Nazi Germany (1942)
Fighter Concept – None Built
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 mit DB 609 was a 1942 design venture to provide the Luftwaffe with a successor to the Fw 190 and its troublesome BMW 801 radial engine. Intended, to mount the envisioned experimental 16-cylinder Daimler-Benz DB 609 engine to produce around 2,600 hp (later 3,400 hp), the new power plant would have required a drastic redesign to the forward section of the Fw 190 as well as parts of the fuselage. In the end, the Fw 190 mit DB 609 was canceled due to flaws with the design and Daimler-Benz’s cancellation of the DB 609 project. Similar to many of the other designs produced in 1942, the Fw 190 mit DB 609 remained a paper design only, although an airframe was provided for the intent of mounting and testing the engine. Obscure in nature and short-lived, much of the project’s specifications and estimated performance are unknown.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (Shrike) was one of Nazi Germany’s most iconic fighters of the Second World War. First introduced in August of 1941, the Fw 190 gave contemporary Allied fighters a run for their money and proved to be a relatively successful design. However, the air-cooled 14-cylinder BMW 801 radial engine which powered the Fw 190 proved to be troublesome at times. The BMW 801’s cooling system was inadequate, which caused overheating and production of fumes, which would leak into the cockpit and could suffocate the pilot. Despite the relatively successful introduction of the Fw 190, it was not known if the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM / Ministry of Aviation) would make further orders for the aircraft. However, the spring of 1942 was a prosperous time for the Focke-Wulf firm and assured the Fw 190’s future. The RLM put in orders for large quantities of Fw 190, which in turn boosted the firm’s budget. As such, designers at the Bremen-based Focke-Wulf firm initiated a design venture to produce a successor for the Fw 190 by replacing the troublesome BMW 801 engine with more advanced engines being developed by BMW and Daimler-Benz.
As such, the Focke-Wulf firm produced several drawings in late 1942 which saw the Fw 190 mounting experimental engines. The designs are as follows:
|Drawing Number||Project Title|
|10 10 05-201||Fw 190 mit BMW P. 8028|
|10 10 05-202||Fw 190 mit BMW 801 J|
|10 10 05-203||Fw 190 mit DB 609|
|10 13 141-02||Fw 190 mit DB 623 A|
|10 13 141-16||Fw 190 mit DB 614|
|11 19 05-502||Fw 190 mit BMW P. 8011|
|Unknown||Fw 190 mit DB 603|
|Unknown||Fw 190 Strahljäger|
In order to provide a suitable testbed for these engines, Fw 190 V19 (Werknummer 0042, rebuilt from a Fw 190 A-1) was allocated for engine installation tests. Curiously enough, Fw 190 V19 would be later be redesigned for the “Falcon” wing design which saw a drastic redesign of the wing to a swept, bent design. Conversion to this wing type was meant to take place on February 16, 1944 but this would never occur. Nonetheless, Fw 190 V19 would maintain the regular wings for engine testing.
Although the Fw 190 mit DB 609 showed potential, there were several problems which plagued the design. For one, the rather heavy and bulky engine severely affected the aircraft’s center of gravity. As such, the engine’s radiators had to be moved down the fuselage behind the cockpit. The engine also would have put too much stress on the landing gears which could potentially result in a fatal crash if landing conditions were rough. On top of the airframe design issues, the intricate design of the engine also proved a problem for the Daimler-Benz designers, who would terminate the DB 609 (and its subprojects) in April 1943. As such, the Fw 190 mit 609 project would be dropped as well without the experimental engine ever being mounted on V19. Many of the other designs produced by Focke-Wulf in 1942 would also meet the same fate, for more or less similar reasons.
Due to the short-lived conceptual nature of the design, detailed specifications and estimated performance do not appear to have survived. As such, much of the aircraft’s intricate details and specifications are unknown. One could only hope that, in the near future, more details of the Fw 190 mit DB 609 and it’s contemporary designs will surface.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 mit DB 609 was a 1942 project to produce a successor to the Fw 190 by replacing the troublesome BMW 801 engine with more promising experimental engines being developed at the time. As the name of the project suggests, this design would have seen the implementation of a Daimler-Benz DB 609 V16 engine. The Daimler-Benz DB 609 was a development of the company’s DB 603 engine. Unlike its predecessor, the DB 609 would have 16 cylinders in contrast to the former’s 12 cylinders. The DB 609’s output was estimated by Daimler-Benz designers to be approximately 2,600 to 2,660 hp, though it would later be upped to 3,400 hp. The benefits of this engine were the ability to function normally upright and inverted, but the bulky engine design required a drastic redesign of the engine cowl and parts of the fuselage. The cowl would have been extended to accommodate the DB 609 engine, the length of which would have measured at 115 in / 2,935 mm compared to the BMW 801’s 79 in / 2,006 mm length.
According to the official blueprints for the Fw 190 mit DB 609, the two large radiators intakes required for the engine’s supercharger were moved to the cockpit’s rear, on the side of the fuselage. This was done to pull the center of gravity back, as placing them in the front would make the aircraft too nose heavy. The placement of the supercharger radiators is similar to that of the American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. It would appear that internet sources claim the radiator placement was nicknamed the Hamsterbacken (Hamster Cheeks), but it is unknown whether or not this was an official nickname.
Fw 190 V19 (Werknummer 0042), which was intended to mount and test the DB 609 engine, was rebuilt from a Fw 190 A-1, but it is unknown which variant precisely the hypothetical production variant would be based upon. Armament wise, the official project blueprints show two 7.92x57mm Mauser MG 17 machine guns mounted on top the engine cowl. What appears to be a 20x82mm Mauser MG 151/20 cannon would be installed in the engine hub and would fire out through the propellers. It is unknown what wing armament (if any) the Fw 190 mit DB 609 would have had.
Due to the rather short-lived and conceptual nature of the Fw 190 mit DB 609, not many of the plane’s specifications are unknown. Performance estimations do not appear to be available, nor are aircraft dimensions.
- Nazi Germany – The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 mit DB 609 was intended to be a successor to the Fw 190. However, development was dropped due to various problems with the design and engine.
- Primary Sources
- Fw 190 mit DB 609 (Drawing. No. 10 10 05-203). (1942). Bremen: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG.
- Secondary Sources
- Nowarra, H. J. (1993). Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933-1945 (Vol. 2). Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe Verlag.
- Sharp, D. (2015). Luftwaffe: Secret Jets of the Third Reich. Horncastle, Lincolnshire: Mortons Media Group.
- Written by Leo Guo
- Edited by Stan Lucian & Yareth
- Illustrations by Ed Jackson – artbyedo.com