FW 190 A-5 Question, weaponry

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by fambaa, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. fambaa

    fambaa New Member

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    Hello everyone

    I have a rather complicated question and I thought I might find the answer in this forum since many of you look very dedicated to everything related to historical accuracy in aviation.

    I am a closed betatester for a flight sim in development, hence I am not allowed to speak about it (NDA)
    The developers of this game however, want to make it as accurate as possible in terms of flight characteristics, modeled right after the "real deal"

    My problem is the armament of the FW 190 A-5 in this game and I want to find evidence which would support one of the following armaments.

    One solution is that A 5s were fitted with 2 MG 17 and 2 cannon MG 151
    the other one is 2 MG 17 2 cannon MG 151 and 2 cannon MG/FF M (in the wings)

    Now I found "opinions" about how it was. Many websites describe A 5 armaments like the latter one.
    The handbook however states that the 2 cannons in the wings were a "Rüstsatz".

    I don't want to know how the plane left the factory. What I want to know is how the majority of the A5s were fitted.
    Some posts and info I found indicate that the majority had 4 cannons and that the wing cannons were removed only when they wanted more speed. Another one spoke about that A5s in the eastern campaign had only 2 cannons.

    I know avialogs and looked though the various handbooks, but those can't tell me how it was.
    So if anyone has a good source or could post photos of A5s on a field airstrip ready for combat where you can actually see the cannons whether its 2 or 4 it would be much appreciated.

    Also any other info related to this topic is welcome, but written reports are not reliable anyways unless it comes from a war veteran and not someone who just builds models and have their info from the internet aswell.

    So photos would be really cool, even of documents about this.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The outboard cannons were not a Rustsatz. They were part of the standard armament. The A-5 was introduced as the "Standardausfuhrung" around which variants could be built. This explains why there are so many "Umbau"(sixteen known and two apparently not allocated) and Rustsatze (two known).

    I don't have time to list the various differences but as far as armament goes the Fw 190 A-5/U10 can serve as an example. This had two MG 151/20 with 145 rounds per gun replacing the outboard MG FF cannon (as later on the A-6).

    Any Fw 190 A-5 without two MG 17s in the cowl,two MG 151 in the wing root and 2 MG FF in the outboard position is not standard. You say you don't care how they left the factory which is an odd position to take. Standard A-5s left the factory with standard armament which is very relevant. There is endless debate about who could and couldn't remove the outboard armament. It certainly was removed on occasion but you would have to find photos of individual aircraft in individual units to confirm whether this had been done or not.

    The standard armament must be seen as the default. For the purposes of your simulation you can only model a particular aircraft with a different installation if you either know it's U number(and that that signified a different armament installation) or have good evidence that it had been changed post production.

    As far as your "Rustsatze" for cannon in the wings,are you thinking of the double cannon gondola installation for the A-6? That was designated as a Fw 190 A-6/R1

    Steve
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Steve has the point here. The manual for the Fw 190A-5 clearly states the weaponry as at above post; the manual is easy to find on the internet. The MG 151 was of 20mm variety, so that's MM 151/20, while the MG/FF-M is listed as a fixed weapon.

    a-5 weaps.JPG
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys!
     
  5. fambaa

    fambaa New Member

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    Well thanks for the answers but I need evidence.

    I know all the handbooks, and I am german myself ;)

    Its not a question which weapons were used but which weapons were used MOSTLY.
    I read that pilots took out the outer guns to even further increase the roll rate.

    My point simply was to find anything if this was an order or a field modification.
    Just so that you can tell in which configuration the majority of 190s were flown.

    For example, so many modellers like Revell and many others simply build FW 190 A5 with 2 mg 2 cannon. And they don't have the antenna on the right wing as well.

    Now I tell you in that betatest forum there seem to be kids which play with models, and one time a guy really posted me a picture from a model pack stating 190 A5 only had 2 cannons.

    At least the devs know the config, first model you would fly has 2 cannons, but later I am sure, you can buy an upgrade. Its going even so far that the cannons you have or don't have affect the intertia when you want to roll, with the according weight.

    So long.

    No pictures from handbooks please, I got them all on pdf
     
  6. clinton78

    clinton78 Member

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    An Interesting discussion on this query over at LEMB. :)
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Care to post the manuals for the BMW-801C, Jumo-213, Jumo-211N/P, late war DB-605s?
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #8 stona, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    Well then they are not building a standard A-5. By antenna,do you mean the pitot tube? Without that the pilot cannot know his airspeed making the aircraft virtually impossible to fly,that is not an option.

    I've already explained the criteria which you (and presumably those modellers building a specific aircraft) would have to meet to have different armament. You need to find evidence that a particular aircraft or unit was operating with non-standard armament. The Luftwaffe,like most military organisations,did not authorise non-standard changes to equipment lightly.

    You should start with the standard armament. Any "upgrade" or change should be to reduce it. The discussion over on LEMB (already indicated by Clinton78 ) should give you an idea of how uncertain it is when,by who and how it might have been done.

    Steve
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    We can take a look at the outboard cannons from buyer's and manufacturer's perspective: they were ordering/building Antons from late 1941 to late 1944 with outboard cannons. Assuming those two (RLM and Focke wulf) didn't noticed the (supposedly) widely spread practice of removing outer cannons is little silly - why waste the money, resources and production capability to produce, install and align something that will be removed once the new plane arrives in combat units??
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #10 stona, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    Yes.
    The RLM could have changed the specification of the A-5 but didn't as far as I can tell.
    There's no point in re-hashing the debate about who could or couldn't remove the outboard weapons. It is by no means certain that this could be done at the front.

