Focke-Wulf Fw 56
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|Focke-Wulf Fw 56|
|First flight||November 1933|
|Developed into||Focke-Wulf Fw 159|
The Fw 56 was developed, in accordance with a request by the Reich Air Ministry for an advanced fighter trainer, by Kurt Tank, chief engineer with Focke-Wulf. It was also considered for possible use as a home defence fighter.
The first prototype flew for the first time in November 1933. A second prototype had some modifications made to the fuselage, and metal rather than wooden wings for flight testing. The third prototype, which flew in February 1934, reverted to the wooden wing and satisfied the technical designers.
After comparison flights in 1935 against its two competitors - the Arado Ar 76 and the Heinkel He 74 - the Air Ministry ordered production to begin. About 1,000 aircraft were built, mostly used by Germany, though numbers were used by Austria and Hungary. A few were sold for private use, for instance to Gerd Achgelis, who later founded the helicopter company Focke-Achgelis with Henrich Focke.
The Fw 56 was a parasol-wing monoplane aircraft with a fuselage of steel tube construction, clad in metal at the front, and canvas elsewhere. The wing was of wood, covered mostly in plywood, while the trailing edge was fabric-covered. The fixed conventional undercarriage consisted of two cantilever main legs and a tailskid. The aircraft was powered by an air-cooled Argus inline engine and intended as a single-seat advanced trainer for the fledgling pilot trainee to transition to from the Bucher primary trainer. In addition, for its secondary role as an emergency fighter as well as aiding aspiring fighter pilot trainees in conversion, it was fitted with 2 fixed cowl-mounted 7.9mm MG17 machine guns as well as a removable ventral rack for 3 10kg bombs (inert practice bombs or, in the event, light antipersonnel fragmentation bombs)
- Fw 56a : First prototype.
- Fw 56 V2 : Second prototype.
- Fw 56 V3 : Third prototype.
- Fw 56A-0 : Three preproduction aircraft.
- Fw 56A-1 : Single-seat advanced trainer. Main production version.
Specifications (Fw 56A-1)
Data from Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933-1945
- Crew: one
- Length: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)
- Wingspan: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
- Height: 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
- Wing area: 14 m2 (150 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 755 kg (1,664 lb)
- Gross weight: 985 kg (2,172 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Argus As 10C inverted V-8 air-cooled piston engine, 176.5 kW (236.7 hp) (converted from PS)
- Maximum speed: 278 km/h (173 mph; 150 kn) at sea level
- Cruise speed: 255 km/h (158 mph; 138 kn)
- Landing speed: 90 km/h (56 mph)
- Range: 385 km (239 mi; 208 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 6,200 m (20,300 ft)
- Rate of climb: 8.42 m/s (1,657 ft/min)
- Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,281 ft) in 2.2 minutes
- Guns: 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine guns
- Bombs: 3 x 10kg bombs on external ventral rack
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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