The Focke-Wulf Ta 152C was the third attempt to produce a standard version of the Ta 152, and reached the prototype stage but too late in the war to actually enter production.
The Ta 152C was actually the fourth version of the aircraft to be developed. At the start of 1943 Kurt Tank put forward a proposal for a more advanced replacement for the Fw 190, which was given the designation Ta 153, before being cancelled in April 1943. He then came up with the design for the Ta 152, which was to use more components from the standard Fw 190A-8. Two versions of the Ta 152 were to be developed. The Ta 152A was to use the Junkers Jumo 213A engine, optimised for low and medium altitudes, while the Ta 152B was to use the Jumo 213E, with a three speed two stage turbocharger, optimised for higher altitudes.
Work on the Ta 152A progressed fairly quickly, and the first prototype made its maiden flight on 7 July 1943. However the Jumo 213E engine was proving troublesome and the Ta 152B stalled. A third variant, the high altitude Ta 152H, was approved in December 1943, and an interim design, the Fw 190D-9, powered by a Jumo 213A engine, was approved in January 1944.
The Ta 152C entered the picture early in 1943, to replace the Ta 152B. It was to use the Daimler-Benz DB 603L, a liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted V engine with a two-stage supercharger. It was to have the same fuselage as the earlier models, based on 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. Unlike the earlier models, it wasn’t intended to give it a cannon firing through the engine, or guns in the outer wing positions. Instead it was to carry four 20mm MG 151 cannon, two just out from the wing roots and two in the upper engine cowling.
Work on the prototypes for the Ta 152C begin until the Ta 152A had been cancelled in July 1944, as two of the Ta 152A prototypes became Ta 152C prototypes. The first, Fw 190 V20, was in the middle of being converted into the V20/U1 Ta 152C prototype when it was destroyed in a US bombing raid on Langenhagen on 5 August 1944.
The second Ta 152C prototype, Fw 190 V21/U1, made its maiden flight on 3 November 1944, but with a standard DB 603E instead of the high altitude DB 603L. With this engine it reached 448mph with the GM-1 boost in use. On 18 November, after a couple of weeks of trials, it was handed over to Daimler-Benz to have the DB 603LA engine installed.
Three more prototypes were completed, all built from scratch as Ta 152s. The second prototype, TA 152 V6 (W.Nr.110006, VH-EY) made its maiden flight on 12 December 1944.
The third prototype, Ta 152 V 7 (W.Nr.110007, CI+XM) made its maiden flight on 8 January 1945, and received its DB 603 LA engine in March 1945. It had all weather equipment, and was used for general trials.
The fourth prototype, Ta 152 V 8 (W.Nr.110008, GQ+QA) made its maiden flight on 15 January 1945.
The C-0 appears to have been the designation for the prototypes produced with the DB 603E engine, and applied to Ta 152 V6, V7 and V8.
V7 (W.Nr 110007) flew in the Ta 152 C-0/R11 configuration (DB 603 EM engine and R11 bad weather kit) in December 1944.
V8 was completed as a C-0, with DB 603L engine and EZ 42 gyro gun sight.
The C-1 was to be the first production version. Production was expected to begin at ATG’s plant at Leipzig and the Siebel works at Halle in Mach 1945. A series of prototypes were produced, mostly by converting existing aircraft. Ta 152 V6, V7 and V8 were converted to the C-1 standard by giving them a DB 603L engine without supercharger cooler, but with a new engine cowling and the MW 50 booster.
Ta 152 V6 began flight tests with the DB 603L engine but without the new cowling on 10 December 1944. It was armed with four 20mm MG 151s, two in the fuselage and two in the wing roots. It was late given the DB 603LA engine. By 1 February 1945 V6 had made eighteen flights with the DB 603 Engine, for a total of 7 hours 41 minutes in the air, with generally positive results.
Fw 190 V21/U1 was given the DB 603LA engine, becoming V21/U2. It carried an engine mounted 30mm MK 1078 cannon and could take the W.Gr.21 rockets under the wings.
The standard C-1 was to be armed with a 30mm MK 108 cannon in the engine, two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in the fuselage and two 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots.
Three ‘R’ kits were allocated to the C-1. R11 was the standard all-weather kit, with a FuG 125 engine, LGW K 23 auto-pilot and a heated canopy. R14 had an ETC 504 bomb rack installed to carry a LT 1B torpedo. The Ta 152 wasn’t well suited to this role, and the project was cancelled late in 1944. R31 was a modified arrangement of fuel tanks designed to improve the balance of the aircraft.
Two Ta 152 C-1/R31s were officially on the strength of Stab./JG 301 on 30 April 1945 and the type was thus probably used in combat.
The C-2 used the FuG 15 radio. This was the original specification for the V16, V17 and V18 prototypes, but it was cancelled on 15 December 1944 in favour of the Ta 152C-3
In the summer of 1944 Fw 190 V53 was chosen to test out the possibility of using the 30mm MK 103 cannon in the wing roots of the C-3, but the prototype was destroyed in the 5 August raid before work had been completed.
The C-3 designation was then altered to carry the same four 20mm cannon as the C-1, but with a MK 103 engine mounted cannon in place of the MK 108 of the C-1.
Three prototypes – V19, V20 and V21 were assigned to the C-3. On 15 December 1944 the C-2 was cancelled, and the V16, V17 and V18 prototypes assigned to the C-3 instead. The C-3 was cancelled early in 1945. V19, V20 and V21 where then allocated to the Ta 152 B-5/R11 programme.
The C-4 was probably the C-3 but with the FuG 15 radio. Three prototypes, Ta 152 V 22, V23 and V 24 were ordered but not completed
The C-5 was originally planned as a version armed with five 20mm MG 151 cannon (one in the engine), but this was later modified to give it three 30mm MK 103 cannon, one in the engine and two in the wing roots. It was to carry a FuG 16 ZY engine. The C-5 then became the basis of the Ta 152B-5 heavy fighter.
The C-6 was the C-5 but with the FuG 15 radio
Ta 152C-7 to C-9
C-7 to C-9 were suggestions for various combinations of engines and armament.
The C-10 may have been a reconnaissance version.
A Focke-Wulf production schedule from January 1945 included plans to build a torpedo bomber variant, as the Ta 152C-11. However the same designation may also have been used for a photo reconnaissance version of the C-1, after the Ta 152E was cancelled in mid February 1945.
Ta 152C-1 (Focke-Wulf stats, January 1945)
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 603 LA
Power: 2,100hp at take off, 1,675hp combat rating to 42,651ft, 1,500hp max continuous at sea level, 1,230hp max continuous at 52,493ft
Span: 36ft 6.25in
Length: 35ft 6in
Height: 11ft 2 3/8in
Empty weight: 8,840ft
Maximum take-off weight: 9,171ft
Max speed: 347mph at sea level, 454mph at 34,119ft, 412mph at 40,355ft
Climb Rate: 10.2min to 26,247ft
Service ceiling: 40,022ft
Endurance: 684 miles normal cruising range
Armament: One 30mm MK 108 and four 20mm MG 151/20
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 603L twelve-cylinder inverted V inoine engine
Power: 2,100hp at take offf
Span: 36ft 1in
Length: 35ft 5.5in
Height: 13ft 0in
Empty weight: 9,058lb
Loaded weight: 11,025lb
Maximum take-off weight: 12,125lb
Max speed: 339mph (normal) or 350mph (MW-50) at sea level, 439mph (normal) or 463mph (MW-50) at 37,000ft
Service ceiling: 40,350ft
Armament: One 30mm MK 103 cannon in spinner, four 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in wings