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Focke-Wulf Fw 200 (Condor)

Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Bomber

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 (Condor)

Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Bomber

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Fw 200 was the lesser-known of the German World War 2 bombers, relegated to maritime anti-shipping duty and VIP transport.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Nazi Germany
YEAR: 1938
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Focke-Wulf - Germany
PRODUCTION: 275
OPERATORS: Brazil; Denmark; Nazi Germany; United Kingdom; Soviet Union; Spain
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 (Condor) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 7
LENGTH: 78.25 feet (23.85 meters)
WIDTH: 107.74 feet (32.84 meters)
HEIGHT: 20.67 feet (6.3 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 37,479 pounds (17,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 50,045 pounds (22,700 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x BMW Bramo 323 R-2 Fafnir air-cooled radial engines developing 1,200 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 224 miles-per-hour (360 kilometers-per-hour; 194 knots)
RANGE: 2,212 miles (3,560 kilometers; 1,922 nautical miles)
CEILING: 19,685 feet (6,000 meters; 3.73 miles)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in forward dorsal turret
1 x 7.92mm machine gun in aft ventral position
1 x 13mm gun in rear dorsal position
2 x 13mm guns in beam position
1 x 20mm cannon in forward position of ventral gondola

C-6 / C-8 Models:
2 x Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship guided missiles

OPTIONAL:
Maximum bombload of 4,630 lb (2,100 kg)
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Fw 200 V1 - Initial Prototype Model Designation
• Fw 200 V10 - Militarized Prototype designation of Fw 200.
• Fw 200 A-0 - Pre-Production Models consisting of fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eigth and ninth prototype examples.
• Fw 200 B-1 - Transportation Model; fitted with 4 x BMW 132Dc series engines.
• Fw 200 B-2 - Transportation Model; fitted with 4 x BMW 132H series engines.
• Fw 200 C-0 - Pre-Production Maritime Reconnaissance Models of which 10 were produced (6 maritime reconnaissance and 4 transport versions).
• Fw 200 C-1 - Production Reconnaissance Bomber Model featuring accommodation for five-person crew; Powered by 4 x BMW 132H 830hp (ea) engines; 1 x 20mm cannon in nose assembly with 3 x 7.92mm machine guns elsewhere.
• Fw 200 C-2 - Aerodynamically Refined Variant.
• Fw 200 C-3 - Featuring Bramo 323R-2 radial piston engines generating 1,000hp each; Improved airframe structure; Improved offensive and defensive armaments; Four sub-variants.
• Fw 200 C-3/U1 - Fitted with 1 x 15mm MG 151 machine gun in dorsal turret; 1 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in place of 1 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun.
• Fw 200 C-3/U2 - Fitted with 1 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun; Lotfe 7D bombsight.
• Fw 200 C-4 - Radar implemented sub-variant of C-3 model; 11 and 14-seat passenger derivatives of this model were produced.
• Fw 200C-6 - Provisions for Henschel HS 293 anti-ship missiles; Fitted with FuG 203b missile control radar system; Based on C-3 model.
• Fw 200C-8 - Provisions for Henschel HS 293 missiles; Fitted with FuG 203b missile control radar system; Improved radar system.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 (Condor) Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Bomber.  Entry last updated on 10/23/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The German Fw 200 Condor was initially a trans-Atlantic passenger and cargo (mail) aircraft developed by Focke-Wulf and legendary designer Kurt Tank in 1936. Early prototypes were fitted with the Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial piston engines generating 750hp each. Subsequent wartime powerplants reverted to native BMW-series radials including the BMW 132G-1 and the BMW 132H. The trans-Atlantic passenger models were equipped to carry 26 flyers in two separate cabins. Fw 200A passenger models were delivered to the airliner Lufthansa along with air carriers in Brazil and Denmark for evaluation for commercial purposes.

With the advent of war, the Fw 200 Condor series was utilized as a successful maritime reconnaissance bomber and VIP transport (Hitler and Himmler were both reported users of the Fw 200 for this purpose). Excelling in disruption of Allied shipping lanes throughout the Atlantic and the Arctic, the Fw 200 Condor was fitted with anti-shipping armaments including anti-ship mines. Later variants, the Fw 200C-6 and 200C-8 would be fitted with the Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship guided missile controlled by an integrated missile control radio onboard.

Early models featured accommodations for five crewmen whilst later ones saw that increased to seven. Armament was standard for the most part (with exceptions made on later models) and featured a variety of 7.92mm machine guns and 13mm guns along with a 20mm cannon. Internal bomb load capacity was roughly 4,600lbs. An engineering defect in the aft fuselage tail section (the structural shortcomings contributed to many accidents) kept the Condor from reaching the legendary status like that of the Battle of Britain veterans - the Dornier Do 17 and the Heinkel He 111 (both detailed elsewhere on this site). Thusly the system was relegated it to the supplementary roles mentioned above.




In the end, production totals are reported to have been between 250 and 275 total aircraft. The addition of the Hs 293 missile system was a step towards the more advanced guided variants we see in today's bombers. Nevertheless, and despite its shortcomings, the Fw 200 Condor found its niche in the Second World War as a successful maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the Third Reich. Incidentaly, a C-series protoype was ordered by Japan but never delivered.

ADDENDUM:
A recent email alerted us to a little known fact that Britain acquired a sole Fw 200 Condor and nearly used it in action. The email - which we'll keep anonymous - reads as follows:

Gentlemen,

In passing, the UK immediately prior to WW2, had acquired a single FW 200 by 'back door' methods (dont ask!). One operation was planned using it, to land Commandos at Merignac airfield in occupied France, and destroy those identical German [aircraft] on the ground. The planning group did their planning work 'down the tunnel' at Maidstone in Kent. The plan involved a German Condor outbound from Norway being shot down by a flight of Spitfires specially based in the extreme north of the Shetland Islands, at an airstrip called Baltasound.

The plan was aborted when near to 'go ahead', as the recovery of the Commandos at the end of the [operation] was seen as far too problematical.

Authority: My Father, an R.A.F. S/Ldr., who was on the planning team.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (224mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  PAR
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  BER
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  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 (Condor)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
275
275

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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