Ta 154 Moskito

Such was the respect granted De Havilland’s Mosquito by its German adversaries, that Kurt Tank’s Ta 154 was even named Moskito. While the “German Mossie” had originally been intended, like its RAF counterpart, to be a multi-role aircraft, the Ta 154 as it eventually took form was to be a dedicated interceptor in its basic form.

By mid-1942, RAF Bomber Command was finally shocking the Luftwaffe out of its early-war period reticence to think in anything other than an offensive posture – hasty improvisations of Bf 110s, Ju 88s, and other aircraft had proven able to counter early British bomber operations, but as the number of bomber and the expertise of their crews continued to improve, the need for a purpose designed night fighter became ever more apparent. This was driven home by the late May 1942 thousand-plane raid on Cologne, an operation that could not be more than slightly blunted, let alone stopped by existing German defenses.

What emerged to meet a post-Cologne requirement for a new night fighter was the Ta 154, an attractive tricycle-gear, shoulder-wing aircraft with a two-man crew sitting in tandem. Armament was to consist of pairs of MG151 20mm and Mk108 30mm cannon. The first few aircraft would be powered by Jumo 211Fs, although the definitive engine was to be the Jumo 213.

The entire Ta 154 program was undone by the loss of the facility that produced the Tego-Film adhesive subsequently used proved inadequate, as evidenced by the in-flight breakup of a pair of aircraft two days apart.

Ta 154 V3: Larger vertical tail, 4x20mm, FuG220 radar with Hirschgeweth antenna array.

Ta 154 V4: Production armament fit

Ta 154 V5: FuG 212 radar

Ta 154A-0: 22 service test aircraft, with Jumo 211Es and either FuG 212 or 220 sets.

Ta 154A-0/U3: Anti bomber formation Mistel proposal, with the 154 forming the unmanned lower half, and controlled by an Fw 190A-4. Nearly two and a half tons of explosives would be carried and then detonated in the midst of Allied aircraft.

Ta 154A-1/R1: proposal for a day fighter variant with a new, bigger canopy for better cockpit visibility, deletion of the radar operator position, and the addition of a dorsal gunner position behind the wing.

Ta 154C-2: single-seat fighter-bomber

Ta 154C-3: Recce variant, later day fighter

Ta 154C-4: Two-seater fighter-bomber

Ta 254A-1: Night fighter proposal with larger wing, Jumo 211Es

Ta 254A-2: Jumo 211E powered day fighter; Ta 254B-2 was to be the DB603L-powered equivalent

Ta 154 Bibliography

Bob Archer, Dave Wegner “Tank’s Termite” Scale Modeler July 1974 building the 1/72 Ta 154 vacuform kit from Airmodel

“Der Deutsche Moskito…Tank’s abortive Ta 154” Air International April 1989 includes side views of the V3, V3, and V15; Ta 154A-1/A-4 cutaway, and a close-up of theHirschgeweih array

Preview of the Hasegawa 1/72 Ta 154V3 kit Scale Aviation Modeller International 01-1999 p.36

Review of the Dragon 1/48 Ta 154 3 in 1 kit Skymodel 11/07 p.63

Manfred Griehl Luftwaffe X-Planes: German Experimental and Prototype Planes of World War II p.33: photo of the initial Ta 154 prototype.