Final fighter – Ta 152
Ta 152 – from development to combat
The original all-new replacement for the Fw 190, the Ta 153, was rejected in April 1943 owing to the disruption its introduction would cause on existing production lines. A redesigned version, designated the Ta 152 in May 1943, was to share far more parts with the Fw 190. Focke-wulf started work on two standard fighter versions with different engines, the Ta 152A and the Ta 152B. The former was to have a Jumo 213A and the latter a Jumo 213E, with the Daimler-benz DB 603G available – assuming it was available – as a backup for either. It was intended that the finished fighter, whatever its engine, would be able to function as either a fighter or fighter-bomber. Standard armament was to be a single MK 103 or MK
The Fw 190 had reached the limit of its potential by 1944 but Focke-wulf chief designer Kurt Tank was already working on a successor. Held back by the very reorganisation that was rescuing the German aircraft manufacturing industry, the Ta 152 was nevertheless one of the most powerful and capable aircraft to see combat during the war.
108 firing through the nose and MG 151s in both the wing roots and outer wing positions, for a total of five guns. The Ta 152A/B took the basic A-8 airframe and lengthened the forward fuselage by 0.772m to accommodate either new engine and an engine mounted MK 108 cannon. This fuselage extension was bolted directly to the A-8’s engine attachment points. The wing was moved forwards by 0.42m to adjust the centre of gravity and the rear star junction and fuselage bulkhead were correspondingly moved. The rear fuselage was lengthened with the fitting of a 0.5m section into it. This was used to house the Ta 152’s oxygen bottles and the compressed air bottles necessary for the engine mounted cannon. The undercarriage was the same as the A-8’s but with larger 740 by 210mm wheels. The wings were slightly enlarged to a span of 11m, from the Fw 190A’s 10.5m, by inserting an extra 0.5m section into each one. This was so that the larger wheels could be moved outboard by 0.25m each for propeller clearance.
Three existing aircraft were modified to become the Ta 152A prototypes – Fw 190s V19, V20 and V21. There were no Ta 152B prototypes since the Jumo 213E engine had been seriously delayed. The work was carried out at Focke-wulf’s Branch Plant 8 at Adelheide, near Bremen, which had been established solely to build experimental airframes and prototypes. V19 first flew with its Jumo 213A on July 7, 1943. It had a new tail, later to be seen on the Fw 190D-9, and a 50cm fuselage extension but no armament. Its initial task was to investigate engine performance and handling. Flight testing was carried out at another Focke-wulf site, Hanover-langenhagen, so aircraft constructed at Adelheide usually took their first flight in that direction. Focke-wulf applied for permission to give the Ta 152A development priority on October 8, 1943, but this was denied. The second prototype, Fw 190 V20 TI+IG, made its first flight on November 23, 1943, with a Jumo 213 CV engine. This unarmed airframe was used for engine checks, speed trials, fuel system and hydraulic tests. The Ta 152 was now in competition with a Messerschmitt design – the Me 209, not to be confused with the prewar racer of the same name. This was an attempt to update the Bf 109 with a wide-track undercarriage, bubble canopy and a Jumo 213A engine in place of the familiar Daimler-benz unit. The first 209 prototype, V5 SP+LJ, had first flown on November 3, 1943. Early testing, however, showed that the aircraft gave a less than satisfactory performance with its new engine. Just two days later, another Bf 109 variant, the Bf 109H prototype V54 PV+JB, made its first flight. The Bf 109H was an attempt to wring yet more life out of the Bf 109G and had enlarged wings. Unfortunately this modification to the original design resulted in serious vibration and flutter. The Bf 109H also handled very poorly during tests. Tank had been considering a high-altitude version of the Ta 152 to compete with the Bf 109H and shortly after he submitted plans for the Ta 152H to the RLM, on December 7, 1943, the ministry ordered six prototypes. It stipulated, however, that these should be built from standard A-8 airframes with the minimum possible number of changes. The Ta 152H had the same A-8 airframe alternations as the 152A but the fuselage centre section was designed as a pressurized chamber with a volume of about one cubic metre, sealed with DHK 880 paste. The sliding cockpit canopy was sealed with a tube partly filled with foam rubber. When the pilot activated it, a one litre compressed air bottle pumped up the tube. In order to get out of the aircraft, the tube had to be emptied first – which meant it would be difficult for the pilot to escape in an emergency. In addition, wingspan was increased to 