The Focke Wulf Fw 190C would have been powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine, but it never got past the development stage.
The DB 603 was a 12-cylinder inverted V inline engine that had been under development since 1936. Focke-Wulf became interested in fitting it in the Fw 190 early in 1941, with work officially starting on 21 March 1941. Although the new engine was an inline type, Focke Wulf retained the round profile of the Fw 190, so it still appeared to be a radial powered aircraft. Problems with the engine delayed the maiden flight of the test aircraft, Fw 190 V13, until February 1942, and when it did fly the test pilot criticized the throttle and cooling. A second prototype, V15, joined the test programme.
On 12 May 1942 representatives from Focke-Wulf attended an Air Ministry meeting to discuss how to produce a high altitude fighter, to compete with high altitude aircraft known to be under development in Britain. Focke Wulf offered several options, including the Fw 190B, which was to use a modified BMW 801 radial engine or two projects to use inline engines – the Daimler Benz DB 603 and Junkers Jumo 213. At first both inline engines were given the Fw 190C designation, but the Junkers powered versions were soon split off into the Fw 190D, leaving the Fw 190C for the DB 603.
More prototypes were soon produced. V16 was similar to V15, but both were then taken over by the Air Ministry, going to Rechlin for trials. V17 and V18 were completed with the DB 603 instead.
V18 saw the most radical changes. She was given a DB 603 engine and an under-slung Hirth TK 11 turbosupercharger, a combination which was expected to produce 2,000hp. The prototype was also given a VDM four-bladed propeller and a larger tailfin, which production aircraft would have been given larger wings. V18 made its first flight in this configuration on 20 December 1942, but the engine overheated, limiting the aircraft to short flights. On these early tests it was found to be tail heavy and suffered from low engine power after take-off. The turbosupercharger remained problematic, partly because of a lack of the raw minerals needed to make suitably heat resistance alloys.
In December 1942 the Air Ministry placed an order for 727 Fw 190Cs, but this was cancelled on 26 February 1943, in favour of the Jumo 213 powered Fw 190D and Ta 152. However Focke Wulf continued with trials of the turbosupercharged aircraft, producing another five prototypes with that equipment even after the order had been cancelled.
Fw 190 V13 (Werke Nr. 0036), SK+HS
The Fw 190 V13 was the first prototype of a DB 603 powered Fw 190. It was given a 1,750hp DB 603 A, and made its maiden flight in February 1942. The new engine required a longer nose, and also needed an air intake under the nose for its oil cooler. Problems were found with the cooling and the throttle. V13 was written off after a crash on 30 July 1942.
Fw 190 V15
V15 was the second DB 603 powered prototype, and was already flying by May 1942, when work on the high altitude versions of the Fw 190 was given official encouragement. V15 was used to test out very long exhaust pipes that ran along the side of the fuselage, over the top of the wings, and then drooped below the rear fuselage! Soon after the meeting it was taken over by the Air Ministry for trials at Rechlin.
Fw 190 V16
V16 was similar to the V15, and like that aircraft was taken over by the Air Ministry. It didn’t have the long exhaust pipes, but did have extra air intakes on the side of the engines, and provision for an engine mounted cannon firing through the propeller hub.
Fw 190 V17
V17 was originally have to been a Jumo 213 powered prototype, but in July 1942 it was decided to fit V17 and V18 with the DB 603 to compensate for the lose of V15 and V16 to the Air Ministry. It later reverted to the Jumo engine as part of the D-9 development programme.
A related project was the Höhenjäger 2 project, which combined the DB 603A engine with a Hirth turbo-supercharger. Six prototypes of this design were built, and although they weren’t officially part of the Fw 190C project, they had much in common with it.
Fw 190 V18/U1 (Werke Nr. 0040) CF+OY
V18 was chosen to test out the Hirth TK 11 turbosupercharger, which was carried in a large fairing below the fuselage, earning the prototype the nickname ‘Kangaroo’. It was also given a four bladed VDM propeller, a larger tail fin and the long exhaust used on the V15. It made its maiden flight in this format on 20 December 1942, but was only able to make short flights due to a combination of poor weather and engine overheating. The Hirth turbosupercharger was never a great success, although by May 1943 V18 could reach 416mph at 36,100ft with the turbosupercharger engaged, but it couldn’t be used for long periods as it would overheat.
Fw 190 V29 (Werke Nr.0054) CF+KS
V29 was the second aircraft to be completed with the TK 11, combined with a DB 603 S engine. It was sent to Hirth in June 1943 for use as a static turbosupercharger development aircraft.
Fw 190 V30 (Werke Nr.0055) CF+KT
V30 was the third TK 11 prototype, and the second to fly, making its maiden flight on 22 October 1943. It was powered by the DB 603 S-1 engine.
Fw 190 V31 (Werke Nr.0056) GH+KU
V31 was the fourth TK 11 prototype, but was written off soon after entering the test programme.
Fw 190 V32 (Werke Nr.0057) GH+KV
V32 was completed in November 1943. It used the DB 603 S-1 and was armed with two MG 151s in the wing roots, for use as an armament test bed.
Fw 190 V33 (Werke Nr.0058) GH+KW
V33 was completed just as all Hirth turbosupercharger equipped aircraft were taken over for the Ta 152 development programme.
The C-1 was to have been armed with two 13mm MG 131 machine guns over the engine and two 20mm MG 151 cannon in the wing roots. It would have had an unpressurised cockpit.
The C-2 was to have carried an engine mounted gun firing through the spinner, with the 20mm MG or 30mm MK 103 or MK 108 cannon being considered. It would have had a pressurised cockpit.