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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu (Eagle Owl), Fw 189 "Flying Eye", reconnaissance

Photos

  • Focke Wulf Fw 189 reconnaissance
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189 reconnaissance
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189a reconnaissance
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189 Uhu reconnaissance

Design

Designed by Kurt Tank. Design work started in early 1937.

The cockpit was completely glassed in allowing for the best visibility for the pilot and observer.

Undercarriage

The wheels were very tough allowing the Fw 189 to use rough air fields. The wheels retracted into armored doors.

Wings / Tail

There were four ETC 50 racks that could carry anti-personnel bombs but were often empty.

The wings were very strong. Flaps were electrically operated. The Rudders, elevator, and ailerons were manual.

The twin booms and the full length elevator in the tail allowed for exceptional maneuverability.

Prototype

Kurt Tank flew the prototype in June 1938.
The first prototype flew in July 1938 / 1939.

The media called it "The Flying Eye."

Production

Built at Focke-Wulf's Bremen factory, and in Czechoslovakia and France.

  • Focke Wulf Fw 189V: 6
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-0: 10
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-1, Focke Wulf Fw 189A-2, Focke Wulf Fw 189A-3, Focke Wulf Fw 189A-4: 848
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189B: 13
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189F: 17
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189: 864, 894
    • Manufacturer: Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH
    • Production: ? - 1944

Variants

  • Focke Wulf Fw 189:
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-0: Pre production.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-1: Production model. Reconnaissance.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-2: Dual control trainer.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-3: Dual control trainer.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189A-4: Tactical support. Had 20 mm cannons in the wing roots replacing the MGs.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189B: Five seat trainer.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189C: Experimental version with a heavily armored cabin to be used for close assault. Only two crew.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189D: A trainer that had floats, but it was never flown.
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189F: Built in France. Had Argus AS 411 engine (580 HP).
  • Focke Wulf Fw 189 V4: Prototype that could spray mustard gas.

Usage

Used primarily for reconnaissance, but also used for casualty evacuation, night fighting, and ground support.

Entered service in late 1940. A total of nine long range and 15 short range reconnaissance groups were formed.

Used by the Slovakian and Hungarian air forces. Hungary received about 30 Fw 189A-2s. Slovakia received 14 Fw 189A-1s.

Specifications

  Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu
Type Reconnaissance, Close support
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Argus As 410
2: Argus As 410A-1
Cylinders Inverted V 12, Radial
Net HP 450 each, 465 each
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 60' 4.5", 60' 8"
18.4 m
Length 39' 4", 39' 5"
11.99 m
Height 10' 2"
3.1 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,500 lb
Performance  
Speed 200 mph
Armament  
Nacelle roof 1: MG
Wing roots 2: MG
Tail position 1: MG
  Focke-Wulf Fw 189A Uhu
Type Ambulance, Communications, Reconnaissance
Crew 3 - 5
Engine (Type) 2: Argus AS 410A-1
Cylinders Inverted V 12
Cooling Air
Net HP 450
Propeller blades 2 blade Argus automatic pitch
Dimensions  
Span 60' 5"
18.4 m
Length 39' 4"
12 m
Wing area 409.7 sq ft
38 sq m
Weight  
Empty 5,930 lb
2,690 kg
Loaded 7,500 lb
3,410 kg
Performance  
Speed at 8,000' /
2,440 m
215 mph
344 kph
Cruising Speed at 8,000' /
2,440 m
198 mph
317 kph
Climb to 13,120' /
4,000 m
8.3 minutes
Service ceiling 27,550'
8,400 m
Range 430 miles
690 km
  Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 Uhu
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Argus As 410 A-1
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Air
Net HP 465 each
Dimensions  
Span 60' 4"
Length 39' 5"
Height 10' 2"
Weight  
Empty 5,930 lb
2,690 kg
Loaded 8,708 lb
3,950 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 7,875' 217 mph
Speed @ 8,530' /
2,600 m
221 mph
355 kph
Cruising speed 197 mph
317 kph
Endurance  
Climb 1,017'/minute
310 m/minute
Climb to 13,120' /
4,000 m
8.3 minutes
Service ceiling 27,560', 29,950'
8,400 m
Range 416 miles, 416 - 584 miles
670 - 940 km
Armament 4: MG
Wing roots 2: 7.9 mm MG
Dorsal, above navigator 1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG
Tail position 1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG
Bombs 4: 110 lb
440 lb
4: 50 kg
  Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-2 Uhu
Type Reconnaissance, Army cooperation
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Argus As 410A-1 piston
Cylinders Inverted V-12
Net HP 460 each
Dimensions  
Span 60' 4"
18.4 m
Length 39' 5"
12.03 m
Height 16' 2"
3.1 m
Wing area 409 ft2
38 m2
Weight  
Loaded 9,174 lb
4,170 kg
Performance  
Speed 217 mph
350 kph
Cruising speed 189 mph
305 kph
Endurance 2 hours 10 minutes
Service ceiling 23,950'
7,300 m
Range 415 miles
670 km
Armament  
Nacelle roof 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
Wing roots 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
Dorsal, above navigator 2: 7.9 mm MG 81
1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG
Tail position 1 or 2: 7.9 mm MG
Bombs 4: 110 lb
880 lb
4: 50 kg
400 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site