History of the Focke-Wulf Fw 3x1000C

Although the long-range Heinkel He 177 "Greif" heavy bomber became a questionable bomber design, 1,169 were still produced during World War II (1939-1945). This is due to engine failure making them prone to fire - each nacelle is paired with two engines.

Although work on the Luftwaffe's large bomber continued, it became increasingly clear to most involved that the aircraft would never live up to expectations in 1944.

Therefore, in 1943 the RLM (German Aviation Ministry) established new requirements for medium/heavy "fast bombers". Since several major German aircraft manufacturers were already experimenting with turbojet-powered solutions, it meant that new bombers could be powered by emerging technology that offered better performance than the existing propeller-powered bomber forms in service at the time.

Piston-powered engines would reach their zenith by the end of the war, fueling a frenzy of turbojet and rocket-powered aircraft types, resulting in a slew of Air Force programsmany of which never came.

The new bomber was more or less a replacement for the problematic He 177 design. Despite the deteriorating situation in Germany -- now locked in a defensive war on multiple fronts -- and dwindling supplies of war materiel, the RLM has advanced a costly demand at a time when fast, high-flying fighters make more sense.

German Aerospace The group naturally seized the opportunity to secure another potentially lucrative contract by offering their next big idea to the Luftwaffe.

The RLM requirements are relatively simple, hence the project name "3x1000". The new aircraft has a top speed of at least 1,000 km/h, a range of up to 1,000 km, and is capable of carrying a wartime load of at least 1,000 kg (1000 x 1000 x 1000). The long-established Focke-Wulf Group - makers of the famous Fw 190 piston engine fighter jet - returned with three designs to help meet the requirements. The Fw 3x1000A looks like a 1950s jet bomber with a round fuselage, a swept main wing with a central wing and a traditional single tail design. It carries twin turbojets in nacelles suspended under each wing.

The Fw 3x1000B model is a close second, differing by having a high-mounted wing and a lower fuselage. Both will be powered by Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 series turbojets.

Focke-Wulf Designs modified the aircraft with their third product - the 3x1000C - a model focused on a full-wing, triangular planar shape that guarantees the necessary operating speed, range and bomb-carrying capacity required by the RLM. The cockpit was mounted on a thick glass nose section that protruded forward, and the twin turbojets were buried in the bomber's fuselage. The cockpit will be under pressure due to the operating altitude involved.

The main aircraft was integrated into the fuselage and no vertical tail surfaces were used. Instead, the downward-pointing wingtips serve as vertical surfaces. The leading edge of the wing is well swept back, while the trailing edge is level in the engine exhaust area with only a slight swept back on the outboard wing section. Internal bomb charges will be used to carry ammunition and reduce drag.

The hybrid fuselage/wing approach provides greater interior space for operational and mission-critical components without major mechanical complications, although the aerodynamic performance of this flying-wing aircraft by 1943 standards is to say the least will be quite a challenge. The engines of choice were also a pair of HeS 011 turbojets, each rated at 2,865 pounds of thrust.

Like other post-war German "Schnell bomber" projects, the 3x1000C was not intended to have defensive emplacements, as the authorities believed the turbojets were powerful enough to outperform the Allied interceptors of the time. To limit personnel deployments for the new bomber, the RLM also stressed that 3x1000 design submissions should be limited to one crew member.

This means that the pilot's workload includes not only flying the plane, but also managing the navigation kit and bombing equipment from takeoff to landing.

Despite the work done on the Fw 3x1000C, this design, along with many other post-war German initiatives, was little more than a design study. As the Luftwaffe abandoned the prospect of capturing an operational heavy bomber in the war, the need for larger aircraft was reasonably put on hold.

In 1944 and 1945, as casualties in German ground forces continued to mount, the need for interceptors and fighter jets proved more serious than anything else. The Fw 3x1000C became another in a long list of unrealized products that proved to be more dreamy than tangible fighter jets.

Focke-Wulf Fw 3x1000C Specification

Basic

Year:
1944
Staff:
1

Production

[0 units]:
Focke-Wulf - Nazi Germany

Roles

- Ground Attack

- X-Plane / Development

Dimensions

Length:

19.03 ft (5.8 m)

Width:

45.93 ft (14 m)

Weight

Curb Weight:

4,200 kg

MTOW:

8,100 kg

(difference: +8,598 pt)

Performance

2 Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojets, 2,865 lb thrust each.

Performance

Maximum Speed:

621 mph (1,000 km/h; 540 knots)

Service Limit:

49,213 ft (15,000 m; 9.32 mi)

Maximum range:

1,553 miles (2,500 km; 1,350 nautical miles)

Armor

At least 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) internal bomb load.

Changes

3x1000 - Base RLM Project Name

3x1000A - #1 Submitted conventional swept wing design.

3x1000B - Commit #2 for conventional swept wing design.

3x1000C - Flying Wing Design Submission #3

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