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THE design of the Focke-
Wulf 190 began in 1937 as a back-up to the Messer-schmitt 109 that had been selected as the standard German fighter. The design concept was entirely different, featuring an air-cooled BMW radial engine and a wide-track, inward-retracting landing gear. The first flight of the FW-190V-1 prototype was on June 1,1939, but production models weren't in combat until September 1941.
As a fighter, the FW-190A outperformed the older British Spitfire Vs that were surpassing the contemporary Me-109s. The Spitfire didn't catch up to the FW-190A until the appearance of the Spitfire IX in July 1942. Although it was designed as a fighter, the FW-190 was readily adaptable to many other missions. The FW-190 A reached the-10 variant, with many sub-
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