The FW 190D was the final mass-produced version of the Focke-Wulf company, which saw many different variants in armament and engines used.
Although the inline-engine-equipped version of the Fw 190 is often considered a late-war design, its history actually dates back years earlier and follows a natural direction in the machine’s development. Already in 1941 it was evident that German fighters would have to face Allied bombers equipped with turbo-charged engines capable of maintaining high power at altitudes above 6000 meters. Aircraft designer Kurk Tank realized that the Allies were rapidly gaining the technical advantage and began seeking a contract with the Air Ministry to develop versions that would maintain their combat characteristics at higher altitudes.
Initial tests with a radial engine (Fw 190B) were not promising and attention quickly turned to in-line engines (Fw 190C with DB603 engine) which also failed and remained at the prototype stage. In the end, advances in the development of the Junkers Jumo 213 engine gave hope for a fighter that could finally match the most advanced enemy designs.
The first prototype with the new engine was built in September 1942.Flight tests showed that the new engine shifted the center of gravity too far forward, causing the aircraft to be unstable in flight. To compensate for the displacement of the center of gravity, the tail was lengthened by inserting a new section in the fuselage just forward of the tailplane. Further testing of prototypes in the new configuration took two more years and the fighter equipped with the mass-produced Jumo 213A engine with a two-stage, two-speed mechanical supercharger was put into series production in August 1944 as the D-9 version. Thus the legend was born.
It is estimated that between 1500 and 1700 version D machines were produced in all factories and production branches. Of these, about 900 were delivered to the Luftwaffe, but due to the chaotic situation in the last months of the war, even fewer made it to the battlefield.
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