FW-190

This FW-190 was on display at RAF Cosford.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was a single-seat single-engine multi-role fighter-bomber, capable of carrying a larger bomb load than its counterpart the Messerschmitt Bf109. Entering Luftwaffe service in August 1941, the Fw 190 proved superior in many respects to the Royal Air Force’s main frontline fighter, the Spitfire V. It took the introduction of the much improved Spitfire IX in July 1942 for the RAF to gain an aircraft of equal capability.

One of the more unusual roles for the Fw 190 was as part of the twin-aircraft drone combination, code-named mistletoe or Mistel. A single engine fighter was mounted on top of a twin engine bomber, and on lining up with the target the fighter detached itself, leaving the bomber, packed with explosives, to impact the target.

Cosford’s Fw 190 is a unique survivor of a Mistel combination. Surrendered in Denmark in May 1945, the Fw 190 was part of a combination with a Junkers Ju 88, and assigned to a unit which trained Mistel crews. Flown to Germany as a twin combination, the Fw 190 was then split from its Ju 88 in order to be ferried to the UK for examination. The Ju 88 half never reached the UK, and it is assumed it was scrapped.

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, located in Cosford in Shropshire, is a museum dedicated to the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force in particular. The museum is part of the Royal Air Force Museum, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and a registered charity.

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