    As far as how these aircraft left the factory,I will quote from the LEMB thread.

    "Focke Wulf found no noticeable difference in performance with the outboard cannons. That is why the original Type I fighter configuration was completely deleted as a variant after the Fw190A-4. Yes, building the aircraft without wing weapons had to be done at the factory and was not a modification a Geschwader was capable of handling. There is so much more to mounting the weapons than just sticking the gun into its mount. Electrical conduit for weapon control systems, heating system plumbing, feed/spent cartridge chutes, spent cartridge hoppers, access panels, and pneumatic system are all built into the aircraft wing design.

    From the Fw190A-5 thru Fw190A-9 all fighters had a full complement of wing weapons from the factory. The only variants which did not mount outboard wing weapons are the Schlachtflugzeugen and bombenflugzeugen variants."


    That expresses a view with which I generally concur. It also touches on one of my pet peeves,the idea that it was simple for weapons to be added or removed or even changed for a different system. It simply wasn't,and isn't,so.


    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. fambaa

    fambaa New Member

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    Thank you for all your replies. I concur with the opinion about the wing weapons be installed in the field. But it would have been possible to just remove the guns, and not all the conduits and the trigger mechanism.

    As far as I can tell the game developers will implement different armament options, so that it will be possible to fly with or without the wing cannons.
    Its just sad that the "starter version" in the game will have only 2 cannons, but well its a game afterall and the wing cannons will be a kind of achievement you will reach when you have enough experience on the plane.

    The latest info from a developer was, that the game model up to a certain date had the weight off the cannons without having them. He "removed" that weight and the FW190 was even more agile. They test their flightmodels in a simulator setting and they even have real life pilots to fly those ingame models to tweak their behaviour.

    So thanks again ;)
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It would be possible for a suitably qualified person to do so. The debate is really over whether this was permissible.

    The effect this might have on the handling of the aircraft would have to have been carefully calculated and tested. Would there have been a need for ballast for example? Move the CoG of a WWII fighter even a few centimetres and you might well render it virtually uncontrollable.

    Nothing when working on aircraft like this as is simple as it seems. There is a tendency today for people to suggest adding,changing or otherwise altering all sorts of weapon installations on these aircraft with out any idea of what effects this might have had. Testing and development of new or different weapons systems on WWII fighters typically took months.

    Steve
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    IMO, all the debate over the allowed removal of the outer cannons have some things overblown. Like what was the real impact of the cannon at the CoG. The cannons we're talking about were in wings, so they are rather neutral when we talk about CoG. Eg. the Soviets were removing many parts of, already troublesome, P-39, including the wing armament, and managed to get away with that. There is plenty of pictures, mainly from the Eastern front, featuring 190s with only 2 cannons.
    So my take is that standard armament was 4 cannons, but when some units found that their 190s were slightly better in air with outer cannons removed, they managed to have their way. At ETO, the ever increasing number of heavy medium bombers necessitated the 4 cannon set up, so with A-6, all 4 were the MG-151/20.
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Just because something is in the wing doesn't make it neutral with regards to CoG. Admittedly being in the wing on the Fw 190 makes them at least close to the CoG.

    When the post I quoted said that Focke-Wulf found no noticeable difference in performance it is worth clarifying that the deviation remained less than that accepted for variations between aircraft of the type. If you plotted a normal distribution for,say,roll rate for 100 aircraft it would have shifted (slightly) for those without the outboard cannon compared to those with.The vast majority however would remain within the norm with or without the outboard weapons. That's what Focke-Wulf found.

    There were undoubtedly 190s operating with the outer wing armament removed. The question is who removed it. We'll probably never know now but I doubt that it was done on the squadrons. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and this was well covered over on the LEMB a while ago.

    Steve
     
  15. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Outer wing guns were a Rüstsatz that was factory-applied to new aircraft. Could be removed at unit level if ordered by the commander.
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #16 stona, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
    On the A-5 they were part of the standard and not a Rustsatz kit.

    The question was specifically about the A-5. If you have any evidence that the outer cannon on that type were authorised to be removed at unit level I and many others would love to see it.

    The only known Rustsatz for the A-5 relating to armament would be R6 for the WGr 21 mortar tubes.

    Steve
     
  17. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    #17 Denniss, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
    A-5/A-6 manual (8/43) still calls the MG FF a Rüstsatz. Weight table contains a note that removal of the MG FF saves 135 kg.
    A-6 weapons manual (7/43) has instructions how to remove the wing MG 151.

    There's no reason to believe the removal of these guns has to be permitted by anyone higher than the unit commander.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    It is a Rüstsatz indeed:

    rust.JPG

    Guess I should have read the manual more carefully 1st time.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Combat units located 1,000 km from Berlin could do almost anything they wanted as long as it got results.

    Heer units in North Africa and Russia cobbled together all sorts of non-standard vehicle mounted weapon systems. It must have been the same for Luftwaffe units.
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed Deniss/Tomo posts.

    Fair enough.

    When I have time I'll try to discover why the RLM standardised the A-5 with outboard armament and why I can't find any reference to a Rustsatz in any other Focke-Wulf documents :)
    I notice the handbook was released in 8/43 which post dates a well known joint RLM/Focke-Wulf document (released 4/43) which sought to limit the confusion caused by many different sub-types,ending the production of the A-1 to A-4 series and limiting A-5 production to "a single version only."
    This may be significant.
    Steve
     
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