. There is a fitting for a small camera in the rear part of the fuselage. The oxygen bottles are of a new spherical type.

Apparently certain faults were found in the design and manufacture of the electrical equipment in the original FW-190s, and these findings resulted in some gradual changes. The plywood top of the fin has now been equipped with an 8-inch aerial mast of the same material, altering the appearance of the top of the fin and shortening the aerial. The radio installation used with the short aerial is a very light type of FuG 16 Z with a remote-control frequency selector.

It is believed probable that an improved version of the FW-190 may shortly appear, re-engined with a BMW 801 E or the 801 J with an exhaust-driven supercharger, which would necessitate considerable modification of the air-frame design. Further development will mainly depend on whether the new engine has 18, 21, or 27 cylinders. Such a redesigned airplane is likely to have a much higher performance. An attempt may be made to improve the speed and climb of the 190, which at present decreases rapidly above 25,000 feet. The MG-151 20-mm guns may be replaced by a larger caliber type, such as the reported 25-mm Rheinmetall. Major improvements of performance and load-carrying capacity are to be expected only with a new type of power plant. The aircraft may be developed chiefly as a fighter-bomber.


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