14.4m (47ft 3in) from the standard Fw 190A’s 10.5m (34ft 5in). In light of the RLM’S renewed interest in the Ta 152, on December 20, 1943, Tank resubmitted his request for the Ta 152A to be given development priority but this was again denied. Tank’s efforts to persuade the RLM of the aircraft’s merits resulted, at a meeting on January 13-14, 1944, in the Fw 190D-9 being approved as an interim measure while further development was undertaken. The first Ta 152A test airframe, V19, crashed on February 16, 1944, when the right undercarriage leg locking bolt failed, but the damage was repaired and testing was resumed. By now, the Jumo 213E engine planned for the Ta 152B had been subject to serious delays so another powerplant, the DaimlerBenz DB 603 L, was identified for the aircraft under the designation Ta 152C. Like the A and B, this was proposed as a fighter and fighterbomber, depending on armament. The Ta 152C had the same fuselage extensions and larger wheels as the other members of the 152 family and the same wings as the Ta 152A/B but without outer
wing gun positions. Instead, provision was made to carry a pair of MG 151/20 machine guns in the upper cowling above the engine. While this was going on, on March 13, 1944, the third Ta 152A prototype, Fw 190 V21 TI+IH, made its first flight with a Jumo 213 CV. It had the 50cm fuselage extension, another new tail type, the now familiar Ta 152 tail, no armament and gun port openings in its engine cowling. It was used to test, along with V20, a glare-reducing flame damper over the engine exhaust which was meant to allow the Ta 152A to operate as a night fighter without special modifications. The damper, however, imposed such a severe performance penalty on the aircraft’s engine that it was abandoned on April 18, 1944. Less than a month later V21 managed a top speed of 335mph at sea level and on May 5, 1944, it was transferred to the Rechlin test station for further trials. The Ta 152A was now ready for full production – and was promptly cancelled by the RLM in July 1944. Also cancelled, however, were the Me 209 and Bf 109H, which meant the DB 603L powered Ta 152C and Ta 152H were effectively the ‘winners’ and their development continued. The Ta 152B standard fighter design was left in limbo as its Jumo 213E engine was still delayed and the 152H, using the same engine, was given higher priority. This resulted in the odd situation where, because the Ta 152A was cancelled and the Ta 152B was stalled, the Ta 152C became the focus of efforts to create a ‘standard’ Ta 152 fighter. Its development, however, had only just begun and was therefore behind that of the specialised Ta 152H which had been worked on since December 1943.
The first airframe intended to test components and handling for the planned Ta 152H took place on July 13, 1944. But just 36 minutes after takeoff for a ferrying flight from Adelheide to Langenhagen, Fw 190 V33/U1, GH+KW crash landed. It came down somewhere near Vechta and suffered 70% damage. The aircraft’s landing flaps and undercarriage had been tested prior to takeoff and had performed exactly as intended but once he was in the air, the pilot discovered that he could not lock the right undercarriage leg into the up position because the moveable wheel well cover jammed against the landing gear door. Further investigation of the problem proved impossible, however, because the damage was too severe. This was a major setback for the Ta 152H. The Ta 152C programme also suffered a big setback when one of its first prototypes, former Ta 152A tester Fw 190 V20, being converted into V20/U1, was destroyed in an air raid on Langenhagen on August 5, 1944. Fortunately, the RLM had ordered six prototypes of the Ta 152H and work on the second one was nearly complete. Fw 190 V30/U1 GH+KT was able to make its first flight the day after the air raid and testing with its early Jumo 213E engine commenced. However, the engine was still not ready – a fact which became clear as tests progressed. During one flight at 30,000ft, the third stage of the supercharger would not engage and fuel pressure dropped because the pumps fitted were unable to cope with the altitude. V30/U1 was transferred to the Rechlin test centre on August 19 but during another high altitude flight with Flugkapitän Alfred Thomas at the controls, the Jumo 213E caught fire. Thomas managed to bring the aircraft down but it crashed during a turn while landing and was totally destroyed. Thomas was killed. The destruction was so complete that it was not even possible to work out what had caused the fire, or the resulting crash. Thomas had been unable to make radio contact either. The third Ta 152H prototype, Fw 190 V29/U1 GH+KS, first flew on September 24, 1944, and was sent to Rechlin three days later to get the testing process quickly under way. Rechlin’s pilots concluded that the aircraft