Focke-Wulf Ta 152

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a World War II German high-altitude fighter-interceptor. The Ta 152 was a development of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft, but the prefix was changed from "Fw" to "Ta" to recognize the contributions of Kurt Tank who headed the design team. The number 152 was chosen in the German air ministry's list of numbers allocated to German aircraft companies, and was not related to the designer's previous projects or achievements. It was intended to be made in at least three versions—the Ta 152H Höhenjäger ("high-altitude fighter"), the Ta 152C designed for slightly lower-altitude operations and ground-attack using a different engine and smaller wing, and the Ta 152E fighter-reconnaissance aircraft with the engine of the H model and the wing of the C model.

The first Ta 152H entered service with the Luftwaffe in January 1945. Due to the difficulties German interceptors were having when battling American B-17s, and in light of rumors of new B-29 bombers with better capabilities, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (German Air Ministry, or "RLM") requested proposals from both Focke-Wulf and Messerschmitt for a high-altitude interceptor. Messerschmitt answered with the Bf 109H, and Focke-Wulf with the Fw 190 Raffat-1, or Ra-1, (fighter), Ra-2 (high-altitude fighter) and Ra-3 (ground-attack aircraft), which developed into the Fw 190 V20 (Ta 152A), V30 (Ta 152H) and V21 (Ta 152B) prototypes, all based on the then successful Fw 190 D-9 but with varying degrees of improvement. The V20 used the same Jumo 213E engine as the Fw 190 D-9, while the V21 used the DB 603E. Neither of these offered any significant improvement over the Fw 190 D-9, and so further development of the Ta 152A and B was cancelled. The V21 airframe, however, was further modified as the V21/U1 and became the prototype for the Ta 152C.

To reach higher altitudes, a pressurized cockpit was added to the H models. The canopy was sealed via a circular tube filled with rubber foam which was inflated by a compressed air bottle, while the engine compartment was also sealed from the cockpit with a rubber foam ring. The Ta 152H boasted excellent high-altitude performance, using a Jumo 213E engine (a high-altitude version of the Jumo 213A/C used in the Fw 190D), a two-stage, three-speed supercharger and the MW 50 methanol-water mixture engine boost system. The total Ta 152 production is not well known but 43 are identified, (H-0 and H-1) with c.6 prototypes.

General characteristics
  • Crew: One
  • Length: 10.82 m (33 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.44 m (48 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 3,36 m (13 ft 1in)
  • Wing area: 23.5 m² (253 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 4,031 kg (8,640 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 4,625 kg (10,470 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 5,217 kg (11,501 lbs)
  • Powerplant: 1× Jumo 213E liquid-cooled inverted V-12, 1,287 kW (1,750 hp, 2,050 hp with MW-50)

  • Maximum speed: 759 km/h at 12,500 m using GM-1 boost
  • Range: 2,000 km (1,240 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 14,800 m using GM-1 boost
  • Rate of climb: 19.2 m/s using MW-50 (3,445 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 202 kg/m² (41.4 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.276 kW/kg (0.167 hp/lb)

  • 1 × 30 mm MK 108 cannon
  • 2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons

** Focke-Wulf Ta 152 - Warbird Fare

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