The Fw 200 was built to a Deutsche Luft Hansa specification with Wilhelm Bansemir as project director. It first flew in July 1937 after just under one year of development with Kurt Tank at the controls. The aircraft was a simple development of an earlier commercial airliner. It was an all-metal, four-engined monoplane capable of carrying 25 passengers up to 3,000 km (1,860 mi). To adapt it for wartime service, hardpoints were added to the wings for bombs, the fuselage was strengthened and extended to create more space, and front, aft and dorsal gun positions were added, in addition to an extended-length version of the usual Bola ventral gondola of World War II German bomber aircraft, which for the Fw 200's militarization incorporated a bomb bay as well as heavily glazed forward and aft ventral flexible defensive machine gun emplacements at its ends. The extra weight introduced by its military fitments meant that a number of early Fw 200 aircraft broke up on landing, a problem that was never entirely solved. Later models were equipped with Telefunken FuG 200 Hohentwiel low UHF-band ASV radar in the nose.

johnbr, Nov 26, 2011
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