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Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 in Detail (Revisited)

Part 4 - Nose

n Text and photos by Martin Waligorski

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When first designed, the Fw 190 cowling was an absolute novelty in aerodynamics.  Prior to its introduction, all aircraft used the NACA cowling, which although effective in reducing drag over uncowled engines, could not provide sufficiently small frontal area to fit the requirements of a fighter.  Focke-Wulf was first with the ingenious solution of power-driven cooling by means of a fan fitted to the propeller shaft.

However, perfecting the solution cost a lot of engine fires on early production models. The fan proved to be just sufficient for the front row of cylinders of the BMW 801 engine, but not for the rear ones which on the early production models frequently overheated causing engine fires.


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Detail of engine exhaust and cooling vents.

The adjustable cooling vents shown here were introduced with the late A-4 production batches, and presented the final solution to the engine cooling problem. They were retained retained on all subsequent models.

The bulges on the cowling are another part of the cooling solution - they are air channels to improve cooling of the rear cylinder row of the engine.


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View of the propeller, showing an almost-plan view of its top blade. The VDM type metal propeller shown here was common for all A, F and G models except the A-9 and F-9 which featured a broader-chord wooden prop.


Spinner and oil collector ring. The circular oil tank was pressed from armour plate and formed a separate forward part of the cowling.


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What would be a Focke-Wulf fighter without a spiral on the spinner? This one is battered quite badly, a not uncommon occurrence even on operational aircraft.


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Detail of the cowling and the quick-release fasteners.


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Cowling shape viewed directly from below. The exhausts of the BWM 801 engine were cleverly led into three groups: on on each side of the fuselage and the third below the fuselage, between the wheel wells. The space in this area was so confined that the Focke-Wulf engineers had to design one pipe with a separate outlet breaking the symmetry of the lower cowling.

Such concentration of exhaust pipes lead to the excessive staining of the fuselage in operational conditions.

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