required trim changes, had ‘uncomfortable’ stall behaviour and suffered poor stability in the vertical axis but was otherwise stable. November 3 saw the first Ta 152C test aircraft finally taking to the skies – Fw 190 V21/U1, formerly used as part of the Ta 152A programme. With the planned DB 603L engine delayed, it was powered by a stopgap DB 603E instead. After being transferred from Adelheide to Langenhagen, on November 18, V21/U1 was handed over to Daimler-benz itself for conversion to the new DB 603LA engine. The much used and abused airframe that was Fw 190 V18 – formerly used to test the Hirth supercharger in earlier high altitude experiments – became the fourth Ta 152H test aircraft as V18/U2, starting with a first flight in its new configuration on November 19, 1944. Meanwhile, now that the Jumo 213E was finally proving more reliable, the Ta 152B was revived. Since the Daimler-benz powered Ta 152C already occupied the standard fighter
role, it was envisioned that the 152B could become a Zerstörer (heavy fighter) to fill the role vacated by the recently cancelled Me 410 – a successful aircraft axed due to a resource-saving reduction in the number of different types in production instigated in the autumn of 1944. The Ta 152B-5 was intended to be similar to the C but with a Jumo engine and a reduced armament – one MK 103 in the engine and another in each wing root. It was planned that production would begin at Erla in May 1945 and Gotha in July 1945.
The war situation was deteriorating rapidly, but sufficient testing had been done for the Ta 152H to enter full production in late November 1944, just 11 months after the first prototypes had been ordered. Neuhausen, near Cottbus in Brandenburg, on the far eastern edge of Germany, was chosen as the Ta 152 production centre and work began slowly. While the facilities were available for mass production, the materials and components were not. There were continuous delays at the factory as missing parts were tracked down for the first run of Ta 152H-0 aircraft. Focke-wulf chief test pilot Hans Sander flew the first machine off the production line, WNR. 150 001 CW+CA, on November 24, 1944. He later recalled: “I had to put the first production machine down on its belly away from Cottbus because while climbing out after takeoff the engine suddenly stopped receiving fuel. A hydraulic valve had somehow been installed in the fuel line. I received a bottle of schnapps, hard to come by in those days, as compensation. Everything was okay with the second machine.” The second machine was first flown on November 29 and the third on December 3. A total of 21 H-0s had been completed by the end of December. These had no wing fuel tanks or MW 50/GM 1 boost. Production was in full swing during January but on January 16, a group of 40 USAAF Lightnings and Mustangs attacked the airfield at Neuhausen, where the new Ta 152s had been gathered prior to delivery to III./JG 301, the first unit intended to operate them. Fourteen brand new 152s were completely destroyed and another was damaged. In the meantime, the Ta 152C programme was still forging ahead. Three more prototypes had been constructed, this time from scratch – Ta 152 V6 VH+EY, V7 CI+XM and V8 GW+QA – flying on December 12, January 8 and January 15 respectively. Plans were now on the drawing board too for further variants – a Focke-wulf production schedule dating from January 1945 indicates plans for a two-seater Ta 152S-1 based on the Ta 152C-1, to be built by Blohm & Voss from April 1945, the reconnaissance version Ta 152E-1 with RB 75/30 camera in its fuselage, and Ta 152C-11 torpedo launching aircraft. The war situation, however, was catching up with Focke-wulf. Kurt Tank recalled: “On one occasion during the closing stage of the war I was flying a Ta 152. I had just taken off from Lagenhagen near Hanover, on my way to a conference at Cottbus. Suddenly the control tower called me and said there were ‘Zwei Indiana über dem Gartenzaun’ (two Indians over the garden fence) – two enemy fighters over the airfield. “This placed me in a difficult position because, anxious to remain a ‘civilian’, I never flew with loaded guns. One could hardly expect the pilots of the two Mustangs to know that, however, and it is doubtful whether they would have acted any differently if they had known. As they came boring down after me I rammed open the throttle and switched in the water methanol injection. “My aircraft surged forwards, accelerating rapidly. The Mustangs’ closing speed swiftly fell to zero, then they were mere specks in
the distance. I have often wondered what those American pilots thought had happened to their ‘sitting duck’.” Another 20 Ta 152s, H-0s and H-1s, would be completed in January and three more in February before production ceased, giving a total of 43 production machines, plus 11 prototype/experimental airframes.
