Focke-Wulf Fw 186

Focke-Wulf Fw 186

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Focke-Wulf Fw 186

The Focke-Wulf Fw 186 was a gyroplane that was developed in 1937-38 to compete with the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, but that never entered production.

In 1935 the RLM issued a specification for an army co-operation, casualty evacuation and liaison aircraft. The resulting design contest was won by the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. Focke-Wulf weren't officially asked to produce a design, but they came up with the Fw 186.

The Fw 186 was based on the Cierva family of gyroplanes. These used a helicopter rotor to provide lift and a normal propeller for forward motion. The first successful gyroplane was flown in 1923 and soon developed into the Cierva C 19. This attracted the interest of Professor Heinrich Focke. Focke-Wulf acquired a licence to construct Cierva gyroplanes. The Focke-Wulf C-19 was powered by a Sh 14b engine. It was followed by the improved Focke-Wulf C-30, based on the Cierva C-30.

The Fw 186 was designed in 1937-38. It resembled the C-30, but with a number of modifications. The main undercarriage was similar, as was the fuselage, which resembled that of a standard light aircraft. On the C-30 the rotor was carried on a pyramid of struts. On the Fw 186 it was carried on a single pylon. The somewhat complex tail of the C-30 was replaced with a more straightforward tail. As with most gyroplanes the vertical surfaces were long and low, to avoid clashes with the rotor blades. The horizontal surfaces were conventional.

Although the Fw 186 was a technical success, it wasn't adopted for production. The Fieseler Fi 156 went on to be one of the most remarkable aircraft of the Second World War while Professor Focke moved into helicopter design, starting with the Fw 61, the world's first truly practical helicopter.

Fw Volksjäger 1

The initial Volksjäger competition in the second half of 1944 required the use of the BMW 003 powerplant. The Focke-Wulf Volksjäger 1, the first model of the Focke-Wulf project, was an innovative-looking single-jet aircraft. It was designed to be powered by one BMW 003 A1 turbojet as an actual contract competitor to the He 162A Spatz, the winner of the Volksjäger design competition and the selected Volksjäger aircraft to be mass-produced. [2]

The air intake of the turbojet engine was placed in the front and the engine itself in the lower fuselage. Two possible shoulder wing configurations were designed for the Fw Volksjäger 1, straight and swept back. The wings of the swept back version spanned 7.5 m (26 ft 7 in) and had an area of 13.5 m² (161 ft²). The tail was supported by a projecting boom over the exhaust of the engine. This fighter aircraft was planned to be armed with two MK 108 cannons placed in a frontal position on both sides of the air intakes. [1]

In some post-war English language publications the Fw Volksjäger 1 project is referred to by the bogus name "Volksflugzeug", [3] a name that is not found in any German-language source referring to this aircraft, but referring instead to a very different Nazi aviation project. [4]

Fw Volksjäger 2

Designed for the early 1945 RLM requirements the Focke-Wulf Volksjäger 2 was a small rocket-powered interceptor. It had a wingspan of 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in) and a length of 5.3 m (17 ft 5 in). Power was to be provided by a Walter HWK 109-509 A-2 rocket engine that would enable it to reach speeds nearing 1000 km/h. Armament was to be two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannons located under the fuselage. [5]

In order to save strategic materials the wings of the Fw Volksjäger 2 were built of wood and covered with a thin metal layer. The wings, swept back and mounted in mid-fuselage, as well as the T-tail were similar to those of the Focke-Wulf Ta 183. The aircraft had no wheels, only a landing skid. It was designed to take off on a detachable dolly. Once airborne it would speed almost vertically towards the bomber combat box where it would fire its cannons. [6]

Although the Fw Volksjäger 2 was planned to reach an altitude of 5,900 m in one minute, its effectiveness as an interceptor was curtailed by the fact that it would have only about 15 minutes of combat action time. [7] Test flights for this aircraft were scheduled to be carried out between May and June 1945. Three units of the Fw Volksjäger 2 were under construction at the time of the Surrender of Nazi Germany. [8]

What if German Commerce Merchant Raiders had carried a different type of aircraft .

How about this, if we're looking at rotor craft

Although they can take off in more circumstances but can they carry a useful weapons load

Deleted member 94680

How about this, if we're looking at rotor craft

Although they can take off in more circumstances but can they carry a useful weapons load

It’s an autogyro rather than a true helicopter so it needs a runway to take off. Ship-wise that means catapults and catapults aren’t good for raiders.

