Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG was a German manufacturer of civil and military aircraft during World War II. Many of the company's successful fighter aircraft designs were slight modifications of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
The company was founded in Bremen
on 23 October 1923
as Bremer Flugzeugbau AG
by Prof. Henrich Focke
, Georg Wulf
and Dr. rer. pol. Werner Naumann
Almost immediately, they renamed the company Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG
(later Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH
). Initially it produced several commercial aircraft, typically with thick wings mounted high over bulky fuselages.
In 1931, under government pressure, Focke-Wulf merged with Albatros-Flugzeugwerke of Berlin. Albatros-Flugzeugwerke engineer and test pilot Kurt Tank became head of the technical department and started work on the Fw 44 Stieglitz (Goldfinch).
In 1936, Hanna Reitsch demonstrated the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first fully controllable helicopter (as opposed to autogyro), in Berlin. On August 10, 1938, the Fw 200 was the first airplane to fly nonstop between Berlin and New York City, making the journey in 24 hours and 56 minutes. The return trip on August 13 1938 took 19 hours and 47 minutes. These flights are commemorated with a plaque in the Böttcherstraße street of Bremen.
The Fw 190 Würger (butcher-bird), designed from 1938 on, and produced in quantity from early 1941 to 1945, was a mainstay single-seat fighter for the Luftwaffe during World War II.
Repeated bombing of Bremen in World War II resulted in the mass production plants being moved to eastern Germany and Poland, using many foreign and forced labourers, and from 1944 also prisoners of war. Only office personnel remained in Bremen. In the 1960s, ITT Corporation won $27 million in compensation in the 1960s for damage inflicted on its share of the Focke-Wulf plant by WWII Allied bombing.
From 1947-1955, many Focke-Wulf workers, including Kurt Tank, worked at the Instituto Aerotécnico in Córdoba, Argentina. In 1951, Focke-Wulf began to make gliders, and in 1955, motorised planes.
In 1961, Focke-Wulf, Weserflug and Hamburger Flugzeugbau joined forces in the Entwicklungsring Nord (ERNO) to develop rockets. Focke-Wulf formally merged with Weserflug in 1964, becoming Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW).
List of Focke-Wulf aircraft
- Focke-Wulf A 16
- Focke Wulf S 1
- Focke Wulf W 4
- Focke Wulf S 24 a
- Focke-Wulf Fw A 21
- Focke Wulf L 101 D Albatros
- Focke Wulf S 39
- Focke Wulf Fw 40
- Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz (Goldfinch), trainer (biplane)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Stösser (Falcon Hawk), trainer (parasol monoplane)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 57, twin-engined heavy fighter + bomber (prototype)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe (Kite), transport + trainer
- Focke-Wulf Fw 61, helicopter (prototype)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 62, ship-borne reconnaissance (biplane seaplane)
- Focke-Wulf Ta 152, interceptor/fighter (derived from Fw 190)
- Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito (Mosquito), night-fighter
- Focke-Wulf Fw 159, fighter (prototype only)
- Focke-Wulf Ta 183, jet-engined fighter (prototype)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 186, autogiro reconnaissance aircraft (prototype)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 187 Falke (Falcon), twin-engined heavy fighter ("Zerstörer")
- Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu (Owl), twin-engined army cooperation/tactical reconnaissance
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (shrike/butcher-bird), fighter/interceptor
- Focke-Wulf Fw 191, twin-engined bomber (prototype)
- Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor, multi-engined passenger airplane + maritime patrol-bomber
References and Notes