Fw 44 Stieglitz
A Focke-Wulf Fw 44J in 2008
Role Biplane trainer
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
Built by FMA
First flight Late summer 1932[1]

The Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz (Goldfinch) is a 1930s German two-seat biplane. Designed by Kurt Tank[2] in 1931, it was the Focke-Wulf company's first major international success.[3] Produced as a pilot training and sports flying aircraft. It was also built under license in several other countries.

Design and development

The Fw 44 was designed as a biplane with conventional layout and straight, untapered wings. Its two open cockpits were arranged in tandem, and both cockpits were equipped with flight controls and instruments. The Fw 44 had fixed tailwheel landing gear. It employed ailerons on both upper and lower wings. It did not use flaps. It was flown with a Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine.

The first prototype flew in 1932.[1] After many tests and modifications to increase the plane's durability and aerodynamics, the final Fw 44 proved to have excellent airworthiness.

A second version of the Fw 44 was the Fw 44B, which had an Argus As 8 four-cylinder inverted inline air-cooled engine of 90 kW (120 hp).[1] The cowling for this engine gave the plane a more slender, aerodynamic nose.

Twenty Fw 44s purchased by China were modified for combat missions, and participated in the early stage of the Second Sino-Japanese War until all were lost in action.

The last series version was the Fw 44J, which was sold or built under license in several countries around the world. It was equipped with a seven-cylinder Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine.

Many Fw 44Cs remained in Luftwaffe service during World War 2, with the Flugzeugführerschulen and one or two Flugkriegsschulen.[3]


Fw 44J G-STIG at Old Warden 2008
Fw 44B
Fw 44C
Main production version with minor equipment changes, powered by a seven-cylinder Siemens-Halske Sh 14a radial piston engine.
Fw 44D
Fw 44E
Fw 44F
Fw 44J
Final production model, powered by a seven-cylinder Siemens-Halske Sh 14a radial piston engine.


A Focke-Wulf Fw 44J in 2005
Focke-Wulf Fw 44s from Argentina, c. 1937.

The aircraft was produced under license in 1937–1942 period[4]


– license production



Data from Flugzeug Typenbuch 1941 [8]

General characteristics


  • 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in 5 minutes 30 seconds
  • 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in 23 minutes 36 seconds


  1. ^ a b c Holmes, 2005. p. 79.
  2. ^ Munson, K. Fighters Between the Wars 1919-39 1977 p.129 ISBN 071370750X
  3. ^ a b Munson 1978, p. 53.
  4. ^ "Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz in Detail". Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  5. ^ Focke-Wulf Fw-44J Stieglitz * Retired * Used by the Escuela Militar de Aviación.
  6. ^ Focke-Wulf Fw-44 Stieglitz * Retired * Used by the Escuela de Aviación.
  7. ^ Plane Encyclopedia Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz
  8. ^ Schneider, Helmut (1941). Flugzeug Typenbuch (in German). Leipzig: Herm. Beyer Verlag. p. 68.


Further reading