Properly Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG. German
Aircraft manufacturer. During World War II
Focke-Wulf produced one of the finest fighters
of the war, the FW-190
series, which is often generically referred to as simply, the Focke-Wulf.
In the inter-war years, the German Air Ministry became concerned that Germany had developed only one front-line fighter model, the Messerschmitt Bf-109. The Bf-109 used an inline engine of the same type used in several front-line bombers. In addition, the other powers were working on several radial-engined fighters.
The aircraft was designed by Prof. Kurt Tank and first flew on 1 June, 1939. The first squadrons recieved the aircraft around August, 1940, during the height of the Battle of Britain. It proved vastly superior to the only other comparable fighter in the air at the time, the British Supermarine Spitfire. It quckly earned the nickname, "butcherbird." among Allied pilots.
Typically armed with at least two 20mm cannon and two 7.92mm machine guns, the FW-190 was produced in more than a dozen factory variants and endless field modifications. The FW series served as interceptor, fighter-bomber, night-fighter and reconnasance aircraft. Late in the war the FW-190D variant was introduced. The FW-190D, or "Dora", featured a supercharged inline engine that reduced drag and greatly improved high-altitude performance. The FW-190D is widely thought to be one of the finest piston-engined fighters ever produced.
The Focke-Wulf company also produced a number of other aircraft before, during, and after World War II, including the FW-200 Condor long-range maritime bomber. Kurt Tank emmigrated to Paraguay.