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  • Focke-Wulf Projekt Kamikaze Carrier Parasite Fighter Mothership Proposal

    The Focke-Wulf Kamikaze Carrier project would have carried one or several suicide aircraft under her wings - in essence serving as a mothership of sorts.

     Updated: 4/21/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    For a brief moment in World War 2 history (1939-1945), some elements of the German hierarchy entertained the prospect of kamikaze suicide strikes against strategic Allied targets. This thinking was further pressed home when Germany began to lose ground to Allied advances and its initiative in the air was reduced due to the relentless Allied day/night bombing campaigns. Couple desperation with the successes experienced by the Japanese in their use of suicide strikes against Allied naval targets, the idea of German suicide fighters was something to be seriously considered.

    During January of 1944, members of the German Academy of Aeronautical Sciences collectively explored the possibility of such a weapon and came away agreeing that it should push the German Air Ministry to support such attacks. It was deemed that a single German pilot, giving up his life in the action, was a highly effective measure is derailing the Allied advanced - some of the German leadership hoping to sue for a favorable surrender by this point in the war. If a single bridge, supply depot or fuel storage area could be destroyed at the cost of one aircraft and its pilot while preventing a handful of bombers from receiving proper supplies, then the German kamikaze concept was understood as a viable one. The idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good, however, was not a foundational one in West thinking as it was in places such as Japan where honor and allegiance to the Emperor was ranked above all else. It would take a pilot with certain mettle to give up his life in such a way.

    The German kamikaze approach was to center on a compact single-seat aircraft laden with explosives and fitted with the most basic of flying instruments and controls. At first, the Messerschmitt Me 328 seemingly fit the bill, a "parasite fighter" then under development. However, its production was seriously derailed when an air raid rendered its lines unusable for the foreseeable future. Then came the Fieseler Fi 103R "Reichenberg" which was essentially a manned version of the V-1 "Doodle Bug" rocket terrorizing citizens of Britain. While some 175 of this aircraft type were eventually completed by the end of the war, there was never much faith placed in the Fi 103 as a delivery platform - its intended Argus pulse jet engine limited its practical usefulness just as it had in the unmanned V-1 rockets before it. Additionally there proved limited interest in the project on the whole. By this time, the thought of losing expensive, valuable pilots in a suicide attack had turned to allowing the pilot a parachute to use as he vacated his aircraft prior to the moment of impact. Despite this less macabre approach, the chances were slim that the pilot would ever survive such a stunt considering the forces at play during the attack's descent.

    Then came another concept for review, this time pushed by engineers at Focke-Wulf where a slim, single-seat, explosives-laden airframe fitting a turbojet engine would be used. A 2.5-ton explosive content would fill the nose section and instrumentation would be sparse to reduce the production commitment. The Heinkel HeS 011 turbojet of 2,865 pounds thrust was selected for propulsion. The aircraft's fuselage would fit a stand-off probe at its nose with electrical crush fuses used to detonate the explosive hollow charge package causing enough damage to potential sink a warship and kill many.

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    Focke-Wulf Projekt Kamikaze Carrier Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1944
    Type: Parasite Fighter Mothership Proposal
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Focke-Wulf - Nazi Germany
    Production Total: 0

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 114.83 feet (35 meters)
    Width: 177.17 feet (54.00 meters)
    Height: 39.37 feet (12.00 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 113,097 lb (51,300 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 268,964 lb (122,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 6 x Daimler-Benz DB 603N 12-cylinder piston engines developing 1,900 horsepower each.

    Maximum Speed: 348 mph (560 kph; 302 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,069 miles (1,720 km)
    Service Ceiling: 27,887 feet (8,500 meters; 5.28 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,500 feet-per-minute (457 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    None. Payload of one or several "kamikaze" suicide aircraft. Local defense supplied by accompanying escort aircraft.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Nazi Germany

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    "Kamikaze Carrier" - Base Project Name.