The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor was a long-range German airliner that first flew on 27 July 1937. Powered by four Bramo 323 Fafnir engines, it has the distinction of being the first aircraft to fly non-stop from Berlin to New York and return, which it did in August 1938.
Passenger capacity was usually 26 people in a 2 x 1 arrangement and up to 30 could be carried in a military transport role. Airline operators were Luft Hansa, Det Danske Luftfartselskab (Danish Air Lines) and Syndicato Condor.
Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor Video
Following on from the last video about the Junkers G.38 where passengers sat in the wings, this time we stay in Germany for a look at the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor. Running for just over 11 minutes, this video gives a good history of the aircraft in both civil and military service.
The close ties between Germany and Japan at the time are evident, as the plane was sent to Tokyo on a promotional flight. It was even ordered by Imperial Japanese Airways, but the outbreak of war meant these were never delivered.
Due to the war, the Luftwaffe operated the aircraft in a maritime patrol and reconnaissance role and it could be fitted with bombs and mines to sink the enemy’s shipping. Structurally it turned out to be a bit problematic, with wing spars failing and fuselages breaking.
One Focke-Wulfe Condor was even adapted as Adolf Hitler’s personal transport aircraft, which is perhaps not too surprising. He was the leader of the country at the time so why not have the biggest and best.
There were 276 Focke-Wulfe Condor’s manufactured between 1937 and 1944 and today just one still exists. It is on display at the former Berlin-Tempelhof Airport and was raised from Trondheim Fjord in Norway. Restoration took place between 1999 and 2021, which is a remarkable achievement considering it was just a wreck when they started.
It’s interesting to think about how things may have been different if war had not occurred. Perhaps the Condor would have been found crisscrossing the North Atlantic between Germany and the USA on a regular basis. Who knows!
Have you ever heard of the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor? What did you think of the video? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image via PNP.