FR010 Fw 58B South America

History:
The Focke-Wulf Fw 58 "Weihe" is a twin-engined monoplane powered by two 240 hp (179 kW) Argus 10C (eight-cylinder inverted-vee air-cooled engines). The Fw 58 had a welded steel-tube fuselage with mixed covering and a metal wing with fabric covering aft of the spar. The first prototype, Fw 58 V1, D-ABEM, made its first flight in 1935 as a six-seat light transport and evolved then into the Fw 58C, the most produced type, largely used for transport and liaison by Luftwaffe and many other Air Forces. The second prototype, FW 58V2, was designed as a military version fitted with two 7,9 machine-guns, one in the glazed stern and the second in a dorsal fitting, and had a limited bombing capacity. This second prototype gave birth to the Fw 58B version, which was used mainly for bomber training.

During year 1938, Argentina acquired from Germany 3 Fw 58B. Taken in charge by the Grupo 1 de Observacion, the three planes were used for bomber training (particularly for crews manning the new army bombers Martin type 139WAA). In Argentina, Fw 58B remained into service until year 1952.

In Brazil, the Naval Aviation was looking for a twin-engined trainer and liaison aircraft, which could also carry on transport missions on behalf of the Naval Postal Service. Brazil bought in 1937 a first Fw 58B, followed the next year by ten planes. These aircrafts were locally assembled, using the parts imported from Germany. A further batch of 15 planes was assembled by the OGAvN (Oficinas Gerais da Aciaçao Naval) in Galeo, thus raising to 26 the total number of Fw 58 used by Brazil. Such an aircraft was found and restored recently, making it the only surviving Weihe in the world. This unique machine can be seen at the Aviation Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

References:

  • Air Magazine n° 38 (article on Fw 58b in Brazil)
  • Air Magazine n° 46 (article on  Fw 58s and  Martin 39WAAs in Argentina)