Asimilar Japanese version, the Kayaba Ka-1 needed 30 metres to get airborne.


By the time the FL-282 is in service, it’s too late for effective raiders isn’t it?

You’d need to go with the Fl 265 instead. Even then, production would have to be seriously ramped up

Deleted member 94680

A tethered aircraft is even worse for a raider, IMHO. If you spot the tethered craft, you know the raider is nearby and planning aggressive action. It also can’t help in a pursuit action, as if the raider is steaming flat-out, the tethered craft won’t be able to be aloft.


you are restating the obvious, that any aircraft spotted are going to be a warning, included that in my first post. just resort to fast attack craft, that was favored by some of the raider captains?

was trying to make the point as to what was actually available in the time period and also what could be retrieved fastest.

if a raider was looking for other commercial ships aren't their line of sight going to be somewhat similar? when a tethered craft launched the raider has an advantage? and the craft hidden as they approach?


If a Merchantman sees an aircraft they know a ship is nearby if too far from coast for it to be land based

They won't immediately think Raider necessarily as balance of probabilities is Royal Navy cruiser float plane rather than raider aircraft

I found a Float Autogyro and also an investigation of a flying boat autogyro .

I feel that you d be better off sticking with original float plane though

Deleted member 94680

If a Merchantman sees an aircraft they know a ship is nearby if too far from coast for it to be land based

They won't immediately think Raider necessarily as balance of probabilities is Royal Navy cruiser float plane rather than raider aircraft

I found a Float Autogyro and also an investigation of a flying boat autogyro .

I feel that you d be better off sticking with original float plane though

Focke-Wulf Fw 186 - History

In the early morning of 5 July 1943, the opening day of the offensive, the Fw 190s won air superiority over the northern sector. Soviet aviation was held in reserve and its units fed in piecemeal, whereas 1 Fliegerdivision had made an all out effort. The Soviet 16th Air Army (16VA) was permitted to engage only one-third of its fighter force. The German numerical superiority managed to deliver a severe defeat on Soviet aviation on this date. The Fw 190s had the upper hand and shot down scores of Soviet fighter aircraft allowing the German strike aircraft to attack Red Army positions at will. Within a space of a few hours, 50 Soviet aircraft had been shot down. For just 29 casualties, 18 of them destroyed and seven Fw 190s shot down in combat, 1st Fliegerdivision filed claims for 165 victories. The division had over claimed, but Soviet losses were around 100. The Fw 190's performance as a low level air superiority fighter was evident and it reflected the German superiority in the air on that date.

On 6 July the Fw 190 again proved its worth at low altitude. Soviet fighters providing close escort for slow bombers enabled the Fw 190s of JG 51 and JG 54 to attack Soviet formations at will. Fw 190s claimed a ratio in favour of 60:1 on this date losing two fighters shot down and two damaged while claiming 121 enemy aircraft destroyed. The situation called for a change in Soviet air tactics. Soviet fighters on airfields were placed on alert should larger German formations appear and fighters were now permitted to conduct fighter sweeps in small formations of four to six aircraft. These changes had limited influence of the air battle and not the significant results claimed by Soviet histories. Soviet aviation would still sustain heavy losses. JG 51 and 54 had inflicted heavy damage, the three regiments of 1 DIAD (1st Guards Fighter Division) could field only 26 fighters between them. The 6th IAK (Air Corps) could muster just 48 fighters.

Two main reasons resulted in these loss rates Soviet pilots were still limited to close escort duty and were not allowed to pursue aircraft into airspace guarded by other Soviet units which restricted their freedom, and when the experience of the German pilots is added, the result was damaging. On 7 July, the 16th Air Army lost 30 aircraft for three Fw 190s destroyed and three crash-landed in German-held territory. On 8 July, the Fw 190 units claimed 74 of the 81 Soviet aircraft claimed destroyed on that date. Actual Soviet losses were 43.

