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The Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe ("Harrier") was a German aircraft, built to fill a request by the Luftwaffe for a multi-role aircraft, to be used as an advanced trainer for pilots, gunners and radio operators.

Fw 58 Weihe
Bundesarchiv Bild 101II-MW-2094-11, Bulgarien, Flugzeug Focke-Wulf Fw 58.jpg
Role Trainer, Transport, Air Ambulance
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
First flight 1935
Introduction 1937
Retired 1940s
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built 1350

Design and developmentEdit

The Fw 58 was a low-wing monoplane with two piston engines mounted in nacelles on the wing leading edges. The crew sat under an enclosed canopy. Aft of the flight deck, the fuselage was open to form a moveable machine gun station. The tailwheel undercarriage was retractable.

Operational historyEdit

The Fw 58 was widely used for training Luftwaffe personnel. It was also used as a VIP transport, ambulance, feeder airliner, photo reconnaissance, and weather research aircraft.[1] It was built under license in Bulgaria, Hungary and Brazil. It was also operated by several countries such as the Netherlands, Romania, Croatia and Turkey.

VariantsEdit

Fw 58 V1
First prototype.
Fw 58 V2
Second prototype.
Fw 58 V3
Third prototype.
Fw 58 V4
Fourth prototype.
Fw 58 V14

Fw 58 V14, D- OPDR, was fitted with Fowler flaps and boundary-layer suction for high-lift experiments at AVA, Göttingen. The suction system was powered by a Hirth aircraft engine in the fuselage and the air exited through two circumferential, parallel rows of slots in the rear fuselage section.[2]

Fw 58B
Fw 58B-1
Fw 58B-2
This version had a glazed nose, and was armed with a 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 15 machine gun.
Fw 58C
Fw 58W
Twin-floatplane version.

OperatorsEdit

Surviving aircraftEdit

The only Fw 58 on display is at Museu Aeroespacial in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil used this airplane mainly for maritime patrols and the example on display was one of the 25 Fw 58B-2 units license-built in Brazil by Fábrica de Galeão, circa 1941.

An Fw 58 C-2 is stored in the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø.[6]

An Fw 58 C crashed on 30 March 1943 in the Lac du Bourget, France, after a low-flying training pass over the lake went wrong. Two of the four airmen on board were rescued by local fishermen. The wreckage lies at a depth of over 110 meters. Due to the dark and cold water, it is still fairly well preserved, though the canvas over the tube frame light structure is gradually deteriorating. A proposal has been made to raise the wreckage, but local divers are strongly opposed because of its status as a war grave, and the risks of damaging it.[citation needed]

Specifications (Fw 58B)Edit

 
Focke-Wulf Fw.58 3-view drawing from L'Aerophile February 1936

Data from Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933–1945 Vol.2 – Flugzeugtypen Erla-Heinkel[7]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 14.1 m (46 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 21 m (68 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 47 m2 (510 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: NACA 2212[8]
  • Empty weight: 2,000 kg (4,409 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,930 kg (6,460 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 340 l (90 US gal; 75 imp gal) in two centre-section tanks, with a 34 l (9.0 US gal; 7.5 imp gal) oil tank
  • Powerplant: 2 × Argus As 10C V-8 inverted air-cooled piston engines 240 PS (240 hp; 180 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed variable-pitch propeller, 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 254 km/h (158 mph, 137 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 238 km/h (148 mph, 129 kn)
  • Landing speed: 76 km/h (47 mph; 41 kn)
  • Range: 690 km (430 mi, 370 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,400 m (17,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.67 m/s (919 ft/min)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 3 minutes 48 seconds
  • Wing loading: 59.8 kg/m2 (12.2 lb/sq ft)

Armament

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wilson, James (2007). Propaganda Postcards of the Luftwaffe. England: Pen and Sword. p. 60. ISBN 1844154912.
  2. ^ Luftfahrt international 18 (1976), pp. 2829ff
  3. ^ FR010 Fw 58B South America
  4. ^ THE FOCKE WULF Fw 58 IN BRAZIL
  5. ^ Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Gulub
  6. ^ Norsk Luftfartsmuseum Archived 2011-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Nowarra, Heinz J. (1993). Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933–1945 Vol.2 – Flugzeugtypen Erla-Heinkel (in German). Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe Verlag. pp. 60–63, 264–265. ISBN 3-7637-5464-4.
  8. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". m-selig.ae.illinois.edu. Retrieved 16 April 2019.

External linksEdit