The Focke-Wulf Ta 152E was a reconnaissance version of the Ta 152, and was on the verge of entering production at the end of the war.
The original specification for the Ta 152 always included a reconnaissance version, which was to carry its cameras in the rear fuselage. The original plan was to carry a periscopic sight on the right side of the cockpit, in order to allow the pilot to see exactly what he was flying over. One was installed in a mock-up of the E-1 by Klemm Flugzeugbau at Boblingen
The Ta 152E was to have been produced in two main versions – the E-1 using the shorter wings of the Ta 152B and Ta 152C and the high altitude E-2, using the longer wings of the Ta 152H.
Late in 1944 the Luftwaffe decided to give top priority to the Ta 152E, and ordered Focke-Wulf to convert all existing Ta 152Hs, both completed and under construction, to the reconnaissance version. Focke-Wulf effectively ignored this order, which was soon cancelled. The two prototypes of the E-1 made their maiden flights in January 1945, but in mid-February the entire Ta 152E programme was cancelled in favour of production reconnaissance versions of the Ta 152C and Ta 152H. The C-11 was to have been a reconnaissance version of the C-1, the H-10 of the H-0, the H-11 of the H-1 and the H-12 of the H-2.
The E-0 was to have the short wings from the Ta 152C.
The E-1 was to have the standard wing of the Ta 152B or Ta 152C. It was to be powered by a Jumo 213E engine, and be armed with one 30mm MK 108 cannon in the engine and two 20mm MG 151 cannon in the wing roots. It was to have one RB 75/30 or RB 50/30 or RB 30/18 or RB 50/18 or two RB 40/12x12 or RB 12.5/7x9 or RB 32/7x9 in the rear fuselage and a Robot II camera in the wing leading edge. It was to use the FuG 15 radio, which could communicate with ground units. Extra range was to be provided by a 300l drop tank, while one of the fuselage tanks could be used for fuel or MW 50 boost, which was effective at the lower altitudes the E-1 was expected to operate at.
Two prototypes were allocated to the Ta 152E – Ta 152 V9 and Ta 152 V14. Flight tests were to have begun by late December 1944, but V9 wasn’t to make its maiden flight until 14 January 1945 and V14 until 25 January 1945. Both appear to have been cancelled just before these dates.
Production was to have been carried out at MMW (Mitteldeutsche Metallwerke Erfurt), and it is possible that work did get underway on the first batch of aircraft. One may even have been type tested on 1 March 1945.
The E-1/R1 was to carry an oblique camera installation, with a RB 50/18 camera mounted in a bulge, at 10 degrees below horizontal. The pilot would have had to roll the aircraft onto its side to use this camera. The installation was tested on a standard Fw 190D-9.
The Ta 152E-2 was to have been a high altitude version of the aircraft, with the wings from the Ta 152H and a pressurized cockpit. The E-2 was to use GM 1 boost instead of MW 50, as the GM boost was effective at higher altitudes.
One prototype was assigned to the E-2 series, Ta 152 V26 (W.Nr.110021). After the Ta 152E was cancelled, this aircraft was converted into a prototype for the Ta 152H-10, probably making its maiden flight in this configuration in March 1945.
Ta 152 W.Nr.150167, one of the last three Ta 152s known to have been completed, may also have been chosen for conversion to this type, as it was found at the MMW factory at Erfurt at the end of the war.