Focke-Wolf FW 189 in Action (Aircraft 142)
By George Punka
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1994 50 Pages
PDF 16 MB
In ihc February of 1937 the Technische Ami (Technical Office) of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM > opened competition for a new aircraft to replace the Luftwaffe's current reconnaissance aircraft thai equipped the Aujkldrungsslaffeltt (H) (tactical reconnaissance squadrons). Up until this time, the Luftwaffe had used the Hcinke! He 46 for this role, but this aircraft was rapidly becoming obsolete. The He 46 filled the reconnaissance mission with excellent downward visibility and good slow speed handling. In 1935. Hcnschel offered the HS 122 as a replacement for the He 46; however, the aircraft was only some six mph (10 km/h ) faster than the earlier aircraft. The Hs I22's 167 mph top speed (270 km/h) was deemed to be insufficient and Hcnschel rebuilt the prototype, using a more powerful engine and improved airframe. This prototype evolved into the Hs 126 high wing, two seat tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
The speed of the prototype was now some 208 mph (335 km/h) with all operational equipment and a full load. This performance was achieved despite its fixed landing gear and strut braced high wing. The aircraft featured an open observer's cockpit which was fell to offer the best field of view for the observer. At the time, the HS 126 was considered to be one of the best all-metal reconnaissance aircraft in service.