Fw 200 Condor
|Manufacturer||Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH|
|Primary Role||Heavy Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||27 July 1937|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOriginally developed as a commercial transport for Deutsche Lufthansa, the Fw 200 Condor aircraft first took flight in Jul 1937. The all-metal aircraft immediately attracted world-wide attention after being the first aircraft to fly from Berlin to New York non-stop on 10 Aug 1938, which resulted in orders from airlines in Denmark, Brazil, Finland, and Japan. The first military application of the Fw 200 design was in 1938, when Japan ordered a Fw 200 airliner to be converted as a reconnaissance aircraft; this aircraft was intended for the Japanese Navy, but it was never delivered because it was commandeered by the German Luftwaffe as the European War began. In 1940, a design based on the Japanese order was completed that converted Fw 200 into a bomber. This military design added hard-points under the wings for external bombs, a strengthened fuselage for an internal bomb bay, and gun turrets; because of the added weight at less-than-deal locations, the military conversions suffered break-up risks during landings. In Jun 1940 these military Fw 200 bombers began their maritime patrols. Within the next three months they had sunk over 90,000 tons of Allied shipping. Additionally, they also reported sightings of Allied shipping to Kriegsmarine U-boats. Despite the successes, they were used mainly in situations where combat was not expected because of an order from Adolf Hitler that their numbers must be preserved. After such an order, they started seeing more transport than combat duties. During the Stalingrad siege, Hermann G├Âring insisted that his transport fleet, which included many Fw 200 bombers, could deliver enough supplies via air to the German forces trapped in the city, but the quantity delivered never met the level of supplies needed. By late 1943, they were used almost exclusively as transports, particularly as the Ju 290 aircraft took over the reconnaissance role while Allied control of the Atlantic made maritime raids impossible.
ww2dbaseBy the time production ended in 1944, a total of 276 were built.
ww2dbaseSources: Aircraft of the Second World War, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: May 2007
Fw 200 Condor Timeline
|11 Aug 1938┬á||A specially prepared Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor aircraft "Brandenburg" (D-ACON), flown by Deutsche Luft Hansa Captains Henke and von Moreau, landed at Floyd Bennett Field, New York, United States, having made the 3,958-mile nonstop journey from Berlin via Hamburg, Glasgow, Newfoundland and Halifax in a record-breaking flight time of 24 hours and 36 minutes.|
|Machinery||Four BMW-Bramo Fafnir 323R-2 9-cylinder radial engines rated at 1,200hp each|
|Armament||1x15mm MG, 1x20mm MG, 3x7.92mm MG, 1x13mm MG, 2,100kg of bombs, optionally carried 2 missiles|
|Weight, Empty||12,951 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||22,700 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||350 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||5,800 m|
|Range, Normal||3,550 km|
|Machinery||Four BMW/Bramo 323R radial engines rated at 1,200hp each|
|Armament||2x20mm MG 151 cannons, 6x7.92mm machine guns, 1x13mm MG 131 machine gun, up to 3,000kg of bombs as bomber or 30 fully-armed soldiers as troop transport|
|Wing Area||119.85 m┬▓|
|Weight, Empty||12,950 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||22,700 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||360 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||5,800 m|
|Range, Normal||3,556 km|
|Range, Maximum||4,440 km|
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