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Focke Wulf Ta 152

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Two of many projects being pursued by Germany near the end of the war, the Ta 152 and Ta 153 were high-altitude versions of the Fw 190. Intended to intercept high-flying US Army Air Force bombers, they were used to safeguard bases where the newly developed jets would be stationed. The Luftwaffe rushed ahead with several versions of the Ta 152, the variants having short and long span wings and various sets of armament. However, all had the ability to take off quickly, climb at a phenomenal rate and intercept Allied bombers at their operating height.

This throughbred aircraft was difficult to master, but in the right hands it was a fantastic performer. However, the Ta 152 was not used for the role foe which it had been intended. Pilots themselves fighting at medium and even low altitude, where other fighters including the traditional Fw 190, would have performed better. They were rarely given a chance to fight at altitude, where the Ta 152 was superior.

Like so many of the Luftwaffe's advanced projects, the Ta 152 entered service too late and in too few numbers to alter the course of the war.

Brilliant German designer Kurt Tank was credited with dramatic improvements to his Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, producing the Ta 152 high-altitude interceptor. Tank's Ta 152 and the related Ta 153 were similar to 'long-nosed' versions of the Fw 190 but were meant to have even greater peformance. It was not an easy task for a new aircraft to measure up to a predecessor that was immortal in aviation, but the Ta 152/153 were exceptional designs.


Focke Wulf Ta 152

Focke Wulf Ta 152 single seat high-altitude fighter Mixed ancestry of the Focke Wulf Ta 152 Focke Wulf Ta 152 during the post-war US testing
A Ta 152H-0 is prepared for delivery. Calibration of the aircraft's compass is performed on this compass swinging platform. Flying as a Ta 152H-03 in August 1944, this aircraft was rebuilt from the Fw 190 V30/U1 and was powered by a Jumo 213A-1; engine accessories were taken from an Fw 190D-9. The third production Ta 152H-0 was taken by the British after the war and passed on to the Americans. British markings have been replaced with inaccurate Luftwaffe equivalents.

Focke Wulf Ta 152 (Technical Specification)
Role Single seat high-altitude fighter
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
Maximum Speed 760 kmh (471 mph)
Maximum Range 1,200 km (745 miles)
Ceiling 14,800 meters (48,550 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

3,920 kg (8,624 lbs)
4,750 kg (10,450 lbs)
Wing Area

14.50 meters (48 ft 6 in)
10.80 meters (35 ft 5 in)
4.00 meters (13 ft 2 in)
23.50 square meters (253 sq ft)
Engines One junkers Jumo 213E 12-cylinder inverted-Vee piston engine which provides 1,305-kW (1,750-hp)
Armament One 30 mm (1.18 in) Mk 108 cannon with 90 rounds firing through the spinner
Two wing mounted 20 mm (0.79 in) MG 151/20 cannon with 175 rounds per gun

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