Aviation Archive Issue 25 - 2016 UK

(Jacob Rumans) #1



nspired by its British namesake, the
Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito was also of
wooden construction. But that is where
the similarity ended. Caught in the centre of
political in-fighting, the Ta 154 barely had
chance to enter service before the project
was cancelled.
The development of the Ta 154 began in
the summer of 1942. Originally conceived as
a high speed wooden bomber, the design
was reclassified as a night fighter. To counter
the threat of the British Mosquito, Erhard

Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito

Milch personally requested a purpose-built
German answer and selected the 154. In
fighting within German circles started almost
immediately, because the RLM and night
fighter units wanted the He 219. As a result
both programmes were compromised.
The Ta 154 emerged as a twin design, fitted
with Junkers Jumo 211F 12-cylinder inverted-
Vee liquid-cooled engines driving three-blade
propellers. The fuselage was of a most basic
design with a single rudder element in the tail
section. A basic landing gear assembly was

used and as much of the aircraft as possible
was constructed of wood to counter the low
supplies of valuable wartime metals. Crew
accommodations amounted to two, a pilot and
a radio-operator to his rear. Armament was
impressive, with twin 30mm MK108 cannons and
twin 20mm MG151 cannons mounted on either
side of the fuselage. Additionally, the Ta 154
Moskito was fitted with a single MK108 30mm
cannon in the upper part of the fuselage. Work
on the design proceeded at an impressive pace
and the first prototype made its maiden flight
on 1 July 1943, with Focke-Wulf ’s experienced
test pilot Hans Sander at the controls.
Although not quite as fast as was predicted,
it was felt the aircraft had promise and the
RLM placed an initial order for 250 of the night

Below: Ready for its maiden flight, the prototype Ta 154V-1 at Langenhagen airfield in June 1943. The
Ta 154 was a neat looking shoulder-winged monoplane. It was originally designed with conventional
tail wheel landing gear, but that was soon changed to a tricycle system, believed to be easier to use on
night landings. The two Jumo engines were carried below the wings, with the main wheels retracting
into the nacelles.
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