The Ta 152 was an improved version of the Fw 190. It was nearly a complete re-design, sharing few components with the 190. Variants of the Ta 152 were the fastest single piston-engine fighters to fly during WWII.
The museum's example is the last Ta 152 in existence.
At start of WWII, primary requirement for fighter was to destroy enemy fighters in air-to-air combat; threat of enemy bombers materialized later in the war and caused rethinking of role of German fighter-interceptors. In addition to maneuverability, basic needs were maximum attainable speed, high climb rate, and good diving characteristics. Performance at high altitudes not critical since potential enemy aircraft weren't expected to operate at extreme heights. At this time, Germany didn't emphasize high- altitude performance. By end of 40, FW began work to increase operational ceiling of Fw 190. Work accelerated toward autumn of 42 when Germans learned of B-29 and its expected high altitude capabilities. Earlier, in 1940, Kurt Tank had begun redesign of long-nosed Fw 190D--already in production--to improve high altitude performance. Changes included higher aspect-ratio wing, pressurized cabin, and better engine performance though superchargers and nitrous oxide injection. Changes later became basis for Ta 152. First version to go into production was H model, armed with 1 30mm MK 108 cannon and 2 20mm MG 151 cannons. Production began Oct/Nov 44. No fighter unit was completely equipped with Ta 152s; activity was mostly to protect landing strips during landings and takeoffs of Me 262s.