Focke-Wulf Fw 190D

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190D was a high altitude version of the aircraft, powered by an inline engine hidden behind an extended version of the normal fuselage, making it look like a radial powered aircraft.

The Fw 190D was the third attempt to produce a high altitude version of the Fw 190. First came the Fw 190B, which used a turbo-supercharged version of the radial BMW 801 engine used in the Fw 190A. Second came the Fw 190C, powered by the inline Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine. Both of these variants suffered from problems with their turbo-superchargers, and work on them was soon abandoned because of the success of the Fw 190D.

The Fw 190D used the 1,750hp Jumo 213 A twelve-cylinder in-line liquid cooled engine. Some work on matching the Fw 190 to this engine began as part of the same programme as the Fw 190B and Fw 190C, with two versions suggested – the D-1 with a normal cockpit and the D-2 with a pressurised cockpit. Prototypes were allocated to both projects – V22 and V23 for the D-1 and V26 and V27 for the D-2. One Fw 190, V17, had already been given a Jumo 213 engine during 1942, and was flying by the end of the year. However the project really gained impetus early in 1944, during the development of the Focke-Wulf Ta 152.

Early in 1943 Kurt Tank began work on a new fighter, with a superficial resemblance to the Fw 190 but using a new airframe. In April 1943 the RLM (German Air Ministry) gave this aircraft the designation Ta 153, but soon afterwards they rejected it on the grounds that it would cause too much disruption on the production line. Tank responded with an aircraft that used more components from the Fw 190, and in May this was designated as the Ta 152A and Ta 152B, one using the Daimler Benz DB 603 and the other the Junkers Jumo 213. In December 1943 the Ta 152H, a high altitude version, joined the development programme.

Focke Wulf Fw 190D from the left
Focke Wulf Fw 190D from the left

The RLM also wanted a quick solution alternative (Schnellosung). At a meeting on 5 July 1943 Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf were both asked to produce designed for high altitude fighters that used as many components from their standard fighters as possible. Tank already had a series of designs under way (Rechniersiche Ankundigung¸ or Analytical Prospectus), which had been under development since early in 1942. Of these Ra-1 and Ra-8 were both powered by the Junkers Jumo 213A engine. Ra-1 used the standard Fw 190A wing with a hydraulic undercarriage, while Ra-8 used the standard Fw 190A wing but with an extended rear fuselage.

On 13-14 January 1944 Tank suggested producing an interim design, using as much as possible of the airframe from the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 with the Junkers Jumo 213A engine. This option was expected to take less time to complete than any version of the Ta 152, and would also provide security against a shortage of the BMW 801 engines used in the standard Fw 190. This project was approved, as the Fw 190D-9 (to match the A-9, then under development). At some point the D-1 and D-2, and their main prototypes, were cancelled.

The Jumo 213 was longer than the BMW 801 radial engine used in the Fw 190A, and so the ‘Dora’ had a longer nose to carry the engine and a 50cm extension in the rear fuselage to balance it. It also used the larger tail fin already under development for the Ta 152. Bigger wheels and a strong engine mount were required to cope with the heavier engine. The D-9 used the same undercarriage, wings, radio and electronics as the A-8 and A-9. The appearance of the aircraft didn’t change as much as one might have expected with the change from a radial to an inline engine, as the Jumo 213 was contained within a similar circular fuselage, with a ring-shaped annular radiator between the engine and the propeller.

The first prototype for the D-9 was produced by putting the Jumo engine in the V 17 prototype. This was the engine that had originally been allocated to this aircraft, and was probably installed in 1942, but it may later have been given a DB 603. If so that was now replaced with the Jumo 213 as the V 17/U1. It made its maiden flight in this format on 17 May 1944, and then went to Rechlin for tests that lasted from 11 June-6 July.

It was followed by the second prototype, V53, which made its maiden flight by 12 June. This version used a Jumo 213 CV engine that had space for a cannon to fire through the propeller hub.

Plans of the Focke Wulf Fw 190D
Plans of the
Focke Wulf Fw 190D

The third prototype, V54, introduced the MW 50 boost system. This used a mixture of methanol, water and anti-corrosives that could be injected into the supercharger for up to ten minutes at a time, boosting power from 1,750hp to over 2,200hp and raising the top speed to 426mph from 360mph.

On 5 August 1944 the Americans bombed the Focke-Wulf plant at Langenhagen, destroying or damaging a number of Fw 190 and Ta 152 prototypes. Amongst them was V53, which was damaged, and V54, which was destroyed. However by that point the D-9 had already entered production, and the first was completed at Focke-Wulf’s Cottbus factory in the summer of 1944. Fieseler, Mimetall and Dornier also produced the D-9, while some may have been converted from A-8s at Focke-Wulf’s Langenhagen facility.

