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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Focke-Wulf 190's Best Pictures

Focke-Wulf 190 – 27 Of The Best Pics We Could Find On The Net!

 Joris Nieuwint

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft which was widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Focke Wulf 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s Fighter Force.
The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Fuselage_Assemblies_at_Kolleda_Germany_1945Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Fuselage Assemblies at Kolleda Germany 1945
The Fw 190A started flying operationally over France in August 1941, and quickly proved superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force’s main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V, especially at low and medium altitudes. The 190 maintained superiority over Allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX.
In November/December 1942. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front, finding much success in fighter wings and specialised ground attack units called Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings) from October 1943 onwards.
Fw_190_A_Engine_BMW801_2.JG_51_Lt.Joachim_Brendel_Winter_1942_1943_2Fw 190 A of 2/JG 51 Lt. Joachim Brendel Winter 1942 1943. Engine BMW801
The Fw 190A series’ performance decreased at high altitudes (usually20,000 ft and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor. From the Fw 190s inception, there had been ongoing efforts to address this with a turbosupercharger BMW 801 in the B model, the C model with the Daimler-Benz DB 603, and the D model with the Junkers Jumo 213.
V5kFw 190 V5k. This is the V5 with the original small wing. The 12-blade cooling fan and redesigned undercarriage and canopy fairings are visible.
Problems with the turbos meant only the D model would see service, beginning in September 1944. While these “long nose” versions gave them parity with Allied opponents, they arrived far too late in the war to have any real effect.
The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny, and Erich Rudorffer.
Schlachtflieger_Fw_190_-ESchlachtflieger Fw 190 +E being fueled
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_winter_-PHFocke-Wulf Fw 190 winter +PH
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Jagdbomber_-BFocke-Wulf Fw 190 Jagdbomber +B
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_GN-25_in_flightFocke-Wulf Fw 190 GN+25 in flight
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Jagdbomber_-AFocke-Wulf Fw 190 Jagdbomber +A
Fw_190_A_11.JG_11_Pilot_Uffz._Karl_Heinz_1944Fw 190 A of 11/JG 11 Pilot Uffz. Karl Heinz 1944
Fw_190_A_white_10_10.JG_51_Otto_Gaiser_Smolensk_Febr_1943Fw 190 A white 10 of 10/JG 51 pilot Otto Gaiser, Smolensk February 1943
Focke-Wulf Fw 190Fw 190 A-0s or A-1s of an unknown unit.
German_Military_Aircraft_1939-1945_CH16121Fw 190 G-1 showing the ETC 250 bomb rack, carrying a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb, and the underwing drop tanks on VTr-Ju 87 mounts.
DAYTON, Ohio -- Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)A side view of the NMUSAF’s D-9. One can easily distinguish the D-9 model from earlier variants by the extended nose and tail sections, in addition to the exhaust manifolds located near the base of the engine cowling

Wrecks / Crashes

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_attack_aircraft_-PFocke-Wulf Fw 190 attack aircraft +P crash landed
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_DN-FA_crash_landingFocke-Wulf Fw 190 DN+FA crash landing
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Wreckage_2Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Wreckage 2
Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_black_10Focke-Wulf Fw 190 black 10
US_Troops_with_Luftwaffe_Fw_190_and_Bomber_WrecksUS Troops with Luftwaffe Fw 190 and Bomber Wrecks
destroyed_Fw_190Destroyed Fw 190


Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_050602-F-1234P-005A captured Fw 190A-4. The USAAF-painted Balkenkreuz and swastika markings are of nonstandard size and proportions.
British_RAF_Fw_190British RAF Fw 190
British_Fw_190_in_flightBritish Fw 190 in flight
A_captured_Focke_Wulf_Fw_190A-3_at_the_Royal_Aircraft_Establishment,_Farnborough,_with_the_RAE's_chief_test_pilot,_Wing_Commander_H_J_-Willie-_Wilson_at_the_controls,_August_1942._CH6411A captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 at the Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough with the RAEs chief test pilot Wing Commander H J -Willie- Wilson at the controls August 1942.
Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_(15083338499)Captured Fw 190A-5 Werknummer 150 051, in U.S. Navy colors
Fw_190_A-8An Fw 190 A-8/R2 in American hands. “White 11” of 5./JG 4 was captured during Operation Bodenplatte after its engine had been damaged by American light flak.
FW190-D9This captured Fw 190 D-9 appears to be a late production aircraft built by Fieseler at Kassel. It has a late style canopy; the horizontal black stripe with white outline shows that this was a II. Gruppe aircraft.

Friday, June 17, 2016

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress – Top Facts About the WWII American Bomber

Strategic bombing missions had properly begun during World War 1 and the post-war years saw a number of world powers working on the development of state-of-the-art bomber fleets. During the month of August 1934, in anticipation of rising tensions in the Pacific, the US Army Air Corps proposed a new multi-engine bomber that would replace the outdated Martin B-10. This was to be the B-17 Flying fortress whose primary purpose would be to reinforce bases in Hawaii, Alaska & Panama.
B-17s in formation
Enter the B-17 Flying Fortress. Boeing competed against both Martin and Douglas for the contract to build 200 units of such a bomber but failed to deliver as the first B-17 Flying Fortress crashed.
The Air Corps loved the design so much that they ordered 13 units for evaluation and analysis. After a string of tests, it was introduced in 1938; the B-17 was now the prime bomber for all kinds of bombing raids.

