The Focke-Wulf Fw 190G was a long range fighter bomber, based on the Fw 190A and originally produced with dedicated racks for fuel drop tanks under the wings.
Work on the Fw 190G began in the autumn of 1942. The aim was to produce a long range fighter bomber (Jagdbomber mit Vergrosserter Reichweite), capable of operating over the longer distances required on the Eastern Front. The basic idea was to remove the outer wing cannon and the machine guns above the engine and carry fuel drop tanks under the wings and a bomb rack under the fuselage.
The main problem with the Fw 190G was the drag caused by the drop tanks. The first version, the Fw 190G-1, based on the A-4/U-8, used racks designed for the Ju 87 Stuka, but these caused far too much drag and reduced the aircraft’s top speed to 298mph. Next was the G-2, based on the A-5/U8 and using a fuel rack designed by Messerschmitt that had no fairing. This version was very effective, but Focke-Wulf wanted to use their own, rather less effective design, introduced on the G-3. The final production version, the G-8, used the advanced ETC 503 rack below the wings, but production was pahsed out during 1944 in favour of the armoured Fw 190F series. Around 1,300 Fw 190Gs were built, mainly serving on the Eastern Front, although the type also saw service in North Africa.
The G-0 may have been armed with two 20mm guns, with a maximum bomb load of 2,205lb/ 1,000kg
The Fw 190G-1 was based on the A-4/U8. It used a drop tank rack provided by Weserflug that had been developed for the Junkers Ju 87. Each rack could carry a 300 litre/ 66 gallon drop tank. The G-1 was armed with the wing root cannon, and carried an ETC 501 bomb rack under the fuselage.
Two prototypes were completed as the A-4/U8, making their maiden flights on 19 October 1942 and 8 January 1943. They were probably followed by 49 production aircraft, built by Focke-Wulf, Arado and Fieseler. The G-1 had a maximum range of 932 miles, but the Stuka type bomb racks caused far too much drag, reducing the aircraft’s top speed to only 298mph.
The Fw 190G-2 saw the Stuka type tanks replaced with new low drag Messerschmitt racks. The first prototype was based on the A-5/U8 (with the A-5’s longer fuselage). Like the G-1 it had a ETC 501 rack under the fuselage and could carry one 300 litre drop tank under each wing. The Messerschmitt carriers (Trägers) were made up of two parts – a very low drag base mechanism that was fixed to the wing and N shaped bracing struts that carried the fuel tank, and were dropped with it. When the tanks were dropped, the G-2 was only 2mph slower than the standard Fw 190A-5/U8, making this the most efficient of the fuel tank racks used on the Fw 190G. At least 468 G-2s were built, with a upper limit of 600. The type entered service with SKG 10 in France in June 1943.
The G-2/N was a night version of the G-2, with glare screens carried on the sides of the fuselage to stop the pilot being dazzled by the exhaust flames, and flame dampers to make the aircraft less visible at night.
Despite the success of the G-2, Focke-Wulf decided to produce a version using their own faired drop tank rack. These looked more impressive than the simple Messerschmitt type, but were actually less effective, causing a drop in speed of 11mph without fuel tanks carried. A total of 550 G-3s were built, all by Focke-Wulf.
Some sources say that the Focke-Wulf racks could also carry bombs, increasing the flexibility of the design and allowing for three configurations – long range with one fuselage bomb and two wing drop tanks, medium range with two wing bombs and one fuselage drop tank or short range with three bombs.
The G-3/N was a night version of the type, similar to the G-2/N.
The G-3/R1 carried two 20mm MG 151 cannon in pods under each wings, for a total of four extra guns.
The G-3/R5 had a pair of ETC 71 racks under each wing, allowing it to carry four 50kg bombs under the wings. It isn’t clear if it also had the drop tanks.
Fw 190G-3/U3, U5 and U15
The G-3/U3, U5 and U15 were all torpedo carrying versions of the aircraft.
The G-4 was a short-lived design, abandoned in favour of the G-8.
The G-7 was a projected version that would have carried a single 198 gallon/ 900 litre drop tank.
The G-8 was based on the Fw 190A-8. It was powered by a 1,800hp BMW 801D-2 engine, and had MW50 fuel injection. It used the ETC 501 fuselage bomb rack, and the advanced ETC 503 racks under the wings. These could carry the 300 litre drop tanks or bombs, and only reduced speed by 4mph. The standard G-8 was armed with the wing root cannon, and had the bulged cockpit canopy. It had a range of 1,052 miles when carrying one SC 500 bomb and two 300 litre drop tanks.
Only 146 were built, all by Focke-Wulf, and all completed as the G-8/R5 (see below). Production ended in April 1944, and the type was then replaced in the field by the Fw 190F-8.
The G-8/R4 was the designation for aircraft with the GM1 boost system. It isn’t clear if any were produced.
The G-8/R5 carried four ETC 50 or ETC 71 bomb racks under the wings, along with the ETC 503 racks. It was the only type actually built, and when fully loaded weighted 11,463lb, had a combat range of 699 miles with the drop tanks and maximum wing bomb load, and a top speed of 279mph.
Fw 190G-9 and G-10
Proposed but never built