Pilots from the Erprobungskommando Ta 152 test unit at Rechlin had been flying the aircraft since November 2, 1944, but the first unit to operate it was III./JG 301. The Gruppe was withdrawn from front line operations to begin conversion to the type on January 27, 1945. Four days earlier, the order had been given to redesignate the test unit Stabsstaffel JG 301 but in practice the Erprobungskommando took no part in front line activities. III./JG 301 pilots were taken to Neuhausen by truck in the early hours on January 27 and when they arrived were presented with 12 Ta 152s parked in three rows of four. After a technical briefing lasting half an hour they flew the aircraft to nearby Alteno. One of those pilots, Feldwebel Willi Reschke, gave his first impressions: “The first unpredictable surprises occurred during practice flights over the airfield in the Ta 152, when aircraft from other Staffeln were encountered. Such encounters often proved problematic, for the outline of the Ta 152 was virtually unknown to German pilots. “In such encounters pilots also reacted very differently. The vast majority immediately displayed defensive reactions or offensive intentions, but there were also pilots who reacted to the encounter with panic and tried to flee to safety. The pilots of the Ta 152 had to deal with these reactions until the end of the war.” He said the Ta 152 gave a sense of “tremendous power” and gave impressive acceleration. It was also able to perform well above 30,000ft, where the Fw 190A-8 would be losing power and behaving sluggishly. After the initial 12 had been transferred, III./JG 301 received a further four Ta 152s over the next two months but none thereafter. It therefore only had 16 in total, though it had been planned that it would receive 35. The first was lost on February 1 when Unteroffizier Hermann Dürr’s machine entered a flat spin and crashed near Alteno. As the conversion continued into the middle of February, all of III./JG 301’s pilots flew the Ta 152, while also continuing offensive operations with the unit’s Fw 190A8s and A-9s. On February 19, III./JG 301 was forced to abandon Alteno as Soviet forces advanced towards it, relocating to Sachau west of Berlin. It was while based at Sachau that the Ta 152 nearly made its first ‘kill’ – a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress claimed shot down by III./JG 301’s Oberfeldwebel Josef ‘Jupp’ Keil. In fact, no B-17s were lost that day, though some were damaged. Another Ta 152 was destroyed after stalling too close to the ground during the unit’s first few days at Sachau, killing pilot Oberfähnrich Jonny Wiegeshoff. Keil tried again on March 1, this time claiming a North American P-51 Mustang shot down. This seems more likely, since the US 8th Air Force lost seven Mustangs that day. On March 2, 1945, during a mission to escort Fw 190A-8 and A-9 Sturmbocks attacking an American bomber formation, a unit of Bf 109s attacked III./JG 301’s Ta 152s and forced them to take evasive action – aborting the mission. On March 13, the remaining Ta 152s were formed up into a Stabsschwarm (staff flight) at Stendal, away from their comrades at Sachau. They moved again on April 10, this time to Neustadt-glewe air base – hidden by woodland in a secluded area. Their first mission from this new home, on the same day of the move, was to attack American forces that had just overrun Stendal. While providing top cover for this mission, Oberfeldwebel Keil claimed an American P-47 as a ‘probable’ kill in his Ta 