With the German armies now exhausted, the Fw 190 units were asked to perform Jabo, or fighter-bomber missions. JG 54 flew missions in this capacity. Now performing dual purposes, the Fw 190 achieved significant recognition as a rugged aircraft. On 12 July 1943, the 16VA was almost driven from the skies by Fw 190 Geschwader. The air battle had been decisively won by the 1st Fliegerdivision, thanks largely to the Fw 190. However, the ground battle was lost. On 13 July the Soviets launched Operation Kutuzov. The offensive threatened to cut off the entire German Ninth and Second Panzer Army. Luftwaffe resistance was vital to slowing down Soviet advances. On several days, the Luftwaffe achieved numerical superiority. The 15th Air Army could not prevent the Fw 190 units gaining air superiority which allowed Ju 87 units to help the Army to restrict the Red Army's break through to the first German defence line on the first day. But the overall situation could not be sustained, as the Soviet ground forces had made several advances further north. Between 1 and 31 July 1943 JG 51 claimed 800 victories against 77 Fw 190s (50 destroyed). JG 54 claimed 450 for the same period for 34 Fw 190s (24 destroyed). Even though it is probable that between 25 and 33 percent of these claims were exaggerations, the statistics confirm the qualitative superiority of tactical air units in combat. More accurate data suggests JG 51s losses were 55 Fw 190s destroyed and 31 damaged. The introduction of the Fw 190 to the front had proven wise. The armament of the Fw 190 was something that was needed by German fighter units. The IL-2 Shturmoviks were becoming available in increasing numbers, and the Fw 190 was an ideal counter to the Soviet aircraft.


The company was founded in Bremen on 24 October 1923 as Bremer Flugzeugbau AG by Prof. Henrich Focke, [2] Georg Wulf [3] and Dr. rer. pol. Werner Naumann. [4] Almost immediately, they renamed the company Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG (later Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH). [5]

Focke-Wulf merged, under government pressure, with Albatros-Flugzeugwerke of Berlin in 1931. Albatros-Flugzeugwerke engineer and test pilot Kurt Tank became head of the technical department and started work on the Fw 44 Stieglitz (Goldfinch).

Dr Ludwig Roselius became Chairman in 1925 and handed over to his brother Friedrich in early 1933. In 1938 Roselius' HAG combine increased its shareholding to 46% and C. Lorenz AG secured 28%. The company was reconstituted as Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH and no longer had to publish its accounts. A substantial capital injection occurred at this time. [6]

In August 1933 Hans Holle and Rudolf Schubert were given power of attorney over the Berlin branch of Focke-Wulf. Then in October 1933, Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau A.G. Albatros Berlin was officially registered with the Department of Trade. [7]

Dr Roselius always remained the driving force of Focke-Wulf. He and his closest collaborator, Barbara Goette, often met with technical director Professor Kurt Tank. When Roselius died in May 1943, Heinrich Puvogel continued handling the financial affairs of Focke-Wulf as chief of Seehandel A.G. [8]

Hanna Reitsch demonstrated the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first fully controllable helicopter (as opposed to autogyro), in Berlin in 1938. [9] The four-engined Fw 200 airliner flew nonstop between Berlin and New York City on August 10, 1938, making the journey in 24 hours and 56 minutes. It was the first aircraft to fly that route without stopping. The return trip on August 13, 1938 took 19 hours and 47 minutes. These flights are commemorated with a plaque in the Böttcherstraße street of Bremen.

The Fw 190 Würger (Shrike/butcher-bird), designed from 1938 on, and produced in quantity from early 1941–1945, was a mainstay single-seat fighter for the Luftwaffe during World War II.

Repeated bombing of Bremen in World War II resulted in the mass-production plants being moved to eastern Germany and Poland, with AGO Flugzeugwerke of Oschersleben as a major subcontractor for the Fw 190. Those plants used many foreign and forced labourers, and from 1944 also prisoners of war. Focke-Wulf's 100-acre (0.40 km 2 ) plant at Marienburg produced approximately half of all Fw 190s and was bombed by the Eighth Air Force on October 9, 1943. [10]

Many Focke-Wulf workers, including Kurt Tank, worked at the Instituto Aerotécnico in Córdoba, Argentina between 1947 and 1955. Focke-Wulf began to make gliders in 1951, and in 1955, motorised planes. Focke-Wulf, Weserflug and Hamburger Flugzeugbau joined forces in 1961 to form the Entwicklungsring Nord (ERNO) to develop rockets.


