The plane had an enclosed cockpit and a rearwards-retracting lever action suspension main undercarriage which retracted completely into the lower fuselage. This mechanism was complicated, fragile and endlessly troublesome.
The first prototype, the Fw-159 V1, was ready in the spring of 1935 but was destroyed when it crash-landed following the failure of the main undercarriage to deploy properly.
The second prototype, the V2, had a reinforced undercarriage. The general flight characteristics were good but the rate of climb and rate of turn were unsatisfactory, and the aircraft suffered greater drag than its competitors in the contest, the Arado Ar 80, Heinkel He 112 and Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The competition was won by the Bf 109.
National origin: German
Designer: Kurt Tank
First flight: 1935
Number built: 3
Developed from: Focke-Wulf Fw 56
Length: 9.77 m
Wingspan: 12.40 m
Height: 3.75 m
Empty weight: 1,875 kg
Loaded weight: 2,250 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Junkers Jumo 210 Da inverted V-12 liquid cooled, 507 kW (680 hp)
Maximum speed: 385 km/h
Range: 650 km