152, though this has proven hard to verify. By April 14, Soviet forces had crossed the River Oder and were advancing on Berlin. In the late afternoon, two Hawker Tempests were spotted attacking the railway line from Ludwigslust to Schwerin and three Ta 152s were sent up to intercept them – flown by Oberfeldwebel Sepp Sattler, Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke and Oberstleutnant Fritz Auffhammer. Reschke wrote in his autobiography: “As our takeoff was in the same general direction as the railway line, we reached the Tempests’ attack area shortly after leaving the airfield. I was flying as number three in the formation, and as we reached the area where the Tempests were I saw Sattler’s Ta 152 go down for no apparent reason. Now it was two against two, and the low-level battle began. “As I approached my opponent pulled up from a low-level attack and I attacked from out of a left-hand turn. Both pilots realised that this was a fight to the finish, and from the outset both used every tactical and piloting ploy in an attempt to gain an advantage. At that height neither could afford to make a mistake, and for the first time I was to see what the Ta 152 could really do. “Twisting and turning, never more than 50m above the ground, I closed the range on the Tempest. At no time did I get the feeling that my machine had reached the limit of its performance. The Tempest pilot quite understandably had to undertake risky manoeuvres to avoid a fatal burst from my guns. As my Ta 152 closed in on the Tempest, I could see that it was on the verge of rolling the other way; an indication that I could not turn any tighter. “The first burst from my guns struck the Tempest in the rear fuselage and tail. The Tempest pilot reacted immediately by flicking his aircraft into a right-hand turn, which increased my advantage even further. There was no escape for the Tempest now. I pressed the firing buttons again, but my guns
remained silent. Recharging them did no good: my guns refused to fire a single shot. “I can’t remember whom and what I cursed at that moment. Luckily the Tempest pilot was unaware of my bad luck, for he had already had a sample. He continued to twist and turn and I positioned my Ta 152 so that he always had a view of my machine’s belly. “Then came the moment when the Tempest went into a high-speed stall: it rolled left and crashed into a wood. This combat was certainly unique, having been played out at heights which were often just 10m above the trees and rooftops. “Throughout I never had the feeling that my Ta 152 had reached its performance limit; instead it reacted to the slightest control input, even though we were practically at ground level. Oberstleutnant Auffhammer also gained the upper hand against his Tempest, but in the end the enemy succeeded in escaping to the west. “As the combat had taken place just a few kilometres from the airfield, in the late afternoon we drove out to the scene and discovered that Oberfeldwebel Sattler’s Ta 152 and my Tempest had crashed within 500m of each other. The treetops had absorbed some of the force of the crash and the Tempest looked like it had made a forced landing. “The damage inflicted by my cannon shells was clearly visible on the tail and rear fuselage and the pilot was still strapped in the cockpit. It turned out that he was a New Zealander, Warrant Officer Owen J Mitchell of 486 Squadron, Royal Air Force. The next day the two fallen pilots were buried with military honours in the Neustadt-glewe cemetery.”
