1. #1
    This very interesting document surfaced on Aces High's "vehicle" forum: It confirms what I had long suspected from numerous accounts: That the FW-190D-9 converted what was mainly a low-speed turn-fighter into a 109-like Boom-and-Zoom aircraft, with superior performance to the Anton, but much inferior to the radial aircraft's horizontal handling.

    Note the Russian-observed relationship of the FW-190 to the Me-109 within German tactics, in 1943:


    Quote:"They interact in the following manner:
    FW-190 will attempt to close with our fighters hoping to get behind them and attack suddenly. If that maneuver is unsuccessful they will even attack head-on relying on their superb firepower. This will also break up our battle formations to allow Me-109Gs to attack our fighters as well. Me-109G will usually perform boom-n-zoom attacks using superior airspeed after their dive.
    FW-190 will commit to the fight even if our battle formation is not broken, preferring left turning fights. There has been cases of such turning fights lasting quite a long time, with multiple planes from both sides involved in each engagement."

    This FW-190D-9 evaluation not only confirms the overall inferior turn handling of the FW-190D-9 to the FW-190A-8, as I predicted (and observed in combat accounts) because of the leverage of the longer nose, it actually confirms my argument that the prop disc load affects the elevator performance, and the stall behaviour, quite dramatically...:


    Quote: "Controls remain effective up to the stall except in the power off condition wherein some difficulty is experienced in applying enough elevator to obtain abrupt stalls"

    Yes I know: Propwash could play a role in here... You gotta love the concise conclusion:

    Quote: "1-The FW-190D-9, although well armored and equipped to carry heavy armament, appears to be much less desirable from a handling standpoint than other models of the FW-190 using the BMW 14 cylinder radial engine."

    Any advantage this airplane may have in performance over other models of the FW-190 is more than offset by its poor handling characteristics."

    Except for using the D-9 in Boom-and-Zoom tactics, I couldn't have said it better myself...


    P.S. Note the longer tail and nose may have allowed the D-9 to have better high-speed vertical handling than that of a FW-190A, as the high-speed elevator handling (above 250 MPH) of the real Anton could hardly be worse...:


    Oh, and let us not forget the Floret and Sabre analogy...

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  2. #2
    DKoor's Avatar Senior Member
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    Oct 2006
    Impossible !!!
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  3. #3
    The Dora 9 does not have a Jumo 213E engine.
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  4. #4
    That report does not mention what 'poor handling characteristics' were worsened over the Antons, however it focusses on trim and instability issues and presumably that is what was referred to. The report does say the radius of turn is poor, however it makes no comparison of this to the Anton.

    Given the numerous defects they seemed to find in the aircraft, its probably safer to say they were generally unimpressed with the aircraft and the way the new engine upset trim and balance in flight, rather than specific tradeoffs in the horizontal against the Anton, which they do not mention other than in their conclusion. Further, the report does not carry the same interpretation you give it if you assume the Anton ALSO had poor radius of turn in the horizontal - the 190D would merely carry on this trait while worsening trim and balance, and thats what the report seems to suggest. Indeed, it says this specifically:

    "None of the pilots gave favorable reports on the trim characteristics and all agreed that for better accessment of the airplanes handling characteristics, controllable trim of rudder and aileron was needed"

    There is no reason to assume the report meant to say the FW 190D represented a radically different type of aircraft to the Anton and indeed it takes a self-fulfilling-prophecy belief about the Anton's horizontal turn performance to come to that conclusion. The quote you gave about power off stall behaviour does not mean the plane turned better power off, but that the stalls power off were milder and less aggressive - they had trouble making them abrupt, presumably because the nose dipped in a mild stall before then.

    All youve done here is prove that at least one variant of the FW 190 was a boom and zoom fighter that had poor performance in the horizontal.
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  5. #5
    What do you think about German propeller efficiency during that time period?

    In some of my reading about dive speeds, its been discovered that propeller design plays a crucial roll in how fast a plane responds as well as the top speeds its capable of. It even plays a large roll in how well a plane responds in a vertical zoom.

    The horsepower isn't the end determinant in performance. The prop design pertains to the type of performance you are expecting to get from an aircraft. A smaller engine could produce more thrust with the proper propeller, and actually out perform a more powerful engine with a less efficient propeller. It just depends on the performance margin the planes are competing at, where maybe acceleration and climb would favor one design, where a high speed dive to an extended climb favors the other.

    German props on later aircraft such as the 190D tended to retain the same three bladed coned shaped props used on earlier fighters. The design was refined and is largely intended to reduce drag at higher speeds. The idea being that the tips of the propeller blades are usually the first part of the aircraft to enter compressibility, so these blades tend to be shorter and narrow from the center of the prop disc. Most of the thrust is actually produced on the inside portion of the blade.