The Fw 190D-9 had a similar performance to the P-51D Mustang and the Spitfire Mk XIV, but it arrived rather too late, in too small numbers and at a time when the Luftwaffe was critically short of fuel. The first unit to gain them was III./JG 54 ‘Grunherz’, under Hptm Robert ‘Bazi’ Weiss, which got them in September 1944 then moved to bases at Hesepe and Achmer near the Dutch border, to protect the Me 262 jets of Kommando Nowotny, which were vulnerable when taking off and landing. On 8 November 1944 the group lost three pilots, including Major Mowotny, when they were attacked by a formation of P-51s. The group was then withdrawn to form the core of the first jet fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader 7. III./JG 54 remained in combat, suffering its worst day on 29 December when it lost six pilots. It became IV./JG 26 on 25 February 1945, under Major Hans Klemm.

The second D-9 unit was II./ JG 26 ‘Schlageter’ (Major Karl Borris), which was based at Handrup, to the north-west of Osnabruck. This unit received its aircraft in October 1944. JG 2 ‘Richtofen’ and JG 301 in the Reich Defence also got the D-9.

JG 26’s first known mission with the D-9 came on 3 December when some made up part of a larger formation that intercepted an RAF formation. The type was then seen in slowly increasing numbers. The first combat loss came on 18 December when an aircraft from II./JG 26 was shot down.

III./JG 54 became operational as a standard fighter unit on 25 December 1944. Although the D-9 was an excellent fighter, it was facing vastly larger numbers of high quality allied fighters, generally flown by better trained pilots (by this point many German fighter units were made up of a small group of surviving ‘experts’ and larger numbers of poorly trained novices). On 27 December the group lost four aircraft in a clash with Tempests from No.486 Squadron, only claiming one victory. On 29 December the group suffered its worst day, during an operation against low flying Allied aircraft. The group was ordered to patrol over a wide area in small numbers, and lost six pilots in an initial clash with Spitfires from No.411 Squadron and a total nine during the day, including Weiss.

Focke Wulf Fw 190D from the front Focke Wulf Fw 190D from the front

JG 54, JG 25, JG 2 and JG 301 all used the type in Operation Bodenplatt, mass attack on Allied fighter airfields in Holland, Belgium and northern France, which inflicted near fatal damage on the German fighter wings, which couldn’t afford the heavy losses suffered on the day. Although the operation did destroy a large number of Allied fighters, most of them were on the ground, and could easily be replaced, while their pilots survived.

During 1945 almost all available fuel went to the jet fighters. A standard example of the impact of this on piston engines units is JG 6 ‘Horst Wessel’ under Major Gerhard Barkhorn, which had 150 new D-9s from a nearby FW factory in April 1945, but could only patrol with four of them due to lack of fuel!

In the last few months of the war individual experts were able to make great use of their D-9s, but their units continued to suffer heavy losses. The D-9 might have been an excellent fighter, but it arrived far too late to have any real impact on the war in the air.

By April 1945 the D-9 was in use with Stab, I, II and III./JG 2, Stab and IV (Sturm)./JG 3, Stab and II.(Sturm)./JG 4, Stab, I and II./ JG 6, Stab, I, II and IV./JG 26 and I and II./JG 301.

Prototypes

A series of prototypes were produced by modifying the airframes of Fw 190A-0 pre-production aircraft.

Fw 190 V 17 (W.Nr.0039)

This was the first prototype, and was converted from a standard A-0 over the winter of 1941-42. It flew with a Jumo engine by the end of 1942. This aircraft was later used as the prototype for the Fw 190 D-9 production model, and re-designated as the Fw 190 V 17/U1. A Jumo 213A-2 was installed at Adelheide in the spring of 1944, and the aircraft made its maiden flight in this configuration in May 1944 from Langenhagen. As V 17U/U1 it used a 1,776hp Junkers Jumo 213 A-1 engine with MW-50 water-methanol injection to raise power to 2,240hp and give a top boosted speed of 426 mph

Fw 190 V19

This was an engine test bed for the Fw 190 Ra-1 study. It got a Jumo 213 and became Fw 190 Wb-1 (Weiterentwicklungsbau 1 or Development construction 1), but was then destroyed in a crash on 16 February 1944 before other engines could be tested.

Fw 190 V20 (W.Nr.0042 TI+IG)

V20 was allocated to the Jumo 213 tests, but was destroyed in the August 1944 raid while getting a DBV 603L engine.

