Ta 154 file photo [9568]

Ta 154 Moskito

ManufacturerFocke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH
Primary RoleNight Fighter
Maiden Flight1 July 1943


ww2dbaseThe Ta 154 Moskito night fighters were designed by Kurt Tank of Focke-Wulf, whose project started out to be a light bomber capable of conducting fast attacks against ground targets. The project team gave the design the nickname of Moskito, similar to a British design that was meant to serve in similar roles as the Ta 154 design. In Aug 1942, the German Air Ministry was in search for a dedicated design for a night fighter. Heinkel's He 219 design competed with the Ta 154 design for the requirement. Initially, He 219 was the favored design in part due to Ta 154's use of wood, but as the British Mosquito bombers, also made of primarily wood, conducted more and more successful raids on German cities, Ta 154 was chosen. Political forces continued to lobby for the He 219 design, and Air Ministry official Erhard Milch had to use his political power to terminate the He 219 program. The prototype aircraft V1 with Jumo 211F engines took flight on 1 Jul 1943, and V2 with Jumo 211N was kept in the factory for handling trials; in a fly-off testing, the V1 prototype aircraft out-performed the rival He 219 aircraft as well as Ju 388 by reaching the top speed of nearly 700 kilometers per hour. Shortly after, V3 was produced with Jumo 211R engines, and was the first Ta 154 aircraft to be fully armed. 15 further prototypes were ordered, which were built under the designation of A-0; they were modified with raised canopy structures for better visibility, but otherwise identical to the V-3 prototype. The design then entered a long period of testing; the problem of weak landing gears was found, but the main reason for the delay was due to the delay in the production Jumo 213A engines, which were chosen as the powerplant of Ta 154. By Jun 1944, enough Ta 154 aircraft were finally being rolled out of the production lines, designated as A-1. In mid-1944, the British Royal Air Force attacked and heavily damaged the only factory manufacturing the plywood glue used in the Ta 154 design; a substitute material was found, but the substitute was later found to be a bad one, actually damaging the wood and had caused several crashes. Production was halted in Aug 1944 and was officially ended in Sep 1944. Only 50 production aircraft were built.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2010


MachineryTwo Junkers Jumo 213 inverted V-12 liquid-cooled engine rated at 1,700hp each
Armament2x20mm MG 151 cannons, 2x30mm nose MK 108 cannons, 2x30mm fuselage MK 108 cannons
Span16.30 m
Length12.55 m
Height3.60 m
Wing Area31.40 m²
Weight, Empty6,600 kg
Weight, Maximum9,950 kg
Speed, Maximum615 km/h
Rate of Climb15.00 m/s
Service Ceiling9,500 m
Range, Normal1,400 km


Prototype V1 of Ta 154 Moskito night fighter, circa mid- to late-1943, photo 1 of 2Prototype V1 of Ta 154 Moskito night fighter, circa mid- to late-1943, photo 2 of 2Prototype V3 of Ta 154 Moskito night fighter, circa late-1943Ta 154 A-0 Moskito night fighter, circa 1944
See all 6 photographs of Ta 154 Moskito Night Fighter

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
4 Mar 2010 05:34:15 AM

The first two production TA 154A-1s were both involved in crashes during testing. The second in a catastophic disintegration during high speed runs. It was later ascertained that the glue bonding holding the wood contained too much acid which weakened the joints.

Incidentally, the maiden flight was on the 7th July 1943 at Hanover-Langenhagen

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Ta 154 Moskito Night Fighter Photo Gallery
Prototype V1 of Ta 154 Moskito night fighter, circa mid- to late-1943, photo 1 of 2
See all 6 photographs of Ta 154 Moskito Night Fighter

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