Development of the FW190 series began in the Autumn of 1937, under a contract issued by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Air Ministry) for a single seat fighter to supplement the Messerschmitt Bf109. Two proposals were submitted by Kurt Tank, the technical director of the Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau (aircraft factory). The proposal using the then new BMW 801 air-cooled radial engine was chosen. It entered service in 1941, flying alongside the Bf 109 and it soon took control of air superiority over the English Channel. Establishing itself as a mainstay fighter of the Luftwaffe, it outperformed the contemporary Spitfire Mk.V's in almost every respect and maintained this advantage until the arrival of the Spitfire IX in July 1942. The Fw190 fighter underwent constant improvement throughout its life. The A-3 version used the improved BMW 801Dg engine that produced 1,700 hp. Armament was increased from four to six guns, consisting of two rapid firing MG151s in the wing roots; two MG FFs outboard of the landing gear and two fuselage mounted MG 17 machine guns. Throughout WW2, many Luftwaffe squadrons allowed personal pilot markings and distinctive squadron insignia to be used.
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3
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