Focke-Wulf Fw 200
The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor was a German all-metal four-engine monoplane that was built to a Lufthansa specification. It first flew in July 1937. The aircraft was a simple development of a pre-war commercial craft. It was an all-metal construction, 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 extended and strengthened to create more space, and front, aft and dorsal gun positions were added. Their extra weight meant that a number of early Fw 200 would break-up on landing, a problem that was never entirely fixed. Later models were equipped with radar. The Fw 200 was used for maritime patrols and reconnaissance, searching for Allied convoys and warships that could be reported for targeting by U-boats. The Fw 200 could also carry a 900-kilogram (2,000 lb) bomb load, or naval mines, to use against shipping, and it was claimed that from June 1940 to February 1941, they sank 331,122 tonnes (365,000 tons) of shipping despite a rather crude bombsight arrangement. The attacks were carried out at extremely low altitude in order to "bracket" the target ship with three bombs; this almost guaranteed a hit. Winston Churchill called the Fw 200 the "Scourge of the Atlantic" during the Battle of the Atlantic due to its contribution to the heavy Allied shipping losses. From mid-1941, Britain was fighting back with CAM ship-launched Hawker Hurricanes, and the arrival of the U.S.-built Grumman Martlet, operating from the Royal Navy's new escort carriers. The Fw 200 was also used as a transport aircraft, notably flying supplies into Stalingrad in 1942. After late-1943, the Fw 200 came to be used solely as a transport aircraft. For reconnaissance, it was replaced by the Junkers Ju 290 and, as France was liberated, maritime reconnaissance became impossible. Production ended in 1944 with a total of 276 aircraft produced. Source: Info: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_200 Top Profile: German Warplanes of World War II Published by Temple Press/Aerospace Bottom Profiles: Aircraft of World War 2 Published by Octopus Books.