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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 aircraft

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

Design and developmentEdit

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

Operational historyEdit

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

VariantsEdit

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

Flag of Austria.svg Austria
Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina
Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg Independent State of Croatia
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
Flag of Finland.svg Finland
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Hungary
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Flag of Norway.svg Norway
Flag of Poland.svg Poland
Flag of Romania.svg Romania
Flag of Slovakia.svg Slovakia
Flag of Spain.svg Spain
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
Flag of the Soviet Union (1924–1955).svg Soviet Union

SurvivorsEdit

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.

A Fw58 C-2 is currently under restoration at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø - http://www.luftfart.museum.no/Utstillinger/Focke%20Wulf.htm

A FW 58 crashed in 1943 in the Lac du Bourget (France) after a low-flying training pass over the lake went wrong, Two of the Four airmen were rescued by local fishermen (The local German command even freed four "terrorists" - local people jailed for suspected Resistance activities - as a goodwill gesture towards the local population) .

The wreck is currently accessible to advanced divers with "tech diving " equipment as it lies at a depth of over 110 M, Video footage of the wreck was shown on various European TV channels . Due to the dark and cold water it is fairly well peresrved after 70 years, though the canvas over tube frame light structure is gradually deteriorating. Plans were made about rising the wreck but local divers are strongly against it because of the ethical aspects (War grave) and risks of badly damaging the wreck with inadequate rising techniques (cutting the aircraft in parts with ROV's before raising it.)

Specifications (Fw 58)Edit

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 14 m (45ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 21 m (68 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 47 m² (506 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,900 kg (4,200 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,810 kg (6,200 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 piston engines, 180 kW (240 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 256 km/h (159 mph)
  • Range: 676 km (420 mi)
  • Wing loading: 59.8 kg/m² (12.3 lb/ft²)</ul>Armament
  • 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine guns

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

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