Fw 190 V21

V21 was allocated to Jumo 213 tests

Fw 190 V22

Fw 190 V23

Fw 190 V25

V25 was allocated to Jumo 213 tests

Fw 190 V53 (W.Nr.170003)

V53 was the first production prototype for the D-9. It carried two 13mm MG 131 machine guns and four 20mm MG 151 cannon. It made its maiden flight by June 1944. V53 was destroyed when the USAAF bombed Langenhagen on 5 August 1944.

Fw 190 V54 (W.Nr.174024)

V54 was the second production and third prototype for the D-9. It made its maiden flight by July 1944. It was armed with two 13mm machine guns and two 20mm cannon. V54 was destroyed when the USAAF bombed Langenhagen on 5 August 1944.  

Fw 190D-1

The Fw 190D-1 was the original designation for a version of the aircraft to be powered by a Jumo 213 engine, with an unpressurised cockpit. Two prototypes were allocated to the project, V22 and V23, but after the D-1 was cancelled so were the two prototypes.

Fw 190D-2

The Fw 190D-2 was the original designation for a version of the aircraft to be powered by a Jumo 213 engine, with a pressurised cockpit. Two prototypes were allocated to the project, V26 and V27, but after the D-1 was cancelled so were the two prototypes.

Fw 190D-9

The D-9 combined the A-8 fuselage and wings with the Jumo 213A-1 engine. The first production aircraft were completed at Focke-Wulf’s factory at Sorau in Silesia in late August 1944. Problems with engine meant that the second aircraft wasn’t completed until mid-September, but construction soon sped up. By the end of September production was underway at Focke-Wulf’s factory at Cottbus, and in October work began at Roland (WFG) at Nordenahm and Fieseler at Kassel. Junkers and Siebel produced parts, and Arados was also involved in the programme. The total number produced is unclear, with at least 670 known and no records for December 1944 or February 1945 to the end of the war. 1,500 serial numbers are known to have been allocated to the D-9, but that doesn’t mean that all of these aircraft were completed.   

The standard D-9 was armed with two 13mm MG 131 machine guns above the engine and two 20mm MG 151 cannon in the wing roots. It could also carry an ETC 501 or ETC 504 stores carriers below the fuselage.

The D-9 entered service with III./JG 54 as soon as the first aircraft were available in September 1944. 12./JG 54 was given the task of protecting the Me 262s of Kommando Nowotny when they were landing or taking off and were at their most vulnerable.

Very few of the early aircraft were equipped with the MW 50 injection equipment. The first D-9 unit, III./JG 54, began to convert to the type in September 1944, and by the end of October had 68 aircraft, of which only one had the MW 50 installed. However 53 had been given a new Junkers kit that increased the manifold pressure in the engine and boosted power from 1,750hp to around 1,870hp.

By the end of December 1944 there were 183 D-9s in service with three units (III./JG 54, II./JG 267 and III./JG 26), with some equipped with both the MW 50 and Junkers kits, some with one or the other and some without either. However new aircraft coming off the production line mainly had both.

Early in 1945 the D-9 was issued to JG 2, JG 3, JG 6, JG 51 and JG 301, although these units normally operated a mix of types. In service the D-9 was considered to be as good as its main opponents (in particular the Merlin powered P-51 Mustangs and the Griffon powered Spitfire Mk.XIV. It handled better than the Fw 190A, was faster and climbed quicker. It could out-turn most Soviet fighters at the normal combat levels, and was quicker in the dive than the Yak-3 or Yak-9. 

Fw 190D-9/R1

The D-9/R1 carried an extra pair of 20mm MG 151 cannons in the outer wing positions.

Fw 190D-9/R2

The D-9/R2 removed the machine guns above the engine but added 30mm MK 108 cannon in the outer wings.

Fw 190D-9/R5

The D-9/R3 was a fighter bomber version, with extra fuel in the wings and two ETC 50 or ETC 71 bomb racks below each wing, allowing the aircraft to carry for SC50 bombs.

Fw 190D-9/R6

The D-9/R6 was the standard kit that allowed the W.Gr 21 rocket to be carried below the wings, for use against American bomber formations.

Fw 190D-9/R11

All weather fighter with FuG125 radio, PKS 12 directional controls and standard FuG 16 Za and FuG 25a controls.

Fw 190D-9/R14

The R14 was given an ETC 504 bomb rack under the fuselage, capable of taking one LT 1b torpedo or two BT 1400 bomb-torpedoes.

Fw 190D-9/R20

The R20 was given a high pressure MW50 power boost system. This later became a standard fitting.

Fw 190D-10

The D-10 was an up-armed version of the aircraft. The MG 131 machine guns were removed, and a single 20mm MG 151 cannon carried in their place. It was also hoped to mount a 30mm MK 108 firing through the engine spinner, but this didn’t work. The type never entered production, although it is possible that two D-9s were converted to the D-10 standard. 

