In the autumn of 1937 the German Air Ministry decided it needed another fighter aircraft to supplement the Messerschmitt Bf109. The design team was headed by Kurt Tank, the technical director of Focke Wulf Flugzeugbau. The Focke Wulf 190 flew for the first time on 1st June, 1939, but technical problems meant that it did not become fully operational until July, 1941.
The Focke Wulf 190 was superior to the Messerschmitt Bf109 and for the rest of the Second World War was the best fighter plane in the Luftwaffe. A total of 13,367 were built during the war. Even RAF pilots accepted that because of its speed and ease of handling it outperformed the Supermarine Spitfire.
Kurt Tank now began to work on a new aircraft that could fly at much higher altitudes. This was important because of the introduction of the B-29 Stratafortress that could fly higher than any other bomber in service.
The Focke Wulf 152H went into action in January 1945. It had a maximum speed of 472 mph (759 km) and had a range of 755 miles (1,215 km). It was 35 ft 2 in (10.71 m) long with a wingspan of 47 ft 5 in (14.43 m). The aircraft was armed with two 20 mm cannon and one 30 mm cannon. Its speed at high altitude was greater than any enemy fighter at the time. However, only 150 were produced and very few saw action before the end of the Second World War.