Fw 190 supercharger intakes and F4F Wildcat "ventral fairing"?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Johnny .45, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Johnny .45

    Johnny .45 Member

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Vermont. That's a state in the US, if you hadn't heard of it.
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    I was wondering if anyone could give me a brief description and/or a diagram illustrating where the Fw 190's supercharger intakes were located? I noticed that the Fw 190 didn't have any obvious external supercharger intakes, like most a/c had. I looked in my book of cutaways, and the only thing I saw is what looked like a 90deg angle pipe sticking up over the top of the engine, at about 12:00. It was labeled "supercharger air pressure pipes". I thought maybe it picked up the airflow from inside the cowling and ran down into the supercharger. But then I googled it, and I find this certain Fw 190 with modified supercharger intakes (Hermann Graf, pics here Hasegawa's 1/32 Graf's 190A-5 "Special" | Large Scale Planes), which are twin scoops located where the two bulges along either side of the lower cowling usually are. I'd always thought those were to cover exhaust pipes, but this makes it look as if they usually covered the supercharger intakes, which were at about 4:00 and 8:00. If that's the case, where were the entrances? Right inside the cowling? Weren't they worried about loosing ram-air effect? Or even about air temperatures (although that would be less a problem if they extended all the way ahead of the engine). All other WWII a/c I can think of had ram-air intakes on the outside of the cowling, which was apparently why this one Fw 190 was modified, to obtain a pair. Why just the one, and why did he bother if it wasn't a problem? If it was a problem, why didn't they just make it that way from the factory? Strange.
    Now, as long as I'm here, I'll add the other thing I was wondering recently: on the F4F Wildcat, there is a large ventral bulge right behind the main gear. In the cutaway, it just says "ventral fairing". What is it for? Something to do with the landing gear? Fuel sump? It's right below the fuel tanks. I thought maybe it had to do with the oil coolers, but those are located on the insides of the cowling. Not sure where they exhaust, since the area directly behind them is the only part that lacks cowl flaps, but I don't think the ventral fairing has anything to do with it.
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Apr 3, 2008
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    The intakes for the BMW 801 were indeed taking the air from just aft the cooling fan. And indeed, that layout was detrimental for the harvesting of ram effect. The external intakes were tested, but, despite the advantages they provided above 20000 ft, theywere pretty rare in service examples. The switch from internal to external intakes was straightforward (through use of different cowling parts), unexplicably LW didn't see fit to modify all/most of their ETO Fw-190A fleet once they become aware that 190 isn't the fastest thing at high altitudes anymore.
    You can check out the most recent Fw-190A tests at Williams' site.

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