Focke Wulf Ta 183 Huckbeine

Among the more realistic of the advanced fighter projects put forth during the dying days of the Third Reich, Focke Wulf’s Ta 183 was started in late 1944 as a counter to the Allied jets that were known to be nearing service, as well as to the B-29 Superfortress, which would have presented a difficult target had it been deployed to Europe.

What emerged from Kurt Tank’s drawing board was a stubby aircraft with swept wings for trans-sonic performance, with the short fuselage incorporating much wood in the structure to conserve scarce strategic materials. The original tail would have been quite tall, with the tailplanes mounted at the top, but a later iteration would have had a lower tail. Initial prototypes would have flown under the power of Jumo 004Bs, but the definitive engine would have been Heinkel’s HeS 011. A quartet of Mk108 30mm cannon would have been situated around the nose intake, and the X-4 AAM was seen as a possible weapon for combating the B-29.

Development of the Huckbein was initially passed over in favor of the Junkers EF 128, but the program was reinstated late in the war, and even at that point, there were plans to build 300 aircraft per month. In reality, by the projected May 1945 first flight, the war in Europe was over, with the Focke Wulf plant under Allied control.

Luftwaffe Secret Project Profiles: A Review

Book Review: “Luftwaffe: Secret Projects of the Third Reich”