Now there was a growing overlap between Soviet and Allied air forces. On April 21, 1945, the Stabsschwarm’s Ta 152s encountered their first Yak-9s during a mission to cover Fw 190As flying fighter-bomber missions against Soviet targets on the eastern side of Berlin. Oberfeldwebel Keil claimed two of them shot down. It was Reschke’s turn three days later. On April 24, the Stabsschwarm put up two flights of Ta 152s – a pair and a trio. Reschke and Oberleutnant Stahl made up the pair and headed towards the north of Berlin before swinging down the eastern side of the city, occasionally drawing tracer fire from the ground. Reschke said: “We were flying about 200m apart and the cloud base was still at about 1500m with scattered cloud below. We occasionally lost sight of one another in this scattered cloud and the visibility in general was severely limited. It was probably for this reason that we failed to spot Russian fighter aircraft crossing our path from the right. The Soviets ended up at our four o’clock and immediately turned toward the Ta 152 flown by Oberleutnant Stahl, who was on my right. I alerted Stahl to the presence of the enemy fighters by radio and turned toward them. “Stahl’s reaction took me by surprise, for instead of initiating any sort of defensive manoeuvre, he simply put the nose down and dove away. I radioed warnings and urged him to climb up into the clouds, because the first red tracers were already flashing past his Ta 152, but there was no reaction and he continued his shallow dive. “I was in firing position behind a Yak-9 when tracer went by my machine. I had concentrated on Oberleutnant Stahl’s critical situation so much that I only now realised that mine wasn’t much better. I immediately put my Ta 152 into a hard left turn and for the time being shook off the Yak-9 behind me. Only then did I realise that it was an entire flight of unfamiliar aircraft. As I had lost some altitude following Stahl, I began turning with the Russians. “Having never encountered Russian fighters before, I was unfamiliar with their tactics, but figured that if I got in trouble I could still climb up into the clouds. The Russians held their tight formation, consequently I was at first unable to turn as tightly as I would have liked. “I soon went from being in front of the enemy fighters to behind them, further proof of the Ta 152’s manoeuvrability. Only after I shot down the number four aircraft did the Russian formation split up, and each tried to get me on his own. “Only one of the Russians had the will to carry on, however, and the other two withdrew. The remaining pilot was probably the leader of this small fighter unit, but his Yak-9 was hopelessly inferior to my Ta 152. In the end he went down trailing smoke.” This was the last known flight of the Ta 152 in service. At a meeting of the RLM’S armaments staff on March 29, 1945, it was decided to halt production of the Ta 152 to concentrate on the Fw 190D but this was a moot point since most of the production areas equipped to build the Ta 152 and its components had already been overrun by the enemy. The following month, a complete set of Ta 152 blueprints was sold to Japan but no production of the aircraft took place there.
The Ta 152 flown by Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke of Stab/jg 301 from Neustadt-glewe, Germany, on April 14, 1945.The same age as Heinz Sachsenberg, Reschke joined the Luftwaffe in 1941 and underwent pilot training until his first operational posting to I./JG 302 based near Vienna in June 1944. His first two victories were scored the following month, on July 2, when he shot down a pair of Consolidated B-24 Liberators over Budapest. Five days later he was again attacking B-24s, this time over Slovakia, but his guns jammed so he disabled his target by ramming it, before successfully bailing out of his ruined Bf 109G-6. By the end of August, he had destroyed 14 enemy aircraft including seven B-17s, six B-24s and a single P-51 – his only fighter. I./JG 302 converted to the Fw 190A-8 in early September and became III./JG 301 on September 30. Reschke’s tally continued to rise, taking him to 21 ‘kills’ by the end of 1944. Nineteen of these were American heavy bombers. His 20th and final bomber was a B-17 he shot down on January 1, 1945. He was transferred to Stab./jg 301 in March and flew the Ta 152 for the first time in January. On April 14, he downed a Hawker Tempest of 486 (NZ) Squadron flown by W/O O J Mitchell, who was killed. He ended the war with 27 victories, three of them with the Ta 152, after he shot down a pair of Yak-9s over Berlin. At the time of writing, Reschke still lived in Germany, aged 92.
The Fw 190D-9 flown by Leutnant Heinz Sachsenberg of JV 44 from München-reim, Germany, April 1945. Having learned to fly aged 20 in 1942, Sachsenberg was sent to fight on the Eastern Front with 6./JG 52 flying Bf 109s. He scored his first victory on April 21, 1943, and by the end of July was an ace with 22 confirmed ‘kills’ – most of them fighters such as the fast and manoeuvrable Yakovlev Yak-1. By the end of the year he had 52. He continued to rack up victories throughout 1944 during the German retreat from the USSR but was seriously injured on August 23 when his Bf 109G-6 ‘Yellow 1’ was shot up by American P-51s over Romania and he was forced to make a belly landing. In April 1945, he was ordered to lead a unit of Fw 190D-9s protecting Messerschmitt Me 262 jets as they landed and took off and were at their most vulnerable. With the huge number of Allied aircraft overflying Germany by this time, there was a tendency for antiaircraft gunners to shoot at anything with wings so Sachsenberg’s unit, JV 44, painted the undersides of their aircraft in bright red with prominent white stripes for easy identification.the inscription Sachsenberg had painted on the side of his D-9’s fuselage ‘Verkaaft’s mei Gwand I foahr in Himmel!’ (Sell my clothes, I’m off to Heaven!) sums up the apocalyptic spirit of German servicemen at the time. Sachsenberg died in 1951, aged just 28, due to complications arising from his wartime injuries.
