The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 ‘Uhu’ (‘Eagle Owl’) was built by the German manufacturing company Focke-Wulf as a twin-engine, twin-boom, and three-seat tactical reconnaissance and army cooperation aircraft. It performed its maiden flight in 1938 and entered operational service in 1940. The aircraft was produced from 1940 until 1944 with a total number of 864 Fw-189s built. Its primary users were the Luftwaffe, Hungarian Air Force, and Slovak Air Force.
The Focke-Wulf 189 emerged out of the requirement from the German Ministry of Aviation for a short-range and three-seat reconnaissance aircraft that would aid the German army and replace the Henschel Hs 126 two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft. The aircraft was designed by the Focke-Wulf’s chief designer Kurt Tank, as a twin-boom and twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft. In July 1938, it took to the air for the first time.
The Fw 189 can carry three crew members and has an external length of 11.9 meters, an external height of 2.8 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.35 meters. It has a tail height of 3.1 meters and a wheelbase of 8.3 meters. The wingspan is 18.4 meters and the wing area is 38 square meters. It has an empty weight of 2,690 kg, a gross weight of 3,950 kg, a maximum payload of 600 kg, and a fuel tank capacity of 116 US gal.
The aircraft is powered by a twin Argus As 410A-1 engine. It is a twelve-cylinder air-cooled inverted V engine with a single exhaust and inlet overhead valves driven by pushrods and rockers, a gear-driven supercharger, a carburetor fuel system, a pressure fed oil system, and an air cooling system. It produces a maximum takeoff thrust of 459 hp each and drives a two-bladed Argus variable-pitch propeller. The maximum speed is 186 knots at 8,202 feet, the cruise speed is 171 knots, and the landing speed is 65 knots. It has a travel range of 520 nautical miles. It can fly up to 23,000 feet and can climb at a rate of 1,018 feet per minute.
The Fw 189 is armed with two 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns mounted in the wing roots in a firing forward position, a single 7.92 mm MG 15 machine gun in a dorsal flexible mount position firing to rear, and an optional single 7.92 mm MG 15 in the rear cone firing to rear. It is also loaded with four 50 kg of bombs.