    If you look at American propellers, they are usually four blades and wider in radius. The shape of the blade is actually contoured so that most of the air is scooped from the mid to outside region of the prop disc. A lot of research had been done to determine how the engines rotational energy could be best transformed into thrust through the proper propeller design. This is an area the Germans never quite caught up in.

    Its my opinion, that German fighters would have a more difficult time competing in the vertical with American fighters like the P-51, or P-47 unless they had sufficient speed.

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  6. #6
    Erkki_M's Avatar Senior Member
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    Aug 2004
    Originally posted by BillSwagger:
    Its my opinion, that German fighters would have a more difficult time competing in the vertical with American fighters like the P-51, or P-47 unless they had sufficient speed.
    Which they do. Whether the reason is that or something else, or a combination of things, is debatable.
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  7. #7
    Its my opinion, that German fighters would have a more difficult time competing in the vertical with American fighters like the P-51, or P-47 unless they had sufficient speed.
    Quite strange as german fighters were found to have superrior initial acceleration.
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  8. #8
    Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Its my opinion, that German fighters would have a more difficult time competing in the vertical with American fighters like the P-51, or P-47 unless they had sufficient speed.
    Quite strange as german fighters were found to have superrior initial acceleration. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is indeed debatable. It probably just depends on the speed at which you are accelerating from, just the same as it would depend on the speed and angle at which you are climbing at. A vertical loop will bleed speed on the climbing half, and accelerate on the descending half. To some extent, the larger thrust maker is going to have an easier time in that particular type of climb.

    To finish my thought, i think German prop designs being lower drag in nature would've maximized dive performance allowing for longer extensions of speed in level flight at least in portions of the envelope where the plane is able to travel above its top level speeds out of an extended dive.

    Also understand that the propeller is just one aspect of the entire system. There are also factors like drag and weight, wing load, wing area, etc. But my main point was pointing out that propeller efficiency is whats going to determine how the planes horse power is used. You can't automatically assume more horses means better speed particularly if the propeller types are so different as seen with German and American aircraft.

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  9. #9
    Blue_5's Avatar Junior Member
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    Oct 2003
    The Soviet document seems to have a certain pro-Soviet spin to it when comparing the 190 to their own aircraft. Superior Yak 7 diving characteristics, for example, is not caveated or explained and is only likely to be true in a small flight window. Similarly there is emphasis on the vulnerability of the aircraft without placing this in context. Not that such analytical failings are limited to the VVS but it seems that it was meant as much to inspire confidence as it was to educate.

    Personally I've always felt that the Russian contempt for the 190 is based somewhat on the its relatively late arrival compared to the 109 which had established a reputation for lethality in the hands of very experienced pilots; quite a few of the 190s encountered from '43 onwards would have been jabo aircraft and at some disadvantage in aerial combat plus the qualitative gap in pilots and aircraft had narrowed. Certainly the 190 fighter units do not appear to have performed so poorly by their own standards

    As noted above, the 190D report does not place the 'poor' turning in context and I find the roll comparison with the P-38J a bit surprising. The report does begin by giving total flight hours as only 6, so I wonder if this was really sufficient to get to grips with the type. It’s also a little contradictory:
    Positive: controls are ‘highly effective and ‘feel good’ at speeds up to 375 mph; aircraft respond ‘well’ to manoeuvring; roll is ‘outstanding’; the engine provide sufficient power to make the D ‘a high performance aircraft comparable with allied types of fighters of the same date’; stalls are ‘gentle’ and warning ‘adequate’
    Negative: trim is ‘inadequate’ (lack of rudder trim must have felt odd) but this is caveated by the comment about poor rigging; rate of turn is ‘poor’ with ‘excessive’ elevator forces; breaks are ‘poor’
    I don’t see how this leads to a ‘much less desirable aircraft’ than the A models with ‘poor handling characteristics’. It does not strike me as a very good or informative report, probably because the pilots only had 6 hours available.
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  10. #10
    If you can get hold of Jerry Crandall's book vol 2 on the Dora then you can read a D-9 pilot's repsonse to that assesment. He disagrees on a number of areas.

    Also when the British captured an A model and evaluated it in 1941 there were no complaints about uncomfortable seats and bad breaks all of which would have stayed the same.

    There are also numerous examples from Doras of JG-26 achieving victories in turning dogfights in the D-9 Hans Dortenmann achieved 18 and from the victory claim description most were achieved during a turning fight.

    Attacks were made according to the situation, German fighter pilots were more than prepared to the mix it with other fighters. From reading a history of JG1 pilots found they could not escape from the faster US types and were forced to turn and defend themselves and this seems to have been a more standard practise. Against some types they could dive away but not all.
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