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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Focke-Wulf Ta 154 night fighter
Nickname: Moskito ("mosquito")

Photos

  • Focke Wulf Ta 154 night fighter

Design

The Focke-Wulf Ta 154 was inspired by the British Mosquito.1 Kurt Tank came up with the design for the Ta 154.2 To save on strategic materials the Ta 154 was primarily made out of wood.1,2,3 A specification was put forth in September 1942 for a night and all weather fighter.1,3 It also needed to be able to fly for 2 3/4 hours.3

Prototype

The first prototype was finished in June 1943.3

The first prototype flew on July 7, 1943.1 It had Jumo 211F engines (1,480 HP).1

Production

An order for 250 Ta 154s was placed in November 1943.1

Manufacturing was to be based in Poznan, Poland.1 Many subcontractors were to be used.1

  • Prototypes: 31
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-0: 221
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-1 through Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-4: ~501
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154: ~751

Variants

  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-0: Preproduction.1 Some were converted to Mistel ("flying bombs") that would have a Fw 190 guide it to the target.1
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-1: Fighter.3 Production model.1 Had FuG 212 radar.1
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-2: Fighter.3 Single crew.1
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-3: Trainer.1 Fighter.3
  • Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-4: Night fighter.3 Had FuG 220 or FuG 218 radar.1

Usage

In June 1944 the 2nd production model came apart in a high speed flight.1 There was too high of an acid content in the glue that was used to bond the wood.1 In August 1944 it was decided to cancel the aircraft as it would take to long to solve the glue problem.1,2

There were two night fighter groups that were equipped with the Ta 154.1

Specifications

  Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito
Type Night fighter1
Crew 21
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213E1
2: Junkers Jumo 211 R2
Cylinders V 121
HP 1,500 each2, 1,750 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 52' 6"1, 53'2
16 m1
Length 40'2, 41' 3"1
12.57 m1
Height 11' 10"1
3.61 m1
Armament 2: 20 mm1
2: 30 mm1
  Focke-Wulf Ta 154A Moskito
Type Day or Night fighter3
Crew 1 or 23
Engine (Type) 2: Jumo 211 N3
OR 2: Jumo 211 R3
Cylinders Inverted V 123
Cooling Water3
Fuel Capacity 330 gallons3
Dimensions  
Span 52' 6"3
16 m3
Length 41' 3"3
12.6 m3
Height 12' 0.5"3
3.6 m3
Wing area 349 sq ft3
32.4 sq m3
Armament 4: 30 mm MK 1083
OR 4: 20 mm MG 151/203
Fuselage - Firing Forward 2: 30 mm MK 1083
2: 20 mm MG 151/203
Night Fighter - Firing Upwards 2: 30 mm MK 1083
  Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-1 Moskito
Engine (Type) 2: Jumo 211 N3
OR 2: Jumo 211 R3
Weight  
Empty 13,933 lb1
6,320 kg1
Loaded 18,600 lb3, 19,842 lb1
8,445 kg3, 9,000 kg1
Performance  
Speed at sea level 332 mph1
534 kph1
Speed at 19,000' /
5,795 m
Jumo 211 N: 382 mph3
Jumo 211 N: 611 kph3
Speed at 26,240' /
8,000 m
Jumo 211 R: 394 mph3
Jumo 211 R: 630 kph3
Speed at 26,247' /
8,000 m
399 mph1
642 kph1
Climb to 26,245' /
8,000 m
14.5 minutes1
Jumo 211 N: 16 minutes3
Jumo 211 R: 14.5 minutes3
Service Ceiling 35,760'1
Jumo 211 N: 31,200'3
Jumo 211 R: 35,800'3
10,900 m1
Jumo 211 N: 9,520 m3
Jumo 211 R: 10,920 m3
Range 855 miles1
1,376 km1
Range with Drop Tanks 1,156 miles1
1,860 km1
Range at 23,000' /
7,020 m
Jumo 211 N: 890 miles3
Jumo 211 R: 855 miles3
Jumo 211 N: 1,425 km3
Jumo 211 R: 1,370 km3
Range at 23,000' /
7,020 m With 2 66 gallon drop tanks
Jumo 211 N: 1,195 miles3
Jumo 211 R: 1,160 miles3
Jumo 211 N: 1,912 km3
Jumo 211 R: 1,860 km3
  Focke-Wulf Ta 154A-2 Moskito with GM 1
Engine (Type) 2: Jumo 213 A3
Weight  
Loaded 19,480 lb3
8,845 kg3
Performance  
Speed at 32,800' /
10,000 m
388 mph3
Ta 154C-3: 428 mph3
621 kph3
Ta 154C-3: 685 kph3
Armament  
Fuselage Firing Upward at 70° 2: MK 1083

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site