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Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor

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The Fw 200 Condor was intended for peaceful air commerce. It was an attractive, greyhound like airliner, one example of which was used by Adolf Hitler as his personal transport. But the Condor was to become famous as a warplane.

Britain depended on a transatlantic lifeline for survival, and the Luftwaffe knew that everthing possible had to be done to prevent convoys from crossing the ocean with the weapons and equipment being churned out by American factories. The Condor was hastily pressed into action as a long-range maritime reconnaissance bomber. Under very difficult circumstances of extremely bad weather and near impossible navigation challenges, Condor crews fought a dramatic campaign over the Atlantic.

Co-operating with U-boat packs, the Condor overcame the handicaps of its inherently frail design and inflicted enough damage to threaten Britain's survival. But the deployment of fighters aboard escort carriers was to signal the end of the Condor's career.

Churchill called it 'the scourge of the Atlantic'. The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor prowled the seaways and sank an enormous number of Allied ships, disrupting maritime operations so severely that it almost changed the course of World War II. This was an incredible achievement for an aircraft which, although gifted with rare beauty and remarkabke endurance, had never been designed as a long-range bomber at all.


Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor

Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor the fighter fodder Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor known as 'the scourge of the Atlantic' Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor was originally ex-airliner
After the early days of success, Fw 200s increasingly fell foul of shipborne fighters. For much of the war the Condors operated from Bordeaux-Merignac, flying out over the Atlantic to hunt convoys. The condor was originally developed as an airliner, although it was swiftly turned into a makeshift patroller.

Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor (Technical Specification)
Role Seven seat long-range maritime reconnaissance bomber
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
Maximum Speed 360 kmh (220 mph)
Maximum Range 4,400 km (2,700 miles)
Ceiling 6,000 meters (19,000 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

13,000 kg (28,000 lbs)
23,000 kg (51,000 lbs)
Wing Area

32.85 meters (107 ft 9 in)
23.45 meters (77 ft)
3.30 meters (20 ft 8 in)
119.85 square meters (1,290 sq ft)
Engines Four BMW-Bramo 323 R-2 Fafnir radial engines each providing 895-kW (1,200-hp)
Armament Four 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 machine guns in dorsal and beam positions
One MG 131 or 20 mm (0.79 in) MG 151 in a ventral gondola; up to 2,100 kg (4,600 lbs) of bombs carried in the ventral gondola and under the wings

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