Aviation of Word War II

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FW-189 "Uhu"

Tactical Reconnaissance and Army Cooperation Aircraft


FW 189 Ost

The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "Uhu" ("Owl") - tactical reconnaissance and army cooperation aircraft. Fw-189 "Uhu" ("Owl") was a twin-engine twin-boom three-seat a twin-fuselage monoplane with completely glazed cabin in a central nacelle.

Its first flight was in July, 1938, and with production deliveries to Luftwaffe at the end of 1940.

In total 848 machines of this type were built, not considering 16 prototypes and pre-series machines. The basic model became Fw-189A, was issued in several versions:

  • base Fw-189A-1, Fw-197A-2 with two machine guns,
  • educational Fw-189A-3 with the duplicated control and an airplane of tactical support
  • Fw-189A-4 with armoured the lower part of a fuselage and 20-mm cannon instead two machine guns.

FW 190D at the Red Army Flight Research Institute In March 1944, the Air Forces Scientific Research Institute published an album called "German Aircraft at the Red Army Air Forces Scientific Research Institute" containing characteristics and descriptions of the main aircraft types in the Luftwaffe inventory. In addition to the airplanes described above, it covered the Hsl26, Ju 52, and Bf 110, all widely used by the enemy for 3 years. The Ju 86. Do 217, and Hs 129 were seen less often and were not tested at Soviet research centers. However, Air Forces Scientific Research Institute specialists managed to analyze and note the main structural and identification features of these machines, as well as define trends in their modification.

The chapter devoted to the twin-engine Fw 189 reconnaissance aircraft is of definite interest. Patterned after the Dutch Fokker G-l fighter, this airplane successfully served in the capacity of reconnaissance aircraft, artillery spotter, and trainer. The Focke-Wulf, called the "frame" by Red Army soldiers, had excellent all-round visibility, good stability and responsiveness, and could maintain steady flight on one engine. Despite its low speed (300 km/h) and the air supremacy of Soviet fighters enjoyed during the latter half of the war, the German machine went on performing its combat duties till the end of the war. Soviet materials contain the following justification for the efficient actions of the Fw 189 crew's: "The aircraft's excellent visibility cuts down on the possibility of surprise fighter attacks. Its high maneuverability allows gunners to prepare to beat off an attack only if the attacking aircraft is detected in time. In combat turns, the fighter will always be in the field of fire of its rear guns. The Fw 189 can bank at speeds of 180-200 km/h. The maneuver Fw 189 crews commonly use to break off combat is to descend in a spiral to low altitudes and remain there, hedge-hopping."6" Engineer-Major M. S. Dmitriyev, who examined the Fw 189 in detail, also noted the crew comforts provided: carefully thought-out arrangement of navigational equipment and radios; side-by-side seating of navigator and pilot, making their work easier without intercom; and efficient cockpit heating. The aircraft could also perform light bombing missions. It turned out to be very easy to put onto a target.

Most of the machine's advantages were realized when designing the domestic Su-12 aircraft, which became a successful troop unit plane. Unfortunately, the "Soviet frame" was built only in late 1947 and it did not enter series production.

Crew 3
Wing span, m 18.4
Length, m 12.03
Height, m 3.1
2 × PE Argus-410А-1, hp 465
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3245
Maximum takeoff weight 4170
Maximum speed, km/h 350
Time to 4000m, min 8
Service ceiling, m 7300
Service range, m 670
2 × 7.92-mm machine guns in the wing, 2 × 2×7,92-mm machine guns in the tail, bombs, kg 200
Photo Description
Drawing Fw 189

Drawing Fw 189 A-1

Fw 189

Fw 189

Fw 189A-2 on the hardstand at Chkalovskaya, 1943

Fw 189A-2 on the hardstand at Chkalovskaya, 1943


  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "The German Imprint on the History of Russian Aviation " /D.A. Sobolev, D.B. Khazanov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "Frontline Illustration" /# 6 2001/