A B-17 Dropping Bombs
A B-17 Dropping Bombs

Here are some amazing things you probably won’t know about this mighty bomber:

1. The Prototype

The prototype B-17 Bomber was built at the company’s own expense and was a fusion of the features of Boeing XB-15 and Boeing 247 Transport Aircraft. Initially, it could carry a payload of 2200 kg along with 5x .30-inch machine guns. The 4x Hornet Radial Engines could produce 750 HP at 2100 meters.

Crashed Model 299
Crashed Model 299

2. The Name

The name Flying Fortress was coined by a reporter of the Seattle Times and from there on became the trademark for Boeing. The company lost the tender because the model crashed but the Air Corps designated a special F1 Fund for the procurement of 13 B-17s on an experimental basis.

A Depiction of the B-17 (Copyright PD-USGov-Military-Air Force)
A Depiction of the B-17 (Copyright PD-USGov-Military-Air Force)

3. Production on a Massive Scale

The B-17 Flying Fortress was used in every single World War II combat zone and by the time production ended in 1945, Boeing along with Douglas & Vega had built 12,731 bombers.

A B-17 Production Plant
A B-17 Production Plant

4. The Mighty Eight

The US 8th Airforce arrived in England in 1942 with the sole mission of destroying Germany’s ability to wage war. They would use any means necessary, be it carpet bombing or precision bombing. On August 17th, 1942 18x B-17s launched a bombing raid over Nazi-held territory in Europe, hitting railway networks and strategic points. At first, the Luftwaffe was unprepared and didn’t know how to counter the raids but then improved tactics brought the loss ratio down to 10:15. Here are some notable losses:
  • September 6th, 1943, 400 bombers sent out to attack a ball-bearing plant, 45 were lost.
  • October 4th, 291 B-17s sent to the same location, 60 were lost.
  • January 11th, 1944, 600 B-17s sent to various industries. Bad weather brought down this number to 238 out of which 60 were lost.

5. Head On

The Luftwaffe found that attacking the B-17 Flying Fortress head on proved more fruitful and therefore the Americans developed the term “Bandits at 12 O’ Clock High” for oncoming Luftwaffe fighters.

A Damaged B-17
A Damaged B-17

6. The cost

A single B-17 Flying Fortress would cost US$238, 329 in 1945.

7. Models

Although various models of the B-17 Flying Fortress were produced, the B-17G was the one that was liked the most. Almost 9000 B-17Gs were produced, the most of any variant because of their superior specs. A B-17G weighed 65,000 pounds and could cruise at a speed of 150 mph, peaking at 287 mph. It could attain a service ceiling of 35,600 feet, and carry a 9600 pounds payload. The 4x Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines could produce 1200 HP each!

B-17 Variants
B-17 Variants

8. A Rugged Machine

One particular B-17 Bomber survived a bombing mission and flew back to safety with 180 flak holes and only 2 out of 4 engines. 75 years later, the veteran wrote a thank you letter to Boeing.

9. B-17 Drones

During World War II, almost 25 B-17s were fitted with radio controls & cameras, filled with 20,000 pounds worth explosives and named Aphrodite Missiles. Subsequently, Operation Aphrodite was launched, during which the US Airforce carried out precision bombing against bunkers and hardened enemy targets. Initially, the operation was a success but as a whole, out of the 14 missions flown, none could completely neutralise their respective targets. One of the pilots, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., the brother of future US President John F. Kennedy, died during the raid.

10. Combined Bomber Offensive

During the month of January 1943, the Allies decided to carry out the Combined Bomber Offensive against the Germans. The B-17 was chosen by the Americans while the British primarily chose the Wellington or Lancaster bomber. The US would attack during the day while the British would carry out operations during the night. The result was severe damage to Nazi morale as well as to the capability to fight back. The Luftwaffe fighters managed to inflict considerable damage to the bombers but they never really recovered to their previous glory.

B-17s on a bombing run

11. Bringing it down

After a detailed analysis of the fighter attacks on B-17s, it was found by the Germans that on average about 20 hits with 20mm shells were required to bring down a B-17. During the war, pilots could only hit with 2% accuracy so a pilot had to fire almost a thousand rounds before a bomber could be brought down!

A B-17 shot down by Me-262
A B-17 shot down by Me-262

12. Captured

Almost 40 B-17s were captured by the Luftwaffe. They were re-painted and used by the Luftwaffe for training exercises. In addition, they were reverse engineered to improve existing German bombers. Similarly, the Soviets acquired B-17s that had landed in their territories due to mechanical failure and by 1946 they had reverse engineered both the B-17 and the B-29 to produce their very own Tu-4.

13. VIP transport

After the war ended, many B-17s were converted into commercial aircraft and purchased for VIP transport and rescue missions. Still, B-17s were used during the Korean War and for analyzing nuclear mushroom clouds for experimental purposes.

14. They were everywhere

The B-17 was operated by almost all countries either militarily or commercially in Asia, North America, South America and Europe due to their versatility.

Sally B

15. The last of the B-17s

The last airworthy B-17 left in Europe is known as Sally B. It is now based in Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England, and still flies at airshows across the UK and Europe. The aircraft saw limited action during WWII as it was delivered too late in 1945. It is actively used during film shoots & newsreels. In the USA there are more flying examples.