The Focke-Wulf Ta 152B was the original design for a version of the Ta 152 optimised for higher altitudes, but suffered from problems with its Jumo 213E engine, and never got beyond the prototype stage. However a modified ‘Destroyer’ version, the B-5, did reach the prototype stage late in the war.
At the start of 1943 Kurt Tank had produced a design for a replacement for the Fw 190 that would have looked similar but used a new airframe and more powerful inline engines. In April 1943 this project was rejected by the RLM (German Air Ministry) on the grounds that it would have caused too much disruption on the production lines.
Tank responded with a less ambition design, using more components from the Fw 190. In May 1943 this was given the designation Ta 152A and two variants were produced. The Ta 152 was to use a Jumo 213A engine, optimised for low and medium altitude while the Ta 152B was to use the Jumo 213E, which had a three-speed two-stage intercooled supercharger that greatly boosted power at higher altitudes. Both versions were to be able to take the Daimler-Benz DB 603G engine if required.
Both aircraft were to use the same fuselage. This was based on that of the Fw 190A-8, but with an extra 77.2cm in front of the cockpit to fit the engine and some of the armament and a 50cm extension to the rear fuselage. The wings were moved 42cm forward to improve the central of gravity. The wheels were larger (740mm) and the wingspan extended by 50cm by adding another 25cm inside the wheels on each side. Both versions were to carry an engine mounted 30mm MK 108 cannon and four 20mm MG 151 cannon in the wings. They were also to carry a ETC 503 bomb rack below the fuselage.
Work on the Ta 152A made rapid progress, with the first prototype (Fw 190 V29) making its maiden flight on 7 July 1943. However the Jumo 213E engine proved to be more troublesome, and the Ta 152B was repeatedly delayed. New versions of the aircraft soon appeared to compete with it. In December 1943 Tank submitted plans for a very high altitude version, the Ta 152H, and six prototypes were ordered. In January 1944 the Fw 190D-9, an interim design using the Jumo 213A, was approved. At about the same time the Ta 152C, powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 603L was approved.
Late in 1944 the Ta 152B was temporarily revived, this time as a heavy fighter to replace the Me 410. The Ta 152B-5 was to use the Jumo engine, and be armed with three 30mm MK 103 cannon, one in the engine and one in each wing root. Production was to begin at Erla in May 1945 and at Gotha in July 1945.
Ta 152B -1
According to Focke-Wulf documents the B-1 was to have been armed with four 20mm MG 151/20 cannon, two in the wings and two in the fuselage, and a 30mm MK 108 cannon in the engine. It was to be powered by the Jumo 213E engine. It had three field conversion kits, each of which added guns to the outer wing position. R1 was for two MG 151/20s within the wings. R2 was for two 30mm MK 108 cannon within the wings. R3 was for two 30mm MK 103 cannon carried in gun pods below the wings.
Ta 152B -2
The B-2 was probably to have been similar to the B-1, but with the 30mm MK 103 cannon.
Ta 152B -3
The B-3 was either an armoured ground attack version, or the B-1 with a different model of the 213E engine.
Ta 152B -4
The B-4 was either a heavy fighter project or the B-2 with a different model of the 213E engine
The B-5 was the revived heavy fighter version of the aircraft. It would have been similar to the Ta 152C-3, but powered by a Jumo 213E-2 engine with MW 50 powerboost. It would have been armed with three 30mm MK 103 cannon, one in the engine and one in each wing root.
Production was to have begun at Erla in May 1945 and Gotha in July 1945.
One prototype of the B-5 was built, W.Nr.170003. Some confusion has been caused by the decision to alter this aircraft’s V number, from V53 when it was being used to test the Fw 190D-9 to V68 when it was used to test the MK 103 cannon ready for use in the Ta 152B-5. The conversion was completed by 13 December 1944, and the aircraft went to Tarnewitz for weapons trials at the end of the year.
The standard version of the B-5 was to be the B-5/R11, with all-weather equipment. Early in 1945 the Ta 152C-3, armed with three 30mm Mk 103 cannon, was cancelled. Three of its prototypes, V19 (W.Nr.11019), V20 (W.Nr.110020) and V21 (W.Nr.110021), were allocated to the B-5/R11 programme instead. V19 and V20 were meant to be ready by March 1945 and V21 by April, but none appear to have been completed.
Ta 152 B-1 (Focke-Wulf official stats from January 1945)
Engine: Jumo 213 EB
Power: 2,00hp at take off, 1,580hp combat rating, 1,320hp max continuous power at sea level
Span: 36ft 6.25in
Length: 35ft 6in
Height: 11ft 2 3/8in
Empty weight: 8,840lb
Maximum take-off weight: 11,728lb
Max speed: 395mph at sea level, 442mph at 14,436ft, 398mph at 32,809ft
Climb Rate: 9.8min to 26,247ft
Service ceiling: 36,743ft
Endurance: 705 miles cruising range
Armament: One 30mm MK 108 in engine, four 20mm MG 141/20