According to a request from the Reich Aviation Ministry for an advanced training aircraft, the machine was designed by Rudolf Blaser under the direction of Kurt Tank as a competitor to the Arado Ar 76 and the Heinkel He 74 and implemented by Ludwig Mittelhuber. A possible usability as a "home defense fighter" was taken into account during the construction. The Fw 56a flew for the first time in November 1933, the second machine went into flight tests after making some changes to the landing gear and replacing the wooden wing with one made of metal. The third prototype flew again with a wooden wing in February 1934 and finally satisfied the designers. In the comparison flight, which took place in 1935, the Fw 56 was able to prevail against its two competitors, whereupon the Air Force ordered series production.

From May 1935 to December 1936 445 aircraft were manufactured for the Luftwaffe. A total of 45 machines were exported (6 to Bulgaria, 9 to Austria , 28 to Hungary and 2 to Bolivia). The Fw 56 was also purchased by individuals, such as by Gerd Achgelis , who later with Henrich Focke the gyrocopter Fw 61 created.

Ernst Udet , who was a fan of the use of dive bombers, personally tested the dropping of smoke bombs with the second prototype Fw 56 V2 and, on his recommendation, greater attention was paid to the development of Stukas .



The first aircraft manufactured after the company was founded was the Focke-Wulf A 16 , a small commercial aircraft. Another was the duck- style F 19 , during which Georg Wulf was killed on September 29, 1927.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 "Condor" was designed as a commercial aircraft for flights between Berlin and New York (without a stopover). During the war it was also used as a bomber and long-range reconnaissance aircraft. The "Condor" had a far greater range than any other mass-produced German bomber. "In honor of the Condor pilots, Ludwig Roselius (entrepreneur) had a memorial plaque installed in Böttcherstrasse (Bremen ) after the successful flight to the USA , which was to commemorate the pioneering work of the Focke-Wulf works."

The Fw 190 was built under Kurt Tank's direction. It is considered to be one of the best fighters of the Second World War. The Fw 190, also known as the " Würger ", was superior to the British fighter planes Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VB and Hawker Hurricane in terms of performance and armament when it was launched . The supply of the first series machines to the front units began in mid-1941.

  • 1924 - Focke-Wulf A 16
  • 1925 - Focke-Wulf S 1 (trainer aircraft)
  • 1926 - Focke-Wulf GL 18 (experimental and commercial aircraft)
  • 1927 - Focke-Wulf A 17 (airliner)
  • 1927 - Focke-Wulf GL 22 (training aircraft)
  • 1927 - Focke-Wulf A 20 "Habicht"
  • 1927 - Focke-Wulf W 4 (sea reconnaissance aircraft)
  • 1928 - Focke-Wulf S 24a (trainer aircraft)
  • 1929 - Focke-Wulf A 21
  • 1929 - Focke-Wulf A 28 "Habicht"
  • 1930 - Focke-Wulf A 32 "Bussard"
  • 1930 - Focke-Wulf A 33 "Sperber"
  • 1931 - Focke-Wulf A 36 (postal plane)
  • 1930 - Focke-Wulf L 101 "Albatros" (training aircraft)
  • 1931 - Focke-Wulf S 39 (reconnaissance aircraft)
  • 1932 - Focke-Wulf A 40 (reconnaissance aircraft)
  • 1932 - Focke-Wulf A 43 "Falke" (prototype of a passenger plane)
  • 1932 - Focke-Wulf Fw 44 "Stieglitz" (training biplane)
  • 1932 - Focke-Wulf Fw 47 (weather plane)
  • 1933 - Focke-Wulf Fw 55 L (trainer aircraft)
  • 1933 - Focke-Wulf Fw 56 "Stößer" (training aircraft)
  • 1935 - Focke-Wulf Fw 159 (prototype fighter plane)
  • 1935 - Focke-Wulf Fw 58 "Weihe" (transport and training aircraft)
  • 1936 - Focke-Wulf Fw 57 (destroyer)
  • 1936 - Focke-Wulf Fw 62 (float plane)
  • 1937 - Focke-Wulf Fw 187 "Falke" (heavy fighter aircraft)
  • 1937 - Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "Uhu" / "Flying Eye" (reconnaissance aircraft)
  • 1937 - Focke-Wulf Fw 200 "Condor" (airliner and bomber)
  • 1939 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (fighter plane)
  • 1939 - Focke-Wulf Fw 300 (draft - potential successor to Fw 200 Condor)
  • 1940 - Focke-Wulf Fw 191 (bomber)
  • 1943 - Focke-Wulf Ta 154 "Mosquito" (night fighter)
  • 1944 - Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Successor to the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D.
  • 1945 - Focke-Wulf Ta 183 (also Jäger-Projekt IV - jet fighter aircraft)
  • 1952 - Focke-Wulf Kranich III (glider)
  • 1957 - Focke-Wulf P-149D (license build of the Piaggio P.149)


