Introduced as a nasty surprise to the RAF Spitfire Mk V in the Dieppe operation, the Fw 190 wrested control of the air from the RAF until the debut of the Spitfire Mk IX in July 1942. The swift German radial engine fighter had completely surprised the RAF. This German fighter-bomber quickly proved to be a deadly counter to the Spitfire and devastating to ground forces.
The Fw 190 was initially built as a radial engine aircraft and grew into a powerful fighter-bomber or “Jabo.” Close air support roles were greatly expanded by the introduction of this extraordinary aircraft.
Designed by Kurt Tank in the mid 1930s, the 190 had ample power and were able to carry heavy loads and were used in a variety of roles. Serving as a front line fighter, the Fw 190 had heavy armament and speed, with excellent landing gear. These improvements offered a significant advantage over the notorious German 109. The Fw 190 participated on every major combat front where the Luftwaffe operated after 1941, and did so with success in a variety of roles.
There are very few remaining original Fw 190 aircraft. There is believed to be around 28 in varying condition housed in museums and private collections. Once this full restoration is complete, the Collings Foundation’s Fw 190 will be one of only two flying in the world.