Monday, December 22, 2014

Luftwaffe Motorcyclist with Fw 189 in the Backgorund

This photo, which looks prepared, is probably made for the german war propaganda. A Luftwaffe motorcyclist in front of Zündapp Ks 600 with sidecar reads a letter from home as a Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu ("Eagle Owl") roars into the skies. The aircraft is a German twin-engine, twin-boom, three-seat tactical reconnaissance and army cooperation aircraft. Compared to contemporary aircraft, the Fw 189 looked a little odd. Only after very successful flights tests and trials was the Fw 189 reluctantly ordered in small quantities to serve as a standard reconnaissance aircraft. Its existence was unknown to the Allies until 1941 even though several different prototypes had flown well before the war. Called the "Flying Eye" of the German army, the Fw 189 succeeded on the Eastern Front beyond the most optimistic predictions. Its superb handling and agility made it a very difficult and elusive target for enemy fighters. Its phenomenal toughness was demonstrated by Fw 189s returning to bases safely with one tail shot or torn off by Soviet ramming attacks. Attempts were made to build special attack variants with small strong nacelles, but they were unsatisfactory. Ten Fw 189B trainers were specially manufactured and had a conventional nacelle with side-by-side dual controls in a normal cockpit, and above the trailing edge there was an observer. The Fw 189A-3 also had dual-controls but the normal "glasshouse" housing the crew. Gradually only the French factories with assembly at Bordeaux–Mérignac (the Dassault Mirage plant today) were producing the Fw 189, and they stopped as the Allies closed in during 1944. Many different models and a number of developments with more powerful engines were built, but only the basic types of A-1, A-2 (more armament) and A-3 appeared in substantial numbers. The production total of all versions numbered 846


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