FW-290?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Bucksnort101, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    #1 Bucksnort101, Oct 27, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
    I am currently reading "Thunderbolt! by Robert S. Johnson and toward the end of the book he describe closing on two fighters attacking a lone Bomber. He describes them having to outline of a Fw-190 from a distance but as he closes he see's they have a "pointy nose with an in-line engine" and states they are the new FW-290. This would have been in early 1944, I think he stated it was in the month of January 1944 if I remember correctly.
    Anyone knwo to which he is referring. My first instinct is he was seeing a FW-190 D-9 series, but am not sure when those went into combat service.
     
  2. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    Based upon my recollection, the Fw-190D didn't enter squadron service until the late summer or fall of 1944, so unless this event occurred later than you believe, it could probably not be a Dora. I supposeJohnson could have seen a developmental prototype for the B, C or D model (which were flying quite a bit earlier), but I have a hard time believing there would be two of them chasing a bomber. I suspect others can give a much better answer than I, but my guess he just misidentified a couple of Bf-109s or Fw190As.

    I wonder how Johnson came up with the "Fw290" name. I'm unaware than US intelligence ever hypothesized about the existence of such a beast.
     
  3. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    I'll look up the passage in the book tonight and see if I can get the date and description exactly as he describes it. Mr. Johnson wrote his book 15 years after then end of WWII so I suspect he may have got things mixed up a bit.
     
  4. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    Quite likely. While very entertaining, informative, and often powerfully moving, the published reminiscences of combat pilots are among the least reliable sources for technical or historical facts about aircraft capabilities, design, or operational history.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that aircraft makers could not have the same number in Germany. For instance there already was a Ju 290, so there could not be an Me 290 or a Fw 290.
     
  6. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    True but the number was given by the Allies not the Germans. I would say it was a natural presumption by the Allies for example as the Me109 went to Me209 and Me309, the Ju88 went to Ju188 to Ju288 and Ju388.
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #7 Crimea_River, Oct 28, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
    Those would have been Doras most likely. Many pilot's bios and quotes have erroneous ID's.

    EDIT sorry guys, I misread the date. Milosh below is right and the combat report is January 1943, making it impossible to be D's
     
  8. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    They certainly were not Dora 9s as the first development report was issued on Feb 23 1944. The V17 did not fly til April 13 1944. The V53 did not fly til June 12 1944. The V54 did not fly til July 26 1944.

    I am also not finding any photos of 'long nose' development Fw a/c with armament.
     
  9. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    Almost certainly a misidentification. My guess is that Johnson saw Bf109's.

    Allied intelligence was well aware of the development of the Fw 190C from the beginning. In Hermann's book of Fw190D there is a very accurate Allied sketch of "Fw190 with DB603 engine". So it is possible that this plane was dubbed as Fw290 by some intelligence officer.

    But I'm quite sure that this plane , or any other Fw190 prototype was not what Johnson saw. They were far too valuable to be used in combat.
     
  10. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    I would agree. If one accepted allied pilot accounts at face value, "He-113s" were also used operationally and shot down on occasion in 1943-44 even though we know that to be impossible.

    However, just for discussion, there were other in-line fighters used by the Luftwaffe in advanced fighter training schools, most notably as the Dewotine D-520. What is the possibility of these planes being encountered in combat situations and mis-identified as unknown German types.
     
  11. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    I’m with Timpa on this; it’s simply a misidentification. They were not uncommon at the time. I believe the unit Intelligence Officers probably requested that pilots keep their eyes open for new variants and pilots saw what they expected to see. This applies to both RAF and USAAF.

    AFDU Tactical Trials such as this one from April 1944 noted “It is anticipated that the new FW.190 (DB.603)…

    Here’s Johnson’s report on that encounter:
    [​IMG]

    And the Encounter Report from 1st Lt. Joe Powers who shot down the 190:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    Basically true, but like all rules there are exceptions. Thus the number "162" was used both for a schnellbomber derivative of the Bf-110 concept (Bf-162) flown in prototype form in the late 1930's and later for the He-162 jet fighter. I also believe numbers were originally often assigned in blocks to manufacturers (hence the Ju-85, 86,87, 89,90), and if a certain number never led to an actual airplane, it could be freed up for use by another manufacturer at a later date.
     
  13. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    It's great to read these. Thanks a million.
     
  14. TheMustangRider

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    I agree with you, specially in the last segment of 1st. Lt. Joe H. Power's report in which he includes the job well done by the other two pilots in the flight.
     
  15. CPWN

    CPWN Member

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    How about Bf 109H? Some sub-variants were installed with Jumo-213.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    How many Jumo powered 190H's flew?

    The answer to that should answer the likelyhood of whether the "290" was a mis-identified 109H.
     
  17. zoomar

    zoomar Member

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    I think the answer is probably "none" - at least in operational form with the Jumo engine. I don't believe any Bf109H models were delivered to service squadrons, so the situation with this plane would be the same as with prototype long-nose FW's.

    As others have said, the near certainty is that he simply saw a standard Bf-109, or somehow his eyes played tricks on him and he thought an "A" model Fw190 had a longer-than-usual nose. Or, maybe he wasn't sure what he saw (maybe a 109 or a 190) and just wanted first dibs on spotting the first "FW-290" and earning a pint from the intelligence geek.
     
  18. CPWN

    CPWN Member

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  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Bingo!
     
  20. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    Read the rest of the book last night and I am now sure it was just a misidentification or typo in regards to the aircraft. Whomever proof read the book did not know enough about the suject to correct the error I believe. Towards the end of the book Mr. Johnson describes his last two kills and that saw a Me-209 cut in front of him. Along with several other sentences confusing sentences at the end of the book I'm sure it was not proof read to extensively. Still a pretty good book overall.
     
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