Development of the Focke Wulf FW-42

In the late twenties and early thirties, Focke Wulf experimented with canard designs. This started with the F-19 Ente from 1927 which was a fairly successful proof of concept aircraft.

After the take over of power by the Nazi's in 1933, the Luftwaffe started searching for modern aircraft to build its strength. The RLM approached the aviation industry with requests for designs. Focke Wulf put forward their design for a medium bomber designated FW-42. It had a canard design and two engines. The design carried a crew of six.

Despite the unconventional lay-out the RLM gave an order for three prototypes which were constructed in 1934. First flight of the FW-42a was on February 17th 1934. The testing of the three prototypes went fairly smoothly and a production order for 64 aircraft was issued in August of 1934. The unconventional aircraft drew a lot of attention from foreign air forces and in 1935 three were exported to Japan.

Although the aircraft proved to be a stable bombing platform, its performance was not very good. This was mainly caused by the low power of the two BMW engines. By 1936 it was already becoming obsolete and was scheduled for replacement in front line service by the Heinkel He-111 and Dornier Do-17.

As the Luftwaffe deployed aircraft in the Condor Legion in 1936, a number of FW-42 bombers were also sent to Spain. This was to be the only combat use of the aircraft. In 1937 the FW-42 which remained were withdrawn and the type was quickly phased out.

The model

The model is the 1/72 Unicraft resin kit.

Last updated: 14/03/2009