Flight stability issues of the Ta 152

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Staff Sergeant
May 11, 2008
There are original documents from March 1945 about the difficulties of the Ta 152's flight stability and the proposals to improve it. The extent of this issue is not very well-known I assume.
On the German Flugzeugforum the member and owner of the docs Junkers-Peter posted them. You have to sign up on the forum to see them though there:

Here is a translation into English I made.;

"Both the first production aircraft of version H and the model aircraft of version C have insufficient stability over the longitudinal and lateral axis.
As an immediate measure, the head of TLR therefore decided to reduce the fuel supply by 70-80 liters. and the entrainment of only 70 liters MW 50 instead of 100 liters suggested (this only with regard to the longitudinal axis?)
The head of TLR was subsequently informed that in order to achieve perfect stability around the transverse axis in the first series aircraft (H), it was necessary to attach approx. 58 kg of ballast to the engine and the fuel content of the rear tank of 360 ltr. to be restricted to 280 liters.
However, it is not possible to attach the ballast to the engine.
Chief TLR therefore proposes not to install the GM-1 installation, especially since the proper functioning of the pressurized cabin is still in question. The ballast on the engine and the fuel restriction could then also be omitted (in this case).
A meeting with the E-Stelle (Test Center) Rechlin showed that this proposal by the head of TLR would, in the opinion of the E'Stelle Rechlin, not be a remedy .

The E-Stelle also stated: The vertical axis stability of the 8-152 H is just sufficient. However, according to the shooting school, shooting approaches are not possible. A slight improvement occurs with the help of the course (direction) control K-23.
Rechlin suggested a different stretch (aspect-ratio?) of the fin to Focke Wulf as a remedy and sketches for it were handed over to Focke Wulf.

Transverse axis stability is poor for both C and H.
In principle, these instabilities around the transverse axis can be eliminated by:

Abandonment of course control K-23
Abandonment of GM-1 installation
Abandonment of 115 liters tank
Abandonment of FuG 185
Reduction of the fuel supply by 135 ltr.

Such a waiver, not even the smallest reduction in the fuel supply, can under no circumstances be approved!
In addition, when carrying out these measures, a top-heaviness near the ground would have to be accepted.

Fundamental measures were discussed:
a) Enlarging the horizontal stabilizer by adding edge caps
b) Modification of the wing transition to the fuselage to achieve better flow conditions
c) Engine pitch forward 0.5° further
d) Try to move all the weights further forward if possible
e) to compensate for the ballast of 13.5 kg previously required in the rear with a wooden tail

An aircraft with the above difficulties is unusable for troop deployment.
A complete remedy seems possible only with fundamental means."
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So few Ta 152's were actually delivered that there almost HAD to be issues. To be fair, ALL new airplanes had issues; it is not confined to the Ta 152.

But, while the Ta 152 certainly had great potential as a piston design, it is not surprising to hear it may have had issues. What IS surprising is that it took this long to hear about it. I'd want more proof than en entry in a forum, however, before giving it too much credence. They had plenty of experience with the FW 190D models not be fully aware of exactly where the CG should be located on the Ta 152, which had the same wings as the Fw 190D model, at least in the Ta 152C version. That should really NOT have been an issue.

I'd easily believe they had issues with the long-wing Ta 152H, especially in the yaw and maybe roll axes, but the Ta 152C was basically an Fw 190D-9/13 with minor tweaks. They made some 1,805 Fw 190D-9's and should have had a really good handle on them by the time the Ta152C came out, especially as regards CG and the aft limit.

Thanks for posting that. Looks like an interesting project to read and learn about. Cheers.
I was also wondering that it took so long to see about this degree of problems.

The guy on said forum had them scanned and regularly posts other orginal documents which he acquired over the years. It's worth to sign up to see his and others' contributions even if you don't speak German. I wouldn't copy and paste them out of respect as I know he wouldn't approve.

The Ta 152C wing measured 11 m, contrary to the Fw 190A/D's 10.5 m. It was lengthened at the wing roots.
Its fuselage was 60 cm longer than the Dora's so I wouldn't say that it was basically the same just with minor tweaks.
The C could carry more fuel,and significantly .heavier armament.
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The Ta 152C wing measured 11 m, contrary to the Fw 190A/D's 10.5 m. It was lengthened at the wing roots.
Its fuselage was 60 cm longer than the Dora's so I wouldn't say that it was basically the same just without minor tweaks.
The C could carry more fuel,and significantly .heavier armament.

Lenthenging of the fuselage enabled for greater weapon/ammo load between the engine and cockpit. It also made better clearance for the engine bay aft side, so the Ta 152 could house the intercooler as per Ju 213E, while the Fw 190 could not do that so easily; the FW comparison table between the two states that it is not possible at all.
One of reasons why the 213F (2-stage S/C, but no intercooler) was earmarked for the Fw 190D.
None of the above should mean the Germans suddenly had trouble setting a proper CG position for longitudinal stability or getting the lateral stability they wanted.

But, then again, look at the Me 210. By all accounts, it was a bad one. But it really didn't look much different from the Me 110 or some of the early Me 410s, which reportedly flew quite well.

So, perhaps they DID have issues with the Ta152. I'd still like to see some proof of it.

IIRC Brown as well as Reschke flew pre-production Ta 152H-0s which weighed only 4727 kg compared to the production version H-1 with. 5217 kg.
The H-0 lacked the GM-1 installation and wing tanks. Those installed may have worsened flight stability to unaccaptable levels.
A certain instability around vertical and lateral axis has been noted in tests with H-0 beforehand as well.
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That would explain why all the initial production Ta 152 H used in combat were without the GM-1 system

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