AVAILABLE ON 5th NOVEMBER 2021
This is the story of one the Third Reich’s most advanced night fighters – the Ta 154. The driving force behind its gestation was Professor Kurt Tank, designer of the Fw 190. He and a small team of designers and engineers combined state-of-the-art technology with elegant aerodynamics to create an innovative and potent warplane. Inspired by the British de Havilland DH 98, in 1943, the German Air Ministry issued a specification for an all-wood, fast attack-bomber to be powered by Jumo 211 engines. Focke-Wulf was awarded the contract and employed inventive construction methods for the wooden assembly, though ultimately, instead of a Schnellbomber, the resulting Ta 154 would emerge as an experimental night fighter, similar to the de Havilland Mosquito in construction, although it was fitted with a nosewheel. The Ta 154 also incorporated ejection seats, advanced avionics and radar.
The aircraft first flew in prototype stage in July 1943 and when pitted against the He 219 and Ju 388 proved faster, reaching around 700 km/h. In addition to 23 prototypes, around 50 production machines were built with some pre-production examples also being converted to production standard. Some were assigned to NJG 3 for operational night fighting trials, while plans were made to develop a Fw 190/Ta 154 composite bomber formation destroyer. This is a significantly revised and expanded version of a book originally published in the German language in 2006, an absorbing account of a little known but remarkably sophisticated German World War II aircraft. With the aid of over 350 photographs and illustrations, the author dispels myths associated with the construction methods of the Ta 154 and reveals new and intriguing facts about this fascinating aircraft.