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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor reconnaissance bomber

Photos

  • Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C Condor reconnaissance
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C3
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200K2 Condor
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200K2 Condor

Design

The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor started out as a 26 passenger commercial airliner that had many long distance flights and records.2,3,4,6 It was originally designed by Kurt Tank in 1936.2,4,7

The fuel connections were on the underside of the wings which made the Fw 200 vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire.1 Throughout it's operational life the Condor was plagued by structural weaknesses.4

Many of the Fw 200 Condors had radar installed with the antennas in the nose and wings.1 The most command was the FuG 200 Hohentwiel.1

Prototype

First flew after 12 months of development.1

The Fw 200 prototype flew on July 27, 1937, and was piloted by Kurt Tank.3,4 It was powered by four BMW 139 (license built Pratt & Whitney Hornet) engines.3

The Fw 200C prototype first flew in January 1940.3

Production

  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-0: 10.2,7 Delivered in September 1939.2,4,7
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200: 2522,7, 2634, 2763
    • Manufacturer: Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH4
    • Production: 1940 - 19442,7

Variants

  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-0: Pre-production model2
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-1: Used BMW 132 H / BMW 132 H-16 engines (830 HP each).2 Carried four 551 lb / 250 kg bombs.2 Operational in the middle of 1940.4
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-2: Used BMW 132 H-1 engines.6
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-3: Used Bramo 323R-2 engines (1,000 HP each).2 Operational in the middle of 1941.4 Fuselage made stronger.4
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-4: Had radar and antenna in the nose.4 Operational in early 1942.4
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-6: Could carry two Henschel Hs 293 missiles with a FuG 203b control radio.2
  • Focke Wulf Fw 200C-8: Had a longer ventral gondola with an accurate bombsight.1 Could carry two Henschel Hs 293 missiles with a FuG 203b control radio.2,4
  • Focke Wulf Fw 300: Design only.6 Span 152' / 46.4 m, length 102' / 31 m.6 Was to use four Jumo 222 or DB 603 engines.6
  • Focke Wulf Ta 400: Design only.6 Was to be built in France.6 It would have had six engines.6 Could carry 22,000 lb / 10,000 kg of bombs.6 Could go 3,000 miles / 4,800 km.6 Sixteen guns would provide defense.6

Usage

In 1938 a Fw 200 took 42 hours and 18 minutes to fly from Berlin to Tokyo.1 Once seen by the Japanese they asked for a military version of the Condor.4

The last Lufthansa airline flight was from Barcelona to Berlin on April 14, 1945.1

Finland and Brazil each received one Fw 200.1 Japan ordered five but they were never delivered.1 Denmark and Brazil each received two of the pre-production models.4

Personal Transports

Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler each used a Fw 200 as a personal transporter.2,7 The third prototype was called the Immelmann III and became Adolf Hitler's personal plane.4

Early Use

In 1940 the I./KG 40 received some Fw 200Cs.2

Some Fw 200C-1s were used for mine laying in English waters in 1940.2 They could deploy two 2,205 lb / 1,000 kg mines per mission.2

Stalingrad

Eighteen Fw 200s were used by the Kampfgruppe zur besonderen Venwendung 200 to flying into Stalingrad.2,7

