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Old 29th May 2019, 17:14
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Re: Published Accounts of the Fw 200 C-3 – A Critique on Water-Methanol Injection

I located a copy of William Green's 'Famous Bombers of the Second World War, Second Series', published in 1960. The coverage there of the Bramo 323 R-2 in the Fw 200 C is on page 79 and runs:
“In order to maintain the performance of the Condor despite the increased structural weight, the Fw 200C-3 received four BMW-Bramo 323R-2 nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engines with methanol-water injection which offered 1,200 h.p. at 2,600 r.p.m. for take-off and emergency.”
As you would expect, this is entirely consistent with what Green published subsequently in 1967 & 1970, and was set out in post #1 of this thread. ("He would, wouldn't he?" as a certain Miss Rice-Davies is reported to have said)

As just one example of how myths from the specialist publications spread into the wider world of the general reader, this quote comes from Kenneth Poolman's 'Focke-Wulf Condor: Scourge of the Atlantic', published in 1978:
“Everett’s Condor was one of the new Fw 200 C-3s, which had begun to reach KG40. The fuselage and the rear spar in the wing, which had been found weak, had been strengthened, and the C-3 had new engines, the 9-cylinder air cooled BMW – Bramo 323R-2 Fafnirs with methanol-water injection.” The point is not developed, it is simply dramatic enough to get a mention on p.108 in coverage on the introduction of the Fw 200 C-3. Chronologically in the text this is positioned in the summer of 1941. So this was a completely faithful representation of the errors in the specialist literature.
Poolman was ex-Royal Navy and published some twenty pretty good books for the general reader between 1954 and 1999, all on naval history, most of them relating to an aspect of WW2.

One wonders how many hundreds of web sites in scores of different languages will still go merrily marching on for decades 'informing' their readers that the Bramo-powered Condor used water-methanol injection. LOL

Now Part #6 of 6 - Where MW 50 actually did get a mention in the Condor Story
The only contemporary reference I have traced to the proposed possible use of MW50 with the Condor is in the Focke-Wulf company document 'Focke Wulf Fw 200 F Fernaufklärer mit erhöhter Reichweite, 11 Mai 1943'. This is a proposal from Focke-Wulf in response to a RLM contract, setting out seven alternative options for developing an extended range update of the Condor. Parts of this document were used out of context to pad out Nowarra's account of the Condor (Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor, Bernard & Graefe, 1988). However and most graciously, the full 41-pages of this very useful document are freely downloadable from the web at

The introductory statements to these proposals include this on Blatt 1:
“Zur Verkürzung der Rollstrecke beim Start wird die Startleistung des Motore durch Methanolbetrieb auf 1200 PS je Motor erhöht. Kommt eine Verwendung von Methanol nicht in Frage, so ist mit der normalen Startleistung bei entsprechen großen Flugplätzen ein Start immer noch durchführbar.”
"To shorten the length of runway required for take-off, the take-off power of the engine is increased by use of methanol boosting to 1200 hp per engine. If it is not possible to use methanol, it is still feasible to operate with the normal take-off performance from large airfields."

In addition, each of the short descriptions for a particular option - or set of options - within the seven proposals, ends with the words:
"Bei Einbau de Methanolanlage erhöht sich das Flugzeuggewicht um etwa 50 kg." = "When installing the methanol equipment, the weight of the aircraft increases by about 50 kg."
However, no MW50 tanks are shown in any of the many drawings forming part of this document.

As negative evidence goes, these mentions that the Fw 200, at some point in the FUTURE yet to be determined, MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be RETROFITTED with MW50, look to be about as conclusive as it is possible to get in respect of confirmation that by May 1943 water-methanol had never yet been fitted in any Fw 200.

Perhaps there is other evidence on this point out there? Advice of any other finds will be very much appreciated.

In passing, for those who like William Green believe there never, ever was a Fw 200 C-5 sub-type (or like Heinz Nowarra, at least on p.100 of his book on the Condor, believe there was but a single example each of the C-5 & C-5/U1), it is worth noting that this same May'43 proposals document for a Fw 200 F states that a Ladeplan for the Fw 200 C-5 was already in issue but there was not as yet one available for the C-6. See this very explicit reference from Blatt 8 of the document:
Für die beabsichtige Umrüstung kommt bezüglich Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der endgültige serienmaßige Ausrüstungszustand, d.h. die C-6 Serie als Grundlage in Frage. Diese unterscheidet sich von der C-4 und der C-5 Serie nur in der Abwehrbewaffnung. Da ein Ladeplan für die C-6 im Augenblick noch nicht vorliegt, wird diese Ausführung aus den Unterlagen 8 – 200000 – 7043 (Ladeplan für C-4) und 8 – 200000 – 7049 (Ladeplan für C-5) zusammengestellt."

With respect to equipment and armament for the intended retrofit, the final series build level is used, i.e. the C-6 series forms the baseline for this study. This differs from the C-4 and the C-5 series only in the defensive armament. Since a load plan for the C-6 is not available just yet, one for this version has been compiled from documents 8 - 200000 - 7043 (load plan for C-4) and 8 - 200000 - 7049 (load plan for C-5)."

Finally, it occurs to me that someone quickly and only reading posts 6 & 7 above might think that this is no more than a difference of opinion between Jukka and myself. To be completely and crystal clear, that is not the case. The statement that the Bramo 323 R-2 was fitted with water-methanol injection is purely and simply a fantastical fabrication. What Jukka's find showed was that this invention happened right back in the immediate post-war period.
The evidence is incontrovertibly that the claimed use of water-methanol in the Condor is and always was preposterous, and complete and utter nonsense. One of more than a few invented fairy tales about the Condor that have severely distorted the published accounts in both German and English.
The evidence for why we can be sure that water-methanol injection was not fitted to the Bramo 323 in the Condor are set out in post #2 here, and the actual method of boosting take-off performance of the Bramo 323 R-2 by using C3 fuel in the starter tanks is evidenced in post #3 of this thread.

To summarize in one place the various figures for the take-off power of the Bramo 323R-2:
1,000 h.p = take-off power using Oktan 87 fuel (i.e. B4 or A2 fuel - maybe B4 yielded a bit more but I'm not aware of any documented 323R-2 power comparisons of the two fuels)
1,100 h.p. = take-off power using Oktan 100 fuel (i.e. C3 fuel which seems in 1940 to have been only Oktan 96 but was subsequently upgraded - presumably much as the fuel for Allied fighter was upgraded from 100-octane to 150-octane during 1944)
1,200 h.p. = estimated take-off power using MW50 injection (presumably with B4 fuel)

It may seem surprising, but until Jukka's post I had never actually looked at the engine section of JAWA 1945/6. The reason being that for the relatively small number of engines standardized by the RLM far better contemporary sources are readily available in the engine manuals and service cards. [I should have thought to check this section of JAWA though and I didn't. Mea culpa.]
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