Some interesting modifications have been reported from examination of
crashed Focke-Wulf 190s, used as fighter-bombers.
The engine is the fully rated BMW 801 D-2, equipped with doping pipes running to each
of the 14 cylinders instead of only to 7 as in the previous model. This system is
used to increase the power of the engine for a limited time during an emergency. The
tank for the doping of gas or fluid is removed from the cockpit to behind the seat, and
is of larger capacity, presumably in order to effect the doping of all 14 cylinders. The
three fixed louvers at each side of the rear end of the engine cowling on the original
design have been replaced by three adjustable gills, which are controlled by a small
rotating handle on the upper instrument panel.
Various armament combinations have been found on FW-190s. The original aircraft had as
regular equipment two 7.9-mm machine guns mounted above the engine and
two MG-151 20-mm guns mounted in the wing roots, all four firing
through the propeller arc, and two outboard Oerlikon FF 20-mm cannons. Recent crash
reports from England have not included the outboard cannon in the armament. The reason
for the omission of the Oerlikons has not been given, but it is possible that the use
of these cannon was either experimental or limited to special types of operations. In
one crashed plane, only the MG-151 20-mm guns were
found, the 7.9-mm machine guns having been removed from the mountings, and
the firing channels in the top of the cowling having been blanked off.
A bomb carrier labeled E.T.C. 501 is mounted under the center line of the fuselage. This
can carry either a 550- or 1100-pound bomb. There is no fairing around the carrier, but
long streamlining is fitted behind, stretching far back along the underside of the fuselage.
The armor, which appears to be unchanged, consists of a 13-mm steel plate behind the
head and shoulders of the pilot, 8-mm armor back of the pilot's seat, strips between
the seat and the sides of the fuselage, 5 or 6 mm thick, and a bullet-proof
windshield 1 3/4 inches thick. The engine is protected by the foremost ring of
the engine cowling which is 5-mm armor, and by a second ring, of 3-mm sheet steel. The
bullet-proof glass windshield is fitted with a gasoline spray which can be turned on
by a small control on the lower instrument panel. This spray washes away oil that may
be deposited on the windshield from the engine.
The normal fuel tanks are now of the fully flexible type, with a capacity of 139 U.S.
gallons, and, in addition to these, there are two jettisonable fuel tanks carried
under the wing, each holding 80 U.S. gallons. These are jettisoned mechanically by
pulling a small T-shaped handle in the cockpit.
Modifications have been made to the airframe, but the main dimensions are
unchanged. There is internal stiffening in the wings and in the rear end of the
fuselage. The new type of boost gauge, already found in the Do-217, is
fitted, and also a modified fuel-flow indicator for the two main tanks and the
outboard jettisonable tanks. A red bulb above the indicator lights when the fuel supply is
down to 20 minutes flying. There is a fitting for a small camera in the rear part
of the fuselage. The oxygen bottles are of a new spherical type.
Apparently certain faults were found in the design and manufacture of the
electrical equipment in the original FW-190s, and these findings resulted in some
gradual changes. The plywood top of the fin has now been equipped with an 8-inch aerial
mast of the same material, altering the appearance of the top of the fin and
shortening the aerial. The radio installation used with the short aerial is a very
light type of FuG 16 Z with a remote-control frequency selector.
It is believed probable that an improved version of the FW-190 may shortly
appear, re-engined with a BMW 801 E or the 801 J with
an exhaust-driven supercharger, which would necessitate considerable modification
of the air-frame design. Further development will mainly depend on whether the
new engine has 18, 21, or 27 cylinders. Such a redesigned airplane is likely to
have a much higher performance. An attempt may be made to improve the speed and
climb of the 190, which at present decreases rapidly above 25,000 feet. The
MG-151 20-mm guns may be replaced by a larger caliber type, such as the
reported 25-mm Rheinmetall. Major improvements of performance and load-carrying
capacity are to be expected only with a new type of power plant. The aircraft
may be developed chiefly as a fighter-bomber.