The Fw 187 A-0 “Falke” (Falcon) was a long range single-seat heavy fighter prototype conceived by Kurt Tank in 1937. Powered by 2 Jumo 210 engines it was able to to beat the Bf-109B which was the Luftwaffe’s newest fighter in top speed by 80kmh while being much longer ranged and with a heavy armament of 2 20mm cannons and 4 7.92mm machine guns. Due to rigid German doctrine it was not accepted into service and instead the Bf 110 was chosen as even though the Fw 187 had much higher performance it lacked defensive armament so was not seen as capable of being a “Zerstorer”.
In the 1930’s engine technology was lagging behind airframe technology leading to many novel solutions to get the most performance out of weak engines. One of the most common solutions was to have twin engines for double the horsepower. The Fw-187 follows along these lines with an airframe having as little drag as possible through a number of means. These included retractable radiators, a cockpit so small instruments needed to be put on the engine nacelles, and no external struts.
When the first prototype took to the skies in early 1937 these innovations paid off and it was able to reach a top speed of 523 kmh which was incredible for the era leading the RLM to blame faulty flight instruments until it was proven. In almost every way aside from turn speed the Fw 187 was superior to the most modern fighters of the Luftwaffe. This incredible performance led to a range of prototypes being built to improve the plane even further with the V6 having DB600 engines and reaching 634 kmh. The most produced variant was the A-0 which was based on the 2 seater third prototype and had Jumo 210G engines. 3 A-0’s were made with them being used to defend the Focke-Wulf factory and possibly scoring some kills. Later in the invasion of Norway they were trialed by pilots there who enjoyed the plane much more than their Bf 110s. The dream of mass production was not to be as the Norway mission was merely a propaganda stunt to trick the allies into believing it was entering widespread service in a similar manner to the Neubaufahrzeug.
The main reasons the Fw 187 did not go into production was because capable of fulfilling the role of “Zerstorer” whereas the Bf 110 was suited to the role and it was seen as a waste to use 2 valuable engines on a single seat fighter. In this way it was doomed by being in the middle of what doctrine defined.
Why Should it be in Game?:
The Fw 187 A-0 would be a valuable addition to the lower ranks of the German tree and provide a heavy fighter that’s not quite as heavy as the Bf 110s and others. It would provide a similar role to the Yak-2 Kabb or Westland Whirlwind which are already being enjoyed by many players. I believe the Falke would be excellent as either a tech tree addition or battlepass vehicle.
Length: 11.1 m
Wingspan: 15.3 m
Height: 3.85 m
Wing area: 30.4 m2
Empty weight 3,600 kg
Gross weight: 5,000 kg
Powerplant: 2× Junkers Jumo 210Ga V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engines with 671 hp
Maximum speed: 525 km/h at 4,000 m
Service ceiling: 10,000 m
Time to altitude: 6,000 m in 5 minutes 48 seconds
4× 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns in fuselage sides
2× 20 mm MG FF cannon in lower fuselage