Fw 190 (Focke-Wulf, Germany)

Admittedly, the Fw 190 is the best World War 2 German fighter plane. It was intended to replace the Messerschmitt Bf 109. When it first entered battle, during the summer of 1941, it would outclass the British Spitfire Mk.V. The threat was countered with the introduction of the Spitfire Mk.IX and the Typhoon.

The early versions of the Fw 190 would use the BMW 801as a powerplant. This was the first German radial engine to be used in a fighter. The engine showed a tendency to overheating the cockpit temperature would sometimes exceed 50 °C. But the plane was the fastest and could turn on a dime, making it the most dangerous fighter when it appeared.

The design of this military aircraft also made it a good fit for ground attack, and it was used as such on the East front and in North Africa. From 1942 on, it also was the most extensively used fighter plane to intercept allied bombers flying over Germany and occupied european countries.

In 1943, the radial engines were replaced with piston engines that were more powerful. This made the fuselage longer, hence the nickname “Long Nose” given to the new Fw 190s by the Allies. These new engines rendered the aircraft even more performing. This version’s cockpit was pressurized.

The latest versions of the Fw 190 could reach 755 Km/h (472 mph).

Type: Single-seat fighter / interceptor
Engine: 1,600hp BMW 801C-1, 14-cylinder air-cooled radial or 1,700hp Junkers Jumo 213A-1, V12 liquid-cooled
Max speed: 684 km/h (425 mph)
Ceiling: 10 300 m (33,800 ft.)
Range: 800 km (500 mi.)
Weight (empty): 3 470 kg (7,650 lb.)
Weight (loaded): 4 900 kg (10,800 lb.)
Wingspan: 8,96 m (29 ft. 5 in.)
Lenght: 9,12 m (29 ft. 11 in.)
Height: 3,96 m (13 ft.)
Armament: 7.92mm machine guns or two 20 mm cannon + two 7.92 mm machine guns; up to 500 kg (1000 lb.) of bombs