Fw 190D-11

The Fw 190D-11 was a very heavily armed version, armed with two 20mm MG 151 cannon in the wing roots and two 30mm MK 108 cannon in the outer wing positions. It was powered by the Jumo 213F engine which had a three stage turbo-supercharger, and used the MW50 injection system. 

Seven prototypes of the D-11 were produced, possibly followed by at least 17 production aircraft completed in March 1945 by converting A-8s.  

V55 (W.Nr.170923) was the first prototype. It had a Jumo 213F engine, two 13mm MG 131 machine guns and two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon.

V56 (W.Nr.170924) had the MG 131s removed and the wing mounted MK 108 cannon added. All further prototypes apart from V60 carried these guns.

V 57 (W.Nr.170926) was rebuilt from a Fw 190A-8.

V 58 (W.Nr.170933) was similar to V 57.

V 59 (W.Nr.350156) was similar to V 57 and V 58.

V 60 (W.Nr.350157) was an unarmed prototype.

V 61 (W.Nr.350158) was delivered to Junkers for engine trials.

A number of R kits were designed for the D-11, but there is no agreement on what they were, and it is unlikely that any were used.

R5 was either a TSA 2D bomb aiming device combined with eight 50kg bombs (presumably two under each wing and four under the fuselage) or extra fuel.

R11 was the bad-weather kit, including the FuG 125 D/F radio.

R20 combined was either the PKS 12 radio, or the Jumo 213F-1 engine.

R21 was the all-weather with the F-1 engine.

R25 is an alternative code for extra fuel.

The D-11 turned out to be rather too heavy for its tyres, and was followed by two lighter versions.

Fw 190D-12

The Fw 190D-12 was armed with one 30mm MK 108 in the engine and two 20mm MG 151 in the wing roots. Three prototypes were produced by converting A-8s (V 63 (W.Nr.350165), V 64 (W.Nr.350166) and V 65 (W.Nr.350167)). The D-12 was to be produced at Arado and Fieseler, starting in March 1945. Production was delayed when Allied bombing destroyed the factory producing the Mk 108 cannon.

As with the D-11, there is no agreement on the details of the R kits. R5 was either extra fuel or a ground attack version. R11 was an all-weather version. R14 was to carry a torpedo. R21 was either a ground attack version or the all-weather version with a Jumo 213F-1 engine. R25 was was to use the Jumo 213EB engine, which added 200hp to its power, and was expected to give a top speed of 478mph at 31,000ft.

Fw 190D-13

The Fw 190D-13 was armed with three 20mm MG 151 cannon – one in the engine and two in the wing roots. Two prototypes were produced - V 62 (W.Nr.732053) and V 71 (W.Nr.732054), both converted from Fw 190A-8s. The D-13 was to have entered production at Arbeitgemeinschaft Roland in March 1945. The D-13 used the same R kits as the D-12, but with the same disagreements over what they actually were. It is possible that a number of D-13/R11s were completed at Roland and delivered to JG 26.

Fw 190D-14

The Fw 190D-14 was the first attempt to mount a 1,750hp Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine in the Fw 190D, after the failure of the Fw 190C in 1943. It was based on the D-12, although the two prototypes had to be converted from D-9s. V76 (W.Nr.210040) made its maiden flight on 20 November 1944 with the DB 603 engine. V77 (W.Nr.210043) was completed with the Jumo 213 for comparative tests, in which the DB 603 was found to be the better engine at all altitudes. The D-14 programme was cancelled on 31 January 1945 in favour of the D-15.

Fw 190D-15

The Fw 190D-15 replaced the D-14 on 31 January 1945. It was to be a basic conversion of the Fw 190A-8 or A-9, with the DB 603 engine and longer tail. One prototype may have been completed before the end of the war.

Fw 190D-9

Engine: Junkers Jumo 213A-1 12-cylinder inverted V
Power: 1,776hp (normal take off), 1,200hp (continuous running), 2,240hp (boosted)
Crew: 1
Span: 34ft 5.5in
Length: 33ft 5.5in
Height: 11ft 0in
Empty weight: 7,694lb
Loaded weight: 9,480lb
Maximum take-off weight: 10,670lb
Max speed (boosted): 357mph at sea level, 397mph at 10,820ft, 426mph at 21,655ft, 397mph at 32,810ft
Climb Rate: 7min 6sec to 19,865ft (6,000m)
Service ceiling: 39,370ft (12,000m)
Endurance:
Range: 519 miles at 18,500ft
Armament: Two 13mm MG 131 machine guns above engine and two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in wings
Bomb load: One 1,102lb/ 500kg SC500 bomb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 July 2019), Focke-Wulf Fw 190D , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_focke-wulf_Fw_190D.html

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