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Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor Bomber Plane

The Fw 200 Condor was a German all-metal four-engine aircraft initially designed for Lufthansa as an airliner which first flew in July 1937, following the outbreak of WW2 it was initially used by the Luftwaffe as a military transport and later utilised as a long-range anti-shipping bomber and maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It is believed that 276 aircraft were built but wartime construction records are unconfirmed although it is known that the last aircraft produced was finished in 1944 and the vast majority of Condors produced were the Focke-Wulf Fw 200C variant.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor Bomber Plane

 

It is interesting to note that the Condor pictured above, "Dania", was a Danish Airline's Focke-Wulf Fw 200A that was seized by the British Government after Denmark was invaded by German forces in 1940, it was then operated by BOAC as an airliner until re-allocated to the RAF and was damaged beyond repair in mid 1941. Winston Churchill called the Condor the "Scourge of the Atlantic" referring to the Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condor's use in guiding U-boats to Allied Atlantic convoys, a potentially war loosing situation which lasted for two years until the introduction of the catapult launched Sea Hurricane and CAM ships.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 variants:

Focke-Wulf Fw 200A - Pre-production transatlantic commercial transport designed primordially for Lufthansa powered by four 720 hp BMW 132 engines (licence-built Pratt & Whitney Hornet nine cylinder radials), aircraft were sold to several airlines notably the Danish airline DDL and the Brazilian airline SCL several were also ordered for German governmental use, one being named Immelmann III and reserved for Adolf Hitler as the Fuhrer's personal transport.

 

Focke-Wulf Fw 200B - First production commercial transport variant with engine output raised to 830 or 850 hp, they were supplied in small numbers to airlines in Japan, Finland, Brazil and Lufthansa in Germany, a single aircraft was modified as a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the Japanese Navy. Production of the Fw 200B Condor was stopped by the start of WW2 when the German government stopped the export of all aircraft.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C - With the outbreak of WW2 and the Luftwaffe's need for an aircraft with the range and endurance to locate British shipping in mid Atlantic and a long range transport resulted in a new variant of the Condor being designed by Focke-Wulf, it had a selectively straightened fuselage with a higher load bearing undercarriage using two wheels per main undercarriage strut instead of one, it was also given defensive armament in the form of machine guns, racks were also fitted to allow bombs to be carried.

 
 
Later production Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condors for maritime use were fitted with radar and 1000 hp BMW/Bramo 323R radial engines which could be boosted on take-off to 1200 hp using water-methanol injection, this allowed an increased take-off weight allowing greater fuel or bomb load, priority was normally given to fuel load rather than bomb load relying on the U-boat wolf-packs to make the attack on the Atlantic convoys once a Condor had located them
 
 

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3/U4 Condor Specifications:

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 23.5 m (77 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 32.8 m (107 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 118 m (1,270 ft)
  • Empty weight: 12,950 kg (28,550 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 22,700 kg (50,050 lb)
  • Engines: Four 882 kW (1,200 hp) BMW/Bramo 323R radial engines with water-methanol injection
  • Maximum speed: 360 km/h (224 mph)
  • Range: 3,556 km (2,210 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,800 m (19,030 ft)

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3/U4 Condor Armament:

  • Twin 20 mm MG 151 cannon
  • Six 7.92 mm MG15 machine guns
  • Single 13 mm MG 131 machine gun
  • Two 1,102 lb bombs
  • Two 551 lb bombs
  • Twelve 110 lb bombs

(Some Fw 200c's also had carriers for Hs 293 anti-shipping missiles fitted in their outer engine nacelles)

 

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