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Fw 200 Condor
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Fw 200 Condor

Focke Wulf Fw 200 Kondor
Description
Role Transport; Bomber
Crew 5
Capacity (transport variants)
30 fully-armed troops
First Flight July 27, 1937
Entered Service
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
Dimensions (Fw 200C-3/U4)
Length 23.5 m 77ft 1in
Wingspan 32.8 m 107ft 7in
Height 6.3 m 20ft 8in
Wing Area 118 m² 1,270 ft²
Weights
Empty 12,950 kg 28,550 lbs
Loaded 0 kg 0 lbs
Maximum takeoff 22,700 kg 50,050 lbs
Powerplant
Engine 4 × BMW 323
Power (each) 1,200 kW 1,610 hp
Performance
Maximum speed 360km/h @ 4,800m 224mph @ 15,750ft
Combat range 3,556 km 2,210 miles
Ferry range 4,440 km 2,760 miles
Service ceiling 5,800 m 19,030 ft
Rate of climb m/min ft/min
Wing loading kg/m² lb/ft²
Power/Mass kW/kg hp/lb
Armament
Guns 1 20mm MG 151 cannon
2 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns
3 13mm MG 131 machine guns
Bombs two 500kg, two 250kg and two 50kg bombs.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 was a four engine airliner. Built under Lufthansa specification and with Dip. Ing Bansemir as project director, it first flew in July, 1937 after just under one year of development with Dip. Ing Kurt Tank in the controls. It was the very first airplane to fly non-stop between Berlin and New York - on 10 Aug 1938 in 24 hours and 56 minutes. The return trip took only 19 hours and 47 minutes on 13 Aug 1938.

The aircraft was a simple development of a pre-war commercial craft. First flown in 1937 it was an all metal construction, four-engine monoplane capable of carrying 25 passengers up to 3000 km, it flew from Berlin to New York in twenty hours without stopping. To adapt it for wartime, hard-points were added on the wings for bombs, the fuselage was extended and strengthened to create more space and front, aft and dorsal gun positions were added. The extra weight of the improvements meant that a number of early Condors would break-up on landing, a problem that was never entirely fixed. Later models were equipped with radar.

It was built in 3 versions (Fw 200A, B, and C). The Model A was a purely civilian plane used by Lufthansa, DDL in Demmark, and Syndicato Condor in Brazil. The Fw 200B and Fw 200C models were used as long-range bombers, reconnaissance, troop and VIP transport planes. Adolf Hitler used a Fw 200V-1 model . His "seat" in the cabin was equipped with back-armor plating and an automatic parachute with downward throws. This plane was named "lmmelmanns III" and first carried the markings "D-2600", which eventually changed to "WL+2600" and finally "26+00".

The Luftwaffe initially used the aircraft in conjunction with the Kriegsmarine, making great loops out across the North Sea and (following the fall of France) the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft undertook maritime patrols and reconnaissance, searching for Allied convoys and warships to be reported and targeted by U-boats. The Condor could also carry bombs or mines to be used against shipping and it was claimed that from June 1940 to February 1941 they sank 365,000 tons. From mid-1941 the aircraft were instructed to avoid attacking shipping and avoid all combat in order to preserve numbers, but the arrival of the new escort aircraft carriers was a very serious threat.

The Condor was also used as a transport aircraft, notably flying supplies into Stalingrad in 1943. After late 1943 the Condor came to be used solely as a transport aircraft. For reconnaissance it was replaced by the Junkers Ju 290 and as France was invaded maritime reconnaissance became impossible. Production ended in 1944 with a total of 276 aircraft produced.

The Japanese Navy requested a military version for search and patrol duties, so Kurt Tank designed th Fw200V-10 with military equipment. This plane was held in Germany because of the war that had started in Europe and became the basis for all later militar models used by Luftwaffe.

Winston Churchill called it the "Scourge of the Atlantic" during the Atlantic Battle due to its contribution to Allied Navy heavy losses by German U-boats.

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Designation Series Ar 197 - Ar 198 - Ar 199 - Fw 200 - Si 201 - Si 202 - FS 203
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