Focke-wulf drawing of the Ta 152C – intended to be the standard fighter/fighterbomber version of the ultimate Fw 190 development. It followed on from the cancelled Ta 152A and stalled 152B. By the time its development began, the high-altitude version of the Ta 152, the ‘H’, was already well advanced.
The second prototype to test components for the Ta 152A was Fw 190 V20 TI+IG. It was first flown on November 23, 1943 – a month before any prototypes of the Ta 152H had been ordered by the RLM and two months before the Fw 190D was even suggested. Had the Ta 152A not been cancelled due to a lack of faith in its Juno 213 powerplant, it might well have entered service before either of them. A page from the Ta 152 parts list showing some of the electrical systems, top, and operational equipment, below.the latter includes the fuselage-mounted camera intended for the Ta 152E-1.
Focke-wulf drawing showing the armament planned for the Ta 152C. The type differed from its predecessors, the Ta 152A/B and H, in having cowling-mounted MG 151s but no outer wing positions. A Ta 152 tail used for structural testing at the Detmold facility. Alternating loads of 1600kg upwards and 800kg downwards were applied to the section’s front attachment bracket. A side view of a Ta 152C airframe being used for structural testing at Focke-wulf’s structural research laboratory at Detmold.testing was dispersed to part of a furniture factory operated by Vereingte Mobelfabrik in 1943 following a series of bombing raids at the company’s Bremen headquarters.
The third Ta 152C prototype,ta 152 V7 CI+XM, was first flown on January 8, 1945, by test pilot Bernhard Märschel. It was used for general systems checks, particularly hydraulics. It was not fitted with the C’s ‘standard’ Daimler-benz DB 603 LA engine until March. The enormous wingspan of the Ta 152H prototype Fw 190 V30/U1 GH+KT is evident in this photo. The fifth production Focke-wulf Ta 152H-0, WNR. 150005 CW+CE on the compass-swing platform outside the Neuhausen factory near Cottbus in December 1944. Rather than being delivered to III./JG 301, it was instead sent to Junkers at Dessau for engine trials and was reportedly still there on March 18, 1945. A side view of Ta 152H prototype Fw 190 V30/U1 GH+KT.THE aircraft was destroyed in a crash on August 23, 1944, which resulted in the death of Focke-wulf test pilot Alfred Thomas.
The first pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft with a Ta 152 was Oberfeldwebel Josef ‘Jupp’ Keil. He is regarded as being the only Ta 152 ace of the war, with five kills made while flying the aircraft.this tally has been called into question in recent years as attention has focused on matching up claims with actual losses. The only known photograph of Ta 152s actually in service with III./JG 301.The image was taken at Alteno on January 27, 1945, immediately after the unit’s pilots took delivery of 12 aircraft.
Ta 152H pilot Oberfeldwebel Sepp Sattler was killed when his aircraft crashed shortly before his comrades engaged in combat with a pair of RAF Hawker Tempests.the cause of his aircraft’s crash was never discovered. Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke made the last known Ta 152H-1 sortie of the war, shooting down two Yak-9s over Berlin. His aircraft was captured by the British shortly thereafter. The second to last Ta 152H-1 known to have been produced, WNR. 150168, after being captured by the British.this aircraft was flown by Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke when he shot down a pair of Yak-9s over Berlin. It was scrapped after the war. One of the last three Ta 152’s built, WNR. 150167, was captured by the Americans in flyable condition at Erfurt-north on April 15, 1945. It is believed to have been selected for conversion to Ta 152H-10 standard – a highaltitude reconnaissance version originally designated Ta 152E-2.