Focke-Wulf Fw 189A
Role:- Tactical Reconnaissance and Army Cooperation Aircraft, Light Bomber Manufacturer:- Focke-Wulf Designer:- Kurt Tank First flight:- July 1938 Introduction:- August 1941 Retired:- 1945 Primary users:- Luftwaffe, Hungarian Air Force, Slovak Air Force Produced:- 1940–44 Number built:- 864
The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu (translated to 'Owl') was uniquely designed for the German Luftwaffe in WWII, and carried out several roles. It was mainly used on the Eastern Front against Soviet forces, where it was used in a short-range tactical reconnaissance role with limited usage in a nightfighting capacity. In all, the 848 examples would produce several variants, each with specialized changes and modifications to suit required roles. The Fw 189 was of a twin-engine design, made up of a long-spanning wing element and twin booms. The Fw 189 system was crewed by three personnel (consisting of the pilot and two gunners) positioned in a cockpit sitting high above and between the engine booms featuring a nearly all-glazed greenhouse-type design. One gunner manned a twin barrel dorsal machine gun mounting and the other a twin-barrel machine gun mounting in a tail cone turret assembly. Additionally 441lbs could be carried on the wing hard points
The real dedicated role of the Fw 189 was as a reconnaissance aircraft and the systems were fielded en masse against the Soviets. Though range limited the system to just 416 miles, no fewer than 30 Fw 189's were converted to the nightfighter role to combat light Soviet fighter incursions occurring on a regular basis along the front. In all, the Fw 189 maintained a successful service record and played an important - albeit limited role - in the Eastern Front offensives.
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