FW-190 Luftwaffe airplane model. The Focke Wulf Fw-190 was one of the greatest fighters of WWII. Designed by Dr. Kurt Tank, it built as a sturdy fighter-interceptor to augment the Messerschmitt Bf 109. It made its first flight on June 1, 1939 and first saw combat over northwestern France in September 1941. The early Fw 190A's were superior to the Spitfire Mk.V. This development spurred the continuing evolution of the Spitfire with ever more powerful engines, which pushed evolution of the Fw-190. It was a better fighter than the Bf-109, except at high altitude, and it carried much heavier armament. A major advantage was the wider stance the aircraft had. The Messerschmitt proved to be easy to bounce onto a wing-tip on landing due to the narrow landing gear. The Focke Wulf did not have this problem, which saved pilots lives and aircraft. It was also successfully developed into a series of fighter-bombers, culminating in the superb TA 152. 20,001 Fw-190s were built.