FOCKE-WULF

Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG formed by Heinrich Focke and Georg Wulf at Bremen 1 January 1924. Focke and Wulf had produced A5 single-seat monoplane 1912 and A7 Storch 2-seater flown November 1921, latter’s demonstrations resulting in backing for formation of company. First Fw design A16 3/4-passenger transport (24) followed by A.17 Möwe 9-passenger airliner (10 Luft Hansa). Wulf killed 1927 testing canard F.19 Ente. Cierva autogyro licence 1931 led to Focke concentrating on rotating wings: see Focke-Achgelis. Kurt Tank (ex-BFW and Rohrbach) appointed designer and in 1933 technical director. Albatros taken over 1931, Fw continuing with short runs of private and light commercial transports until Fw 44 Stieglitz biplane trainer of 1932, over 2,500 built plus over 900 by foreign licensees. Tank’s first design was Fw 56 Stösser advanced trainer (1933, 550+), followed by twin-engined Fw 58 Weihe (1935, 1,299 plus 1,250+ by French and 162 in other countries 1940-42). Company reorganized as GmbH June 1936, with enormously increased capital from controlling shareholder AEG. Mass-produced Bf 109 and 110, while Tank designed Fw 200 Condor long-range transport and ocean patroller. Next came Fw 189 (1938, 853), followed by Tank’s masterpiece, Fw 190 fighter (1 June 1939, over 19,600 plus about 200 of final Ta 152 versions). By 1944 company administered 28,960 employees at 29 locations, and thousands more in small shops hidden in forests or city rubble.

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