Churchill

Winston Churchill called the Fw 200 "the scourge of the Atlantic."3,4

Specifications

  Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor
Type Reconnaissance bomber3, Transport3,5
Crew 45, 63
Passengers 305
Engine (Type) 4: BMW5
Cylinders Radial5
Cooling Air5
Net HP 720 each5
Dimensions  
Span 108' 3"3,5
33 m3
Length 78' 3"3,5
23.85 m3
Height 20'5, 20' 8"3
6.3 m3
Weight  
Loaded 32,100 lb5
Performance  
Speed 230 mph5
Range 775 miles5
Armament 1: 20 mm3
4: 13 mm MG3
1: 7.9 mm MG3
Bombs 3,307 lb3
1,500 kg3
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condor
Type Reconnaissance6
Crew 86
Pilot, co-pilot, engineer, observer / forward dorsal gunner, rear dorsal gunner, ventral gunners (2)6
Engine (Type) 4: BMW Bramo Fafnir 323R-23, BMW 323 R-26
Cylinders Radial 93,6
Cooling Air6
Net HP 940 each6, 1,200 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3, 3 blade VDM metal6
Dimensions  
Span 108' 3"6
33 m6
Length 78' 3"6
23.8 m6
Height 23' 4"6
7.1 m6
Wing area 1,290 sq ft6
120 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 31,020 lb3
14,070 kg3
Loaded 50,045 lb3
22,700 kg3
Armament  
Turret - Above Cabin 1: 20 mm MG 151/206
Lateral 2 or 4: MG 81 or MG 1316
Bomb Bay - Nose 1: MG 151/206
Bomb Bay - Tail 1: MG 81 or MG 131 or MG 151/206
Bombs 3,300 lb - 11,800 lb6
1,500 kg - 5,360 kg6
  Focke Wulf Fw 200C-1 Condor
Type Reconnaissance bomber4
Crew 54,7
Engine (Type) 4: BMW 132 H4,7, BMW 132 H-16
Cylinders Radial 94
Cooling Air4
Net HP 830 each4,7
Dimensions  
Span 107' 9"4
Length 77'4
Height 20' 6"4
Weight  
Loaded 50,045 lb4
Performance  
Speed @ 15,400' 224 mph4
Service ceiling 19,000'4
Range 2,206 miles4
Armament 3: 7.92 mm7
4: MG4
1: 20 mm4
Nose 1: 20 mm7
Bombs 2,755 lb4
4: 551 lb7
4: 250 kg7
OR  
Mines 2: 2,205 lb7
2: 1,000 kg7
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor
Type Maritime reconnaissance bomber1
Crew 71
Engine (Type) 4: BMW-Bramo 323 R-2 Fafnir1, Bramo 323R-27
Cylinders Radial1
Net HP 1,000 each7, 1,200 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 107' 9"1
32.85 m1
Length 77'1
23.45 m1
Height 20' 8"1
6.3 m1
Wing area 1,290 ft2 1
119.85 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 28,000 lb1
13,000 kg1
Loaded 50,000 lb6, 51,000 lb1
22,700 kg6, 23,000 kg1
Performance  
Speed 220 mph1
360 kph1
Speed at sea level 190 mph3
306 kph3
Speed @ 13,000' /
3,960 m
240 mph3
386 kph3
Speed at 13,120' /
4,000 m
240 mph6
384 kph6
Cruising speed 155 mph3
250 kph3
Cruising Speed at 13,120 ' /
4,000 m
220 mph6
352 kph6
Endurance 9.75 hours6
Climb 656'/minute3
200 m/minute3
Service ceiling 19,000'1, 19,030'3
5,800 m3, 6,000 m1
Range 2,700 miles1, 2,759 miles3
4,400 km1, 4,440 km3
Range with 1,770 gallons of fuel 2,200 miles6
3,520 km6
Armament  
Dorsal and beam 4: 13 mm MG 131 MG1
Ventral gondola 1: 13 mm MG 131 MG1
OR
1: 20 mm MG 1511
Bombs in gondola and under wings 4,600 lb1
2,100 kg1
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3/U4 Condor
Type Maritime reconnaissance bomber2,7
Crew 72,7
Engine (Type) 4: BMW-Bramo 323R-2 piston2,7
Cylinders Radial2,7
Net HP 1,000 each2,7
Dimensions  
Span 107' 9.5"2,7
32.84 m2,7
Length 76' 11.5"2,7
23.85 m2,7
Height 20' 8"2,7
6.3 m2,7
Wing area 1,290 ft2 2,7
118 m2 2,7
Weight  
Empty 37,478 lb2,7
17,000 kg2,7
Loaded 50,044 lb2,7
22,700 kg2,7
Performance  
Speed at 15,420' /
4,700 m
224 mph2,7
360 kph2,7
Service ceiling 19,685'2,7
6,000 m2,7
Range 2,211 miles2,7
3,560 km2,7
Armament  
Dorsal - forward 1: 7.92 mm MG2,7
Dorsal - rear 1: 13 mm2,7
Beam 2: 13 mm2,7
Ventral 1: 20 mm2,7
Ventral - aft 1: 7.92 mm2,7
Bombs in gondola and under wings 4,630 lb2,7
2,100 kg2,7
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-6 Condor
Armament  
Missiles 2: Hs 2933,7
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-8 Condor
Armament  
Missiles 2: Hs 2933,7
  Focke-Wulf Fw 200K2
Type Mine layer5, Commerce raider5
Engine (Type) 4: BMW 8015
Net HP 1,320 each5
Dimensions  
Span 108' 6"5
Length 78' 3"5
Height 23' 4"5
Weight  
Loaded 44,100 lb5
Performance  
Speed 280 mph5
Range 2,300 miles5

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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