The Focke-Wulf-Flugzeugbau AG built in the years 1932 to 1938 under the license of the British company Cierva Autogiro 43 gyrocopter of the type Cierva C.30 , which became known in Germany under the name "Fw 30 Heuschrecke", and thus gained experience for building their own helicopters.

Henrich Focke invented and constructed the world's first airworthy and fully controllable helicopter , the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 from 1936.

Focke-Wulf Fw-51: The World’s First Helicopter

Aviation is a fairly new endeavor. The Wright Brothers kicked off the start with a functioning plane at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. The brothers launched the first successful plane flight on December 17, 1903.

Within forty years the first helicopter followed. The Focke-Wulf Fw-51‘s first flight was on June 26, 1936. If you look at a picture of the German-made helicopter, it resembles that of a plane with the exception of extended wings and rotators on top. (The body looks identical to planes at the time.) But the inception of the first helicopter had to start somewhere.

The Focke-Achgelis company made the Focke-Wulf Fw-61. Henrich Focke, a professor, developed the FW-186.

About the Developer

Henrick Focke was born on October 8, 1890, and lived until February 245, 1979. Focke was an aviation engineer. Similar to the Wright Brother’s contributions to aviation (they developed the steering system for planes commonly found even in today’s planes), Focke had his own contribution to aviation. He assisted with developing the turbo-shaft system that is still used on many helicopters to this day.

Focke desired an aircraft that could fly vertically. He worked with Gerd Acheglis on a design that would become the start of the helicopter. But it did not happen overnight.

The Details of the Focke-Wulf Fw-61

When compared to modern day helicopters, the details of the Focke-Wulf Fw-61 appears simple. Helicopters had to start somewhere. Only one crew member can fit in the helicopter. The helicopter was 23 feet long and was 8 feet and 8 inches tall. Empty, the helicopter weighed approximately 1,764 pounds, and it could only hold an additional 330 pounds. The rotors had a diameter of 23 feet and the helicopter could only reach a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour. The Focke-Wulf Fw-61 had a cruising speed of 56 miles per hour and could fly for 143 miles. It could reach the altitude of 11,243 feet.

The First Flight and A Bad Ass Female Pilot

The first flight took place on February 19, 1938. A crowd attended the take off in the Deutschlandhalle arena (a sports stadium in Berlin). The test pilot was Hanna Reitsch-a German test pilot who tested many aircraft -was only 25 years old at the time. She circled the arena and landed the helicopter gently.

Reitsch was far from done she repeated her performance for 14 evenings in a row. Reitsch set several aviation records, including for the altitude, flight duration, and speed. On January 29, 1939, she set the altitude record of 11,243 feet that broke the current one of 1,984 feet.

A Lasting Memory

While neither of the two helicopters created survived World War II, replicas have been made as a homage to their aviation contributions. One such replica is on display at the Hubschraubermuseum in Buckeburg, Germany.

See also [ edit ]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Focke-Wulf Fw 186 .
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  • He 41 3 /He 42 /Ju 46 /He 47 /Ju 49 /Ju 50 /Ju 52 /NR 54 /NR 554 /Fw 57 /He 58 /Ju 60 /Fw 61/He 61 /He 624 /He 63 /He 64 /He 65 /He 664 /He 71
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The A 43 was a stripped high-decker in composite construction with a spacious, soundproofed and closed cabin. The pilot sat in front and behind him up to two passengers who had a good view down. The high-decker construction also enabled easy entry into the machine. In order to achieve a high speed, emphasis was placed on good aerodynamics. An eight-cylinder V-engine Argus As 10 with 162 kW (220 hp) power was used as the drive, which could bring the aircraft to a top speed of 256 km / h. Problematic and ultimately one of the reasons why the machine remained a one-off was the very high landing speed of 108 km / h due to the lack of landing flaps . In addition, there was the relatively high surface loading of 82 kg / m², which was almost twice as much as comparable constructions of that time.

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